This blog is not an indictment on all men. This blog is not something that normally happens to me, matter of fact it has never happened. This blog is not the angry black woman’s response, but it is my very passionate response. This blog is long, VERY long.
Let me say, I started this blog at 1:47 am this morning after a very eventful evening. You all know this blog is about my misadventures as a single woman over 40 in Atlanta, and I think it is clear by now that this dating game has indeed changed. And let me offer this tidbit, if you are married reading this, halfway love your husband and can see yourself working that shit out…WORK. THAT. SHIT. OUT. Don’t come back out here in these dating streets, with everything I love, I am warning you.
It is a good thing i decided to go to bed and wait until I had some rest before I wrote this blog. I mean, I had warnings written for you because I was fuming. But now cooler heads prevail, so let me set this story up for you.
I went out last night, Friday night with my girlfriends, and after a very uneventful evening, we cut it short and I came home. But honestly I wasn’t feeling ending my evening just yet, and I was starving so I decided to head back out and find me something to eat.
I went to a local eatery that is opened until 3:00 or 4:00 am, full kitchen and full bar, the only place I know of in metro Atlanta opened that late besides Krystal or Waffle House. The drinks are cheap, but potent, so I made my way to the patio because the temperature was perfect and the inside is always, always super smokey. I get to the patio and found a very small two-top and sat down. There was a man alone to the right of me, couples and groups of people dispersed throughout the patio. One group was really loud, with an inebriated woman and some man trying to get her to drink water. My server finally comes to my table, she was quite “honky tonkish”, but very nice. I ordered my Ketel One chocolate martini and picked up my smart phone to see what was going on on Facebook and Snapchat. I really was enjoying being alone, chuckling from time to time as I heard the live band playing a slightly country version of “Little Red Corvette”, but just enjoying being out. I was not in the mood to talk to any strangers on this night, I wasn’t on the prowl. I really did not want company or to entertain conversation.
In walked three men, I didn’t even look up because I didn’t want to give anyone eye contact, because they could possible interpret that as permission to interrupt my solitude.
Well just damn.
You’ve probably figured it out, that didn’t work. So here I am, feeling obligated not to come off rude, because I know dudes really cannot take rejection well. As a woman, we have all experienced a rejection “clap-back” from men, and it can sometines be very threatening. It’s a damn shame women have been programmed to make sure we don’t come off the wrong way when it comes to men, making sure we don’t piss them off, as if we are responsible for their behavior. But I digress, back to the story. Now here is where it gets good. I had one of those “don’t come for me unless I send for you” moments.
The men sit down to the left of me while I’m drinking my chocolate martini. Immediately the man who is more front facing me says, “what are you drinking”. In my head I let out the biggest sigh, because as I already shared, I did not feel like being bothered on this night. I spoke to him, but I deliberately didn’t look at him so maybe, just maybe he wouldn’t feel confident enough, or awkward to continue the conversation. DAMMIT, it didn’t work. So I obliged him and had a small conversation, playing nice and smiling, talking about how I make my martinis. Fine. I can now get back to my smart phone and my uncomplicated night out, right? I sensed he could maybe tell I wasn’t interested in talking, so the men started a conversation among themselves. The really funny part is they were deliberately talking at me so I could hear the conversation. The wing man was sitting to the back side of me, so I wasn’t able to see his face and I would have had to turn around just to acknowledge him. For some reason he felt the need to mention during their conversation to the man talking to me that he needed someone “like her“. I am thinking to myself “this guy can’t be serious”, but he got a course of amen’s from the other two. SIGH. So the conversation you could tell was being held so loudly they wanted me to hear; the initial guy wants me to know, I could just tell, he makes a lot of money now, he is not like he used to be, he is working now so his son doesn’t have to work, he takes care of his son, blah blah blah blah blah……blah blah blah.
All this time I’m in my phone, and they mention how I am in my phone not taking the opportunity to talk to folks or meet people. I guess they thought I was going to respond, but I kept on ignoring them. Finally, lord, my spinach dip arrives. But damn, I couldn’t even eat that in peace. Remember this was the only thing I’d eaten since lunch. I hear the man in front of me ask the middle man, “what kind of cheese is that she is eating”, and once he said he didn’t know, this was another opportunity to ask me “what type of cheese is that”. GIIIIIIIIIIIDAMN, all I want to do was eat in peace, is that too much to ask for? I looked at him clearly bothered, and told him “it’s spinach dip”.
It all goes down hill fast now.
He looks at me and says, “you look annoyed, am I annoying you?”. *CRICKETS*
Being the terribly honest person I am, and seeing how I really just wanted this all to end, I looked at him, I paused, turned my head and looked him square in his eyes and said “actually, yes you are”. As I sit here now, I can’t believe I said that (talk about living in your truth). But yes, I was annoyed, had been for the 20 minutes. But then it happened,”Mr. Wingman”, who really should have just stayed out of this conversation, says “you are just rude”.
IT. WAS. A. WRAP.
All I heard was “is it that deep”, “oh you going there?”, “just chill out”, “you’re out, you’re supposed to speak to people, that’s what you do”, and here is the one that set the next chain of events in motion, “that’s why you are here by yourself”. WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY F%^#!BOY?
Y’all, I snapped, I literally snapped. I don’t think this blog will begin to describe to you the exchange that took place. I have never in my life done anything like this, but the lashing I gave that table was well-deserved. And let me tell you, I have never felt so empowered. I had the attention of everyone on that patio, and it was loud, really loud. Here I was all alone, defending myself and my right for personal space antd time, so in response to the unwarranted insult hurled at me by this complete stranger, I said: “I came here alone because I wanted to; I didn’t ask you to come and sit beside me and force me into a conversation; clearly you don’t have any sense of discernment because had you, you would have known I didn’t want you bothering me. I was trying to be nice when you were flirting with me, and yes you were flirting, but no, you couldn’t catch a hint when I kept my head in my phone; I was trying not to be rude so I engaged you in conversation, but you insisted on forcing my attention. I am sitting here trying to enjoy my evening and enjoy my food, now my spinach dip is cold wasting time trying to explain to you. Shut up talking to me now. If you would just be quiet we could be done with this. Whew. I cursed…a lot. He was shocked that I responded that way, he was trying to get me to calm down, I told him I didn’t want to calm down, leave me alone, leave me the @^$*!? alone. Finally I looked him in his eyes again and told him “you’re so busy trying to diffuse this situation that could have been avoided had your boy shut his damn mouth, but while you’re sitting here trying to handle me, a complete stranger, you should instead check your boy for being so rude and insulting to me” He looked like a deer in headlights. I could say so much more, but the point I needed him and his cronies to know…
I don’t owe you shit.
This idea women are responsible for making sure men don’t feel threatened or challenged by rejection has got to stop. Do I look desperate? Who taught men they have the right to expect a response, a “hello”, a wink, smile or anything? I was told last night I should have been willing to be nice and talk to them, that was my purpose for going out. Actually sir, I went out alone on purpose, to eat. The only expectation was for me to sit there and pay for my drink and food. I am not here to coax the male ego; I am not here to make sure he knows he still got it; I don’t owe my conversation or time simply because someone is attracted to me. I have a right to choose. Now don’t get me wrong, I welcome and love the attention of men, and I am the first to say I am the biggest flirt and enjoy a good conquest. But I draw the line when I am expected to accept unwelcome and unsolicited advances.
Oh, I forgot to mention, while this was going on, I heard in the background “Marla…Marla Pruitte, is that you?” Who in the world was there that I knew. Over walked saw my son’s ex “friend’s” mother and she came over to let me know she’d know my voice anywhere. Hell everyone on that patio knows my voice now.
Rejection is a mutha, but we all have to learn to accept it gracefully and not take it personally. Both men and women have to understand no one owes us anything, not one single thing. I am teaching my sons to be graceful and mindful, and trying to help them understand women aren’t simple conquests obligated to respond the way you want them to; every response should reflect character and respect.
As I look back over last night, I don’t regret one single thing. I know, there will be those PC folks reading this trying to tell me I could have handled it differently and I didn’t have to go off like that, and to that I say, yes I did, and I’d do it all over again.
The dating game has definitely changed.
Until next time,