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….

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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!