Tonight, I would like to write a PSA of sorts to the men. Actually, not men. If I actually had a desired audience for this evening’s rant (and it sure is a fucking rant), me thinks the actual audience would be boys, because only boys would have this juvenile thinking of “penis = girls want me.”
Take a step back in time with me, if you will. To about two hours ago. Beth — my American friend who is hot, awesome and takes shit from no one — and I are sitting at my new favorite pizza place in London, Franco Manca (trust me, sour dough crust, numerous locations across town, it’s the best and cheap!!!) as we finish off our bottle of red wine.
“You want to go out for a bit?” I ask, feeling like at 7 p.m., with an upcoming trip to Madrid, it is far too early to call it a night and head back home.
“Sure,” she agrees, polishing off the glass. We pay our check and then begin to walk out of Brixton Village (my favorite spot for cheap eats and awesomeness).
Wandering along the main road in the cold, we finally pop into Prince Albert (don’t laugh) and place ourselves in front of the taps in the dimly lit — nearly empty — bar.
“Look at those guys,” she says, gesturing to a table of four just outside of the bar. The table — all men — are clad in animal onesies.
We both look and giggle. I mean … why on earth does anyone go to the bar clad in a onesie unless they want attention in the first place? You certainly don’t go wearing a lemur costume to blend in.
“I’m going to ask them why they’re in costume,” I say, grabbing my cider, because why the fuck not? “You cool with that?”
She agrees and we walk up to the guys.
“Onesies?” I ask. “Why?”
Guy 1 — the only one not wearing an outfit — launches into it being Australia Day tomorrow and his friends — all Irish and in town from Dublin — wanting to celebrate.
For a few minutes, we laugh about their costumes and then he invites us to sit.
I feel like at this point I need to better set the stage. Beth and I are out randomly. I’m wearing a plaid shirt, ripped jeans, my hair in a ponytail and no makeup. She’s wearing a camo sweatshirt and makeup-free face and hair back, too. We are most certainly not out to get laid. Or even meet men. Shit, we just stuffed our faces with pizza and wine.
“You want to sit?” Non-Dressed-Up-Guy asks.
So, we scoot into the wooden booth and start chatting with the guys. They are from Dublin, flew here on super cheap flights, and were out and about tonight with others. They play guessing games as to where she and I are from. We chat about random bullshit.
Then, when a few of the guys get up and it is just Beth, myself and a physicist, he breaks it down for me:
“We are all engaged or otherwise taken,” he informs us, solemnly, hands wrapped around his beer and looking me dead in the eyes.
I look at him, completely shocked by this information.
“And you are telling me this because …”
I look over to Beth who blinks and glares at him.
“Well, because you should know. In case you’re trying to pull one of us …” (ohmygod, so British.)
I look back to the guy, with thinning red hair and a thin beard.
“Wait,” I say, formulating my thoughts. “Did you think either of us were trying to hit on you?”
“What?” I ask again, taking in this information he has decided is pertinent information in our lives. I look back over our conversation. There is nothing that would have ever even given him the slightest hint we would have been even trying to hit on him or his onesie-wearing friends.
“Was it my foot that rubbed up against your leg and into your crotch that gave it away?” I ask (note: I did nothing of the sort. In fact, I had not even touched him, batted my eyelashes or undone the top button of my button down shirt), disgusted that by us simply accepting his friend’s invite to sit with them that it automatically means the following:
1. We find them attractive.
2. We are interested in them.
3. We have done anything, other than be friendly, that would justify his statement.
He stares. Clearly caught off guard, knowing there was nothing blatant at all about our interactions that would have led him to make any sort of statement about his relationship status.
Meanwhile, his friend, dressed as Red Riding Hood laughs. “Ooh, I like her,” she giggles.
“Really?” I ask again. “What made you think we would be hitting on you? You are wearing costumes to a bar, we asked you about it, you all invited us to sit down. At what point did we ever give you the idea that we were interested in you?”
He laughs it off and then begins to droll on about this Web site (because at this point he knows both Beth and I have sites) and asks for advice.
But, Beth and I are done.
Since when does sitting with someone mean we want to fuck them? Since when does friendly equal attraction? Since when does simply sharing a conversation mean we want to have illicit relations? And since when do men feel it is vital to tell women they are otherwise occupied without the slightest hint of interest?
We excuse ourselves from the table and sit on our own, free from judgement because we are friendly. Is it just an American thing to talk to people? Or does going up to the opposite sex in a public place automatically mean we are interested?
And, what on earth makes any guy think we are interested in them unless we actually make it a point to communicate that (read: “Hey, you, cutie, I dig you. Let’s have a beer, flirt, be all touchy and then go home together? Okkkk?”)?
I think back to the past month I’ve had in London and my interactions with men. Is that how it is here? Being friendly = “I want to fuck you”? Engaging in fun conversation and hanging out means “I am in love with you and want to be in a serious relationship”?
I shudder at even the thought.
Boys, get over yourselves. This is 2015. And last I checked, not every girl wants to fuck every boy. Some of us are actually capable of just being friendly gals. If you so happen to be so caught up in your own bullshit and can’t see that, shame.
By the way, have I mentioned lately how much I don’t like dating??? Man.
(And, to you Mr. Physicist, no, we were not interested in you. Sorry.)
(And, Comfort Zone is back.)
Brilliant analysis and well put. I agree, men, in general, are hormone-driven cavemen who tend to believe (whether by nurture or nature) that the sun rises and sets in our pants. But if you think for a moment that women don’t have their own brand or equally f*cked up communication foibles, power issues and insecurity-driven sadism, than you must believe that all women are as intelligent, stable and self-aware as you clearly are.
No more so than all men are like, well, me — or Mr. Thinning Redhead.
Yeah, I realize it’s for the humor, but the level of sweeping generalization should be beneath you. Help yourself to the occasional disclaimer, if only because not every man wants to f*ck every girl — some of them are mean. (Although some guys pay extra for that. So I hear.)
Thanks, Spud! I definitely am NOT saying women are perfect. Holy hell. We (and here is another sweeping generalization) can certainly be batshit crazy. And yeah, some of us can certainly be mean! Will keep in mind the disclaimers in the future. Thank you for the feedback 🙂
I think your rant at least in part may represent the rejection you felt when he told you they were not interested even though neither were you and you wouldn’t be interested in them if you were paid to be. The very fact he said we are not interested in you hurts anyones pride and is often not realised as it is discussed in indignation about his presumption. I would act the same way you did not get me wrong but i think the a response that would match the situation would be joking “oh im crushed whatever will i do now, how will i go on” and leave them with nothing but a laugh and the thought what deluved idiots accompanying a smile. Of course if this is always happening to you then yeah anger enough to create a rant that you publish makes sense. I could be wrong and probably am and i am sure as hell not judging you it is a simple observation:)
That is certainly fair 🙂
I think it’s a traveler thing. We’re used to talking to strangers and meeting new people all the time. Non-travelers are less accustomed to this type of interaction.
That is quite true! I was thinking about it today, especially since in Thailand, no one would have even thought for a moment it was anything other than being just friendly!
Erm, in defence of my gender I think you women are just as guilty – if not more so – of doing this as men are. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m not saying those guys acted appropriately, all I’m saying is if the situation were reversed and it was me and my friend going up to a group of women, it is almost guaranteed they would assume we – as ‘hormone driven cavemen’ – would be trying to hit on them.
Haha. Fair!! 🙂