The other day I was reading at a coffee shop. There was a late-20s looking fellow sitting nearby, and soon after I sat down he asked about the book I was reading. I love when people do that. I used to pick out books with interesting titles and purposely hold them high for all to see when I would read in public – I was just begging someone to ask me about it.
I explained the premise of my book to the guy, and went back to reading. Little did I know that our conversation was not finished. “So…what do you do?” He asked. His question baffled me. Seriously, what do I do? I stared at him with a confused look on my face, wondering where to begin. And where to end. After giving him a one sentence summary of one aspect of my life, I was polite and asked him what he did. And then he didn’t stop talking.
I realized he wasn’t just talkative – he was interested. I kept trying to return to my book, but he continued the conversation. It was probably because I had done my hair that day. I could tell he was probably going to ask me out or something, so I made up my mind that I would say kindly, yet confidently, “I’m not dating right now.” My old self would’ve been too scared to turn him down; I would’ve passively aggressively strung him along with no commitment.
My fast from boys is not just to prevent me from falling in love with every guy I meet, it’s also to stop me from misleading every guy who’s interested in me.
When I told him I had to leave, he did indeed ask for my number so we could go out sometime. Instead of saying my perfectly rehearsed phrase, “I’m not dating right now,” I blurted out, “I’m, uh, leaving the country!”
…whoops. He probably thought I made it up. You know, like when girls say they’re too busy to go out with a guy because they have to wash their hair. I said thanks for the offer, grabbed my book and left.
I was a little disappointed with myself for not being more straightforward. At the same time, I was proud of myself because I didn’t vaguely agree to see him when I knew probably never would.
So yeah, I’m getting there.