A Lesson in Coming on Too Strong

by joshhanagarne on October 17, 2011

“I’m sorry. I apologize if I was coming on too strong.” I’d never said those words before. Still…even though I’d uttered them, it was hard to feel truly sorry for what had happened, because the innocuous series of events had unfurled thusly:

josh hanagarne

What I said

A routine encounter with a black-haired stranger had suddenly been interrupted by these words:

“Excuse, me, but I don’t come here to be sexually harassed by you, or anyone else.”

“I’m sorry ma’am?”

‘You’re doing it again!” She took a deep breath. “I’m not sure if you’re aware how frequently you use the M sound. You know like the letter…” she took a deep breath…” M?”

“Yes. I know this letter.”

“Well, it sounds highly sexual to me. Stop it now.”


What she heard

“Okay, I’m sorry. I apologize if I was coming on too strong.”

“Well, you don’t look very sorry.” Not sorry enough for someone who seems to make a habit of coming on strong with fragile ladies, she might have been thinking.

“I meant it! I mean. I…I’m doing it again, aren’t I?’

A strange encounter.

This is not meant as an endorsement for any of you to come on too strong. But mind your P’s and Q’s.

And M’s.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

John Sifferman October 17, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Mmmhmmm. A valuable lesson indeed.


Megan Horton October 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

People are SO weird.


joshhanagarne October 17, 2011 at 11:16 pm



Heather October 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Wow. . . . she felt sexually harrassed by that? She felt sexually harrassed by YOU?!?!? Josh, this is why I am hesitant to call myself a feminist. Not because of you. . . because of PSYCHOS LIKE HER. What a nutbar. Uh-oh. . . . I just sexually harrassed someone by using the words “nut” and “bar” and getting an image of a Snickers Bar in my head. Uh-oh. . . . just did it again. . . .wow. . . . I am terribly sorry someone claiming to be a woman did that to you. She’s pathetic.


joshhanagarne October 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Heather, I think she had mental problems. It was not a normal conversation by any stretch. I didn’t get the sense that she was playing any sort of feminist card.


Sarah October 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Okay….I’ve shared this with some coworker friends just now, and none of us can figure out what the heck happened haha…and we’re all girls!

Perhaps you should time yourself and see how long you hold your M’s? Maybe they come out like “mmmmmmmmmmmmma mmmmmmmmay I help you?”

Or this lady was just crazy…


joshhanagarne October 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

“Or this lady was just crazy…”

Sadly, I think that was it. And of course, if she actually has mental problems there’s nothing funny about that. But the conversation itself was pretty exquisite.

Maybe today I’ll just go without any M’s at all and see if anyone yells at me.


Sarah October 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Yeah that wouldn’t be funny at all, so I prefer to believe that she’s just hyper-sensitive…or maybe someone dared her to do it


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: