Friday, February 20, 2015

platonic conversation

The other night I had to parallel park an enormous 2002 Chevy Silverado in a tight spot in my neighborhood.  I've gotten pretty damn good at doing this over the past few months but that night I was relieved to have a man who happened to be walking by on the sidewalk come over and gesture to let me know I had plenty of room to continue to back up.  He helped me park the truck and I was grateful.

I rolled the window down and thanked him and we started to chat.  He was bundled up, looked to be in his 50s or 60s, (clearly much older than me), and he was telling me a story of a road trip he took to Mississippi many years ago.  He was laughing as he told me he was with his cousin and they were pulled over by the police but got out of it because the officer liked his car.  It was a nice moment and I thought, "so far so good, old man, don't ruin it, don't say it, please don't say it..."  And then, he said it.

"...You know what? You are a beautiful woman."

God damn it.

Disappointing.


We were having such a nice, platonic conversation that I was genuinely enjoying.  Come on, old man, you're a stranger.  You're clearly at least 20 years my senior and you are NOT Keanu Reeves.  Why do some men find it necessary to turn a completely normal chat between two adults into an opportunity to let a woman know they find her attractive?

"Just so you know, I have a penis, and when it gets hard later, it may be because of you."
"Just so you know, as a guy, it is my responsibility to let you know whether or not I'd want to bang you." 
"Just so you know, I'm a man and you are a woman and blee--blow--blah--MY ENDORSEMENT OF YOU." 

Whenever this happens I have my own fantasy.  I fantasize about blowing these assholes out of the water, (in a totally platonic way).

Guy - "...you are a beautiful woman."

Me - "Stop right there. Please don't derail this conversation by saying something completely unnecessary to force me to demur and play Female Skunk to your Pepe Le Pew. I could have walked two moons and then circled the earth for 1,000 years without knowing what you think about how I look."

Guy - "But I can't help myself."

Me - "You are not a snow leopard. You're a human man and you're perfectly capable of having a conversation without complimenting another person. I'm sure you're able to do it with your son, or boss, or WIFE-yeah, I see your wedding ring."


I know this might sound severe, he's just giving me a little compliment, right?  What a bitch, I should be grateful when someone finds me attractive!  Fuck that, I don't need some stranger's unsolicited nod of approval.  I shouldn't have to be forced into the role of diminutive, shy-but-grateful, pretty lady. My being attractive has NOTHING to do with you getting pulled over by the police in the 80's, no matter how suave and cocksure you think your delivery was.

So just fucking BE COOL and keep it platonic.  And hell, if you don't mention my appearance and the conversation actually progresses and goes well, (and also you are Keanu Reeves, and I am single), maybe I'll end up complimenting you.

"You know what? You are a beautiful man. I loved you in John Wick, what a triumphant return to action form.  Point Break is the best movie, I fucking love the part where you fire your gun into the air multiple times after Patrick Swayze, who has a president's mask on, jumps ov..."

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