When I get asked out by a creepy library patron, my default response is to say that I have a boyfriend. Even if I didn’t have a boyfriend, I would probably say that because it seems to be the only way to tell an inappropriate and usually far too old man that not only are you not interested, but you have something else going on in that area of your life already. The problem is, every time I say it, I feel frustrated with myself and think that there must be an equally good way to tell a gross old man to fuck off, without feeling anti-feminist.
In the case of the gentleman (16 years older than me, looks homeless but may not be) who presented me with a single pink rose on Valentine’s Day that he obviously bought at CVS and asked, “Would you like to go for a coffee sometime?” I wanted to say “No, I would not.” I mentally wrestled with myself before I answered him and sighed heavily before finally saying, “I have a boyfriend.”
Somehow, it seems more rude to reject them outright without having a valid (in their eyes) reason. Just saying, “No I don’t want to have coffee with you” is like me rejecting them as a person even though in actuality I can think of about a million things I would rather do than even be next to these men in the line at Dunkin Donuts. I do reject them as people because I know that we would have nothing in common, I’m not interested in the slightest, and I’m not accepting new friends at this point in my life.
Unfortunately, playing the boyfriend card on my previous library stalker didn’t deter him from spending far too much time trapping me in conversation, giving me his phone number and writing a letter to my boss about my exceptional customer service that prompted her to ask me ‘Who is this guy?” So even my go-to doesn’t even work as well as it should.
Perhaps what I need is to just stop thinking of these guys as people and just be rude to them. How do other ladies deal with unwanted advances? Is there a magic phrase, or is it case-by-case? My stunt ring may have worked at my other job, but I haven’t worn it yet at my new places, and really am sick of having to take that tactic.