I’ll probably have to take this one down quickly.
He had two teenage sons, and I was nervous about meeting them. I don’t have much experience with young people aside from my years teaching undergrads, and my students were, technically, adults.
I rehearsed it beforehand: be friendly and unobtrusive. Convey the impression that you’re not trying to move in on the family unit in any way. Nonthreatening. Avoid PDAs with Dad. Let the boys decide how much (or how little) interaction they want to have with you.
One thing that I was worried about was the age difference. I’m not remotely attracted to younger men, and even if I was, I’d never so much as flirt with the children of a man who allowed me into his household. That’s unspeakably disrespectful.
However, I’m in a weird Twilight-Zone age bracket right now: I’ve lost weight again and gotten really skinny, and I get gray hairs and botox on my forehead, but (I think) look younger than I am…? My point being that I was concerned that the boys could be sexually attracted to me. I didn’t want to send them that message.
I picked out the dress I was going to wear when I met them. It was conservative, navy blue, and had a high neck and a collar. It was an attractive dress, but it wasn’t sexy. It was a dress that I could teach in, or that I could wear to a formal corporate office.
He went through my closet and picked out my favorite yellow sundress, and said, “Here, wear this.”
This is a beautiful dress, but it’s revealing. It shows my back because it has spaghetti straps and it’s a little bit low-cut in front. I couldn’t call it SEXY–it’s not something I would wear to a bar or nightclub–but it’s not conservative. You can see a lot of skin.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Of course I am sure,” he said. He’s always sure.
I met them and could see them taking glances of me during dinner. I had to ask myself: what was the point of putting me in that dress? Was he being competitive with his own children? Was he showing off?
For my part, I was as demure as possible and mostly just looked at the table.
The next day, he told me to take out the younger one because he needed some “time alone to talk” with the elder one.
I took out the younger one and I am happy to report that it was a success! I had a successful interaction with an adolescent! I wish I could write a lot more about it, but I have to respect his privacy. We spent all day together! He really liked me! We played chess and lots of stuff. I like him a lot. He is a good kid; still sweet.
We came back to the apartment and I saw something that did not auger well: I saw the elder brother walking out of my room.
There was no reason for him to be in my room.
He didn’t see me, so I just hid and pretended like it didn’t happen. Then I rushed in there and checked my stuff and my drawers. Nothing looked rifled through. But, he was in there.
Then, later, Dad had to go back to his office for a little while–this was after dinner. I followed the schedule and went to take my nightly bath.
I did not close the door all the way. I guess, for that, I have only myself to blame. But it wasn’t very open. The crack in the door was 2 inches at most. And I would like to say that there was no reason for the kid to be in that hallway. His bedroom is on the opposite side of the apartment!
So, I was laying in the water, and then I looked up into the mirror, and saw him looking at me through the crack in the door.
I was startled, of course, but I didn’t freak out. I mean, I’m an adult, and it’s not like I don’t understand male sexuality. Furthermore: when you live with people, sometimes awkward things happen. I had platonic male roommates in grad school. I saw them getting dressed once or twice and one of them told me he heard me having phone sex with the Surgeon. So–the awkwardness, it can happen…?!
But this kid (I guess he’s not a kid, he’s in his late teens) just hovered outside the door. The correct, appropriate response if you spy someone bathing is to retreat and pretend like it never happened. He wasn’t doing that.
I thought, maybe he doesn’t know that I know he’s there.
I carefully, slowly reversed my body in the tub so that I could look him in the eyes. Now, there was no question.
He didn’t move. I couldn’t see his entire face, because the crack in the door was so small, so I couldn’t read his expression. He didn’t seem to be jerking off–I couldn’t see any movement. But who knows. He was definitely looking.
Well, I’m in this hugely vulnerable situation. I know most of my readers are guys and probably won’t appreciate it. I am naked in a bathtub and there is a boy who is spying on me and KNOWS that I know it and he’s not getting lost, which is VERY scary and hostile.
I wanted to stand up and walk over and slam the door in his face! But I couldn’t, because if I got up from the water, then he would see me naked!
Well, I was still FURIOUS and I’m not going to be pushed around by a damn teenager! Sorry, guy, you don’t get to jump the social hierarchy! I didn’t want to say “Wait till your father gets home!” because that would make me sound weak.
“Hey! John (not his real name)! I see you!” I made a gesture at my eyeballs and pointed at him. “FUCK OFF!”
I didn’t tell on him because I didn’t want to provoke him. Live and let live, and you know teenagers are impulsive anyway…
But then there was the following night…