Mostly Harmless

A few days back, I posted about changing my profile picture to a make-up-less photo of me pulling a stupid face, and the comments it drew from a couple guys that I try to avoid.

Well, there’s more to that story.

One of the guys is someone I used to do theater shows with. He’s very friendly, but a bit over-friendly, which makes him quite socially awkward. I think he’s generally harmless, but he used have the tendency to just turn up at my house (at lots of people’s houses) unannounced and uninvited. I’m someone who appreciates my privacy (and who tends to walk around the house semi-clothed), so I eventually had to tell him that the random drop-ins were very rude. It took a few years though. Despite my strident reputation, I’m actually pretty gentle with people and tried to be considerate of his harmlessness. Plus I sympathize with social awkwardness. I have done some amazingly stupid things myself and I find it very hard to read people.

Then one day he tried to kiss me. And he really needed to call ahead after that.

Oh, and that was also after he knew that my previous boyfriend had sexually assaulted me. So pushy guys are very unpleasant in that context.

That was a few years ago, and we haven’t seen much of each other since then. He may be harmless, but I have chosen to keep him at arms length. The camaraderie we built up over many shows was obviously for naught. I saw him as a bit odd, a bit annoying, a bit arrogant, but still someone who deserved an even break in life. I wished him well and hoped that he would one day met someone special. At one point he clearly saw me as that someone. I suppose that should be flattering but… well… it’s not. It just makes me think that he never really liked hanging out with me – he just wanted to get physical all along. And I really wasn’t interested.

Anyway, time has boiled it all down to distant Facebook friends. He doesn’t tend to show up on my newsfeed, since I don’t tend to interact with him. Occasionally he comments on one of my posts, and I mostly ignore him.

The comment he added to my profile picture was: “The McDonalds slogan comes to mind.” Now, the McDonalds slogan is currently I’m loving it. I know that. He knows that. I probably should have ignored him, but my husband had also commented on my picture and I replied to my husband’s comment. So I felt bad. That’s key to all of this. My ignoring this guy would have been very obvious when I was replying to another comment, and I took pity on him. I didn’t want him to be all bummed out over my pointedly ignoring something that was mostly harmless.

Why the fuck did I feel bad? I don’t owe him anything, and yet I feel like I do. It’s one of those weird, “good woman” rules. Even when the guy is turning up at your house uninvited, and trying to kiss you, and it makes you ridiculously uncomfortable, you have to let him down easy. You have to be kind. You have to be all-considerate of his feelings. Because to do otherwise makes you second only to Hitler.

Oh, and you don’t get to have negative feelings of your own in this context. Because that’s irrational and hysterical. You are only meant to think about his feelings. Control yourself, Miss.

So I decided to deflect his slightly inappropriate comment with a bit of humor. Let’s pretend that I don’t know what the McDonald’s slogan is. I replied with: “Thanks, but no, I would not like to upsize my combo.” See, this is also the age-old response of the woman who is having to carry the burden of someone else’s amorous attention, but who doesn’t want to stomp on their fragile feelings. Parry with a bit of wit. When people say that women used to have a sense of humor about these things, this is what they mean. It was never really funny to us. We always thought you were dicks.

What I actually wanted to add to my comment was: What the fuck? Nobody asked you your opinion of my photo! Why is the fact that I’ve changed my profile pic even showing up on your newsfeed? Nothing you do on Facebook shows up on my page! We never talk to each other! Unless you’ve got me pinned on your Close Friends List, in which case… ew!

It should have finished there, but it didn’t.

He then replied to my upsizing comment with: “It’s 3pm, I’ve been working my butt off since 5.30am, I’m tired, and you throw something approaching innuendo at me. Congratulations – we have a winner! 🙂 :D”

Oh God.

Now, I’ll say it again: I have genuine sympathy for social awkwardness. But seriously!?! I’m a married woman. I have stayed away from this guy for years, deliberately. I told him to get lost, and no one could really have misinterpreted that. What do I have to do? Hit him with a bat?

This is the downside of the “good woman”, don’t-hurt-his-feelings, have-a-sense-of-humor thing. Guys like this who see innuendo in everything! I’m not calling you over-endowed (how the hell would I know anyway?), I’m calling you out on offering me something I have no interest in receiving.

Fuck off! Fuck off!!! FUCK OFF!!!!!!!

I used to feel sorry for you but now I just think you’re a dick. More than a dick. You’re a rude, pushy motherfucker who just won’t take no for an answer.

And your ass is blocked.




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