The Friend Zone Isn’t a Bad Place to Be

shessomeone

So, this week the hashtag #yesallwomen has taken over the world. I’m sure you’ve heard of it already, but in a nutshell, a deranged gunman went on a violent shooting spree in Santa Barbara, CA several days ago before turning the gun on himself. In a video that he posted before the shooting, he talked about how frustrated he was with constant rejections from the opposite sex, stating that he would soon seek his revenge. Two of his victims included members of a sorority house where he’d been rejected multiple times. After the shooting, some guy on twitter started the hashtag #notallmen, basically to assure the world that not all men are creepy, deranged stalkers who are going to open fire at the first woman who tells them no. In a counterattack, #yesallwomen was launched.  Obviously all men are NOT creepy stalkers, most intelligent women know that.  However, ALL women have been made to feel unsafe by a man at some point in their lives, which, for reasons that still escape me, men just don’t seem to understand.

Case in point, on the radio the other day, the hosts were talking about a situation one of the female DJs had experienced at work where a romantic suitor persisted in making advances toward her.  She’d told him MANY times she wasn’t interested.  He’d even been spoken to by some of the higher-ups at the company.  So, one of the male co-hosts asked how do you know where the line is, because the stalker may have just thought he was being “romantically persistent.”  Are you kidding me!  When someone has reported you to Human Resources, I think that’s a pretty definitive sign.  But, just in case there are some other clueless guys out there who don’t know what the mysterious line is, here are some hints:

1.  It bears mentioning again – IF SHE’S REPORTED YOU TO HUMAN RESOURCES.  Pretty definitive.

2.  You have to block her car in its parking spot in order to get her to talk to you.  This actually happened to me.  I was coming out of a restaurant alone and I heard a guy yelling something crass across the parking lot at me.  I was very young and ignored it, having gotten used to this kind of idiotic behavior.  I got into the car to leave, and  saw a car pull up behind mine, completely blocking me in.  I was terrified.  I smiled at him, afraid of what he would do if I wasn’t nice to him, even though it was the last thing I wanted to do.   I don’t even remember what he said to me, I just remember that fear.  Was he planning to grab me and throw me into the car?  Was he going to try and grope me or assault me in some other way?  I did my standard routine – I have a boyfriend, fake name, fake phone number, whatever I needed to say to get him to leave, which he finally did.  I sped out of the parking lot like it was on fire, heart racing.  Guys, this is not okay.  When a girl ignores you, it’s not because she’s mean, it’s because she’s afraid.  Don’t use crude, nasty pickup lines, especially don’t screech them across a crowded parking lot, and for goodness sakes, if she wants to leave, let her leave.

3.  She needs more personal space.  If you’re talking to a girl and you’re trying to get closer and she keeps backing away, don’t grab her arm and try and pull her closer (happened to me) or keep approaching her (ditto).  STOP.  Respect her space.  It will put her at ease, and it’s just  good manners.

4.  She’s stopped taking your calls.  Something else that’s happened to me and a lot of other women I’m sure.  You break up with a guy, or you go on a few dates and it doesn’t go well, you stop calling the guy back, and he just doesn’t get the hint, filling up your voice mail with persistent messages, maybe even randomly dropping in at your home or place of work.  Take the hint.  I had a guy look up my parents’ phone number years after we’d broken up trying to reach me when he couldn’t find my phone number or address online.  Thankfully, my parents had moved or he may have shown up at their house as well since we’d been there during our (very brief) relationship.  He also showed up other places he knew I frequented, thankfully each time he missed me or someone warned me when I was on the way.  Even up to a few years ago, my heart still stopped momentarily when there was a knock at my door and I wasn’t expecting anyone.  It’s not okay to make a woman live in fear in her own home.  Line crossed.

So, a guy might ask, what do you do if you like a girl and want to pursue her romantically?  Here’s the thing – I don’t like being “pursued,” it makes me feel hunted, like a terrified deer with a big shotgun pointed at it.  I find the whole concept creepy, off-putting and old-fashioned.  It’s not romantic at all. I cringe as everyone else swoons when the male lead of a romantic comedy keeps following a woman around like a wounded puppy dog after she’s turned him down, begging for another chance.  Of course, in the movie, the woman always gives in and the couple lives happily ever after.  Ick.  I think this is part of the problem; the reason why some guys are confused.  If a guy asks a girl out and she says no, I think that should be the end of it.   Don’t keep asking, don’t call her house, or show up at her work, just let it go, it’s not the end of the world.  Everyone gets rejected sometimes.

I think the best relationships start as friendships.  Be patient.  If she’s a work colleague, neighbor, or a friend of a friend, stay in her orbit, but don’t crowd her.  Be friendly.  If she turns you down, don’t let your wounded pride prompt you to lash out.  Don’t call her names, or threaten her, or tell her she should be grateful you’re even talking to her.  Any potential for a future relationship blooming from your friendship will be ruined.  Don’t be gross.  No unwanted touching, no sexual comments, no leering.  It’s just plain disrespectful and it makes women feel extremely uncomfortable.  It’s kind of sad now that I think about it, but one of the reasons I fell in love with my husband is because he was the first man I dated that truly made me feel safe.  He looked at me like I was someone, an equal, not like some kind of walking, talking slab of meat.  It’s tragic that it took me until the age of 26 to meet a guy like that.  For some women, I’m sure it took even longer, which is just terrible.

Yes, guys, you may end up getting friend-zoned if you follow my advice, and you know what, that’s okay too.  Women don’t owe you anything besides what we all owe each other as human beings, which is kindness and respect.  She has the right not to be interested in you romantically.  It happens.  Move on.  Learn from it, and be better the next time.  I’m a true believer that there’s someone out there for everyone.  Wasting so much time fixating on girls that aren’t interested in you could cause the right one to pass you by.

 

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Phenomenal Woman

angelou-maya

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”

 

RIP Mama Maya 1928-2014

I Wanna Marry Harry? Seriously???

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First of all, let me say that I’m a huge Anglophile – I love all things British, from the bands, the culture, the literature, the movies, and of course, my royals. So, that being said, even though I found the concept to be ridiculous, I was a bit curious about the new Fox reality show, I Wanna Marry Harry. I thought it was going to be a bit like a dumbed down version of The Bachelor meets Joe Millionaire (brain candy reality TV at its finest), so I recorded it. And I couldn’t make it past the first 10 minutes.

The concept of the show: some poor bloke (like my British lingo?) Matt Hicks, who can’t even afford a car to drive to work but is a bit of a Prince Harry lookalike, is given a makeover and a crash course in all things royal, then helicoptered into a castle where a gaggle of extremely young wanna-be princesses await. The women have no idea who they are meeting. As the girls prepare to meet the mysterious bachelor, the cattiness begins to start, before they’ve even laid eyes on the guy. When one girl says she’s the ripe old age of 25, another exclaims, “Yay! Another oldie!”

Once the imposter lands on the castle grounds, surrounded by fake security, the speculation begins. Some of the girls don’t even know who Prince Harry is or what he looks like, others are convinced that he’s the single, hard-partying Prince on first sight, there are a few who are skeptical. One girl (sorry, I didn’t bother to learn any of their names) says she is sure he must be the real Harry because only “the President, the Queen, and Michael Jackson,” would have Secret Service. Bless her heart.

That’s when I turned it off.

I was left with a splitting headache and a few unanswered questions. Are these girls really so empty-headed that they would fall for this sham, or are they in on the joke, just going along with it to get their own 15 minutes of fame? Do they really think that Prince Harry, the most eligible bachelor on the planet, would need to do a reality show to meet women? He’s never seemed to have problems before in that department. Some have said that the show is borderline cruel, deceiving these poor little lambs. I say, they should have read their contracts a little more closely.

Hopefully soon I’ll find a show to regularly recap, this one isn’t going to be it.

 

So, I was listening to The Bert Show this morning, which I normally love, but I really think they missed the mark today, at least the guys on the show. The issue they were debating had to do with the television show, Louie, which I don’t really watch, but did watch the clips of the show that were in question and I think they COMPLETELY missed the point. During the episode, a waitress and self-proclaimed “fat girl,” Vanessa, her words not mine, asks Louie out on a date, multiple times, and he declines. Mind you, Louie has asked out nearly every other waitress at Vanessa’s place of employment, all of whom are thin and fit. Vanessa is attractive, smart, confident, funny, cool, opinionated, all the things guys say they want in a woman, but Louie doesn’t want to date her solely because of her weight. The Bert Show made this a debate about whether or not guys, or women, have the right to not find someone attractive, for whatever reason, their weight, height, hair length, eye color, etc., and I think that’s not what the show was trying to say at all.

On the show, Vanessa and Louie are a good match. The only reason Louie turned down Vanessa’s many invitations is because she’s overweight, and he thinks too highly of himself to date an overweight woman. He thinks he’s too good for her, despite the fact that they are basically in the same league when it comes to attractiveness. In my opinion Vanessa may have been a bit out of Louie’s league, but that’s another story. It’s just so insulting and such a double standard. He doesn’t want to be seen out on a date with an overweight woman; he doesn’t want his friends to give him grief about dating a fat girl. How many television shows have there been where the husband is overweight and the wife is thin and gorgeous and no one bats an eye? Why is that okay, but not the other way around?

My point is, if a person asks you out and you just aren’t into it, of course you have every right to say no, nicely, I hope, but don’t reject someone you could possibly have a future with solely because you’re afraid of how society will perceive the two of you as a couple. More proof that nothing really changes after high school…

Sarah Baker and Louis CK
Sarah Baker and Louis CK