(I can’t remember if I’ve written about My Favorite Murder before. Is this why people use real tags instead of half thought out run on ones about the post content?)
There’s this podcast called My Favorite Murder. It’s kind of famous now, but I’ve been listening to it since close to the beginning (tosses artfully unbrushed hair over shoulder and pushes glasses up nose) and I love it. It was the impetus for me and a girlfriend to start our own podcast, actually!
(Our podcast was super famous, you wouldn’t have heard of it … but then my cohost/friend got possessed. She’s got an exorcism scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving, so perhaps at some point the podcast will return and share space with the blog.)
One of the key tenants of the MFM listeners (women, let’s be straight – they’re all women. Men don’t have the constant sense of unease that leads to an obsession with the worst things that can happen that comes with having a vagina. That’s why true crime readers/listeners are almost exclusively women which is a well known fact that I totally have a citation for) is ‘fuck politeness’. See, they have a goal of teaching the women who listen ways to be safer, and they’re fun and useful things like ‘stay sexy, don’t get murdered‘, ‘you’re in a cult, call your dad‘, and ‘stay out of the forest‘.
Also, fuck politeness.
Crockett and I know this guy. He’s a nice guy, we see him out and about in town. Lots of people we know know him, and I’m not sure they all like talking to him but no one actively avoids him.
The core of ‘fuck politeness’ is that women can easily get in trouble because we’re taught to be sweet above all else. Polite above all else. To go with the flow and not be a problem, above all else. The action of ‘fuck politeness’ is that, if something doesn’t feel good, then don’t worry about being good. It’s not our job as women to listen to men who want to carry our groceries to spend a few more minutes with us. It’s not our job to drink a drink someone bought for us without asking.
It’s not our job to be sweet.
This guy we know, he makes me uncomfortable. He’s not done anything aggressive. If anything, he’s more Elmyra Duff than Buffalo Bill (the Silence of the Lambs one, not the cowboy one). He likes me and Crockett, but tonight he saw us out with some friends and came to stand with us. He was too close, and he’s been too close too many times. I feel bad, like I’m overreacting. Everyone I know knows him! And he’s a good guy!
But also. In my head, he sort of feels like a kid who might give a puppy a bath and not understand how long that puppy can stay underwater. Does that make sense? I don’t think he means any harm, but I also don’t trust that he would know what the lines are if he found us in a position where no one else was there to help?
I don’t know, man.
I left, after a little while. I didn’t ask him to step away from me, I just backed out of the conversation.
The problem with ‘fuck politeness’ is that it sounds totally reasonable when you hear someone else explain it. “Oh, he showed up at your house to return something you don’t remember dropping, after you said no to a date? Babe, fuck politeness – say thanks and close the door on his request for a glass of water. Then call your best friend and describe his ass, just in case.” “Oh, he has a map and would really appreciate it if you’d roll down your window so he could ask for directions? Babe, let him ask a car that has someone in it that isn’t a woman alone.” Those seem medium rough, but also totally reasonable.
This guy hasn’t done anything weird. I mean, yes, he’s written a poem about me (tonight) but he thought it was based on a prompt by Crockett and he writes a lot …
I don’t know. I can’t boil this one down. He makes me edgy, and maybe that’s enough. I did say goodbye, but I left. And I might continue to leave if he shows up and stands too close to me.