Alright, I’m going to get this out of the way right now: NO, this is not some lame attempt at a humble brag, like “Oh look at me, I’m getting hit on because I’m so amazing.”
This is not some “toot my own horn” post. I think you know me better than that by now :o)
OK, glad we cleared that up. Now onto the post:)
Friday night. 9pm. I’m at Whole Foods. Now, before you scoff, like, “Looooser” a la, Ace Ventura, just give me break. I was out until three the night before at a birthday party, and sometimes, a girl just needs a night to recoup with some dried mangos and Netflix.
So back to the story. It’s a Friday night in NYC, and I’m at a grocery store. In my “lounge wear,” aka: my, I’m-not-planning-on-seeing-anyone clothes, hair’s a mess, one coat of mascara – if that. Basically, I was a hot mess.
And I was buying dried mangos.
In Whole Foods.
At nine o’clock on a Friday night.
In New York.
So I’m walking in the produce aisle, and this guy approaches me. And, okay, he’s pretty cute. Whatever. Not really my type. But I was not in the mood to talk to anyone. Not lookng the way I did — especially not a boy.
So he tries to strike up a conversation with me. And I just pretend not to hear him. I’ve got my headphones in — which weren’t on, BTW. But the guy is like, smiling and being super friendly, so I take out the ear buds, and acknowledge him.
“You’re beautiful. Let’s go grab coffee.”
I’m like, uhhh. I’ve lived in NYC for far too long to fall for that, buddy.
But he just goes on and on and on, trying to strike up a conversation with me — Telling me how he wants to meet a girl at a grocery store on a Friday night because that means she’s not out at the clubs. He’s an investment banker on Wall Street. Originally from the midwest. A kale enthusiast. He’s persistently engaging with me.
And let’s be clear here: it’s not like he was some big scary guy, okay. I didn’t feel like I was in any danger. He was a suuuuuuper nice guy. And short. I mean, let’s be honest: I could have taken him if I really needed to.
But here’s the thing: I’m not a biotch. I give people the time of day. This is just an extension of my perfectionism and “people pleasing” tendencies. So tonight, I was trying to get away from him, sending him the signal that I’m not interested. But doing so in a polite manner.
To make a long story short, he chats me up around the entire store as I’m shopping, trying to engage with me and agree to go on a date with him. He even walks me to the check out line. I literally could not get away from him! I just couldn’t get it through his head that I wasn’t interested.
Finally, as I’m walking out the door, I go, “Look, buddy. I’m getting in a cab now. Goodbye.”
And (for my mother who’s probably freaking out right now): just so you know, I had the cabbie take me somewhere that wasn’t my house just to be safe in case he was following me. But I didn’t get that sense from him. This was just a guy who was desperately trying to get me to go out on a date with him.
But when I got home, I was angry.
I was seriously ticked off.
I was mad at myself. I couldn’t even enjoy my dried mangoes because I was in such a fury of self-anger.
And as I was getting ready for bed, and my gums started hurting from brushing my teeth so furiously, I decided to check myself and figure out where this emotion was coming from.
And here’s what I learned:
I did not stand up for myself at Whole Foods.
My behavior, in allowing that guy to persistently try to flirt with me and not just saying “F-Off, Goodbye, I don’t want to talk to you, you’re bothering me!” but instead, being polite, so as not to hurt his feelings or his ego – In doing that, I was sending myself the message that I didn’t value myself enough to do what was right for me. I was too worried about not letting this guy down, that I had to endure being hit on for 15 minutes.
My behavior sent my brain that message that, “You know what, self? I care more about this random guy’s feelings than I do about my own! I would rather not stand up for myself than tell this guy off and bruise his ego.”
And you know what that speaks to? My self-worth – what I see my own value as being.
The feeling I had when I got home – that anger – came from deep inside my spirit. My behavior had struck a nerve and tapped into a place of brokenness that I thought was further along in the healing process than apparently it actually is
I deserved to tell that guy off from the get go. I was worth more than putting up with that crap. Had one of my friends been in that situation, I would have gone all “Bye Felicia” on his arse and told him off like, “She’s. Not. Interested. Buh-Bye Now.”
But I didn’t. And instead, I put up with it. Putting his feelings ahead of my own.
That is going to change. It’s time that I stop trying to please everyone. It’s time that I begin to treat myself with the dignity that I deserve. Because I am worth it, dammit.
And so are you.
Growing to believe that, is a journey. One that, if I’m honest, I thought I was a lot farther along on, than my behavior tonight communicated.
There’s no quick fix. It is a day by day transformation. One that I am thankful I don’t have to do it on my own. I’ve got Jesus for that. The key is learning to accept and embrace the work He’s doing on my heart.
Grocery shopping will never be the same. For it will now remind me that I am WORTHY. I am worthy of respect. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of forgiveness. And I am worthy of standing up for myself.