“You intimidate them, Chloe.”
I would love to start this pondering off with a rhetorical question, but there’s really no point, is there? Did that make you feel weird? Good.
Apparently I have an innate ability to make people, specifically men, feel as though their masculinity is dwindling as I stare them down, and their ankles have suddenly realized the Achilles heels had been hit. They would be next.
Except, I’m not staring, I’m smiling, and I’m asking how their day was.
He says he wants to just see where things go, and I say “Nuh-uh, I know how this works. You are kinda with me and kinda with other people. Nope, you’re either my boyfriend or you're not.” Ladies and gents, he said he was my boyfriend.
Let me just throw a few examples out there:
I like this one guy, he’s cool, I let him know I like him. We hang out a few times and after a month it’s like radio silence. One of his buddies tells me I knew what I wanted in life more than his friend thought I should have. Oof.
I like this other guy, right. He’s tall and dreamy and has super pretty eyes. We text and FaceTime and look at each other weirdly in the hallway (you know, the we’re-in-eleventh-grade-but-we-feel-like-we’re-25-and-have-3-dogs-together look). Yeah, that one. Anyway, we go on a few dates, he’s sorta like a teddy bear and I dig that, and then he says he wants to just see where things go, and I say “Nuh-uh, I know how this works. You are kinda with me and kinda with other people. Nope, you’re either my boyfriend or you're not.” Ladies and gents, he said he was my boyfriend. A few months later the “intimidating” thing is brought up in conversation, and my then-boyfriend says, “Yeah, you scared me sh*tless.” COOL.
When we had the “intimidating Chloe” conversation, he said something along the lines of “Yeah, you’re intimidating, you know what you want. So many people don’t. That didn’t scare me, it was just new.”
Fast forward, now that guy and I were broken up, and I’m on a date with this other guy. It was chill, a movie and fro-yo (bad date btw — you learn nothing about the other person). I thought everything was cool, and then he seemed disinterested and our text convos got shorter and shorter and short—. One of his friends tells me that I WAS TOO INTIMIDATING. You see, folks, I drove. I also backed into the parking spot (I’ve done this five times in my whole life) because the movie theater lot has about one space open at a time if you’re lucky and I had driven right past it. So, I put it in reverse. I guess girls are not supposed to be able to reverse into a parking spot (???). Also, my driving abilities are up for debate, because every guy I drive around looks like he might cry at any point (for the record, only, like, two of my girlfriends have complained, so, THERE’S THAT).
Anyway, that guy and I broke up and I met this new guy, truly the best out of all of ‘em (don’t take people for granted, maybe even *especially* us intimidating women because it is slim pickins’ out there). I was super straightforward with him because at this point I had gone on so many dates and seen so many different guys that I knew he was either cool or he wasn’t, and I carefully filed him in the ‘cool’ category. Long story short, we started dating, and when we had the “intimidating Chloe” conversation, he said something along the lines of “Yeah, you’re intimidating, you know what you want. So many people don’t. That didn’t scare me, it was just new.”
I love soft music that makes me cry, and I write sad poetry and love notes to my friends. I also won’t let anyone push me around.
The hilarious part of all of this is I am four foot one (and a half) inches of smiles and rainbows. I only occasionally throw out some anger, and my weekends are spent hiking, eating grilled cheeses, and watching sunsets on tops of parking garages (last week I got two in!!!). I love soft music that makes me cry, and I write sad poetry and love notes to my friends.
I also won’t let anyone push me around, and I’m the person who says “What did you just say?” in crowds (pre-COVID, remember those?) when someone makes a snarky comment about a friend’s appearance.
Now, here’s where this whole “intimidating” thing may be true: last spring at a farmer’s market, I was walking along happily with a pastry I bought, when a guy came up behind me and said “willyoufilloutthecensusyou’llhavetothisfallanyway.” I spun around and said “What?” because FIRST, I cannot hear unless I am looking directly at the person speaking or am honed in on their voice, and SECOND I did not like a man approaching my seven o’clock with such rush. The three friends there with me recount the poor fella recoiling when I turned around and my “What?” sounded why-did-you-interrupt-this-beautiful-moment-between-me-and-my-delicious-pastry level mean, but in my defense, it was my normal, confused voice.
Anyway, carry on, my neighborhood friendly intimidating women. Let’s go scare people just by knowing who we are!