The road not taken.

Warning: very wordy and slightly rant-ish post ahead.

The title of today’s blog is for two things: One,  I didn’t quite wear this to work. I wore the dress to work, but without the shirt and belt over it. For some reason, wearing the shirt over this dress makes it look shorter than it really is, and I didn’t think it was quite work-friendly. Which was disappointing, because I really like the way this looks.

The other reason is that I’ve run into a situation that is… not turning out the way I’d like it to, and it’s frustrating. It has to do with my beliefs and how they affect the decisions I make, and a male customer at work who I’ve gotten to know a little bit, and who wants to hang out but doesn’t understand why I don’t want to hang out one-on-one, and why I don’t generally ever hang out one-on-one with guys.

And by the way, when I say I’ve gotten to know him a little bit, I mean that he’s stopped for coffee three or four times, and he stays and talks for about half an hour when there’s nobody behind him, and he’s been to my church before. He shares my beliefs, and I was starting to feel more comfortable with talking to him since one of my co-workers said he talks to her for a long time as well. I had also said a few things that implied I wasn’t interested in him as more than a friend before today, so I figured he’d be content with just talking at work. And then today, as another car drove up behind him and a third car came to the other window, he said we needed to hang out. I didn’t say much other than “yeah?”, and he asked for my phone number so I panicked– which I do when I’m asked out or a guy asks for my phone number or Facebook and I have no time to refuse him nicely– gave him my number, and turned to help the customer at the other window.

He texted me about an hour later saying he wanted to go to dinner at a mexican restaurant nearby, and I unloaded on him that I couldn’t tell if he liked me or if he just wanted to be friends, along with a few other things… and he didn’t really seem to get the hint that I didn’t want to hang out. And in the conversation that followed (all via text), he either didn’t acknowledge that I kept saying I wasn’t comfortable hanging out with guys, or he didn’t get why I don’t hang out with guys one on one.

It’s something that is old-fashioned in me, and it’s the way I was raised. My brothers didn’t and don’t have female friends that they hang out with, and I only have one or two guy friends who I’d really call friends (the other ones are between friend and acquaintance. You know, those people that you talk to when you’re all at the same event, and you joke and know each other, but you don’t ever hang purposefully?).

In my world, if a guy wants to hang out with just me, it means we’re on a date and he likes me, and there has only ever been on exception to that guideline– a guy that I’ve known for at least ten years and who knows that I don’t “like” him and who I know doesn’t “like” me. I know that’s not how it always works, but that’s how it works with me. And every time a guy has gone out of his way to be friends with me, whether it’s online or in person, it has always turned out that he was interested in being more than just friends and I was not.

It’s a difficult concept to explain, I’m discovering. It’s more than just me not being comfortable with one certain guy. It’s based on past experiences, on beliefs, on the way I was raised, on personal preferences… it’s just… me. It’s the way I’ve always been and always will be. Maybe it’s annoyingly proper to some people, maybe it’ll turn out to kill any kind of friendship I might have had with this guy, but… I can’t change me for one person, especially when that person is asking me to change something about myself that, if changed, could end up causing a whole lot of problems.

So I have to think about a clear way to state why I’ll continue to say no thanks when he asks if we can hang out. I told him I’d explain the next time I saw him– at work–, and I’m hoping that I can explain it well enough that he’ll understand. Because if he still doesn’t understand, I’ll end up being painfully blunt with him and I don’t know where that will go.

I don’t even know if any of this is making sense to you all, but I needed to write it out somewhere. I’ve been mulling this over all day, and for a while I felt a little sick about it because I was just… nervous, I suppose. I really don’t like being asked out, being asked to hang out, being asked for my number, being asked to be Facebook friends… whatever else guys do. Because there’s the chance– which is now happening– that when I say no, they won’t understand why and I’ll have to explain it, or keep saying no… and it’s just hard to deal with.

I think I’ll just stop being nice to guys. Being nice always seems to lead to something I don’t want. (Okay, so I won’t stop being nice, but I AM seriously tempted.)

Please tell me I’m not the only one who finds it difficult to just be blunt with a guy, even though I know that from a guy’s perspective it’s not hurtful or rude. I wish that I could just say “no.” I’m good at sticking with my “no” once I’ve said it, but that first answer is so hard. I am frustrated that… I can’t be friendly and just leave it at friendly. I don’t want to make friends outside of work with male customers who regularly get coffee, even if they are nice and trustworthy. I just don’t do that. Is that weird?

[edit:] I just needed to clarify that this guy isn’t a bad guy, although he’s too pushy in my opinion, and also that I didn’t mean I was confused about how I felt, I meant that the more I try to explain it, the less I can find words to tell you all the complexities of the situation. I know exactly how I feel about this situation: I don’t want to cultivate anything outside of the chatting at work. It makes me uncomfortable, no matter how nice he is.

Anyway. I feel like I’ve exhausted this subject and that the more I type it out, the more confusing it’s getting, so… the end.

Do you love my ring and belt? I love my ring and belt. The belt was sent to me by the same lovely who sent me that bird necklace I’m so fond of. It’s fabulous, but for some reason I haven’t worn it until today. Probably because I have been running around like crazy lately.

The ring, I found at Icing, along with three others and a pair of earrings (yes, the ones I’m wearing today). It was $2. Originally $10.50.

I love sales. I mentioned that yesterday.

The shoes were also $2. I just remembered that.

Amazing alert: I’m not wearing anything from a thrift store! Are you surprised?

So am I.

I just realized I still have chocolate on my arm from work.

Yeah. I’m gonna go wash that off.

I hope you are all having a beautiful (and much less confusing and conflicted) Tuesday! That I just typed as Wednesday. Ahem. Me and days of the week are not getting along. Yesterday, I thought it was Saturday all day at work, and then I thought it was Tuesday at lunch time.

Hmm. Bye.

Details: Dress($13.98), Target; Shirt($7.09), JC Penney; Ring and Earrings ($2 each), Icing; Shoes($2), Payless; belt (awesome), gift. Approximate outfit cost: $27.07