Thursday, March 08, 2007

"My Post" by Roommate Rachel

After reading my account of Tuesday night as well as the comments, Roommate Rachel had a lot to say. I suggested that rather than leave a comment, she write her own account of the evening. Here is her perspective on what happened:

Unlike my lovely flatmate, Dolly, I am not a person who shares their feelings in a public forum. Dolly is quite right about me, I am more than a little self conscious and don't feel comfortable with people I don't know.

But I simply couldn't not write about this incident, not only because I was an integral part of it, but also because it affected me so strongly. I actually couldn't sleep last night and was quite distracted at work because, and there is no other way to put this, Ben is a fucking asshole. (And I never swear). And indeed, the whole evening was a surreal nightmare.

The “attention” that Ben paid me, well, Dolly might call it "flirting" but I would probably use a term more akin to "hostile interrogation." It was so discomfiting that I felt nauseous in my stomach for a good part of the night. Ben, who doesn't know me, or know anything about me, told Dolly right in front of me that I was "going to meet a man who was going to sweep me off my feet and be the opposite of all my expectations, who was going to tear me down and build me back up." He also said something about how he"could see that I had some sex appeal" but that, while my parents may have been revolutionaries, I am basically snobby and spoiled. Yes, dear readers, all these insightful comments spewing from his mouth in a darkened bar. He even called my education “overly expensive!” And one more thing. Dolly is right. I don't feel comfortable being touched by random strangers (probably somewhat infantile, but there it is) and she said as much to Ben. So why did he keep touching me? I don't care if he was trying to make her jealous or whatever, it was so uncomfortable.

Oh, and while I’m venting, I might as well add that he said that I have "bird nest hair.” Okay, yes, I had had a VERY long day at work, didn't have time to go home and was perhaps somewhat dishevelled and had forgotten, having had very little sleep the night before, to put in any hair product, but still it was entirely uncalled for. Plus, it was just mean.

Now, I may be naïve and unlearned, but I cannot help but feel that fundamentally there is something very wrong here. Ben is a bartender. He is in the service industry and I was a customer. I don't care if other girls think his behavior is flirtatious, I just wanted to get drunk after a long, very stressful day at work. So to me his behavior was offensive. I didn’t find him attractive. I didn’t want him to hug me.

Also, and here I lay out the gravest charge against him, I could see how hurt Dolly was. Which made it even worse for me. I wish I were a different person, I wish I would have just told him off more emphatically than I tried to do. But Dolly is right. I am not good at relationships. And I am easily flustered. Ben called me a "child." And perhaps he is right.

But to see the pain in Dolly's face, not even to see it, to know it, it tore at my heart. I know that girls compete with each other for boys, but Dolly is my friend. She has pulled me through some hard times this autumn and gives me good advice. All of you readers know her as a witty, wise and honest writer. I know her as flesh and blood. As someone who made me soup. Who always invites me to her parties. Who drags me out when I am feeling antisocial. Who lends me her books and offers to help me apply the makeup I never end up applying. Who makes me laugh. Dolly is one of my dearest friends, and she always will be.

I could write more, but this much I think is enough for now. I cannot believe that Ben was sincere in his attentions for isn’t flirting supposed to be kind? I can only conclude that he wants to exact some sort of revenge on Dolly. Which is disgusting. And really there is nothing more to say.


Vicious said...

Well! There it is then. Well done.

clarissa said...

it is interesting to read how RR interpreted bens actions. dolly, you are one of the most optimistic and romantic people i've ever met (where to me a swan is just a big bird), and as such i really do have to wonder if you are giving BB too much credit as a person or as a romantic figure or what.

i know in the past when i've been all smitten i've read volumes into everything. like, back in college when me and the pyromaniac broke up and i went through my brief period of carrying a torch (no pun intended) i'd try reading volumes into our sparse interactions to try to find all this meaning and subtext, when in truth i'm sure someone with an objective eye would've just told me he was disinterested in me or providing closure(and kind of crazy too). but to me at the time i was trying to search every word or silence for some deeper meaning that really wasn't there.

i guess what "bothers" me for lack of a better word is that your previous post read like you were envious of the interactions that BB & RR were having. that he seemed invested and interested and attentive, where RR seems to feel he was crass, rude, insensitive and pushy with her...which is not the kind of stuff you should want from anyone, let alone someone you have feelings for.

maybe he's just oblivious and was using canned lines to sweep RR off her feet that work on other patrons but just pissed her off, maybe he was flirting with her to exact some sort of revenge because of your hooking up with MM (hey, am i one of the few names lacking alliteration around here?) or maybe his schtick is to try to work and impress all the female clientèle.

i dunno. for whatever reason he is striking me as manipulative and a user.

you deserve 100% better than this nonsense. maybe ben can step up to the plate and deliver that still, but at this point i don't know (but again i haven't met ben or seen your interactions so who am i to judge? i am just tired and cranky and prolly not making sense.)

Ana Renee Jones said...


Wow. You are blessed in your life. Your friends love you, you're talented, and have many things to be thankful for (including having a great roommate who obviously thinks highly of you). I won't comment on Ben, because it's not my place. However, I will say it appears he can't add anything of substance to your already fulfilling life. I have faith that you will proceed in a way that is best for you.

Take care,

Damsel Underdressed said...

Dolly, you are so lucky to have a good friend like Rachel. Girlfriends' opinions of guys are SOOOOO important. She is able to see him clearly while you are a bit lovestruck and seeing him only through rose colored glasses.

Her account on the whole evening just makes me believe that what Monicker said on your last post is really the case. deserve better than his childish antics. If he is trying to make you jealous, then he is immature. And the comments about her education and her hair and everything else really does portray him to be an asshole.

I know it is hard when you have such a crush on someone but he really may not be good for you. I hope you can overcome this soon and fairly unscathed. I really do. You deserve better.

Auntie Mom said...

Clarissa summed things up nicely. I'm with her on everything but the possibility Ben can redeem himself. He's so not worth your time, but your crush has made you see things so differently than they are - and believe me, I've been there too. (Can you say Ed?)

More than anything, I hope you have a great trip next week. That you are able to stop thinking about this altogether. That you meet some sexy foreign man who does things to you that you can't even pronounce. :)

Pargolo said...

I can't really add to what has already been said so eloquently in previous comments; but in short; you are a warm, funny, and talented writer; you have friends who love you, and who can give you perspective. Remember to be good to yourself; and enjoy europe. It has a way of taking the sting out of the nastiest wounds.

Vespertine said...

Wow. Dolly, I`ve been following the Ben-thread since the beginning, and I have to say, this post gave me a totally new perspective. What struck me was Ben`s comment to Rachel about "tearing her down and building her back up again". I`m sure he saw that as a psychologically astute remark that demonstrates his worldliness and wisdom about ingenuous women. Frankly, that`s bullshit. What he describes is a cycle of psychological abuse. It sounds to me like Rachel doesn`t need to be torn down. Not every woman needs to be sexually outgoing-- I`m sure that under the right circumstances and with a man who cares for her, Rachel is perfectly capable of being emotionally and sexually generous. But that`s her choice to make. There is no need for someone to violently resculpt Rachel in order to make her a happy and satisfied woman.

Ultimately, Ben`s comment to Rachel reveals him as a completely narcissistic tool with sociopathic tendencies. He clearly has no ability nor interest in understanding another person`s way of thinking, and only sees women as malleable creatures that should fit the mold he has predesigned in his pointy little head.

Sorry to be so aggressive about this, but I`ve had it with this man making Dolly upset...He`s soooo not worth it. Dolly, you deserve a man who sees how fabulous you are-- even without heavy black eyeliner.

Doc Love said...

Text messages from the last few days.

"I think dolly and RR should both hook up with Ben."

"This Ben story line is getting tiresome, and this rachel chicks sounds like a complete bore."

"Dolly needs to start having more one night stands."

"She needs to get back to her slutty roots. Screw Ben."

Alexander said...

I'm skeptical of Roomate Rachel's post... Seems more like she backwards rationalized the experience to achieve the outcome (i.e. maybe protect her roomate). I'd wager that if you could get her feeligns and intepretation in the moment it was happening, they would be different. Thanks for her post and yours, they were both very insightful.

goldtoothchimp said...

BB might have been a little interested at one time buy Dolly never made her intentions clear so he probably lost interest. Now he probably knows she's making out with other guys (Mitch)and he's probably convinced Dolly is playing games with him which in a way she has been.
I never understood why a pickup artist (dolly) never made her intentions known (like step 1 in a pickup).
a lesson to everyone, If you're interested in someone, nut up and take a chance or suffer what dolly has been suffering for months.

goldtoothchimp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
goldtoothchimp said...

one other observation: Ben was quite obviously using pickup techniques with Rachel. Negging her, Kino, and other psychological tactics. It seems this pickup stuff is used by everybody lately. It has gotten completely out of hand!!

Auntie Mom said...

Yo chimp,

Who said Dolly's a PUA? (She's not.) And why do you have to kick her when she's down?

monicker said...

Oh, my God. I take back my previous comment - Ben now seems to me to be nothing more than a thoughtless, arrogant child. The comments he made directly to Rachel, as well as the continued uninvited physical contact, were completely uncalled for.

Definitely puts things into perspective.

Omar said...

Ben was trying classic cocky-funny bantering PU tactics. It is obvious from Rachel's description that he has been reading this material.

The problem is, it sounds like he didn't have the warm and friendly mindset for these tactics to actually work, so they backfired.

Casimir said...

Haha, Ben's an uncalibrated PUA. He'll learn though.

Interesting thing about being a semi-uncalibrated PUA (like me) is that people tend to either love you or hate you, simply based on your mood one night or a single well-executed or mistaken remark.

Your social interaction style is outside your comfort zone so your results become wildly variant.

In this situation, it is likely that if Ben had been in a different mood, along with Dolly and/or her friend, and some things had gone randomly differently, they might have both been in love with him.

The point is that you're not responding to who he is. You're assuming you know who he is based on a microscopically thin slice of his behaviour.

Much as when Dolly was in love with him, you guys now hate him based on almost no new information.

A fascinating commentary on how quickly people judge and how blindly they follow their emotions.

Constant Dater said...

A fascinating commentary on how quickly people judge and how blindly they follow their emotions.

Or, you know, demonstrating Don't Act Like A Douchebag Or Else You Will Rub People the Wrong Way.

Casimir said...

"Or, you know, demonstrating Don't Act Like A Douchebag Or Else You Will Rub People the Wrong Way."

The problem is that the line between "douchebag" and "confident, funny, cocky, attractive man" is EXCRUCIATINGLY thin.

The reason David D's "Cocky Funny" works is because it is very easy to screw up, and most men don't have the balls or confidence to act this way.