When I was a graduate student and graduate teaching associate at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, I rented a small off-campus apartment which included services on the mechanicals, electrical, plumbing, and the like. The plumbing was old and unreliable. One day I called in a request to the apartment manager for a plumber to fix the toilet. I was always simultaneously preparing to teach my classes while studying for my own courses, so I suppose that is what I was doing on that day.
The plumber came and quickly replaced a part on the old toilet. I was anxious for him to leave so I could get on with whatever I was doing, time is short in graduate school. I remember that he was in no way the sort of person anyone would want to linger in their apartment. I was anxious for him to leave. But he stalled around. He brought a large pail into the living room, then he bent down and fiddled around with something in it. When he was satisfied that the time was right, he thrust it up at me, jiggling it. It was filled with a creepy-crawly mass of tampons in water. It was a disgusting, intimate display, albeit clean. Ewww. I got rid of him as quickly as possible. He kept close to me, telling me that tampons should never be flushed down the toilet as they would form a creepy-crawly mass just like the one he was jostling around in my face. After I got him out of my apartment, I wept in frustration at the upset he had caused me. He had stolen time from my over-scheduled day, he had squandered the energy that it took to steady my nerves, not to mention that displaying a pail-size mass of wet tampons in my living room is harassment of some sort or another.
I knew that I should, but I did not take time and energy to report him. I did not want to be put in a he-said-she-said position, so I suppose that he continued to display his pail-of-tampons to many more disconcerted women along his way. The upset of this kind of behavior is always exacerbated by the knowledge that the miscreant man who will do this is probably capable of doing much worse. This makes a woman very anxious to get rid of the deviate man and anxious that he might come back.
This episode is a fairly typical example of the relentless, tag-team effect made day in and day out, by one after the other of creepy, disgusting men, whom I suppose do this to women because they fail to relate to women in good ways. It is never the attractive, healthy men who do these things, it is always some old puke.
This reminds me of a previous time when a serviceman masturbated into my bath towel in that same apartment. I was not at home when the serviceman was there, but the proof of his misconduct was in the towel. I lived alone and had had no one else in my apartment on that day. That time I did make an appointment to see his supervisor and complain, but the supervisor chose not to believe me. The supervisor shook my hand when I left, a ploy for a little brief intimacy because he had enjoyed denying his serviceman’s behavior to me. I saw the supervisor’s face change when he felt my ice-cold hand. He realized that I was telling the truth. Good God in Heaven, why would anyone complain of such stupid sexual behavior if not to protect oneself from it? Or for historical purposes as in this blog of one woman’s life in the twentieth century.
Caption: Broken Branches-Broken Life Chances-A Mass Of Creepy-crawlies
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018