I knew this guy. We met, hit it off, and started hanging out. He was intellectually on my level, and that was exciting. Most of the time, we got along as if we had known each other for years. We had a connection.
He, however, had an aggressive and blunt personality. He would casually tell me to “shut the fuck up” in a strong, combative tone, because I asked him why he asked me a question. (He accused me of psychoanalyzing him). When he said things like this, he was supposedly joking. Now, I have a very dominant personality myself, so I’m not completely sure why I didn’t “check” him. I remember thinking I was being overly sensitive, and that I needed to chill.
After a few weeks, it became apparent that he wanted to be more than friends, and I didn’t. He said it wasn’t a big deal, and so we just never discussed it again. Apparently, it was a bigger deal than he let on, because he eventually asked me to go on a date with him. I said yes because honestly, I didn’t want to be rude. But I also thought maybe there was a chance we could make it work.
On the day we were supposed to go on the date, he asked me if he realistically had a chance. I told him, realistically, no. And then I proceeded to lay out my previously compiled reasons. His highly intense demeanor was included in the list I gave him. Inexplicably, I sugarcoated the truth by saying I thought, “our personalities would clash”. Again, I have no idea why I did that. As a feminist, I wonder if these behaviors are symptomatic of society’s never-ending subliminal messages to women to always put others at ease and avoid conflict.
Surprisingly, we went on the date anyway because in his words, “I already planned it out, we might as well.” So romantic, this one! The date actually went fine since we do have chemistry; we just didn’t talk about me friendzoning him. Afterwards is when it started to go downhill.
Following the actual date, he had to come back to my dorm room to get his stuff, and then his ride blew him off so he was going to be forced to walk home. The original plan had been to watch a movie anyway, so we thought, “Why not?” We sat in awkward silence as we waited for the movie to buffer. Then he decides to completely obliterate the camaraderie-type vibe we had struck up post-rejection.
He casually made the following comment, “Don’t worry, I definitely don’t want to be here. I’m still trying to find a way to leave.” It was rude, and I was so shocked that I just didn’t acknowledge it. I went to the bathroom and thought, “Why would I just let him say something like that”? So, I walked back in the room, sat down, and casually said, “You can leave if you want to.” I went on, “I have stuff to do, so if you don’t want to be here, I don’t want you here. You can pack your bags and wait out in the lobby. It’s no difference to me.” And then I explained to him why he was rude and why I had to call him out on it. He was clearly taken about and almost, almost apologetic.
The bittersweet thing is how empowering it was. On the one hand, I felt like I was reclaiming some power that I didn’t even realize I had given up. That was really awesome. On the other hand, it’s kind of sad that such a little thing would make me feel so powerful. How did I not realize that I could have done that all along?
It kind of scares me that such an ardent feminist with an assertive personality, such as myself, could so easily let herself slip into the gender roles constructed by our patriarchal society: The man decides how things are; the woman shuts up. Absolutely fucking not! Girls: we have brains and mouths that are just as powerful. Let’s never forget that.
What is the moral of the story? Being a boss bitch is always the right choice.