In the wee hours of the morning, I went up to the bar owner and bouncer at my regular watering hole and told them that I have no idea how to be single. Now that I have officially declared my independence from Bill, I have attracted all sorts of attention that is unwanted from all sorts of men.
And my declaration has been quite public only in the last 24 hours.
I had to be walked home to my apartment last night. There was a man stalking me, and I live frighteningly close to the bar for stalkers to be allowed to simply lurk outside the bar and possibly follow me home. Thankfully, the love and care is strong among this community, and they made sure to have me escorted safely to my door. One crisis averted.
Another crisis is still brewing. A new friend whom I love spending time with has a boy who suddenly has only eyes for me. He kept trying to touch my face. Clearly, he was drunk. But touching a woman’s face is seriously intimate, people. You don’t just come up and start touching a woman’s face. And you certainly don’t do it to a woman who is developing a friendship with a woman with whom you are already involved! Are you trying to create “Housewives” level drama in the corner bar?? Also, I find you not at all attractive and don’t like your personality.
Man number three is married. His wife understands (or so he claims) that Saturday is his day to do what he wishes. The rest of the week he is home, and Sunday is for family, but Saturday he apparently flirts with, buys drinks for, and asks out to dinner other women. I kindly explained that I am not interested in dating someone who already has a wife and family. I’m not looking for a side guy. I’m looking for a long-term love. I’m looking for serious, settled-down life with one person in a committed and monogamous situation. That explanation didn’t seem to deter him. Luckily, he disappeared when it was my turn at the karaoke mic, so crisis averted, for the moment.
There was another man who watched me across the room for hours. He didn’t approach me. But he didn’t approach me because the night before I was still being attended by Bill, for a portion of the evening, at least. While I had told Bill that I needed freedom to find what I desire in a relationship, and therefore he would need to back off, he hadn’t accepted that reality. But at one point during the night, this man came up to talk to me. He continually told me how beautiful I was and made what he thought were successful overtures. I was polite but did not encourage his advances. But some men don’t understand that not encouraging their advances is a “no”. You need, I guess, to tell them to “fuck off and leave me alone”. But I hadn’t done that. And then this weird event took place where there was a mix up with beer bottles and Bill threw a childish fit, even after Olga poured out his old beer and I bought him a new one, undefiled by the man who had been hitting on me. Bill disappeared after that and I haven’t heard from him since. The man who had been hitting on me, and caused the mix up–touching Bill’s beer bottle, and more importantly, I think, invading the space around “Bill’s” Christy–stared at me the next night for hours. I wasn’t sure if he was angry because I was clearly not with Bill tonight, and approached by many men without consequence, or if he was desiring me from afar but not willing to risk the rejection of the previous night. But it was a bit creepy–being watched.
And then there was the one man who I did want to see. Apparently he had been in the bar at some point. I have no idea where I was at the moment he was present, but I didn’t see him. I’m still disappointed by that. I’m also a bit worried that I was being pressured by one of the other suitors at the moment the man I really wanted to connect with was nearby, and he may have gotten the wrong impression about my engagement with one of those other men–not realizing that I simply haven’t figured out the art of telling people to “fuck off and leave me alone” in an effective manner. Singleness is scary, people. Being a beautiful, intelligent, capable woman who isn’t attached to a man makes you feel like dead meat among vultures. And somehow that seems like a terrible association to make, but it feels really true!
I like to imagine that in an anarchic situation I would compile all the good and fight like hell to secure my safety. And that is probably true. I am a fighter.
But I am also really nice and really innocent in ways that can get me into trouble. I have a compassionate heart. I don’t like to hurt people. I want to help people. So, telling them that I reject them seems hurtful. But you can’t be nice to vultures. You need to scare those beasts away! Finding my way to the compassionate fighter may be a difficult road to travel. And I may need friends and bouncers to walk me home on the regular before I get it figured out.
I suppose I will look at this like I look at most things that scare the crap out of me–as an opportunity with unknown benefits. Learning to navigate this scary single way of being will likely teach me skills that I can use in other areas of life. And while I never want to become the jaded one in the room, and will run toward the bloodied man on the floor to administer first aid while everyone else moves away, and still don’t want to break spirits with harsh rejections, I do need to figure out how not to be followed home by creepy dudes. That is a useful skill. And I also need to learn how to fight away the distractions so that I have space in my life for the people whom I want to know more–the ones that I potentially won’t wish to say no to, and will want to offer my time and attention and affections. Maybe, someday, they’ll even be allowed to touch my face or follow me home. Or both!