I am alone, I know it – and I even think it’s cool!

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Past issues

 

This text appeared in Wolverette #4, “Mixed Issue”.

I’m a pretty communicative person. I am known to talk to everyone if I’m in a good mood and I guess I am lucky that it has always been quite easy for me to get to know people.
alone&coolOn the other hand, I need a certain amount of alone time, an amount that I consider a bit more than average.
Somewhat normal, I’d say. It’s balanced out and I am happy that way. It seems to make sense, doesn’t it? When I want people around me, I’ll find them and if not, I just get out of their way.
Whenever I am in the mood to just, well, not talk to anybody but still don’t wanna sit around in my own room I tend to frequent cafés or bars, looking for a table with a good view (cause you know, watching people can be extremely entertaining!) and often I take a good book with me.
And you know what? This causes a problem. Not for me in the first instance! I like it that way, hey, after all I chose to be there! But when it comes to the male population of the place I’m at – well, often they don’t seem to understand what the hell I am doing there.
So the usual occurence is that sooner or a later a guy will come up, asking me what I am reading or what I am doing.
Despite the common predjudice that people who want to be alone must be in a kind of bad mood, I usually don’t care (as long as they at least ask before they sit down, behave respectfully and yadda yadda, you know…). Sometimes I happened to get to know interesting people that way!
Naive as I tend to be (oh the bliss and woe of overestimating people’s motives!) it took me a while before understanding why I frequently get „visitors“ at my table and why they are male in 90% of the cases.
Sure, there are the ones who wanna flirt and whatnot – I get that, I’m not bloody stupid! But as for the rest, well, I just thought they are the folksy type of people or – who knows? – maybe they actually are interested in the book I read.
Okay. Not saying that this is never the case but most of the time it wasn’t. The reason was the simple fact that me, a woman, is sitting there, without company.
I bet all women have sooner or later heard the classic scentence „What is a pretty lady like you doing here, all on her own?“ or at least the one or other version of this stupidity.
It seems to be absolutely NUTS to identify as female and be alone in a public space – not being ditched, not waiting for someone.
And so you are obviously sending out signals. Signals you probably even don’t know about.
One signal would be „I’m here for getting hit on.“
Alright. So I must admit I do tend to use (or used to) my aloneness sometimes to get some ass. But when I do so I don’t take a book with me! And seriously – if I am in the mood to flirt with you, honey, you can bet you will notice otherwise than just by me sitting around!
Another signal: desperate girl, actually SO desperate that she will go out alone. No friends, no significant other, no company available for her that evening. Awww…
And then come the brotherly-paternal ones, all for the sake of releasing poor little me from my dispair! Oh baby…
You cannot win in this situation unless the guy happens to be a) a decent dialogue partner and the topic of woman-alone-in-a-bar becomes irrelevant or b) it is an idiot that you can bark off within a few seconds.
Because when you truthfully try to explain that there is nothing behind this than just me enjoying a few peaceful moments they don’t get it, they don’t believe it. It seems unacceptable. Not true. Or straight crazy.
I also regularly get tips on „how to get friends“ (geee, thank you VERY much!) and I do not lie when I tell you that a month ago or so a man told me I should join the cheerleading club. Why? Because obviously I’m „hot enough“, because I’d get to know people and because every guy loves cheerleaders, I’d never have to sit alone in a bar again.
Yeah. Talk about unwanted „advice“… I consider this a highlight.
As emancipated as we like to consider ousrselves – there are still enough old fashioned ideas stuck on us.
I had to become 22 until I 1st walked into the cinema without any company. Now I enjoy it but back then I felt like a loser. Why? I don’t know. It’s not like nobody loved me, like I got ditched or whatever. I just didn’t find anybody who joined my taste in film that evening.
But can’t girls be on their own AND be perfectly comfy in this situation? I know I can now. And seriously, wouldn’t it be weird if i was the only one?
I might not be waiting for anyone and probably also not for YOU, buddy. Why should I feel happier if you come over? Sorry, my happiness is independent from being noticed by a guy. So just don’t expect me to automatically throw myself in your arms – you might be nice but you’re not my saviour.
I guess it’s got to do with the horribly outdated idea that female independence is just a myth and that when we sport this independence all too obviously (like, gasp!, eating out alone!), you know,, we’re really just desperate. For a man. Just so you know.
And maybe, just maybe, this stupid myth is one of the reasons why I sometimes need my alone time. Cause I will be the least to assume I’m only there waiting for a male.

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