Thick Skin

I pride myself on having thick skin. I’ve been through a lot, but haven’t we all? That’s kinda the position I take anytime I start feeling down or sorry for myself. I realized that throughout my life, with the exception of a very brief time-frame I have never really allowed myself to grieve or even properly digest the things I have endured.

I always feel guilty for feeling any kind of negative because it’s the last thing I want to be known for and I know there are people out there who have had it so much worse.

So I was a little thrown after the Tinder guy comment. Why did I feel so affected?

So some random guy called me a cunt for not responding to his messages in what he deemed an appropriate amount of time. Who cares?

First of all, the word cunt doesn’t bother me. Not even the slightest. I find it hard to get offended over a slang term used for a body part that I embrace. I have one…it’s great, I adore being a woman. And cunt is just a word. It has no negative power unless I assign it power.

What did bother me was that a man felt that it was perfectly acceptable to unleash a barrage of insults at me over his perceived indifference to responding to him. And a stranger at that! I have never met this man in person.

What if I was sick? Or in a car accident? Or helping a friend? Or at an appointment? What if I just didn’t feel like responding?

What if I was any number of other reasonable, plausible reasons for not answering a text or in this case 27 texts?

Why did I feel the need to explain that my phone died and not only did I not respond to him but anyone else who text or called that day?

Why did this man think I owed him anything at all?

And this is not an isolated incident. Although I will say this is the first time I have been called names for not responding to a text right away. But I have on other occasions been met with questions and interrogations. This instant “gotta have it now” culture is producing a slew of entitled people thinking that they deserve everything and anything RIGHT NOW.

The other thing that really got under my skin is that a handful of people said things to me like

“well, you sure know how to pick them”

“your taste in men keeps getting better”

“where did you meet him? online? well, that explains it”

“well that’s what you get for using Tinder”

The more I examined these comments the angrier I got. This has nothing to do with my taste or choice of men. If this man presented himself upfront the way he did over that string of text messages he wouldn’t have gotten past “hello”. But the fact of the matter is, this man presented himself as a charming, funny flight instructor with a stable career who asked me out for a future date and I was interested in meeting him.

The fact that he revealed his true character ahead of time was a blessing in disguise. I dodged a bullet. But what would have happened if my phone hadn’t died that day? He would have continued to present himself as someone I wanted to at least entertain the idea of meeting until a time when he could no longer hide his true colors.

Is that somehow my fault?

Is the fact that I am interested in meeting someone I enjoy being around an excuse for his behavior? Is it because I chose a dating app that hundreds of thousands of people are using an excuse to be berated? Is it acceptable that I was treated that way because I met him online versus a traditional method of meeting someone?

The answer is NO. It is never acceptable to level insults at anyone for any reason PERIOD.

I now question the moral compass of those who asked those questions.

I was left feeling very heavy-hearted after this experience and not because I don’t have thick skin. I do. I was more disappointed in the fact that our “connected” society has left us disconnected as human beings.

 

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