Monday, June 28, 2010

Feeling Used, Violated

Something happen today that is quite disturbing and has left me shaken. Yesterday, Kay and I had talked about going to get some tomatoes and canning them because they make the winter soups and sauces so much better tasting. And so we left a little late this morning but was on our way to get our load of tomatoes by 10 am. When we arrived at the little store we discovered that they didn't have a quantity of tomatoes picked, so we headed for the fields and in no time had picked 15 gal of the real ripe sweet tasting tomatoes, we also bought some peppers and 20 lbs of okra. On the way home we took a detour and bought 20 lbs of frozen blackberries, which are huge and make great wine.

When we arrived home, I noticed that the stepladder was standing in our front yard and I made a comment to Kay as to how it might have gotten there. We figured that our painter had returned to scrape the windows, which is the last thing he needed to do so we didn't think any more about the ladder. We hauled the tomatoes, okra, and frozen blackberries to the freezer, I let the dog out and that was when I noticed that things in the back yard had been moved about and someone had mowed the grass. I commented to Kay that the yard had been mowed and we were very puzzled as to whom might have cut the grass. 15 minutes later we get a call from our painters son telling us that his father had told him that we wanted him to cut our lawn again and that he would be coming by to collect his money. We had paid him to mow our lawn a few week ago, when he was helping his father paint the house and that time he cut down two of our ornamental flowers, so I wasn't too pleased with him, but I paid him because he was helping his father.

Now I had never talked to his father about the yard needing mowed, only that he had called to say he would be by sometime this week to finish scraping the windows. So I was a little perturbed that he would mow our grass without being asked or contracted to let him mow. As I had run out of checks I needed to go by the bank to withdraw some money to pay him and do some other errands, as I was leaving, he drives up to get his money. I explain that I did not appreciate that he assumed he could mow our lawn and that I was the one that mowed and took care of our lawn, because it was good exercise for me but I would pay him this time. So he followed me to my bank and I paid him and took care of my other errands. I tell him that I like to mow our yard and that our money is still a little tight we do not have the money to hire someone to care for our lawn full time. Later that afternoon while Kay and I were resting, he calls again and tells me that he has taken our gas can for the lawnmower because the car had run out of gas and he would bring the gas can in the morning. Now I was really pissed, because not only did he take advantage of me by mowing my lawn and assuming I would pay him, he had stolen some gas from me.

The more I thought about what he did to me I began to feel like I was used and violated. He just assumed that we were helpless women and he could take advantage of us. He violated our trust, trespassed on our property and stole our gas, never once asking if he could do any of these things and all the while I think he felt like he was doing us a favor. I don't think I have been more upset about something, about how he took advantage of me. But he knows where we live, that we have an alarm system and two noisy dogs who raises a ruckus when anyone comes near the house. I wonder if this is the way he treats all women, I feel very uneasy when I am around him.


Veronica said...

I'm not there, of course, but from what you describe, this young man seems a Not quite right. Lacking in appropriate boundaries, for sure!

The way you're feeling seems perfectly reasonable to me given what has been happening. I hope you can get this settled and are not bothered any more.

Lori D said...

What a bummer. I feel for you. I too am learning that men are much quicker to try to take advantage of a woman than they are a man. Maybe it's because they're more confident that they won't get their ass kicked by a female.

Still, it sounds like you need to be firm with him and tell him not to come around anymore. Or else you might come home and your car's engine might be overhauled.

Sorry, trying to be silly there. Miss y'all!

Halle said...

There are so many differences in how we are treated based on our gender; some might be positive, this obviously is an example of the opposite.

As one who maintains the façade of maleness, I do not get treated differently personally, but something has changed in me during the last year, because I notice how often my sisters are taken advantage of, and it really bothers me.

It has taken all of my diplomacy sometimes to avoid outing myself by ranting publicly, believe me.

The nerve of this guy thinking he can just turn up and do what he likes in your home!

SCG said...


Two Auntees said...

The other Auntee (Kay):
I'm not sure how all this transpired. The young man did mow our grass without asking. He said that his father told him it needed mowing. He did take the gas can without asking but called and said that he had taken it because he car had run out of gas (our car was gone and he probably assumed no one was at home). As a female who has lived alone many years prior to meeting Sarah, I faced this situation in one form or another over the years.

I really think that we made some errors in judgment with the painter while he was painting the house that led to the men thinking that we would go along with the lawn mowing gig. I said to Sarah last night,"welcome to world of the female."

I am not as upset or uncomfortable as Sarah is. I think I see where we may have made some errors that led to this situation. It is hard for me to explain to Sarah what went wrong, although, I feel that we are as responsible in this situation as the two men.

Melissa said...

I think it might be a good idea to have a talk with the kid's father, and explain all of this to him. He said his father told him you wanted him to cut the grass again. Either his father misunderstood you, when you let him do it the first time, thinking that you wanted him to come back again, or the kid was lying when he said his father told him you wanted him to come back. In either case, his father should know, and also that his son used your gasoline to fill his empty tank. By the way, did the kid replace the gas he used? Sounds like lock on the mower shed may be in order.

Melissa XX

Claire L Hallam said...

These unpleasant incidents can shake us, I found myself not sleeping recently after an encounter. I'm sorry but in my view, you are not "as responsible". At best there was a misunderstanding, at worst a scam. Either way they overstepped boundaries not you. Don't take blame on yourself if you're not at fault. Not sure what I'd do, but probably call the father (he might not know), and say there must have been a misunderstanding, I'd very politely explain that from now on I'll cut my own grass...and then I'd change the lock on my garage. If there is a scam happening then put down a marker to say "enough".

Anonymous said...

It does seem at the very least to be extreemly presumptious and pushy to mow a lawn and take gas without asking.
Maybe it was an error of judgement on the young mans part but I have a feeling it was intended to force payment for work already done.
I have a bd feeling he saw you as an easy touch.
If this was the house of 2 men I am not sure he would have acted in the same manner.

I can understand your annoyance.

Two Auntees said...

To everyone, thank you for the comments and support. I have talked with the father that I was uncomfortable around his son, maybe it is his size, or just his persistence, un-welcomed as it was. I am going to change the lock on the door for future reference, probably should have done that years ago, but I never though someone would go into my shed without asking me, how silly of me.

Kay is probably right I over reacted but I think when I was talking with the father I reverted to my 'First Sergeant mode" and said more than I should have. I wanted to impress on the father that his son overstepped his bounds to assume that I wanted him to take care of our yard. Oh to use my mower, my garden tools my gas to cut the lawn and trim the hedges and to charge me an inflated price. Ladies, I have put my foot down and made my point clear that I did not want him to mow my yard again.

Thanks for the shoulder and ear to listen to my rantings.

Caroline said...

Thank goodness this got sorted, I could not even read the post! Arrrrgh!

Caroline xxx

Anonymous said...


Calie said...

Wow! This kid, and his father may be totally innocent or just plain not to be trusted. I'd error on the side of caution. Perhaps I could understand cutting the lawn, but taking the gas can? And, what next? I was also surprised that he was bold enough to follow you to the bank.

Sarah and Kay...just be careful.

Calie xxx