Dealing with rejection

A good reminder, I guess, even though it feels like it might kill me.

I was reading this blog from the fantastic Crunk Feminist Collective a few days ago, after wading through some heavy transitional growth crap that I’ll write about in a little bit:

Truth be told, it sucks to feel like on the one hand, good long-term relationships are hard to come by (and 70% of Black women with advanced degrees are single, mind you) and on the other hand, your sexual empowerment strategy is literally a life and death situation, every single time.

This is the kind of ish that professional women of color confront on our journey to trying to find the balance, the all, that highly educated professional white women rarely have to think twice about. {Good reply here though.} I mean, fuck ALL. Can I just get some?!

But I know my desires are healthy. Human. Holy, even. I also know that #AClosedMouthDon’tGetFed. So I have no choice but to keep asking, hoping that in “asking, it shall be given, that in seeking I will find.”  And along the way, I will remember Joan (Morgan)’s most important words from Emotional Justice:  ”I try to be as fearless as possible in my love practice.” Word. May courage be my angel.

Reading it made me think about all of the advice I’ve heard over the years about how much men really love a forward, assertive woman. Common conceptions related to this theory include: Guys always have to approach women, so they like it when women take the pressure off and flirt with them first; A truly confident woman is really sexy and attractive to guys; The early bird gets the worm.

You get the point.

I tried this theory on for size a couple of times. I thought,  If only I could start going after what I wanted in relationships the same way I went after what I wanted professionally, I could absolutely undercut those stupid statistics about educated black women. Because I am totally on Team Awkward Black Girl, this led to all kinds of hilarious moments.

I maybe mentioned this before, but I’m taller than the average woman. I go to the club and I spot a handsome man so much taller than me, that I feel like I have to say something. He’s probably 6’7”. I am in his general vicinity, wondering why approaching him isn’t as easy the movies make it look.

When he’s close enough, I still have to shout because the music is really loud. (Matthew McConaughey, by the way, was in a VIP section that was so small he was the only person in it, standing behind a velvet rope.)

“I bet people always ask you how tall you are, huh?”

He looks down at me with an awkward smile. He blinks at me. “No, never.”

Oh, but my sarcasm meter was broken! Was he being sarcastic? He had to be right? And then…I don’t know what to say now… “Oh, ha, ha. That never happens to me either.” Awkward pause. “Are you from around here?”

He shook his head, turned around and walked away. My brain screamed Fumble! before I finished my drink and tried to go find my friends to help me dance with my wounded ego. No, it wasn’t fatal. But I felt like it was really, really close.

On the bright side, I learned that night to have compassion for men who are brave enough to make the approach. I still have this idea that guys  should “man up” and go for it anyway, but I do understand the sometimes fleeting humiliation that comes with being rejected. I think that guy was the last one I even tried to holler at. Maybe that was over five years ago now. When the wounds are deep, the time just all becomes a blur.

One thought on “Dealing with rejection

  1. So my friends and I have been practicing geisha techniques. The difference has been AMAZING. We’ll have to chat more about it offline or something, but I’ll send you a link or two.

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