I feel for men. I really do. I mean, you’re expected to make the first move. You’re expected to buy us a drink. You’re expected to ask us out on a date. You’re expected to pay for dinner. And on and on the list goes. Approaching people is intimidating. Approaching someone and having to hope that you won’t be rejected…well, I’m just glad I’m not a man.
Last night, I was riding my bike to yoga. I attend a beach yoga class 1-2x a week to help with my running, and honestly, I probably need the zen, too. Plus I have had a lot of free time on my hands the last few months, and the alternative is watching more Netflix. So…off to yoga I go.
As I was nearing my destination, a man and his friend were walking, and he called out to me, saying that he had a question. I was just at my destination, so I got off my bike. He jogged back to me, and I could tell he was embarrassed that I had stopped, thinking he was the one who forced me to stop.
He introduced himself – his name was Derek or Dustin or something – and tried to make small talk. Typically, at this point, I would engage full Resting B*itch Face and dismiss him, but I’ve been trying to be kinder to people lately because Namaste and all that, so I smiled and told him I was going to yoga on the beach. He said something about never having tried yoga obviously because he was chubby. I started to tell him it was nice talking to him, as I had locked up my bike and my class was about to begin.
Derek or Dustin would not give up. He then said, “I’m sure you have a husband and kids and stuff, but I just wanted to tell you that you are beautiful.”
I told him I had a boyfriend and thanked him for the compliment and began walking away. Then asked if he could get a hug.
The conversation went from friendly detachment to CREEPY in less than a second. Gentlemen, it’s totally cool to have the confidence to approach a stranger and start a conversation. But know when to draw the line. At that moment Derek/Dustin went from safe, chubby guy to uncomfortable, creepy dude that I couldn’t get away from fast enough. Of course, it’s amusing to think of now, but at the moment, I was just thankful that I was in a public place, and I could probably outrun him if I had to.
I’m sure Derek/Dustin didn’t have an intent to harm me, but who really knows these days? You can never be too safe. It really got me thinking, not for me, but for my daughter. If she were approached by a stranger, would she know what to do?
This incident has prompted me to sign up for self-defense classes for both of us. Thanks, Derek/Dustin for the reminder.