I spent my weekend working at the International Motorcycle Show. The convention center was filled to capacity with leather garments, reprehensible hair cuts, flinch-inducing tattoos, and TESTOSTERONE. With the male to female ratio an astounding 10:1, this may be the #1 place to meet a man in NYC. If you’re into muscled biker types, buy your ticket for next year’s show NOW. My job, as it so often is, was to stand, smile, and look pretty (and interest people in a brand/sell a product- it is actually work). I spent the entire weekend fighting off men. Not surprisingly, they are a more aggressive bunch than the ComicCon
Oh woe is me! It’s so hard being a pretty girl! The constant flattery, frequent free drinks, rarely having to open a door for myself, it’s exhausting!
I can feel the collective eye roll from my dude-readers.
It’s such a pretty girl cliché to complain about the men who hit on us.
Yes, most of them are harmless and -I’ll be the first to admit it- ego boosts. That said, the slimy feeling when a man’s eyes scan your body, slowly from toe to tip, is a real one. The look in his eyes says he’s a ravenous beast and you’re a fresh cut of meat. He’s an Italian grandmother at the butcher and you’re the perfect roast behind the counter. He can imagine sticking you with his meat thermometer as you cook in the oven. If any one shows interest in you before the butcher calls his number, he will smack that bitch with his handbag. Imagine feeling like a bloody, raw, 125 pound chunk of meat sliced from the flank of genetically modified livestock.
It sucks. Am I right, ladies?
That said, the men who look at me like I’m sirloin are few and far between. Even at a biker bonanza with the accompanying “bad boy” and “rebel without a cause” clichés. I’m a grown women, someone who’s been “pretty” for the majority of her adult life (post-college at least). I’ve refuted the advances of plenty of men in my time. Bikers may be more intimidating than the average man on my subway commute, but they don’t punch you in the nose if you decline to give them your number.
Still, as all women -from “homely” to drop dead gorgeous- know, nothing gets a man to accept rejection better than ye old “I have a boyfriend” line.
Thus, I spent the entire weekend pretending to have a boyfriend.
His name is Joe. He rides a Yamaha. He is also in a band called The SpitTakes where he plays a Yamaha. Did you know Yamaha is a brand of motorcycle AND a brand of pianos? I never knew that prior to attending the motorcycle show but I think it’s AWESOME. Joe is 31 and works in construction. He’s on the team building the Freedom Tower, how cool is that? He’s Irish, 6’2″ tall, full head of jet black hair, and sparkling blue eyes. He has the ever-so-slight beginnings of a beer belly. A tattoo of a mermaid/lady pirate is inked upon his forearm. My father hates him. Joe would kick your ass if he knew you were flirting with me.
So that’s “Joe”.
I haven’t had a real boyfriend in almost four years. It’s at the point where the TV series/movie/book based on my life would start referring to their heroine as “chronically single”. To the point where blogs about my life, autobiographical no less, start identifying me as such.
This was a recent realization. One likely made in the shower, on a solitary stroll, or whilst lying awake in bed. (Ok, I don’t remember where I realized it, so I fall back on cliché). The point is, I realized that however much I think I want a boyfriend, the actual prospect terrifies me. An actual flesh and body, independent minded man whom I have no control over. One I choose and connect myself to so that he is directly associated with me by a label: BOYFRIEND. A man who won’t see me as a piece of meat or just a pretty face. He’ll see all my flaws. This man will undeniably threaten my current way of life…
Yes, you guessed it: this realization was in part spurred by a man in my life who seems interested in the label. My hands are sweating just thinking about it (which isn’t really saying much, my hands are always clammy -fun fact, right? But the affliction sometimes comes in handy -pun intended- to emphasize a point).
But maybe he’s not! He hasn’t exactly said as much…I’m probably making it up! Ok, admitting you have a problem is the first step. Acceptance is a vital step toward change.