A small incident occurred at the kid’s soccer practice this week, and it led to an interesting discussion later on. No4’s coach was away, and another father stepped in to supervise the practice. Afterwards, I said “Thank you for doing that. It’s really appreciated.” He said something bland, then walked behind me, placed his hands on my shoulders and squeezed.
I froze, unsure in the moment of what to do or how to react. Then annoyance surged, and I spun around to tell him to keep his hands to himself. But he had disappeared, completely from the park. He must have moved at light speed, either that or I’d been stuck for longer than I’d thought.
No1 and No2 came over and asked me what happened. I explained, and said that it showed disrespect to touch someone without asking (especially with the sneak up from behind weirdness). They sprang into masculine posturing – it must come naturally now that they are 11 and 12! – and stood either side of me in a protective stance. Little romance heroes in action.
In the car on the way home after practice, they asked if I was ok. I said “Yes, it’s not a huge problem, just slightly creepy. I mean, if he really wanted to touch me, he could have shaken my hand.”
“Perhaps I should put him in a book, just so I can kill him off? What do you reckon?” I said.
The kids thought this was a brilliant idea.
“With a cow rampage.”
“Elephant trunk squash.”
“Drive over him with a car.” “No, even better, drive over his hand with a car, so he can’t touch anyone again.” “Yeah, and then a shark could bite off his other hand.”
“Walks into a tree and spears himself in the chest with a sharp branch.”
“Cleaning windows on a tall building, and falls off.”
But my husband had the best idea of all.
“How about, at the game on Saturday, I do the same thing to him,” he said. I can’t wait. It’ll be awkward and weird, and hopefully will start a conversation about inappropriate touching, and respecting people and their personal space.
Renee’s debut book, To Charm A Bluestocking is available from Escape Publishing now.
She wants to be one of the world’s first female doctors; romance is not in her plans.
You can buy it here:
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The sequel In Pursuit of a Bluestocking will be released in October 2017.