I recently took The New Walk of Shame for the Single Woman: Going Out Alone. I had attended a jam session/fundraising event by myself. Something happened on my out, though, that I could have handled differently.
The jam session was nearing the end. People had come and gone throughout the evening, but the night was almost over. When a group of guys left I decided to walk out with them so I wouldn’t have to navigate out of the creepy building and out into the night alone. I waved goodbye to the host, who was busy playing keyboards. He gave me the “call me” sign as I followed the others out. The others were father and son guitar players and an Up and Coming Rapper (Question: Why do so many Rappers call themselves Up and Coming?)and his Manager. Together we figured out where to take the stairs down (no one knew how to work the freight elevator), and we walked out together making small talk on the way out.
The Up and Coming Rapper and his Manager’s conversation was spiced with curse words about how tired they were because they had come from another industry event. I tried to pin them down about where they were coming from (they were late arrivals at the jam session, just there for some face time I think), but the Manager was vague. Exiting the building, the father and son disappeared, leaving me with the Up and Coming Rapper and his Manager.
The Manager, who was lighting up a cigarette, called to me:
“Hold up, you married?” And the evening had been going so well, I lamented.
“No” I responded, because I’m not married anymore, I have not been legally married for five months (but who’s counting).
I kept walking. He followed.
“You single, you got a boyfriend?”
“Yes, I’m single.”
“So you single?”
“Yes.” Because I am. I am so damn single.
“You got kids?”
“Five. I’m divorced.” (With so many kids, sometimes I feel the need to explain that I was once married.)
“Yeah, I’m divorced, too.” He said. “Well, can I give you my number?”
“I’m not into hanging out with anybody right now.” My stock answer.
“Neither am I, you know we can just . . . (he ran through a littany of over the top activities I have no interest in, then other tamer activities, I have no interest in sharing with him.) ” Then he said some other stuff. But I wasn’t listening. I just wanted to get in my car and go home.
“So can I give you my number?” He was persistent, and my stock rejection line hadn’t worked.
“Uh, sure.” Why? Why? Why? Because I’m an idiot. See The Landscaper Guy and The Female Chandler Bing.
Have I mentioned that I’m not really used to being single?
As I started to put his number in my phone and hoped for a sudden attack of dyslexia, he said, “Let me see,” and actually leaned over to look at my phone to make sure I was really entering his number! Geesh.
Then I said, “Well, I gotta go. Nice to meet you.” He made some other small talk I can’t remember —- or I just wasn’t listening.
As he started to walk away he turned and said,
“So are you gonna call?”
Ohhhh. I was just minutes from a clean get away (like Jack Nicholson in Terms of Endearment).
“We’ll see.” I said in what I thought a nice voice. I am so freakin’ bad at this crap.
“We’ll see,” he parroted back, mimicking my nice voice, in a not-so-nice way, and he jogged up the block to join the Up and Coming Rapper, who was waiting for him, smoking.
*shudder* I got in my car as quickly as possible.
Obviously, I just was not feeling this guy. I did not like his approach. I did not care for his manner of speaking. I’m not a smoker. I wasn’t impressed with his industry talk. I didn’t even enjoy his client’s music. Just — ick. It occurred to me later that the whole exchange could have been avoided had I just said, “I’m seeing someone.” After all, his questions about my relationship status seem to suggest that having another man in the picture was a deal-breaker for him.
Why didn’t I just comply and pull out the fake boyfriend?
The Fabricated Boyfriend can be very convenient. Single women have been using him for years,
I think he dates back to the Stone Age.
My answer: Because I thought I was supposed to be embracing my new single status.
In my tortured thinking, since I had been someone’s girlfriend or wife for many, many years, I thought that I was supposed to say loud and proud — I’m single, unattached, free. WRONG!!! Isn’t it the prerogative of a true single lady to lie when necessary and expedient? For safety? To save time or someone’s dignity? C’mon — the ole “I’m not feeling well” or “I’m not ready yet” or “It’s not you, it’s me” ? It’s married people who can’t lie. If you are married, you’d better ‘fess up to your status. If you are single, you can be creatively coupled when necessary, in my after-the-fact humble opinion.
The bottom line is, I knew I was never going to call this guy. And that’s okay. Being single doesn’t mean that I have to entertain every offer of male companionship I receive, I’ve learned. See Landscaper Dude and a Phone Smarter Than Me. That said, I was standing on the street alone with Rapper Manager and was in a situation where I had to reject him and provide a valid explanation which would end the exchange yet not piss him off. I had to say something. I should have lied.
So what have I learned from this? Okay, yes, I am Single. Not married. No boyfriend. But not every person in every situation needs to know this. Being single doesn’t mean I that I have to be so damn honest about it. Had I lied immediately and said I have a boyfriend, Rapper’s Manager guy could have walked away with his dignity, I could have walked away without fear of retaliation or passive aggressive nastiness.
Going forward with my new single status, I reserve the right to pull out the fake boyfriend as the situation demands. I realize now that it is not a sign of weakness, especially when going out alone, nor is it a sad attempt to cling to my previous “couple” status. Some guys just need to go away by any means necessary and I will concoct an imaginary boyfriend when I need to, damn it.
Just Me With . . . a boyfriend . . . in my pocket.
For a rejection without use of a fake boyfriend, see “I Turned Down A Dinner Date With An Ex-Con.”
Your convo with the manager reminds me of one I had at a gas station — when I was 18 years old!
Guy: “Hey, you got a boyfriend?”
18-year-old Me (read: naive): “No.”
Guy: “You want one?”
You’d just never expect that level of conversation at this stage of life, would ya?
Funny post. I like your imaginary boyfriend. Personally, I think his name should be Wendell. Or Herman. Perhaps Melvin…
You just know every woman without a man is just dying to hook up….gag. He was trying to do you a favor…gag gag….sarcasm. The guy who mows my yard for $10 is making a play for me, going to drop his other female “friend” because she does not suit him, lonely in bed, just wants conversation…gag…dips snuff has black, moving pegs in place of teeth. gag. I was just thinking before I read this that I need to invent a boyfriend…lol. Then, he would expect more money or for my bf to mow the yard. I wondered why he offered to do it so cheaply. Now, he is hinting for a ride to places with me…gag. I don’t even want to be seen with him. He ignores the fact that I am out of his league (2 BAs and MA degree, trying for PhD), but since I am single, I must be ready for just any man. You know that pretty soon guys will just assume you are a lesbian if two of them figure out you are not giving in to their advances? Yes, after being single for 30 years and not dating married men or creeps or weidos, that means I am a lesbian…lol. Love your blog.
I’m one of the “way too nice types” myself. One night, while still married to my ex, we went out for the night. I had 6 guys ask me for my number. I gave them my ex’s. By 2am he had gotten 5 phone calls.
..I’m actually thinking of using this technique again. I don’t know how much my ex would appreciate it these days.
That’s hilarious. Giving out the Ex’s number — ha!
[…] my daily doings aren’t the guys for me.” See Landscaper series I, II and III and the Fake Boyfriend story. She didn’t get it. […]
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I reckon don’t get to that line. I think at “you married” you say “sorry, but I don’t answer personal questions from strangers.”
I found your blog through Hooked on Houses, and I’ve been making my way through your posts from the first one, and am loving it. I had to comment on the men here. I just don’t understand how they can’t take “no” for an answer. I guess it’s built into their dna to keep trying? I, for one, would hear “no”, and then that is it. I’d turn around and run. ha.
I know, right? Why not just take the “no” and walk away with dignity?
And thanks for reading!
[…] I refused to lie, and he refused to STFU. As discussed in Where Did I Put My Fake Boyfriend there are some aggressive men who only accept the reported presence of another guy as an acceptable […]
[…] Where Did I Put My Fake Boyfriend? […]