It was a Monday night and one of my best friends, Ana, had one more day in Chicago before she returned back to New York City. Her and I are two peas in a pod, so naturally, I wanted to meet up with her and Sylvia in Pilsen to spend sometime together.
I sprained my ankle four days beforehand, so walking long distances was out of the question, so I requested ab Uber. The Uber driver got to my humble abode fairly quickly, which surprised me because usually the side streets in Wicker Park through 1/2 of the drivers off for whatever reason. I get into the Uber and give my usual, "Hi, I'm Nikki. Thanks for picking me up, blah blah blah" spiel. The Uber driver seemed completely normal at first, asking me if I liked living in Wicker Park, what I did for a living, etc.
Then he asked me a question that threw me for forty-seven loops: How's your love life?
I almost flew out of the window! I replied, "What?" not because I didn't hear him, because I couldn't believe he was actually asking me about my love life. This strange twenty-something year old boy (who just told me he goes to NIU) should have been surrounded around enough people to know that it's an obscure thing to ask a stranger.
When I didn't reply, he asked me one more time, "So...How's your love life? Do you have a boyfriend?"
I replied, "No, I do not have a boyfriend." Then he said, "Why not? You're a pretty girl, so why don't you have a boyfriend?" I told him, "I don't have a boyfriend because I don't want a boyfriend. Why? Because I'm a lesbian." I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. Sometimes I don't like when Uber drivers talk to me because for whatever reason nine times out of ten, the weird ones pick me up. Maybe I just bring the weirdness out of them, I'm not sure, either way it's still not okay.
He then told me that I should have told him sooner because I was the first lesbian that he has ever met. I assured him that I probably was not the first lesbian that he has ever met because not all of us, myself included, look like the stereotypical lesbian with the short spiky blonde hair and gym teacher attire. I tried to then explain to him that telling people their sexualities isn't how people initiate conversations.
We do not go up to people that we meet and say, "HI! I'm Nikki, I'm a lesbian! Let's talk about politics and global warming!" NO, that is not how my conversations with strangers go. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and roll out of the car, this ride was becoming painful. I was ten minutes away (and still on the highway) from where I needed to be and all I wanted to do was get out of the car. As if the Uber ride wasn't already painful enough, he kept asking me questions.
"Girl on girl relationships are more loyal, right? You both understand each other's feelings and don't cheat, right?" I once again, assured him that his idea of a "girl-on-girl relationship" is grossly misguided, misinformed, and ignorant. I tried explaining that lesbian relationships are exactly the same as heterosexual relationships give or take a few obvious differences. He didn't believe me. I told him to talk to one of my ex-girlfriends. It made him become quiet for a while.
"So...Who's the boy in the relationship? Do lesbians use those penis toys?" I started to get really angry with him at this point, I was truly upset. I told him that there is no "boy" in the relationship because it is two girls dating. I told him I didn't want to talk about being a lesbian anymore.
I laugh when I'm anxious or feeling uncomfortable, so at this point in time, I'm in the back of the Uber on I-90, going 60-70 mph, ready to throw myself out of the car and laughing uncontrollably. I told him the questions he was asking me weren't appropriate, needed to stop, and the rest of his questions can be answered on this magical thing called the world wide web or women and gender study books.
Adding insult to injury, he ignored my request and proceeded asked me about my sex life. I gagged out loud after he asked me that. I felt like that Mr. Krabs meme, where the whole world is spinning, you're completely confused and feeling trapped.
Mr. Krabs Meme, photo source unknown.
Then he said that we're picking up another person to which I replied I didn't select Uber Pool, and he replied that I did and that he was sad that he couldn't ask me anymore questions about lesbians. Him telling me once more that I was wrong about something that I knew 100% about made me even more upset.
I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT I DID NOT REQUEST UBER POOL BECAUSE I NEVER DO. THE DRIVER IS ALREADY A STRANGER AND I DON'T WANT MORE STRANGERS IN THE CAR THAN NECESSARY BECAUSE WEIRDOS SEEM TO BE THROWN MY WAY AT ALL TIMES.
He asked me, "Can I ask you one more question?"
I replied, "You just did and no. I do not in any way or form speak for all lesbians. I am just one of the many. We're all different in our own way, just like straight people. You're really starting to upset me. I don't want to talk about anything with you anymore." If he knew he couldn't ask me these inappropriate questions with someone else in the car, what makes him think that it was okay to ask me them with just me in the car? It's insulting.
Once we were off the highway, I had become so angry and uncomfortable that I told him to pull over. He once again, ignored me and continued to drive closer to my destination which made me even angrier. I repeated myself once more that he finally did pull over. My voice was probably so ice cold that it penetrated his ignorant ugly heart. But I didn't care, I was mad about the whole experience. When he finally did pull over, I was only one block away at this point and he offered to pull up in front. I told him that I wanted to get out and to unlock the door.
I finally got out and made it to destination with Ana and Sylvia. I can't wait until that female-only ride-sharing service is available in Chicago. Please come as soon as possible because I can't deal with this.