I'm about to do something that's going to sound like I'm fake bitching in order to compliment myself, but that's not what I'm doing. You know that thing, right? Like, if I were to say "you guys, it's just so HARD for me to pay for my own drinks at the bar and as an independent woman I find that insulting". That would actually be me saying "I'm so hot. No, really. I'm so hot. And it's really irritating, except not. " (A stranger has never purchased a drink for me, in case you're wondering.)
That's not what I'm doing when I say this, ok?
I really need my girlfriends to stop telling me that all men want to sleep with me.
I know they think they're being complimentary. I know that because I've absolutely been guilty of throwing comments like this around. In a bar, if some guy looks at my girlfriend for longer than a passing glance, I point him out in hushed tones and we dissect whether he's married (usually), cute (sometimes), and good enough for her (never). I say with absolute certainty that he wants to get with her in dirty dirty ways, and when someone looks at me the same way she returns the favor.
I have no problem whatsoever with this.
Let me give you an example of where the entire circle breaks down.
I recently met someone in an networking environment. This person was smart and trying new and exciting things and, in a possibly dubious move, thought that perhaps I'd have interesting things to say about ... (my gender neutral pronoun plan has broken down, and clearly you know I'm talking about a man anyway) his new business ventures, and so he suggested that we have coffee.
I thought this was brilliant. I'm trying to become more familiar with the Boulder tech scene. I'm trying to make new friends. He's smart and funny and seems kind of awesome and I freaking swear to all that is holy when he said let's get coffee and talk about entrepreneurial shit, I assumed that he meant let's get coffee and talk about entrepreneurial shit.
Know why I thought that? Cause that's what he meant. And honestly? I was excited.
And then several people, including two of my best friends and my mom, said something like "he probably wants to sleep with you".
Not everyone wants to sleep with everyone.
It's like.... a thing. A thing where you can pretend that everyone wants to sleep with everyone when it's fun and it's just among you and it doesn't have anything to do with anyone's life, but ?
This is a situation in which it helps no one. And my youngish handsomeish male mentor, who I was never able to comfortably tell my friends about because they'd inevitably suggest that his glowing recommendations were somehow related to my appearance and status (unmarried and subordinate).
It's nice to have girlfriends who bolster my confidence. It's nice to have my girlfriends tell me that the hottest guy in the bar is totally into me and just isn't buying me a drink because he doesn't want to come across as desperate. It's not TRUE, but that's sort of the point, right?
It kills me that it's possible that my mentor wanted to sleep with me. It kills me that I'm not able to say that it was definitely my promise and intelligence that made him want to spend time with me.
In situations like that, I need my friends to assure me that it's not about sex. That I am more than a pretty face or a younger version of what's waiting at home.
I didn't have coffee with entrepeneur guy. I got sick and cancelled, and he hasn't tried to reschedule.
Of course, neither have I.
Because now? I'm sort of worried that he just wanted to sleep with me.