Requests from a jogger for a peaceful run | Column
by The Press and Standard | June 2, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: May 30, 2018 at 10:25 am
Dear male driver:
Thank you for slowing down, blowing your horn and asking what I was doing. I thought the running shorts, Hokas, ballcap and water bottle would have been big clues. That and the fact that I was, you know, actually running. Or was, before I had to slow down to figure out what you were saying.
Yes, I always stand far away from men in cars who stop to ask me stupid questions.
No, we haven’t met before. No, I don’t need a lift home or to the grocery store. Yes, I run every day. No, you do not know my husband. But thanks, really, for the creepy fake concern.
P.S. I carry Mace, and you do NOT want me to prove it.
Dear female driver:
I’m not sure why you flew by so close to me that I had to jump in the ditch to avoid getting gutted by your side mirror. There wasn’t another car coming towards you, and I was doing fine on the grassy shoulder. I hope whatever you were looking at on your phone was worth my plunge into a poison ivy patch.
Dear leaf blower:
I know it was an accident and you didn’t see me, and I do appreciate the apology. I’m sorry my choking scared you, but I don’t think I actually swallowed any leaves. There are, however, about 1,547 pine needles in my hair.
Dear construction worker:
You make me tired. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? No, you haven’t seen me lately because I changed my route to avoid your ignorant remarks. ****.
Dear dog owner:
I know you love your dog. I’m sure he’s a very nice dog, to you. But if he comes charging out of your yard towards me, showing every tooth and snarling like a rabid hyena ONE. MORE. TIME, you will have a blind dog. (See Mace, above.)
I’m running in the public domain; your dog is very large and very angry. I’m sure you’ve seen me stop running, turn to face him and loudly tell him to get back in your yard. (While you call him, laughing, from your kitchen window. Nice touch.) I do that because I know if I keep running, he will pull me down. That’s not going to happen. So, unless you want to buy your dog a white cane, keep him in your yard.
Dear teenage driver:
Here’s a tip: You do not impress women by blocking the road with your torn-up Datsun pickup, leaning out the window and licking your lips. It’s disgusting that you try to flirt (?) with someone who could be your grandmother. I have wrinkles and saggy knees, but you’re the ugly one in this scenario.
Dear lady at the cemetery:
No, I’m not running across any graves. As you can see, I’m running the perimeter of the cemetery, where nobody’s laid to rest (I hope). BTW, I’m going to be buried here, on the west side under the oak tree. And I won’t care if anyone runs across my grave. Because I’ll be dead.
Dear horseback rider:
I’m sorry I laughed. I feel terrible. When you yelled at me to “STOP, he doesn’t like pedestrians!” I honestly thought you were kidding. You recovered well, though. Way to grab that saddle horn.
So… can we all agree that a running woman poses no threat, is not looking for ***, doesn’t want to be bitten, is not interested in conversation and isn’t public entertainment? Thank you.
(Julie R. Smith, who used to find running relaxing, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)