When I Tried to Sell a Toy

Tonight a man, a stranger to me, began aggressively messaging me about an item I posted “for sale” on a Facebook group reserved for people in my town interested in buying and selling children’s items. It was 5:30 pm. I was attempting a dinner that would be ready when my husband arrived. I was on the phone with him, hearing about his day while he commuted home. My toddler and preschooler were trying very hard to “help” me. All the while this man was messaging me.

I saw his intial message and took a moment to respond “yes” the item was still for sale. He offered me much less than I asked for, and I continued chopping peppers while I considered it. But that was not good enough. He messaged me two more times, in less than a minute, upset I wasn’t responding. I waited a few moments and then told him I was cooking dinner.

He invited himself to my house. Again, I did not respond. 

As I took a rare moment to breath, sit, and eat, I received two more messages. He was trying to force an answer. My husband suggested a response and I made it. 

Then this stranger told me to choke on my food.

I am not afraid of trolls.

I posted these pics of our conversation in that FB group where I advertised a toy for sale. 8 women have commented. 4 support me. 3 say he was in the wrong but so was I; they suggest alternate ways I should have cooked/parented/eaten so I could have met his desire for quicker answers, different ways I could have responded so I would not have invited his rudeness. 1 is his wife.

I wrote to his wife that I pray he does not address her the way he addressed me when I displeased him.

I want to write to those other 3 and say “fuck off.” Or I want to write to them and say “I hope you know you are loved and never deserve a man’s wanton rudeness.” But I will do neither. 

I tried very diligently to ignore this. I put my phone in another room and concentrated on my children, focused on their joy and delight as I played and read to them. But this bullshit was behind my eyes, clouding my focus. I watched my kids through fogged glass. 

I am so tired of this bullshit, of random men ignoring my boundaries, the borders of humanity. But fighting it is less exhausting than surrender. I demand better.