I live in a metropolitan area and don't own a car. There are a few different bus routes that I take on my way to work, depending on how late I'm leaving from my apartment. One of the later buses that I take has a driver that has made comments about what I'm wearing and how I look. I've only been on this particular bus about three times, but every time, he will say something such as, "Mmmm, you look so sexy today." I always feel uneasy when men makes comments like this. Living in a large city, I have grown accustomed to it. Even so, it surprises me that someone would make such comments while at his job. Anyway, I tolerated it those few times because I don't like confrontation and thought that he would just stop since I always just say good morning and continue walking further onto the bus without acknowledging his comments.
Well, I am unable to deal with his comments after yesterday morning. The bus was very crowded because a large group of children were on it. Because it was so crowded, I had to stand at the front of the bus just behind the driver. He began talking to me while he was driving the bus. At first, I thought that he was asking me to make sure that I stood behind the yellow line, so I backed up a bit. Then, he asked me why I was being so shy. He continued to ask questions. He asked where I was from, what I did for work, whether I was married, and whether I had children. I had nowhere to move, so it was impossible to just ignore him. He continued to speak as he was driving the bus, even though I'm fairly certain that drivers aren't supposed to talk to the passengers while the bus is moving. In hopes that I could bring the conversation to a close, I honestly told him that I had a boyfriend with whom I lived.
However, that didn't deter him. The rest of the conversation went as follows:
Driver: Where do you get your nails done?
[I thought that he was making a joke because of the state of my nails. My nails were clean and well-trimmed, but the nail polish was chipping off. Also, he noticed my nails?? He was supposed to be driving the bus. It seems as if it would be difficult to pay attention to the road when you're so concerned about a person's nails.]
Me: [nervous laugh] Oh, I just paint them myself whenever I feel like it, which isn't that often.
Driver: [incredulous tone] Wait, you have a boyfriend, and you don't get your nails done??
[At this point, I wasn't really understanding the connection between having a boyfriend and getting one's nails done.]
Me: Err, yeah. It's easier and less expensive to just do it myself.
Driver: See, that isn't how things are supposed to work. Your boyfriend should give you some money and say, "Here, honey, go get yourself pampered."
[long pause because I didn't know what the hell to say]
Driver: Look, I know this nail salon in [specific part of city]. I'll have you a gift certificate by the end of the week.
Me: That's really not necessary. I don't want to get a manicure.
[another long pause]
Driver: If your boyfriend can't even do that, then I won't even bother to ask the next thing on my mind.
[yet another awkward pause]
Driver: You always dress so nice. Does your boyfriend buy you clothes?
Me: Um, no, I am perfectly capable of buying my own clothes.
Driver: No, no, no, that is wrong. You're so sexy. You need a boyfriend who can treat you better.
Luckily, at this point, we were coming to my stop. As we approached it, he wished me a good day. I was little surprised that he knew where my stop was when I've only ever been on his bus about three times in the past few months.
This morning, I got up early so that I wouldn't have to take this later bus. I prefer taking the later bus because it's more convenient, but I don't want to deal with that driver again. I suppose that I should have told him that he was making me uncomfortable, but I also feel as though he should know that his comments were inappropriate. I would report this incident to the transit authority, but I doubt that anything would be done about it. Also, even if something was done, I'm afraid that he would know that I had reported him, and then I still wouldn't be able to feel comfortable enough to take that bus.
Also, since I was too chicken to say it to him, I'll say it on here. Just because I'm a woman, it doesn't mean that I want or need a man to take care of me or give me things! ARGHH!