25 August 2009

on being puzzled... mostly on account of strange men.

since moving to the Red Light District, i've had some odd conversations with men on the streets, where my intention is to be gracious and polite while also making it clear that i'm not interested in starting anything with someone who hits on me on the street. see a blog entry from last summer for previous thoughts on this.

and it happened again that i got hit on - the other night walking home some strange man asked me if he could buy me a drink while he was waiting for friends. i politely said, no, i wasn't interested - i curtly answered a couple of other questions but then i walked further and unlocked my door to go home. as i was walking in, he told me that i could bring him to church - i think i told him that he could do that himself - if i'd been a little less tired or less annoyed with his inability to catch on to my complete lack of interest in him, i'd have told him that he'd be much more attractive if he was actually capable of going to church on his own. or maybe i'd have waved to our chapel and suggested he visit it sometime. the last thing i heard as i closed the door was that he'd stand outside my door waiting for me six days a week. i must say that suggesting you want to stalk someone isn't exactly what i'd call the most effective come-on line. that i didn't at all believe what he said makes the line also less effective - but this also means that i didn't worry about bumping into him again (now several days later i still haven't seen him again).*

i am puzzled about how someone can think that approaching some stranger on the street with all these odd come-on lines would result in the establishing of any kind of relationship or positive contact. but what puzzles me even more is that i now have these sort of random conversations outside of the Red Light District. what is wrong with the world?!?

for example,
- in Paris while i was out walking some older man was convinced that i wanted to have a cup of coffee with him - despite the fact that i didn't understand him and i don't speak french. i eventually turned around and walked the other way.
- while biking over a bridge north of Amsterdam some random guy biked on my side of the bike line - and asked something along the lines of whether i wanted to start something with him right then right there... i said no, looked at him increduously, and biked around him.
- and in Grand Rapids, some random male walked up to me and a couple of friends and asked if we wanted to know what made a guy happy (or what a guy was thinking). i clearly said no. he told us anyways - fortunately it wasn't at all dirty (like i had expected) but his continued monologue to us while we waited for the light to turn was definitely irritating. we finally ended up jaywalking.

i think i'd be cynical about males in general if it weren't for the fact that i do actually get to have normal conversations with well-adjusted males on a fairly regular basis. (mostly thanks to the community:))

* for the benefit of my mother and all others who might be worried about my personal safety, i just want you to know that i always stay in areas where there are lots of people, i never invite strangers into my own house (the drop-in centre of the community doesn't count), and the only creepy times to walk alone in my neighbourhood are generally between 5.30 and 7.00 in the morning (and then i'm home, usually still in bed). and as much as i choose to be polite while talking to random strangers, i do it only so far as the strangers are willing to respect me: they need to be willing to listen to what i say and they must stay out of my personal space. and i will slam doors in people's faces – i've done it before.

1 comment:

Tom Braun said...

I think the answer is that there's a certain type of guy who has taken "You do not have because you do not ask" to heart. Or maybe they just have a good grasp of statistics. If you ask 100 random women on the street out, 99 of them are going to laugh at you, slap you, or run away from you. But there just might be the 1 who says 'yes'.

An alternative theory is that there are some guys who can take a lot of humiliation.