And I was sitting, not two days ago
Feeling lonely, ’cause I’m just feeling low
And I asked Henry, my bartending friend
Why it is that there are those kind of men
And Henry said,
“You’re lucky to even know me,
You’re lucky to be alive.
You’re lucky to be drinking here for free,
’cause I’m a sucker for your lucky, pretty eyes.”
And then he said,
“Do you wanna be a polyester bride?
Or do you want to hang your head and die?
Do you want to find alligator cowboy boots they just put on sale?
Do you want to flap your wings and fly away from here?”
Liz Phair, Polyester Bride
Last night was gaming night. For those of you not dorky enough to know what that means… I got together with friends and we played D&D (roleplaying) and then followed up with a round table of Magic the Gathering. If this still doesn’t mean anything to you, well, it really doesn’t matter. Suffice it to say I went and played games with friends. Had a few beers in the process, and stayed much too late, but overall had a really good time. But at the same time I was a little disturbed when I was walking home.
See, ever since I split with Eddie I’ve been noticing a trend and its starting to wear on me. Most of my friends are male. Always have been, probably always will be. Just my personality matrix, I have little or no time for “girlie stuff” which means I often have little to talk about with other women. Conversely, I really am a nerd, so that often leads to the male half of the species discovering that I am a woman they can talk to – just like one of the guys, sometimes. Cool enough. Works for me.
But the problem is this: as I have gotten to know some of the guys better (I’ve known most of them peripherally for some time, but Eddie always commandeered the spotlight, so often the relationships were strictly superficial, before), and, in some cases, once they have discovered Eddie and I are no longer together, I have gotten a lot of attention of a different sort. Sometimes its very subtle, sometimes its obnoxiously obvious, occasionally its straightforward (which I prefer), but however its played out, its becoming more and more prevalent. The awareness, on my part, that this one or that one is interested in more than just friendship.
It’s flattering. Obviously. And since I have gotten healthier (and therefore thinner) in recent years, it is something that was much less common in my younger days. In fact, that probably makes it even more flattering, especially with the predominance of younger men in my life. But for all that, I am quickly discovering that it is exhausting. Not because I have to actively put anyone off – I’ve made it very clear to anyone that has asked that I am militantly single at this point in my life and that’s that. Which, so far, everyone has respected, at least overtly, so its not like I am having guys make passes at me all the time. It’s just this constant undertone.
What I want to know is how beautiful girls deal with this. I mean, I’m cute. Maybe even a little more than cute, but because I have always been a little bit… robust… and because I am not classically beautiful, this overabundance of attention is not something I am used to. So what about those girls that are always dealing with this: every man that looks at them, appraising their chances to make something happen. How does one function? Does it get easier with time? Am I just being infantile about this? A little pouty, maybe? I dunno. I just want it to go away…..