That's Not How This Works: You Don't Get To Call Me Fat When I Don't Like You
This afternoon I received a comically insulting text diatribe from a young man in my neighborhood who's been asking me to go on a date with him since at least January 2016. I use that as my reference point because I remember I had weave one of the times he approached me and I haven't had a sew-in since after the last New Year.
Anywho, my first question to shorty, (said figuratively in my New York accent, though if I were being petty...) was how old are you. He replied 24. I replied I'm too old. We parted ways and that was that.
But as bad luck --or the obvious thing that happens when you live in the same neighborhood as someone--would have it, we ran into each other again some months later and ran the same conversation, this time with him telling me to take down his number. I didn't feel like debating my point about age again so I did. And then we saw each other again, and again, and again, and again. I'm guessing it was the fact that I engaged ol' boy in a conversation about Nate Parker and rape when he asked me to go see Birth of a Nation when he caught me on my block one night that made him assume interest on my part. And I will take responsibility for leading him on by telling him at every departure, "I'll text you," though in my defense, I assumed the fact that I never did would've set the record straight.
Then one night, on a stomach devoid of food and a liver tipsy with cocktails, I saw ol' boy again on my way to one of my old stomping grounds, Checkers. (I'm not proud of my dining choice, but it was 10 pm and I live in a food desert. Also, the cashier was extremely shocked to see me which speaks to the fact that I hadn't been there in forever -- and I used to be there way too much). Anyway, dude made the choice to walk me to the restaurant, wait for me to get my food and engage in a 10th round of wear a woman down. And, like clockwork, I got to my place and departed with the possibility of going to see Get Out (new movie offer this time) up in the air, giving him my customary, "I'll text you " line.
"You say that every time."
I know. I lied all the other times, but this time I really will."
And so, with the spirit of vodka guiding my fingers, I walked in the house and texted him:
"Hey It's Brande"
"So are you dating? married? girlfriend? divorced?"
I see now where my plan backfired. I sent those texts with the mindframe he was going to be one of those things and I would have an easy out -- because that's the caliber of men I've encountered as of late. He took that as a sign I was really trying to get to know him, which was only made worse when he said something about looking forward to whatever happens and I said "we shall see :)"
And 8 hours later I was awake and sober and in no mood for pre-quarter-life crisis love affairs. I believe there was one text from him a couple of days later that I responded to in a respectable amount of time, other than that there were two- and three-day delays between texts, unreturned phone calls, and an uncomfirmed plan to see Get Out a week after its release because I said I didn't have time opening weekend.
But then said week of unconfirmed date rolled around and I really didn't want to go. I planned on telling him as much but never got around to it. I'm not proud of that, but I also felt like since we hadn't been in touch there shouldn't have been much expectation of anything. It was only by the grace of God I hadn't run into him since that time, that is until today when I found myself rushing down the subway stairs and a man coming up stopped next to me and said "hello." I didn't stop because I needed to get on the train but when I got to the bottom and looked back I swore it was ol' boy. And even though I didn't display the best manners ghosting him, I'm not that rude. So I texted him and said:
"Sorry I wasn't trying to be rude. I didn't know it was you."
When he responded with "A month later?" I realized I had committed a grave case of misidentification and simply told him "Nevermind. I thought I just saw you." And that's when he sent this.
And that, dear friends, is where ol' boy had me fucked up.
I've been down this road before so I was only half offended by his texts. My now-best friend told me to take my big head and kick rocks more than 10 years ago when I decided it was best we just be friends and not date. In my Brooklyn days I remember telling a dude he couldn't get my number so he responded, "that's why you got powder on your booty bitch." He was right. I did have powder on my booty. And I laughed.
I say that to say I'm not new to these "I'm in my feelings" types of insults -- and there's not a person alive who could ever convince me I'm not a grown ass woman. But what I cannot stand is when a man who was just thirsting after you like you were the finest thing on the planet suddenly tries to reduce you to the one word no one ever wants to be called by anyone else: because you don't want them: fat. Sorry boys, that's not how this works.
You don't get to call me fat in an attempt to shit on me because your ego can't handle the fact that my fat ass doesn't want you. I've been the size I am now, give or take a few pounds, since that man-child first approached me. If I'm fat today, I was fat a month ago when you were trying to take my fat ass to the movies and every other time you approached me on the street before that. And that means you wanted my fat ass. The feeling wasn't mutual; get over it. I'm the one who even gave dude the line about "I don't need to be here" when it came to Checkers. I'm really not interested in him trying to shame me because he's ashamed he can't have me.
I couldn't decide whether I should go silent or sarcastic bitch on ol' boy so I settled for some place in the middle, telling him not to ever try to play me because his feelings are hurt. And advising him that if he has to wear a woman down for over a year to get her to text you, set your expectations about her being "different" and "serious" a little lower. And then I blocked him because I can't. And I won't.