Telling stories is my favorite part of having a blog so here is a new, never-before-told story about the one time I went on a date with a creep who couldn’t take a hint.
When I was 25 I worked a second job as a server to earn a little extra cash to put things right after my divorce. It was at my favorite restaurant and I only worked 3 days a week so it was a chill and fun endeavor.
One of my co-workers asked me out on a date and since this wasn’t my “real” job I decided that it would be harmless. I absolutely would NOT have gone out with him if it were my “real” job, it’s too risky and unprofessional, as this story will illustrate. But we had a lot of fun conversations while working and I thought it could be fun.
So we went out on the date. Nothing of note here.
But he was earnest about a repeat which I did not have the time or the interest for so I declined his numerous invitations. Instead of taking the hint, he offered to keep me company at my other job on night when I had to stay up very late to monitor a possible situation (long story for another time). Now, this was my REAL job that I took very seriously and would never mess around with. However, he offered to come just to sit and chat with me for the long hours ahead. I accepted out of sheer boredom.
So he came over, sat on the couch across the room, and chatted with me until about 3am when I decided the crisis situation was a false alarm and I was going to bed. He left and that was the end of it.
Except that WASN’T the end of it and apparently we were now in love. Or something.
At the restaurant I told him that I really wasn’t interested in a boyfriend and that I was actually dating a couple of different guys. Casually. He wanted to know how many. I said 3 but the truth is I probably wasn’t dating anyone at the time. He wanted to know how many of those 3 worked at the restaurant. The question was so absurd I just left him to wonder. And really, it was none of his business.
The next time I was out having a late-night coffee with some friends he showed up and proceeded to hold me in a loving embrace that I couldn’t seem to extricate myself from the entire evening.
And then there was the kiss.
As I’ve grown older I have realized that women do a LOT of terrible things they would rather not do so that they can:
- not hurt a man’s feelings
- relieve a feeling of obligation
- just get it over with
It was for all three of these reasons I kissed Mr. Clingy Creep and I quickly scampered away hoping that magically my time with him would be over.
Of course this is not how it works.
But I must be clear, throughout this time I was very honest with him that I wasn’t interested in anything with him. I told him directly, as is my style, that he and I were not going to happen. Looking back I can see how he might have been confused. He manhandled me into so many hand-holds and mini-embraces that he probably thought I was all about his action.
At the restaurant the next weekend I had to be firm with him. “Listen Mr. Clingy Creep, I’m not interested in you. Also, I’m new here and I’m having a hard time being a good waitress so I need you to stop demanding my attention all the time so that I can focus.”
But he had a cough.
And he needed to tell me about it. You know, because I had been sick the week before and we did have the one kiss and all. So then I had to remind him that I wasn’t interested in dating him and could he please let me concentrate on my tables. I was a shit waitress, if I’m being honest.
But he didn’t relent. He wrangled me into so many conversations about his feelings that finally I told him to see a therapist because he had some issues he needed to work through. During a text exchange I accused him of being emotionally unstable and to please leave me alone.
“But what about our chemistry? Our relationship?”
I firmly told him we had neither of those things.
He would not be put off.
*I’d like to caveat for a minute to say that women are wrestled into these situations more often than one would think. At the risk of taking this post way too seriously for a situation that ends in a hilarious victory, I want to add that these type of men often turn into rapists who feel like they are “owed” something. I can honestly say I was starting to get frightened by this guy. He had been nothing but nice to me, and he wanted me, so he felt he deserved to have me. I learned later that he had been involved in a domestic violence situation. So I’ll just leave this caveat with ellipsis….*
But enough of that, let’s talk about how I finally shook him off me for good.
I was standing at the counter folding cloth napkins next to another coworker, we’ll call him Mick. Mr. Clingy Creep came to use the register on the other side of Mick. I don’t know where the idea came from but inspiration washed over me and I said loudly,
“I had a really good time last night, Mick.”
Praise the powers that be, he played along, “Oh you enjoyed that, did you?”
“Yes. We should do it again sometime.”
Mr. Clingy Creep looked at me, he looked at Mick, then he stormed away.
I thanked Mick for his role in my play and he said I wasn’t the first girl at that restaurant to have trouble with him.
Mr. Clingy Creep and I never spoke again. But I learned a hard lesson about accidentally leading on entitled men by being a moderately nice person.
*Hard eye roll*