Just When I Thought It Was Safe…

As I’ve previously shared, I haven’t tried dating in quite some time. At first, it was because I had a lot of anger I had to process. Understandable, given what I’ve been through.

A year ago, though, the anger went away (had a bit of a religious experience, where I literally felt the anger lift off of me), but the anger was replaced by fear – crippling, paralyzing fear. Of men. (Again, understandable, given my past.)

It took me more than a few months to identify the specific emotion, and another few to process it through, with my therapist’s help. (I’m not actually afraid of all men. Just ones who have power over me, because that’s how you get hurt. It’s scary being vulnerable!)

Finally, I got to a place where I thought maybe it was safe to dip my toes back in the water. So this weekend I gave it a try. Turns out I was incorrect.

shark in water

I’m gonna need a bigger boat….

Back at the end of January I’d met this guy who was a friend of a friend. We kind of hit it off in conversation, and he seemed interested. (I mean, he even bought me drinks!)  We saw each other a few times in casual, group settings, and he still seemed nice. And cute. And we had a few things in common. We texted a bit here and there – nothing big, but nothing to make me think he wasn’t interested in taking this to a dating-level.

For my part, I’d kept it professional-slash-friendly. No, I don’t work with him, but I don’t know how else to describe the at-a-distance place at which I keep people until I know them better. Which, in the case of most guys, is never. But I was beginning to feel like I was getting over my fear, and maybe it was time to see if I could try dating again. So this weekend I decided that if he showed up at the group event I was going to on Friday night, I might test the waters and try actually flirting with him.

He did show up, and I flirted with him. He flirted back. Score! Things were getting comfortable and a kind of “touchy,” but in a good way.

Damn, it feels good to be a bitch[Speaking of touchy: Ass-Grab Guy from my last post showed up randomly, too. He knows some of the same people I know, but I didn’t know he’d be there. So, still being mad at him, and not wanting to be a victim, I walked up to him. He started to introduce himself, but I interrupted him and said, “We’ve met.” I refreshed his memory on when and where, and he said, “Oh, yeah–.” Whereupon I interrupted him again and said, “You grabbed my ass that night, and it completely ruined my evening.” He said, “Oh, I’m sorry,” but he looked past me when he said it, and he said it like he was confused, like maybe I got my story wrong and didn’t know what I was talking about. I got the distinct impression that he was not actually sorry. But I was very clear on what he’d done and how it made me feel. “Just steer clear of me tonight,” I said firmly. Then I turned on my heel and walked away. And that felt really good. (Dang, I need to drink tequila more often….)]

Anyway, back to the other guy: So we’re talking and flirting, and he’s paying for all the drinks. Things are going well, and I’m thinking maybe this could go somewhere. Maybe I could try going out with this guy. Then he let me know that he’s looking for “more than fuck-buddies, but not ‘in a relationship.'” (Direct quote.)

My heart sank and my insides went to chill-frost. On the one hand, he was a nice guy, and he insisted on paying for the drinks (I even tried, for real; he wouldn’t let me), and he was honest about saying what he wanted. And I never felt compromised or pressured by his behavior. On the other hand… holy cow.

I gently informed him that, first-off,  “more than fuck buddies” is kind of a definition of “in a relationship,” so probably he should revisit his goals-language. Second, I said I’m in a place where I’m looking to not have sex right now. Not until I’m actually “in a relationship” – with a best friend, whom I’m in love with. (Or will be in love with, whenever I find and develop said best-friendship with whomever.)

What I didn’t point out to him is that what he was wanting from me made me feel cheap and less-than-human, like an object to be used and put back on a shelf. And, if I hadn’t gone through the long, anger-fear healing process that I’ve been through, I would’ve stopped there and wallowed in the misery of “why does he think that’s all I’m worth?”

zen - or not

I’m sooooo Zen…. NOT!

Fortunately, however, I can see past that. I mean, from what he’s shared of his personal life, he’s been through a lot the past year, and I think he’s just depersonalizing relationships so that it doesn’t hurt so much. I get that. Further, even if that’s not it, he has a right to want what he wants and to express those wants verbally, without violating anyone else’s boundaries – all of which he did. So I don’t feel any anger toward him, just a bit of frustration and sadness: for him that he’s in a place which I suspect might be a result of his grief, and for me because when I finally think it’s okay to open the door a crack, I get it slammed in my face.

At least I have my own back enough at this point to just walk away. Even if there doesn’t seem to be a lot of other fish in the sea.

Saturday night is still date-night, so the next night was back to date-night-with-myself. I really want to find someone I can snuggle up and watch a movie with, but the level of trust it’s going to take to get to that place seems insurmountable. Because trust comes with time, but it starts with respect. And right now I’m on an island, surrounded by shark-infested waters. Good thing I’m also a pirate. 😉

happy hour drinking GIF-downsized_large

We’ll be okay, as long as there’s rum

 

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Anatomy of an Ass-Grab

This is what it feels like:

Late December 2017. So I’d decided it was dive-bar night and met up with my gf (the pool shark) at the local hole-in-the-wall place. She, as usual, had traveled with an entourage — tonight it was 4 other women and 2 guys — all people I hadn’t met before. I got there a bit late, and they already had a game going. I got a drink at the bar and joined in for the next game. Me, my gf, one of the other women, and the two guys were all trading-out, playing rounds. One of the guys sort of looked like Channing Tatum, except a bit older (my age) :). The other guy resembled Cheech Marin. I started testing the flirt-waters with “Channing”; he flirted right back. It was light and fun. I started feeling good about myself.

Eventually, Channing and I were paired on one team, with Cheech and my gf against us. This was fun, even though Channing was on his umpteenth drink. (HIM: “You’re sooo hot!” ME: “You’re really drunk.” HIM: “I know!”) But it was the kind of friendly atmosphere where everyone acknowledged each other when someone sank a good shot. Cheech, I noticed, would pat Channing’s butt when he walked past. In fact, three of the women, and the two guys seemed to be rather “touchy” with each other. Whatever – they all seemed to know each other, and that’s how they rolled. It was all cool until I finally had a decent run, after which I circled around the pool table to wait for my next turn.

As I passed by Cheech, who was sitting on a bar stool, he said, “Good job!” and patted my butt. Only he didn’t just pat my butt – he squeezed it. I was wearing jeans and a baggy, past-my-butt black sweater, so in order to reach my butt, he’d had to reach under the back of my sweater. And he’d done it quickly, in the half-second it took me to walk past him.

My good mood instantly evaporated in a cloud of confusion. I had just been treated like an object — had been deliberately touched without my permission — but I didn’t understand why. Why did he think it was okay for him to treat me like that? But Cheech was behaving like nothing was wrong, and that confused me, too. He was acting the same way he’d acted right after he’d patted Channing’s butt, only it hadn’t been the same thing. He hadn’t squeezed Channing, like he’d done to me. Also, he and Channing were friends, from before that night, and he’d only just met me an hour ago. Why did he think it was okay to grab me like that, when he didn’t even know me? Why did he even have his hand anywhere near my butt?

I’d been having such a good time, and I didn’t want to let this one jerk ruin my night, so I froze and said, “No, no, no,” softly, but loud enough that only Cheech could hear. “No-no-no, what?” Cheech asked. I didn’t respond, except to shake my head and move away from him. I knew my having-fun facial expression had hardened, and I knew he could see that, even though I didn’t look at him. He didn’t grab my ass the remainder of the night, but he proceeded to try to touch me through my sweater’s cutaway shoulder holes, saying in a voice that sounded fake-playful, “Your sweater has holes in it!” My shoulders were the only skin I had exposed that night, aside from my neck, head, and hands. Not that it should’ve mattered, though, if I’d had a low-cut sweater with cleavage falling out, or shorts and an exposed belly-button. This guy didn’t have permission to touch, and he kept trying to do it, anyway. It made my bad feeling even worse, and I was still bewildered as to why he was doing this to me. He wasn’t doing it to my gf, or to the other woman who was playing with us. (Albeit, he seemed to be pretty handsy with the other three women at our table, but they were with him, as well, and they all knew each other.) I tried to squash my anger that began to rise up, afraid that if I punched him, like I wanted to, I’d be the one guilty of ruining everyone else’s night. Not to mention that I knew I’d be the one with assault charges brought against me, and he’d be “the victim.”

All I could do was to keep well out of arm’s reach of him the rest of the night. I tried to recapture the fun feeling, but it was gone. Instead, I felt a lot of anger and humiliation, and it took me a few weeks to fully process it. All because of some asshole’s feelings of entitlement and superiority, thinking he had a right to a half-second of gratification at my expense. Because I didn’t matter as a human being.

The Rules #12 - keep your hands to yourself

Side note:

That night, about a half hour later, Cheech, Channing, and the other women left. I then told my gf that Cheech had grabbed my ass.

“Seriously?!?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I replied.

“Wow – I wonder what his wife would think of that.”

“He’s married?!?!” I asked.

“Yeah, to the half-drunk woman who was sitting next to him.”

Sometimes I really don’t understand people.

In the Land of Losers: Vol 4 (in which I am still a loser, but now also a prostitute)

O Dante, was mine the life you’d foreseen when you were inspired with the title of your Divine Comedy?

So I don’t do dating sites. Or speed-dating, or group-dating, or blind-dating, or really any kind of dating these days, but that’s beside the point. (I have issues. Don’t judge.)  I’ve tried several dating sites, and they’re all the same: a place to make excellent pen-pals, but otherwise a MAJOR time-suck. However, a few months ago a friend of mine asked me to help him beta-test a site he’d created. He believed he’d cracked the Magical Dating Mystery Code by developing a new algorithm for matching compatibility. Since he’s a rocket scientist, literally, and he knows how to create algorithms, I thought he might actually know what he was talking about. (After all, I have to use spell-check every time I even type the word algorithm.) I told him okay, and copied and pasted my profile from my RFQ (which has gotten ZERO responses so far, btw – that’s another post), and signed up.

Being as my friend’s site is still in its testing stages (it won’t go live until 2018), there are as-of-now only 300 users. Not bad, for a beta-test group.

Of those 300 users, I have 21 “matches.” Of those 21 matches, no one had contacted me in the three months since I’d signed up — which was weird, but oddly refreshing.  My previous experiences, like most women, was that I was bombarded by 50 “winks” and 5 messages in the ten minutes it took me to sign up, and then went downhill from there.

Just… please stop. I can’t even tell the difference between all of your “winks” and my cursor-blinks anymore!

On my friend’s site, my first five “matches” were all dummy test-profiles (made obvious by screen-names, like “P-test”), and my only message-conversation was with my friend, to ascertain whether the chat-function was working properly. It was. (He was so elated!) I checked in on the site about once a week to see if there were any new functions, new matches, etc, but otherwise it was a peaceful, calm, risk-free zone.

Until 2 weeks ago.

[Note: My user-name on this site is “Jaded Sapphire.” This, because I like pretty shiny things, and I love the color blue, but I’ve become weary and leery of dating sites (jaded). Also, it’s the first thing that popped into my head when I was signing up.]

Him: Why so jaded, Sapphire?

Seriously? Ugh! I decided to overlook this lameness, since we were both fellow beta-testers. But I was at work when I got the message, so I quickly typed out the first, pithy, similarly lame response that came to me.

Me: Because green and blue make aqua, and I’m into aqua, ATM. How about you? What’s your favorite color?

His response, a few days later, was polite, but he said that he’d had some bad dating site experiences, and if I was “a professional,” that was cool, but it wasn’t his thing, and he wasn’t interested. I didn’t understand his message, and had to read it a few times before I got it.

He thought I was a hooker.

He apparently thought this because I’d used the term “ATM,” like I was asking for money or something. Whaaa—?!?

I’m in my late-40s, but I have teenagers. I listen to morning deejays on my way to work. I read blogs, and sometimes also Cosmo. I thought “ATM” (At The Moment) was as common as “ROFL.” I was torn between laughter, revulsion, and incredulity — we were among a small group of beta-testers on a site that wasn’t even yet live. What are the odds that one of our group would be one of “those” types of people? Plus, hadn’t he ever heard of Urban Dictionary? Or Google?

And had he even read my profile? What kind of self-respecting ‘ho puts out a dating profile that says she has eight kids and works for a construction firm?

Seriously?

I quickly disavowed his notion, whereupon he asked if I wanted to chat and possibly meet. I said no thank you. By then, I’d decided that my feelings skewed toward offended. On top of that, it was just too weird that he didn’t even google “ATM” when he didn’t know what it meant — not to mention the fact that he clearly doesn’t have teenagers. Or read Cosmo.

Besides, after something like that, it would never have worked out anyway. I’d have been too self-conscious, either (a) worrying about coming across as “too sexy,” thus leaving in question any lingering concern he might have had about whether I was lying about my “real job,” or else (b) worrying about not being sexy enough, in case he was hoping that I actually was a Woman of the Night — with an encyclopedic knowledge of sexpertise. Too much pressure.

I’ll keep you posted on the dating site, as it goes live. Not that I’ve got my fingers crossed….

 

In the Land of Losers: Vol 3

Hi everyone – did you miss me? Well, you didn’t miss much – still hanging out in the Land of Losers. Only lately the biggest Loser has been me. (For example, as evidenced by  last Tuesday….)

Tuesday night I went to a singles-meetup after work at a golf clubhouse. The small room was pretty packed (50-80 people), and we were all seated at tables of various sizes — either at smaller, round tables or longer rectangular ones. I was at one of the small round tables in a corner of the room. Seated there also were two other women I’d just met (they knew each other from work) and 2 other guys. A sixth seat was empty. Then, because it was a “singles-mixer,” the event organizer came around and started the Icebreaker game. He gave us all a topic to discuss (“If you could jump on a plane right now and go anywhere, where would you go, and why?”). Ten minutes later he told all of the guys to stand and rotate clockwise around the room. Or, as clockwise as the table-configuration would allow. The two guys at our table got up and left… and NONE of the other guys came to sit down. They all went to the other tables. (???)

What, are we all dogs or something?

A few, awkward moments passed, during which one of the other women at my table suggested that she was too intimidating, and that’s why the guys had avoided us. I laughed and told her she was not intimidating. (She had a power-job, but she seemed like a nice person.) Her pretty, blonde friend laughed too and piped up, “Yeah, you’re intimidating” – she pointed at her friend – “and I’ve been married too many times, and you talk too much.” She looked at me as she said this last bit. “I talk too much?” I asked, surprised and a bit miffed. (I mean, someone had to lead the table through the icebreaker question.) “Well,” she said, “I don’t know you that well, so I have to make up something for our story, here.” I smiled, but started to feel out of place. Just then, two straggler guys, one of whom was very good-looking, showed up and took two of the available seats at our table. We started chatting with them, and it quickly turned out that good-looking guy was building a house in the same neighborhood where intimidating-woman lived. Score for her, right? Wrong! The time was up, and the guys had to rotate again. And once again, no guys came to sit at our table!

Another awkward moment ensued, and then a woman wandered over. “Is this seat taken?” she asked. “No, it’s yours!” we chorused, seeming to be collectively relieved that at least someone wanted to join us. “Oh, thanks! I’ve just run into an old friend,” she replied. And she picked up the chair and hauled it away. (OMg!!! Seriously?!?)

When time was almost up again, two guys sauntered over and sat down at our table, ostensibly out of pity. One of them was the organizer-guy, who hadn’t actually sat down at a table that evening, but I read the look on his face as, “You poor things!”

By the fourth round, we were again magically avoided by the male populace. One of the guys who’d been sitting with us during the first round came over to say goodbye as he was heading out the door, but at that point any “attention” just felt humiliating. I took my cue and followed suit soon after.

I felt like such a GIANT LOSER!!!!

It didn’t help that when I got home I found out I’d had a wad of green spinach from my lunch-salad stuck between my teeth all evening….

I’m soooo glamorous….

In the Land of Losers: Vol 2

Yup, there are more of these guys out there. So now it’s mid-February and, due to kid-weekends, plus spending a “free” (non-kid) weekend with the Flu, it’s my first weekend out since the night involving Ass Grab Loser (from my last post). And it’s Girls’ Night Out. (*For those of you who’ve been following my story, my annulment had just come through. I got the letter in the mail on Monday, January 30. By the following Friday night I was sick as a dog. I watched the Superbowl that weekend, popping Tamiflu. I never get sick. I think – and my therapist agrees – that I was so relieved to have the annulment come through that I “relaxed” all my defenses… and got sick. Also, I’ve had a bit of a life-change, due to the fact that my 20 y.o. son began living with me, full-time, in January. I love him with all my heart, but it’s been a bit of an adjustment. More on all this in another post. Back to February….)

A new gf had invited a bunch of us to karaoke night at a local dive bar. As long as I don’t have to sing, I’m in. (GNO! Woohoo!) There are pool tables at this place, and I learn that my gf is a bit of a shark. Now, I’m no shark, but I enjoy pool, so I’m down for a game or two. Despite having recently been sick, I’ve managed to “clean up” decently – black tee, skinny jeans, black moto jacket, black boots, messy hair. I’m totally ready for a fun night with the girls. Early on, my gf points out a guy who she thinks is kind of hot – the one in the red shirt. He’s playing shuffleboard at a table adjacent to our pool table, and she’s flirting with him when she’s down there, taking a shot from that side. I check him out – he is totally not my type. For starters, he’s a bit too old for me – maybe in his late 50s, early 60s. And he has a beard. But she’s into him. C’est la vie, c’est l’amour. Okay, cool – I will totally be her wing-chick. But first, I need a drink. I go to the bar, wait five minutes in line, get a drink, and return. The game begins.

According to a recent study, most women seem to prefer men with facial hair. I am not one of those women.

When it’s my turn to go down to that side of the pool table to take my shot, the red-shirted guy says hey, and then comments on my pool-stance in a friendly/flirty way. I laugh and tell him that’s because I have no idea what I’m doing – but she does (I point at my gf). Then I focus, take my shot, miss (of course), and go back to the other side of the table. About five minutes (and two of her sunk-balls) later, I go back down the table to take another shot. Again, Red Shirt comments on my “sexy” pool-stance. (I’m wearing boots and have to lean over the table to take my shot.) His comments make me uncomfortable, as (a) I’m not trying to be sexy (I’m trying to win!), and (b) he seems to be flirting with me, and I haven’t “put anything out there” toward him – my gf has. So I take my shot, straighten up, and loudly declare how I don’t really know what I’m doing, but my friend is such an amazing player. “In fact,” I say to him, “she’s our queen!” I feel good about this, and the game goes forward in this fashion, with me continuing to “throw sunshine” (opposite of throwing shade, right?) at my gf, and she sinking all of her balls, plus the 8-ball shortly thereafter. Game over.

I take a break to go to the bar. I wait another five minutes in line, finally get a drink, and return. A pair of younger guys (late-20s/early 30s) approach us and want to play. My gf says sure, but let’s do doubles, so she splits us up into partner-teams. (“Um, hello? I’m not that good…?”) The game starts.

The young guys are relaxed and funny, and I’m actually playing well. Fortunately, I’m paired with the guy who is the better player of the two, and we’re having a lot of fun (i.e. winning). About halfway through the game, I’m down on the shuffleboard side of the table, and Red Shirt guy saunters over. He leans over while I’m taking a shot.

“Must be a real feather in your cap to have those younger guys hitting on you, eh?”

Huh?!?

Sooooo many things wrong with that, dude…!

It’s one of those WTF moments, where several answers are sparring in my brain to get to be said: everything from defensive: “They’re not actually hitting on us, we’re all just having fun,” to condescending: “Oh, sugar, you  have no idea – I get hit on by 20-somethings all the time, in the most obnoxious ways!” to defensive (again): “I’m not actually into younger guys. In fact, they’re a turnoff for me, because I’m a mom,” to angry/offensive: “‘Must be a real feather in my cap?’ Oh, really? Must it? Because you know what’s in my head?!?” to incredulous/affronted: “Are you seriously going to sit here and give me passive-aggressive attitude, and pout about how I’m not flirting back with you, and in the meantime pass up the chance to get to be with my beautiful-fun-feisty gf, who, for God-knows-what reason, actually likes you?” I run the gamut from wanting to explode to wanting to smack this guy. Instead, I take a breath, decide this guy’s not worth it, and go the least-incendiary route with my response:

“It’s the mom-vibe. Younger guys pick up on it and feel comfortable around me.”

Oh, snap! I’ve just been modest and put him in his place at the same time. Double-snap! (Maybe that’s not hip anymore, but it fits.)

I walk away and don’t even know if the guy exists for the rest of the evening. The next night I tell my gf what he said, and she is then sooooo glad she didn’t waste extra energy on him, either. Hey, Red Shirt Loser Guy: if this were a Star Trek episode, you’d have died off with no one to mourn you. Maybe consider revamping your attitude – on life, and on women.

In the Land of Losers: Vol 1

t-shirt - inappropriate

I’ve been told (by a young, gay man, whom I absolutely adore) that I need to spice up my life. Oh, sugar – if you only knew. Here’s just one example of what I’ve been dealing with, in the interim since my last blog post, months ago….

So I muddle my way through Christmas, and it’s January. I’m stir-crazy. I go to a club to party with a Meetup group I’ve been to before. The theme is “Inappropriate T-shirts,” and — oh, boy — they are. Everything from “I heard what you did for a Klondike bar. (Call me!)” to “Are you tighter than a 5th grader?” Yeah, some of the t-shirts went there, and then some. That was the point, though, right? Inappropriate. (My own shirt, “CAKE,” was mild by comparison, I thought, but when I told the guys what it stood for they shifted uncomfortably and moved away. Conversely, when I told the women, they threw their arms around me, told me they loved me, and said they wanted a shirt like that of their own. Hmm…. )

cake t-shirt

So the night moves forward. There’s a t-shirt winner (who literally brought my gf to tears, that’s how offended she was by the shirt), and there’s dancing. The DJ was great. Of course I hit the floor.

So I’m dancing with a bunch of other people from the Meetup group, including this one guy, whom I’d met that night. Actually, I think I vaguely remembered him from a previous Meetup, but whatever. I wasn’t into him, I just wanted to dance. If he did, too, great.

So we’re all dancing, and I’m feeling the pulse, dancing with everyone around me. The song shifts, and I’m facing this guy, shimmying along with the beat. All of a sudden, out of the blue, he reaches his arms around me…

and double-fist grabs my ass

Huh….??? Um, wait a minute, did that guy just…?

In the space of a sharp intake I mentally reassessed: yeah, he’d just full-on taken a swift, two-palmed, very large squeeze.

Double-huh…!!!???!!!

I immediately jerked backward, away from him — stunned, but in a confused way. My brain was still trying to keep the happy-vibe from a second earlier. Whoa! This guy doesn’t even know me, and we’re in public! He just did that in front of all these people! WTF?! Does he think that’s okay? He wasn’t American (he had an accent), so I tried to rationalize that maybe that behavior was copacetic in his world. Did I send some sort of “wrong” signal? No, I totally wasn’t into him, so I’d been careful not to “put that out there.” I’d just been dancing. WTF?!!? In the moment, though, I was so baffled, I wasn’t even allowing myself to get angry. There had to be some logical explanation; I just hadn’t figured it out.

I tried to keep dancing. Didn’t work. My night was ruined. I stopped dancing shortly thereafter and left. But — me being me, and the slow-emotional-processor that I am — it took me until the next day for me to realize I was downright pissed at this guy for treating me like an object, like a piece of meat. I wished I’d have realized it then, when it happened, and caused a scene. I wish I’d screamed and yelled and called him out on his demoralizing, disrespectful behavior. I wished I’d punched him, that’s how angry I was in retrospect.

But I didn’t.

I never manage to figure these things out “in the moment.” *sigh!* And since then I haven’t even had the nerve to tell the leader of the Meetup group, whom I know fairly well, that this happened. What would be the point? I’m afraid of coming across as a whiny, overly-sensitive female. And what would he do about it, anyway? Say he was sorry it happened? (He probably would. He’s a nice guy. But he uses the group partly as a way to market his business, and I don’t want to make waves for him.) So I just chalk another line on the “Genuine Losers I’ve Met” side of the board. Oh, this side of the board has so many stories to tell…!

I saw Ass-Grab Loser at another Meetup event about a month later, and he seemed to actually not realize that he’d done anything wrong. In fact, he seemed to not even recognize me at first, but then came over and apologized for not recognizing me. Whatever. I told him it was fine and then blew him off. But that night, any time I had to pass near him, I made sure to circle around far out of reach. Ugh!

 

Repeat Offender: A(nother) Walmart Story

CTJJ5N Front view of a Walmart supercentre store exterior sign logo Ontario Canada  KATHY DEWITT. Image shot 05/2012. Exact date unknown.

I don’t always get hit-on at Walmart, but I don’t get hit-on anywhere else. Must be the lighting.

Last weekend I got hit-on at Walmart again. I was standing there, trying to figure out if I should climb on the bottom shelf to try to reach the last 2 jars of marshmallow fluff on a higher shelf, all the way in the back. (I need marshmallow fluff for the fudge I make every Christmas.) Out of nowhere this guy comes up next to me, touches my arm in a familiar/flirting way, and says in a low voice, “Excuse me, are you married?” Whaaaa…??

creepy-gjyI instantly recoiled and stumbled a few steps back. “I’m divorced,” I mumbled. But I also remember thinking, Who are you? Why is my marital status any of your business? Then I turned and got a good look at him: he was a guy who’d hit on me exactly a year before, in the same store!

He kept talking. “That was my son I was with back there.” I gave him a blank look. (I vaguely remembered passing him and a younger guy a moment before, but I didn’t feel like adding any fuel to the idea that I might have actually “noticed” him, or that I was interested in anything other than finishing my shopping.) Undeterred, he continued: “I saw you walk past, and I said to my son how beautiful you were, and he said I should go talk to you.”

“Uh–.”

He then launched into the same story he’d told me a year earlier, about how his wife had walked out him 20 years ago, and he’d been a single father all this time. He talked (again) about how hard it was to be a single dad, having to do all the cleaning, all the mopping, all the household chores all alone, and how he was looking for someone to share the everyday part of life with – pretty much the exact same sob-story he’d

THIS is what you want!

No, not a girlfriend. THIS is what you want!

told me then, too. I wanted to tell him to google Merry Maids, but bit my tongue. (And he kept bringing up mopping – must have mentioned it at least three times. Why doesn’t he just get a mop-version of a Roomba?)
Clearly he didn’t remember me. Maybe I should’ve been offended. Instead, I was just relieved. All I wanted to do was get away from him, because he was giving me the creeps, just like a year ago. As soon as he let me speak, I said, “Sorry, I’m not in a place where I’m dating right now. Good luck finding whoever you’re looking for.” And went on my way.

I never did get that marshmallow fluff....

I never did get the marshmallow fluff….