I'm Not Interested
April 3rd, 2018
My story will not be unfamiliar or uncommon. It will be comfortable, something most straight woman keep filed away in their memories and whip out during conversation about jilted lovers and old romantic explorations.
It was a random weekend, on a random month, in a random house, with some random people. Two friends and I travelled to our co-worker’s friend’s house for a small gathering. Not a full blown party—more a motley crew of people who could get a ride to this place just outside the city. The details are unimportant but, there was drinking, smoking, swimming, and banter inbetween.
Early in the night I began to feel the familiar sense of eyes on me for a second too long, an extra effort to engage with me, an inch closer on the couch. I had met this guy roughly an hour earlier. He was perfectly average looking, with a bit of an entitlement problem, and partial to basketball jerseys.
The night waned on as my friends and I made the best of a silly situation. We ended up on the dock, looking at the city skyline. It truly was a beautiful night. Before long, he followed suit, sitting next to me on the under-inflated floaty. After a few minutes, he discreetly asked me to go upstairs with him. I declined the invitation and nothing more was said. My friends and I left the party shortly after. I thought that was end of it.
Two weeks later, I got a message from that same co-worker, informing me that basketball-jersey boy wanted my number. I said sorry, but no thank you.
My co-worker ignored the flippant apology, but respected my answer. He let his friend know I wasn’t interested. Finally! Nail in the coffin. Six-feet under. Buried and dead. That must be the end of it.
Six months later I attend a friend’s house-warming party. My (now ex) co-worker was there and was fervently eager to talk about jersey-boy. He entered the conversation with (what he thought was) a joke: “He talked about you today. He said: ‘That bitch doesn’t even want to be friends with me.’” That bitch (me) was jolted back. I couldn’t even remember what this boy looked like, let alone why we were still talking about this menial rejection. How was this still going? It should have been over the second it started. I did everything I could to try and end this the second it started.
My defensive response was unsubstantial: “I’m sorry I was uninterested.” What a flat out lie. What a cop out to spare a boy’s (who wasn’t even present) feelings. I was not sorry. I was just not interested. I got out of the conversation as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Unfortunately for me, the house we were warming was small. My attempts to ignore the boy’s friends were unsuccessful. They breached the topic with me three more times, and three more apologies came out. “I’m sorry that I rejected your friend.” “I am sorry, I just do not want to talk about this.” “I’m sorry, but wasn’t this six months ago? Why are we still talking about this?” To which I got responses such as “you broke his heart” and “you crushed him.” (All of which were delivered with edged tone, not towards me, but towards their “pussy friend”.)
I finally left the party, unwilling to ruin my night with their presence any longer. However, it wasn’t as easy to escape their voices that had permeated my head. In this instance, one voice in particular remains crystal frickin’ clear. My “I’m sorry” won’t stop repeating. I can hear it now. It sounds weak, feeble, like a woman scared to displease.
I have a few stories like this one. My lady friends have a few stories like this one. Their lady friends have a few stories like this one. We have mountains of memories like these tucked away. And though most are looked at under the broader scrapbook of our romantic adventures, others leave marks—little dog-eared thoughts that only arise when we’re asked on that second Tinder date we don’t want to go on. Or to go sexually further than we're ready to. Or in another situation where our desires go against the wishes of others.
I was not sorry. I am not sorry. I regret trying to comfort this boy (or his friends on his behalf). By doing so, I made my choices less valuable than their feelings. It was never (nor will it ever be) my (or any other woman’s) job to suffocate my own desires to appease others. Especially to someone wearing a Pistons jersey, or any of his “bitch” and “pussy” saying friends.