I've been rolling this around in my head like marbles in a glass jar since last night. Not only am I not sure how to approach it but I am not sure if perhaps it is just me. If maybe I missed something (else) in my upbringing that said that this is normal and that I am not. But I don't think so. I don't think so because it's upsetting and makes me feel icky. And in that case, I can generally say with certainty, that it's not me, I'm just the one who is calling out for change.
By the way, I know exactly where my marbles are. My purse, on the other hand, is still missing.
I'm talking about the way I am treated by men. Not all men, mostly men my age. Some that I have dated, some I am not interested in that way.
I look at myself and ask how I can possibly be inviting this, and I really don't think I do.
Last night I got into a conversation with a fellow through the game I am allowing to suck my time away on Facebook. Within half an hour we went from "how's life in NYC" to "Maybe I'll cook you breakfast sometime" There was no innuendo. There was no discussion on what we were wearing. Sure, we might have been talking about cooking, but I'm more interested in trying out his recipe for chicken marsala than finding out if he makes good pancakes.
Breakfast. I know what that means. I'm not an idiot. How nice that you want to sleep with me, but really? I've never met this man in my life and you are talking about cooking me breakfast? Then you ask about my "tits and ass"? REALLY? Do I have them?? (I replied that I'm a woman I have them.)
I'd write it off as "this guy is an asshole" but honestly, I have been running into similar things for many years. And it was underlined by another fellow I was talking to last night who is just a friend, but in the process of trying to make me blush; he brought up a couple of things that I didn't think was appropriate in a platonic conversation. I brushed them off, but...
Why in the world would a man make a reference about me riding lawnmowers like I would a man? What does it matter what kind of underwear I wear?
What makes it any one's business what I do beyond closed doors? I try not to talk about my sex life (except in reference to not having one, but even then, not so much), it's no one's business - as far as anyone is concerned, I am neuter unless I choose to tell you otherwise. I think of you the same way unless I am sleeping with you or hoping to.
Is that it then? Do men only talk to me because they are hoping to sleep with me? Was the last boy correct when he said that people only talk to me if they want something? That was not the world I was brought up in. In my family, we talk to everyone. It's hard for me to understand that every person who approaches me wants something from me. And that idea makes me want to retreat into my shell and stay there.
Except that it's not just acquaintances and men on the Internet. (who seem to think that if I am talking to them that I want to sleep with them.) There are a couple of men that I have dated who, in hindsight, treated me more like a bit of meat rather than a partner with boundaries. Like the one who tried to grab a handful of hooha in the middle of a party. And the one who, recently, sent me text letting me know that he had an erotic dream about me. We haven't dated in awhile. He has a girlfriend. I still haven't mentioned that it's over between the last boy and I, so as far as he's concerned, I still have someone in my life. Ok, that's the same guy. But there are other examples with other people where I look back and I think, wow. He didn't respect me at all.
We watch TV shows like Mad Men and marvel at how chauvinistic the men are. We are amazed at the blatant sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace on that TV show, but as soon as we walk out the door of our workplace, suddenly all bets are off.
Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps this is the manner in which men and women are supposed to interact. Perhaps my dislike of it is what keeps me from being in a lasting relationship.
It just seems to me that men and women should be able to show interest without making the other party feel dirty and used. It seems to me that I should be able to have a conversation with someone without sex entering the conversation. My mind is as dirty as the next one. And in the proper setting, I really let loose sometimes. Not to strangers. Not personal things. More along the lines of "That's what (s)he said" and other one liners that appeal to my inner 12 year old.
I suppose the trouble is, that I am looking for men to behave like gentlemen. And yes, I do think a woman should act like a lady. I try to. And I expect to be treated like one.
Why do I fear that I am going to continue to be disappointed?