I’m not sure what’s going on, but it must be that either I grate a lot of men the very wrong way or the men with whom I have come into contact lately are in very bad moods. Is it me or is it them? Is it some prickliness that seems to have become a part of me? Or is it my mouth—and fingers—and how they say what I think are fine things but other people, boy, they hear other things.
Man at graduation ceremony: During the graduation ceremony for my school I was working the security detail, which means that I was to stand at a portal of the sports center to ensure that people were sitting in their seats and the space for the handicapped was used appropriately. There was a “professional” security person at that portal as well, along with two other teachers. We got there an hour before the ceremony began, which is when the doors opened.
A woman with her mother in a wheelchair arrived at least a half hour early. The mother is afraid of heights so she didn’t want to sit right at the railing, instead the two of them sat back a bit.
For some reason, the security guard agreed to let five very heavy women sit in seats in the handicapped area, but enough space was left so that the mother and her daughter could see from their spot away from the edge.
A half hour after the ceremony began a man arrived with his mother in a wheelchair, his wife and kids. I approached him and (I think) politely told him that he can’t put the chair in that spot since it would block the view of the woman sitting in her wheelchair. His comment to me was basically, “You’re going to tell me what to do?” “Yes,” I said, “I am.” At which, I swear, I could hear his chauvinistic wheels turning. He said that the woman needs to move there and if not there is no reason why he can’t put his mother there. “Because you can’t,” I said. I saw no reason to explain to this man this woman’s fear of heights and just said that she came early and she was unable to move up. Again the chauvinistic wheels churned, he said “Call security,” and he shoved his wheelchair forward, put his mother into place and went to sit in the stands. (There was still space for them to see, they needed to do an angle thing to their bodies.)
Settlement attorney: Not only was he extremely unfriendly [perhaps because he didn’t like that he felt obliged to let my lawyer (a woman) and me sit in his golf-obsessed office] but he, too, had the boy tantrum thing going on. When we got to the signing part of the day, when exman threatened to leave because I wouldn’t sign something, that was okay. But when I went out of the room for a moment to talk to my lawyer I could hear him raise his voice and say something about “she.” I didn’t hear what he said, but I am sure it was about how “she’s playing games.” Really? I’m just trying not to get screwed anymore and that’s interpreted as playing games. So be it.
Man with no humor: For no real reason, I answered a Craig’s List ad (I know, I know, DON’T GO THERE) and after I made, what I thought was a joke based on a funny spelling mistake that he made, I was told, that he didn’t like being laughed at. I even prefaced the comment with a caveat that I am an English teacher. The puns were funny; what would you do if someone talked about a navel base? Sure, better without him, but what is happening?
Or is nothing happening and I just keep meeting men who quite obviously don’t mesh with me and not to sweat it. But still, you know, it hurts. It hurts to be misconstrued. It hurts to be told that you’re mean when you don’t think you are. It makes me wonder how we can communicate when there are so many ways in which thoughts don’t get understood the way they were meant to be. I did mean to be funny, certainly not hurtful. Was he too sensitive? Am I too insensitive?
Man who really should be spanked: Then there’s the man on Plenty of Fish (no, there aren’t, and yes, I turned my profile off) who about a week ago wrote to me something about being spanked. I did not reply. Today he popped up again, and when I said something about how capitalization and apostrophes are important to me he replied that he has a Ph.D., that I am too anal retentive (is there a proper amount or does my asking this mark me as definitely being anal?) and that I am obviously ignorant, stupid and judgmental. And this from a man who wants to be spanked and compares himself to Einstein because he, too, couldn’t spell. He obviously thought everything he said was okay, but not everything I said. Before I could he reply he had me blacklisted from his account. HELLO, shades of control all over the place.
Is there something I’m missing? Were my years trying to survive exman more damaging than I thought? Is my desire to be blunt and open so that I won’t go into another relationship that will end up leaving me voiceless leaving me open to being insulted and misunderstood? Are men really as controlling as they seem to be? Seriously, what’s with the insults? And why, why do they see everything they utter as charming and me, well, I’ve been blacklisted, deleted and side-swiped.
It’s been about two years since I started dating. In that time, I only dated one man more than three times and he turned out to be the incredibly unreliable pseudo-man. I’ve been told I’m too picky. I’ve been told that being friends is not enough. I haven’t been moved by anyone. It took a while, but now I’m really wondering about my man antennae, after all I picked exman/slime and pseudo both of whom turned out to be controlling, mind-game players and dangerously selfish. I’ve been told I’m fat (sorry, not “height-weight proportionate”). I have not responded to men who were not attractive to me or with whom I did not feel that there was enough to go on for a relationship to develop. Time, yes, time may be what will bring about a meeting of man and woman. And going with the flow and not trying to force things may also work. I’ve been told to join groups, and maybe I will (other than women’s groups that is, and the political group turned out to include women and retired people). But that still doesn’t answer my question as to why I feel that I have been encountering so much negativity and nastiness.
I genuinely don’t get it. Are men too serious or am I too irreverent? Oh, who cares. (Yes Microsoft Word, I am overriding your desire to have me put a question mark there.) They’re not even funny stories anymore; they’re not entertaining and they’re certainly not making me feel good about my prospects for finding a decent, loving, intelligent, caring man who doesn’t go running to the hills at my humor or try to mini-sermonize me.
Alone is good. I know that. And I revel in the freedom I feel and the joy of a simple flow of life. I should stop reaching for a while. I should stop worrying about what others think, that is until I find others who like how I think, then I will attend to them.
My heart. I guess I need to put it back into my chest, but it keeps wanting to find a playmate.