Friday night I got to do one of the many cool things Portland has to offer: the Shanghai Tunnel tour. Back in the late 1800's, men were shanghaied and sold to sailors. This was done by getting them drunk and basically imprisoning them in a network of underground tunnels until they were needed by the ship captains. Over the years, some of the network of tunnels has been restored and is now a popular tourist attraction. And it's awesome.
After the tour, several of us in the group went to play video games. The real arcade style ones many of us remembered from our childhood. It's a bit hard to keep six people together in an arcade and we tended to break off into groups of two or three. At one point, I was going to play one of the shoot 'em up games with one of the guys in the group. We had to work our way through a group of people who were there together and not very yielding to passersby. As a result, I got stuck standing next to some guy. Who barked at me. Repeatedly, and not in a nice way. In a way that was followed by a sneer to let me know just how unattractive he found me.
In that moment, I wasn't a 36-year-old woman standing in an arcade next to a jerk. I was an 18-year-old girl walking down the sidewalk on a hot summer day in Sandpoint, having just discovered I had locked my keys in the car and I had to go find a phone to call my evil (now ex-) stepmother to come and rescue me. I was mad, and dreading making the phone call that was only going to get me in trouble for being irresponsible and a HUGE inconvenience. As I was fighting back the tears, a car went by, filled with teenage boys. Who pointed and barked at me and laughed as they passed me by.
It hurts just as much now as it did then.