Sigh. I’m sorry to complain, and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but… why is it that so many random men I barely know all seem to love me… but… the one man I love (and who actually knows me) does not?
(I know, I know. I hear you. It’s just………..)
Okay… maybe some backstory is needed here to explain my angst.
I am (usually) the type of person who gives other people hugs. I get it from my mom. If I see someone I know and like, I will welcome them into my presence with a quick, warm hug. Please note that I said quick. I am not, in other words, a hug lingerer. If you ever do find me lingeringly hugging someone, it’s because I flat-out, absolutely adore and love that person and have no will or desire to let go. Only a few carefully chosen people in my life and heart have ever matched this description. My daughter, for example, is one of them.
So… it just sort of struck me as odd the other day when someone I scarcely know — and by scarcely, I do mean scarcely — reached out to hug me and I, in return, quickly embraced-and-released him according to my natural instinct to do so when in the company of someone I scarcely know who is reaching out to grab me unexpectedly. I tried twice to release. He, however, did not release either time. Instead, he clamped onto me tighter, holding me against him… and finally said, “We could stay here forever.”
AGH. Exit, stage left.
He’s a nice man and all, but… that was when I wrenched myself away from him and motioned politely that it was time to go.
It reminded me of the time back in college when one of my classmates invited me to his apartment to study over dinner. I spent the evening fending off his romantic advances. His efforts were swiftly concluded when he began to stroke my arm, and then forced my hand up to his mouth to kiss my palm. To this day, I cringe when I hear the words “pasta primavera”. That’s the meal he had made us. I dashed away fast enough to leave him with lots of leftovers. And, of course, I never went back.
If I recall correctly, this happened the same year as The Spaghetti-Os Incident… when I dared to venture into another young male classmate’s lair to make a simple phone call and ended up looking down at him on his knees in the hallway, as he begged and pleaded with me (of all people) to stay the night, “no strings attached”.
Ugh. (Again.) This is suddenly bringing up a lot of similar memories of incidents I haven’t thought about in years….
For instance, the cable guy I met one year when signing up for cable service. He told me I smelled “really good”… and a few months later… called me up on New Year’s Eve (an unprofessional use of a private phone number, I might add) to tell me that he hadn’t stopped thinking about me and asked if would I want to go out with him sometime. Luckily, I wasn’t home to receive his call in real time, but he had left a message. When I called his manager to report the incident, the manager’s reply was, “Wow, you must be really hot.”
No. That wasn’t it.
Then there was the man who ran across the street toward me while I was watching a band play at the annual Chili Cook-Off downtown, just to tell me he thought I was “beautiful” (he was clearly in need of glasses)… and the taxi driver in Chicago who told me I looked “like the sun”. (I suppose my blonde hair was intensely, blindingly blonde that day.) There was also that time when a close friend of mine asked me seriously at lunch one day, “So… are guys, like, constantly asking you out?” Hmm. Maybe they were. Maybe they weren’t. It didn’t matter anyway. I would’ve said no to them (for very good, varying reasons).
Oh! and here’s one final story: There was a young man who had been following me down every aisle at Walmart one year. At first, I thought he was just shopping… until he finally crept up close enough to me to say, “You look amazing, by the way….” (He said “by the way” as if we’d been having a conversation with each other in real life other than just in his head.) After that, I skidaddled off to make my purchases and drive home like the wind. Perhaps if he had approached me in a more normal way (as opposed to his stalker technique), he might have stood a chance…. (might have).
Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope!
There’s got to be one lingeringly huggable man out there for me….
In summary: Being in love with someone who is not in love with you is kind of painfully miserable.