Stand up

I've been holding off on telling this story over the weekend because I wouldn't sure what sort of attention it would bring, but as I think more and more about I think it really is a lesson everyone can take note from.

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I am generally pretty aware of my surroundings. I'd consider myself a decent multi-tasker. I'm pretty good at doing many things at once. On this particular day I was grocery shopping and catching up on phone calls with some of my best friends. I'm guessing I'm not the only one who does this?

As I made my way around the store, I was laughing, telling stories and really into the conversation with my friend. For some reason I kept noticing this guy only a few steps behind me. Older, holding a basket but, oddly, there was nothing in it. Yet, he had been in the store for just as long as I had.

Odd, yes. But at this point seemingly harmless.

My conversation ends and I finish getting everything on my list (plus a few impulse items). As I make my way toward one of the check out lines I notice that same man gets in line right behind me. Feeling very unsettled, I pretend I forget something and make my way to the wine section. Guess who gets right behind me? Literally no more than 10 steps behind. Of course my heart starts beating faster as I think about what exactly he's doing. I really have no idea.

So I get in line again and I try to wedge myself in between other customers, but he some how finds his way RIGHT behind me. As I push my cart to one side and step to the other, I just wait. Then, I notice exactly what he's been doing this whole time.

The man squats down, pretending as if he is reaching for an item on the bottom shelf, and in the process sticks his camera phone right underneath me.

It makes me sick to even write this down, but I wouldn't tell you a lie. Not about something like this.

So what I did next is what I really want to tell you about. Just as soon as I notice what he's doing I yell, "Are you taking pictures up my dress?!" The man stands up and fumbles for words (pretending like he doesn't understand what I'm saying). I yell again, "You have been following me around this store, have you been taking pictures of me this whole time? Let me see your phone!"

At this point the whole store is staring in my direction. I am shaking. And the man puts his empty basket down and takes off out of the store.

Disturbing? Yes. Lesson learned? Definitely.

What I want you to know about this really strange story is that I had this weird feeling as I noticed him following me. Something didn't feel right, and I knew it. So I spoke up. Very loudly, yes. I don't know if you have ever been in a situation like this or just any situation that makes you feel the slight bit uncomfortable... but I want you to know it's okay to say something.

As I left the store I honestly felt like people were judging me for accusing this guy of what he did. I honestly did not care ONE bit. You see, I take pictures of myself ALL the time. I take so many pictures of myself it's obnoxious. But that is MY right. I choose when my picture is taken. So when someone tries to violate my right, I will absolutely speak up every. single. time.

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How's that for a story?

Needless to say I was pretty shaken up for the whole day. Threw me off my game. Looking back I know I should been a little more aware of my surroundings but that does not mean I could have avoided this situation. I'm sure there's many more people like this man that get their kicks from things I don't even want to think about.

Regardless, I'm pretty proud I stood up to him. If nothing else, I hope I can inspire you to confront those uncomfortable situations.

Outfit Details

Piko Tunic- c/o Shop Riffraff
Frye Boots- Fringe and Fray
Bracelets- Alex and Ani
Necklace- I made it! At the Chelsea Market
Purse- Liebeskind

Shop this look


choose to be happy blog said...

Gosh Sabrina. That whole story made me stomach hurt. made me so mad. Womans intuition is a real thing. and its so important to trust it and to stand up like you said. I know I have done this. but I have also done the complete opposite before. I wrote about it once a little here


(I thought that oprah question was such an interesting one)

Anyways, your story is just another really important reminder to myself. eeeep what a creep. I’m so proud of you!

Kristin Thompson said...

That's awful. You should be able to grocery shop & talk on the phone without that happening to you. I'm glad you spoke up, that man is a disgusting pig. Stuff like this makes me so mad. I hope you're ok. On a happier note, your outfit is super cute!

Crumbs and Curls

Anonymous said...

Disgusting! What a jerk! I would've pushed it even further. He needed to be reported not just yelled at.

Since you were followed throughout the whole store it is quite possible that he has some pretty solid pics of you THAT CLEARLY ARE INAPPROPRIATE!!

Do more than just stand up!

Neely said...

What a horrifying invasion of privacy! I am so impressed you had that kind of courage. I honestly dont know if I would have. You go girl!

jessica said...

ok. sick. i am literally so creeped out right now. what a sick-o! i would have done the exact same thing but would have slapped him clean across the face. i just hate this, because this happens too much for women. like seriously, we can't even go to the grocery store! i'm glad you stopped it right then..he coulda followed you out to your car and who knows what he'd do then.

you been diggin you some riffraff, giirl. you should check out impressions or savoir-faire in nwa..they got some cute cute stuff, too.

Sara Strauss {Sincerely, Sara} said...

I'm so sorry that this happened to you! What a creeper! I'm glad you stood up for yourself and yelled at him, regardless of what the people around you thought. That guy was violating your privacy and he deserves to be yelled and much worse! I hope you're okay!

Also, you look amazing in these pictures!

Kelly @ [Big Apple, Little Bites] said...

What a creep. I'm so sorry this happened to you. There are some creeps in NY subways but I've never had the courage to say something. Thanks for sharing your story.

Kylie said...

What a perv!!!! I had a guy follow me around target once. Not nearly as close as this guy though, and pictures to top it off?!? I'm so sorry! I'm glad you said something and that you're safe!

Anonymous said...

Good for you for standing up for yourself! And shame on the others around you for not stepping in and helping you.

Emily said...

Oh my word this is horrible!!! Its so awful that there are actually people in the world that do these things. But I am so glad you spoke up and got that guy out of there! A woman's instinct is usually right on target every time!

Chelsea said...

Oh Sabrina, this whole story made me sick to my stomach! I'm so glad you had the courage to say something. Who knows whether or not he would have stayed in the grocery store and found another girl after you left.

Chelsea & The City

PorkStar said...

WOW!! WTF???? that's horrendous! I can't begin to imagine how you must have felt, but good for you to speak out about it!!! And it's not only your right to chose when or who takes pictures of you, but in that manner is simply a very, very sick individual. You could also have gone to the store's manager and have them review their security video, if they have one in place, and print out a copy of the individual in question and plaster it everywhere, shaming him and making other people aware. Even send it to the local police.

I had a similar situation on the subway once, someone did physically to me, and even as a guy, I felt very violated and shaken for the rest of the day.

Unknown said...

I had a guy following me around target with my kid & husband he'd wait for my husband to walk away and follow behind me so I stood next to my husband and yelled to the guy "do you think I'm blind & I can't see you following me?" He totally freaked out & stopped following me he looked crazy & was also not carrying anything around.

Ashley said...

this story made me so mad sabs - what a creep! i want to fly to WA right now and punch this creepy mofo in the face.

but on the flip side, how freaking proud am i of you. what you did took courage!

Brianna said...

sick sick sick!! This makes me so mad!! What a creep! It's disgusting that there are people like that in the world. SO glad you spoke up rather than brushed it off. And super disappointed in the people around you that didn't even jump in and say something after you called him out!!! But eff them for their judgey eyes. ;)

melissa said...

Good job standing up to him and speaking out!It's when you don't stand up or speak out that it gives shady men like him the power. Womens intuition kicks in for me when I'm alone and I do all the safety stuff. I don't care if I look like a psycho. I would rather have the brains to look after myself then end up in a sucky situation.

Wally said...

I would have yelled at him too.. You did the right thing..That would have been very creepy and I would be shaken too. I think going with your gut is the best thing to do and that is what you did. How awful that you had to experience that. I'm so sorry. Glad you caught him though. What a d&^%* head.

MacKensie said...

Wow. That's awful. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm not sure I would've had the guts to react the way you did, but I'm so glad that you do. I admire your bravery. I just hope you threw HIM off his game.

Vicki said...

How disgusting!! You did the right thing by confronting him though! It's just so scary that we have to be on guard all the time anymore!

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