Blustery, cold day over here. Have a few things on my mind lately so might as well journal it out.
A few days ago my former and I headed out to my bar for a couple drinks on his birthday. And, as luck would have it, a certain 20-something female walked in (of all days to do so) who’s been trying to flirt with him in weeks prior and approaches him when I’m in the bathroom. Typical sheisty move that most of us are familiar with. Maybe not a major deal, but I tire of the way females like to behave while he and I are out in public together, especially considering it’s become so rare for us to go out together anymore. Mostly because we keep running into issues like this involving other females who, for whatever reasons, apparently want what they want and care not how they make other women feel.
Well, it irritates me. Makes me wonder why this is fast becoming the norm among females, why we seem to be coming up lacking any respect for other people’s boundaries and relationships, why we seem increasingly geared toward selfishness and a total lack of concern for how our choices and actions impact others. Is this a problem specific to females alone? No, but it’s noteworthy there, I do believe. We females may not be prone to criminality the way males generally are, but we do appear to be prone toward wreaking havoc in the social sphere, perhaps because that’s our sex’s greatest sphere of influence.
Don’t know, but tired of observing it continuing to unfold in these patterned ways. This leaves me perplexed on how best to handle the matter. Simply walk away from the situation? That basically feels like letting them have their way. Call them out on this bs? Then they’re prone to either cry victim or become aggressive, thereby further escalating tensions. Try to be diplomatic? People like to lie to your face, telling you whatever you want to hear, and then go right back to doing whatever it is they want to do, unhindered. So, I don’t know the best approach. But I do know I feel like I’m getting too old for this crap, like there ought to come some point where understandings can be forged and maintained, though I realize that to be wishful thinking since we’re all a bunch of strangers in various stages of personal development.
So, what then? Well, I got a little catty. Returned and asserted my presence, took my seat, and basically let her know (without cursing) in very few words that I’m not interested in playing this game. And let it be understood this was a sober exchange — he and I had only finished a couple beers after he got in from dinner with his son. Didn’t necessarily wish to be catty, but I saw no real alternative in this scenario since she, from what I’ve observed thus far in her interactions with others, will take a mile if given an inch. Figured it was better to cut it off at the gate and be done with it, to let her know in no uncertain terms that I’m not tolerant of her antics. And then he and I left.
Now, he was a little embarrassed by this, so we exchanged words when we got back to his place. Apparently I take too strong of an approach in handling other women, in his view. But I tell him that you have to, that lots of women will just plow right on through your subtle hints. He plays the sweetheart out in public, and people like him for this but they also tend to try to take advantage of him as well. I’m rougher in my mannerism, and the downside to that is I probably come across as a lot less approachable, which to some may seem like a bad thing. I’d argue it’s both positive and negative, that sometimes it’s for the best to not be appealing to anybody and everybody since that then reduces the unnecessary drama others bring me. He felt I should’ve just ignored her or at least not reacted until she had crossed a more serious line. Okay, but why is it automatically wrong to act preemptively when you’ve already assessed this person and figure on them most likely doing just that in due time? In other words, why give them the opportunity to create that drama in the first place?
He and I had to agree to disagree on this subject, as is so often the case between us since we’re such incredibly different types of people. He is far more agreeable than I am and prefers to avoid short-term conflict; I’d rather get things over and done even if that causes some tension that others might prefer to avoid. He said I likely only further encouraged her to cause problems going forward, but I’d argue that there’s really no clear way to stop a person like that, but you don’t have to stand by being tolerant of their shenanigans with your lips sealed.
I don’t know. Felt like the right move at the time, but now he has me second-guessing my rougher handling of the situation. To me, it boils down to respect. She was behaving in a disrespectful manner in my view, so I wanted to express where a boundary exists (and I came across a bit disrespectful in kind). Not okay to approach one member of a duo or couple when the other leaves the scene for a minute. Is that not disrespectful and sheisty in most people’s estimation? Oh sure, I’d much prefer for him to handle these matters himself instead of waiting around until I finally say or do something since I do tire of being thought of as a bitch. But he won’t — not in his nature to do so. And it is in mine.
But then this morning the conversation turned to my own insecurities. It’s a topic I’ve grappled with plenty in recent years and not satisfactorily solved. Is this a display of my own insecurity in the face of a younger, slimmer, and obviously persistent female? Maybe. Hell, probably. But I’d still say that doesn’t excuse their disrespectfulness. So what then? He said I need to find a way to be more secure in myself to where that sort of shit bothers me less. Hmmm…. While I agree in large part, I still can’t stand the idea of just letting people walk on me and cross my boundaries without care or concern.
Let me back up and state that this female in question had irritated me in the past because she also crossed my own personal bodily boundary on a few occasions (when he wasn’t around — having nothing to do with him). The first time was when she, a perfect stranger, grabbed me and hugged me out of the blue one evening. Didn’t know her, didn’t want or need a hug (especially from her), and felt uncomfortable by the gesture. Some women, sure, they can hug me and that’s perfectly fine. But this gal I didn’t like receiving that attention from. For some reason it just made me feel weird immediately. After that she’d stand too close or lean in my personal space. Okay, ignored that. Then, on another occasion, she’d walk by and rake her fingers across my back. And that’s where I grew very annoyed with her. Because I don’t know her and don’t really want to get to know her. Everything I’ve observed about her interactions with others tells me she’s not someone I feel like associating with. But how do you get across to a female like her that, hey, I don’t appreciate your unsolicited touching? Would make me look like an anti-social jerk to call her out on that, so I let it slide.
Then she hit on him and he told me the details of that, then this night occurred as described above. So I finally had had enough. Doesn’t know how to keep her hands to herself. Seems to think everybody wants her hands on them. Doesn’t respect personal space, and apparently thinks it’s fine to approach guys when the girl they’re with has stepped away for a couple minutes. Plays coy and innocent, but I see straight through that crap. It’s common, folks. I doubt any female makes it out of her 20s without gaining an extensive education on the art of manipulation and game-playing displayed by other females. So why not call a spade a spade? Because it might hurt her feelings? Okay, well, plenty of people have hurt my feelings in years past for making similar mistakes or thinking I could behave however I wished, and they probably did me a favor by calling my attention to boundaries I was violating. But when I call it out now to other females, that’s somehow not okay? They are above being told no? Why? If I don’t let them transgress far enough to where a clear and obvious offense has taken place, then I am rude for saying anything?
And this is where the social scene blows my mind. Blame my social awkwardness or some inability to comprehend the subtle social dance that others might gracefully be able to flow with. Perhaps I am more like a bull in a china shop more often than not. And some would ask where that’s ever gotten me, being geared this way? I don’t know. But I know putting up with too much bs out of others makes me feel sick in the spirit. That much I do know for certain. Though I also am prone to feel guilty when I am a bit heavy-handed with them verbally. Kind of feels like a no-win situation.
Do I like hurting other girls’ feelings? No I don’t. But do I like them hurting mine? No. So what’s the solution? Talk it out? Most don’t listen and, once again, will tell you whatever you wish to hear and then go on doing whatever they set out to do. That’s been my experience anyway. I used to be more diplomatic, and that has since changed because I have grown so weary in dealing with the lack of respect shown. But one cannot demand respect — yeah, I know. So what then? Just let them go ahead and push buttons and do whatever they wish until I am seriously pissed off?
My fear is to come across as a doormat, as somebody who won’t stand up for myself or who can be easily pushed around because I lack power in a given situation. That bugs me. Is that a statement of insecurity? Perhaps. Is it also demonstrating a sense of inferiority? Probably. Thought about that today too.
People say that it’s all on your partner, that if they want to tolerate those sorts of stunts, then fine, good riddance. Just leave him and say to hell with it. But that’s not such a good strategy all the time either. And my goal isn’t to at all times appear classy and docile. No.
Should I learn to pick better battles? Sure, no doubt. Seeing as how these battles are never truly won. Sometimes I succeed in intimidating a female enough that she leaves me and my business alone for the most part, and that actually feels great, but it rarely proves to be a permanent solution. But reasoning with them rarely worked any better. So what then? Just walk away? Then I’d be walking a whole lot…might would walk my life away. At what point does it become appropriate to take a stand, and to what degree? That can’t help but be subjectively determined based on the situation and individuals involved. So it looks like there is no easy or universally-applicable answer to be found here.
Guess I should’ve dated a less attractive man who isn’t so alluring to various females. My bad. He doesn’t like all their attention either, but he’s too nice to state it plainly usually to them. And that’s what raises my ire. It’s like I not only feel protective over my boundaries and “territory” (so to speak) but also think it sucks that they can push him so far without him barely reacting. He thinks he’s being nice, I say he’s making himself too vulnerable to people who are trying to use him and cause problems for him (and others he may be out with).
Either way, I can’t change other women. It’s not within my power, quite obviously. Can’t make them show respect. Can’t barely force them to take me seriously. I truly would like to be a more carefree person not so concerned with disrespect shown and above worrying about these other trifling females invading my space and mucking up my evenings out. He said that then comes down to me changing myself, and he’s right. Though I won’t pretend to know what steps are best to take or what I should be striving for. Maybe I lack quality female role-models (correction: I know I do and always have) and therefore am more prone to imitate male tactics, which tend to come across more aggressive and confrontational. Is that who I wish to be? Yes and no. It’s who I feel I had to become over time, because so many folks out here don’t give a damn about you or anything you’ve got going on and will act a fool if given half an opportunity to do so. And, once again, this aggravates me to no end. But then again, my aggressiveness can impact people I don’t wish to negatively impact, because it’s become so much my norm and I don’t always realize I’m being too rough verbally. That’s not cool either.
Ugh. Don’t you hate it when another person ticks you off and it winds back around to forcing you to look at yourself in the mirror? Are these mostly projections stemming from disappointment and/or frustration with my own self? I wouldn’t doubt it. Seems that’s usually the answer. But, I’m still not sure how to go about removing or reducing the territoriality that is a deep part of my nature. And should that even be the focus primarily? I don’t wish for this to devolve down into simply attempting to appease others since they don’t seem to give much of a damn about appeasing me. So it’s not for them, any changes I might manage within myself. I’d just likely be a lot better off if these trifling individuals didn’t get to me so much, didn’t disrupt my thoughts and feelings to the extent that I feel I must react. Yes, reacting isn’t always the right answer — I know. But damn. It feels like letting people off the hook to just stand by and let them do whatever, whenever, saying nothing in response, or worse, smiling and pretending it’s fine (which, to me, feels like egging them on).
So, yeah, I have no clue. Wish I could be content with being a “bitch” but could also harness it better so as not to give away my power too easily to others when the situation doesn’t seriously require it. I don’t like feeling like the “bad guy” so often, especially when I’m only aiming to stand up for myself and my loved ones. Battle-picking has never been my strong suit.
Update the next day: Talked with a guypal last night who said this same female discussed above wound up getting drunk and grabbing hold of his crotch at the bar this past week. Apparently he wasn’t too happy about that. Told him what I tell anybody else who comes to me with this sort of news: gotta learn to put your foot down and say “NO! Not cool!” Because she’s a woman doesn’t mean it’s okay for her to get away with making others uncomfortable via unwanted sexual touching. Heard of her doing this before to another guy who simply took off immediately afterward, also unwilling to confront her directly.
Ticks me off, to be quite honest. Because I was given grief by my former partner for being a bit verbally rude to this young woman, knowing already how she can get it, yet everybody else gives her a pass when she offends them. I stood up to her, so now I’m a bitch? Yet she’s not when she’s the one creating the problems for others? That’s bullshit. Causes me to rethink my stance taken yesterday when journaling, seeing as how I got to feeling a bit guilty for being harsh toward her. Now I’m back to thinking that’s the least of what she deserves. Hopefully others will learn to stand up and say no to her in the future. Lord knows far fewer people would have as much trouble talking back to a guy who roamed around in public treating people that way, drunkenness serving as an insufficient excuse. So why the double-standard here? Because she’s cute and young (and gets drunk and dumb)? Or because she’s bi-racial and they’re worried about being sensitive in that regard? I don’t rightly know. *shrugs*
Re-reading 12/6/16: Hmmm… It’s a deeper topic than that girl. I realize I’m projecting onto her to an extent. Gotten conscious of that. But, still. Do I regret my actions that evening? Kinda, but fuck it. That’s one I’d like to establish clear and present boundaries with early on. And ya know what? This is probably a reflection of why hanging out in the barscene too often is lame. LOL I’m not even talking club here, just a neighborhood sports bar this time around. Ha Humorous but sadly true. Fifteen years of increasingly regularly hanging out in bars hasn’t done me justice. Been knowing this and go through phases. Have a lot of personal work to do, regardless of what the outside world is doing. I should drink less. I should go out less or at least drink orange juice or soda or water if I do. Some folks do that. I tried it once. Needing to do that again. Even though I only had two beers the night in question, it’s not just about that — this is just a general assessment of my life currently. Yup. Got shit to continue working on. That’s what I do know, so that’s where I aim.
Frickin’ tired of feeling how I’ve felt the last few years. It’s improved some since this summer though. Progress — need more of it. Need to get back in the gym tomorrow after a two-week hiatus. Oy. Time for some dietary changes too. Been slacking recently. Not willing to slide back down right now. Got too much to look forward to. Been enjoying finally feeling less depressed since returning from Mississippi in June. This can be a very positive leg of the journey if I can shape myself up. Midlife presents the interesting opportunity to switch gears and re-evaluate living and our strategies thus far. Existential crisis — apparently they can go on for quite a long while. Call to action. Yep, I hear it. Not sure what to do with it, but one step before the other, with greater resolve to not cave to vices and bad habits. One can pray…