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.

Things That Won’t Make Me Popular: #1 – My 2016 Election Conspiracy Theory

election-2016It’s not a secret that I’m not a fan of voting. I deliberately did not register to vote when I moved back to Colorado in 2012, I advocate against it, and encourage people, instead, to go give blood. (You will save up to three lives with one blood donation, whereas if you vote, it will mean nothing, because the system is a big setup to pacify the masses and make them think they’re making a difference.) But I’ve had this new theory since before Trump won the primaries, and the people with whom I’ve shared it have grudgingly admitted that it might hold water.

It begins in the ’90s. Remember Whitewater? The land-fraud scandal that rocked the (Bill) Clinton administration? People had begun mysteriously dying around D.C., including James McDougal, who had been in jail suffering the brunt of the heat from something that also implicated the Clintons. But before he could testify, James suffered a fatal heart attack. There were widespread rumors that James’s wife, Susan, had had an affair with and was still in love with Bill. The Monica Lewinsky-thing was also happening at the same time. Bill’s presidency was going down in flames. And then there was Vince Foster – remember him? He was a D.C. insider who reportedly knew some dirt on Bill, and he was also allegedly Hillary’s lover. Then he suddenly turned up dead, under “mysterious circumstances.” [This part is all true, or else was rumored to be true at the time. I didn’t make any of that up. This next bit is where I start to fill in the blanks with my theory:]

So anyway, people are dropping like flies to cover up Bill’s illegal crap, but there are a few people Bill can’t kill. Like his own wife. That would’ve been way too obvious. However, Hillary was pissed: why did all of Bill’s lovers get to live – even Susan McDougal, who knew as much about Whitewater as her husband had – but Hillary’s one dalliance had to be among the “offed”? She threatens to divorce Bill, which would mean she could then be forced to testify against him. So Bill makes a deal: he’ll get Hillary the one thing she really wants. Power, of the Oval Office-type. Using his leverage and popularity, he first helps her score the Senate seat. But when they go for the Big Cheese, in 2008, they get blocked by Obama. So they change tactics. They call in a favor from their good friend Donald Trump. [It’s widely accepted that Trump was good friends with the Clintons, and that he’d even donated money to Hillary’s campaign in the past.] Trump’s job is to divide the Republican party, thus blocking any “real” contender from swimming to the top. He does this, successfully, by making a complete clown-show of the race. (Anyone disagree?) He manages to divide the party enough to win the nomination, and has now proceeded to say the most outrageous things – always at a time when Hillary seems to be getting negative press. But Trump is a straw candidate, so that’s his job: to make Hillary look good. Or at least like the lesser of two evils.

This is not a true election – not with only one actual candidate. It’s a game for Trump – a bored billionaire, who is helping his friends, whom he wants to win. It’s a joke, orchestrated for years, at the highest level. Even Trump has now started shouting about the system “being rigged.” Is he saying this to deter us from what we all already suspect is true? Well, he would know. If Trump wins this election, it will prove my theory wrong. If Hillary wins…. well, I won’t be surprised.