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.
25 responses to “What I Learned from Getting Hit On at Whole Foods, and No, It’s Not What You Think”
Who does that? I mean seriously, who lingers at Whole Foods on a Friday night waiting to meet someone then follows them around the store when they don’t really seem that interested. That’s just weird or maybe it’s the new thing and I am just out of touch with reality! But glad you were able to learn from it, move on and come out stronger after analyzing the whole situation.
I know! I got home and I was like, what just happened?? I mean, I’m pretty street smart. I’ve lived in NYC for 4 years now and I definitely have been around the block so to speak. (Not like THAT lol) The thing was, he didn’t seem like a creep or anything. Not a bit. Which was the weird part. He just seemed like a really friendly -and way over confident- guy that was genuinely looking for a date at a supermarket on a Friday night. And a guy that was so confident that he was “a catch” that he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. It was seriously the strangest situation I have been in in a long time. I wish i could go back in time and just tell him off from the get go!
I hope you aren’t thinking less of yourself for NOT telling him to eff off. I know this is the way many women handle this type of thing; it isn’t that you are particularly ‘weak’ or anything; this is more about him being a jackass then it is about you failing to respond appropriately. In my opinion men who act all nice about their arrogance are the worst because it is like they disguise who they really are in niceness. But it is so hard to see it for what it is when you are in the moment. Yes, something to work on-but trust me, most of my female friends (and me) would have had a similar reaction.
Thank you for that encouragement. I agree. Just something to think about for me. 🙂 thanks for you comment! Have a great night!
Wow, I have only just come across your blog. I somehow stumbled across it and started reading this post. Apart from the fat that it is brilliantly written and your story was so well narrated that I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time reading it, the subject really struck a chord with me. I am exactly the same. I mean EXACTLY the same. Recently staying in a hostel overseas I was almost pulled into ‘sight-seeing’ with a guy who was also staying there, purely because I was too polite to say ‘no’ and the whole time feeling annoyed and frustrated with myself. Thank you do much for this post. It really opened my eyes to what I let happen to myself by always trying to be nice. You are right. We should certainly value our own feelings over those of a random person we don’t even know. You have really changed my perspective on this, so thank you !!!
Thank you so much, Anna, for this thoughtful comment! Yikes, “sight-seeing!” Yeah, I definitely need to work on not being so polite. Actually, I was at Whole Foods this evening, and ANOTHER GUY tried to hit on me! But I was actually really proud of myself because I was firm and didn’t respond with politeness or “niceness” — I smiled and then proceeded to a different aisle without even responding. Whole Foods, man. Apparently its the new “pick up spot” -_- Thanks for checking out my blog! xx
Don’t take it out on yourself for being kind. Kindness is an attribute of the highest order. As long as he didn’t trespass comfort barriers, despite his persistence I personally believe you handled it more than well.
Putting others ahead of one’s self is chivalrous and what is missing from much of society. Perhaps your kindness to this guy will keep him from turning into a monster if he deals with other women. Maybe if you had said something vulgar to him, it may have been the trigger to him behaving badly to other women in future.
I’m not at all saying continue talking to randoms if you don’t want to, all I am saying is this situation is already in the past and the way you handled it was more than adequate. No need to feel bad about it.
Sometimes the ego plays tricks on us to lure us into bad behaviour. Eg… Why weren’t you tougher, next time tell the next guy to fuck off….. Etc when the next guy could be just as friendly, friendlier or innocent of anything more than politeness. We live in such a pessimistic world that I’d rather have high hopes of people and be let down than have low hopes of people and never rise up to witness glorious people their are out there.
One things for sure, I enjoyed your writing style.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate this fresh perspective! A lot of truth here. Thanks for making me think this Tuesday morning:) have a wonderful day! Thanks for stopping by!
*there not their
Yeah, why is that?I don’t consider myself unattractive, but I’m not Olivia-freaking-Munn. I never get hit on anywhere, but I’ve gotten attention in Whole Foods on several occasions. I think the atmosphere is what gets people going inside that store. The lighting is low, the prices are high, and every isle smells like essential oils and gourmet food. People feel like the best possible versions of themselves, and that comes with a sense of entitlement. It’s good for an ego boost, though. Thanks for the funny post! 😉
Thanks Sara! Haha your description of WF is spot on! Hehe thanks for stopping by! Have a good night 😍
Well, Beebs, I have never been hit on for my looks but rather for my brain. And not really hit on either but…what’s the word…exploited? I guess about the same thing. I can totally relate to the sentiment here in your post. Thanks for sharing. I started packing on extra weight in high school. I hadn’t learned my lesson to say, Buzz off! But I should have, and I have tried to do so since. I was overloaded, and I just let things be. Status quo. I have tried to change since then. Tried to develop armadillo skin. Like you say, love oneself. Back then, I got asked by the school counselor to tutor in the fall of my sophomore year. I accepted and tutored. Every night after school. I tutored this Latino boy. Then there were others. A transfer student. The cute girl (that didn’t last long.) Athletes, two in particular. Others as well. Some more, some less. By my senior year in high school, I had to arrive nearly an hour early every day for school to tutor not one but a commons table full of kids. One in particular, one of the athletes. I kept getting the sense to just say, I won’t tutor you, anymore. One of those I-don’t-want-to-hurt-you excuses to myself. So I trudged on, punishing myself with the drudgery. So unfulfilling. I was just–doing it. Not enjoying it. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to say something. The depression was distracting. I had a life to live, and the depression wasn’t helping. I went to my religious instruction teacher to ask what to do about depression, but he was no help. Turns out the kid I tutored so long died in a car crash about two years later, he and some of his friends. All that for nothing. All that tutoring for nothing. Oh well. Mistakes are crap.
I think the biggest problem with not telling him to buzz off was that my priorities suffered. I keep having dreams that I never finished high school, and I wonder sometimes if this is the reason behind those dreams. I was (you gotta remember this is a small town) honor society president, academic decathlon captain, seminary council mission leader (ecclesiastical), first assistant to the bishop (religious), and the premier athlete on the cross-country team (no official title). Anyway, any of these could have taken priority in its proper place had I let it. This is what I meant by packing on extra weight. I was applying to universities for engineering, visiting universities, etc., anyway, you get the picture. I feel for you suffering so much right at the end of high school. Must have been hard to not be able to walk with the class. Sure beats having to do the valedictorian speech, though. Sorry, long-winded again. huhuhuhu.
I have been frequently criticized for the choices I have made since high school, particularly those who designed a plan for my life in their heads of who I would be and what I would become. Expectations are crap. They should have crowned someone else their king if they wanted a successful person to look up to. Sometimes I just wish I could walk up and down the halls of high school and just be a completely different person than I was. I would live to tick people off rather being the “good guy” who will always tutor those who do tick everyone off, earn their grades for them, and wish them God’s speed while they make double-tongued promises. It’s not that I like being bad. I just hate being judged by free-loaders. I do wish I could go back. I know I told you I never would, but I think I would if it could mean getting in a fight or two before it constituted assault. In today’s world, it’s better to be feared than loved. I don’t know why that is, exactly?
Hi Dan, thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry that you went through that Bligh school kids can be mean. But I do think it’s really beautiful that you put yourself out there to help those kids. It shows a lot about your character:) hugs xox
Thanks. You should have a book deal by now, shouldn’t you? With the following that you have, it can’t be long. (Unless that’s not something you want.)
Haha oh gosh If only!! **dreams**
Can I have an autographed copy? I mean, may I? Sorry. I have no manners. 🙁
I think you handled that great! You never know how he may have reacted if you were rude to him, especially since he already seem like a freak following women around food stores on a Friday night. You should not beat yourself up so much! I feel you don’t give yourself as much credit as you should and that my dear you need to change. 🙂 Great story!
I know! It was such a bizarre situation. alright, I’m officially accepting your challenge to not be so hard on myself. It’s “doin’ nothin’” for me! Thanks for your great perspective. And again, thanks for reading and responding to my posts tonight! You rock 🙂
There is such a thing as being honest with politeness, and even then, I usually am too concerned on hurting someone’s else’s feeling. Even when a person has clearly crossed a personal space boundary line. But I appreciate how you discussed self worth. There’s nothing wrong in being honest, and I do believe some people can’t take a hint.
There was a man at a church I was visiting, this is a coming up post too ironically, and he had NO sense of boundary space. He would stand right next to me, less two inches apart from my body, and speak to me. My husband was right about to place himself between me, and this man.
Not one person at the church did anything, and it was only after I had left, I was told, “He had a stroke, so sometimes he isn’t aware.” But no one told me that, and it taught me sometimes we have to push ourselves in being honest. We can’t hope someone else will step in, not everyone will.
I agree to be protective because you don’t know how another person will react, but still we deserve to take care of ourself, and make sure people don’t walk over us. A lesson, to this day, I still work on.
Oh wow what a situation. I can definitely attest to stroke survivors needing a little extra patience/grace when it comes to things like that. But wow yeah I would be really uncomfortable too. I think you’re right though – being honest and standing up for ourselves is not a bad thing at all! Hugs and love xox
Right exactly, if we had known then maybe that would help a little bit. But we didn’t. We just knew as soon as service ended, and people started to leave, this man would always approach us, and not allow us to leave the pew. And not having any knowledge of why, or someone intervene for us, it was very frustrating, and confusing.
Oh gosh yeah that would be a very confusing and unsettling spot to be in.