I am every man’s little sister. Obviously, no blood relation to any of these men—I am, in fact, an only child. Nevertheless…. It’s not just because I’m short or occasionally youthful looking (if you forget the unfortunate jowl situation). It’s something that I didn’t even realize I was doing.
I make myself into the little sister.
I think because I am constantly unnerved by interactions with strangers, I go out of my way to make strangers feel more comfortable when I am forced to deal with them (unless, of course, I’m ignoring them entirely—but that’s another story). For me, comfortable means presenting a non-threatening demeanor; so non-threatening that a man never sees me as anyone even remotely intriguing.
But it doesn’t stop there. It isn’t just strangers. It appears to be all men. And I’ve started wondering if the goal is to try to make the men comfortable, or to keep them at arm’s length.
Take the following situations into consideration.
There was a boy who was interested in my friend and me. Apparently, as I found out much later, he was in the middle of contemplating which one of us he would pursue (lucky us). We were getting together in a group for an event. I showed up looking casual (inspired by Laura Ashley) and talking about my personal assessment of which team had a better quarterback. My friend showed up in a mini-skirt, black stockings and tossing her hair. Yeah. I’m betting you can work out how that scenario turned out.
A guy says something borderline obnoxious, but with a rakish smile. Most of my friends would do something coquettish. I am 100% more likely to stick out my tongue and/or smack him in the arm than anyone else I know.
A man, who I know somewhat, offered to take me out for drinks. He’s not unattractive. Naturally, I respond with an adorably wrinkled nose and “fine, but there need to be televisions because the playoffs have started”.
So, let’s put this into a potential future context. Let’s picture me trying to have a conversation with a lovely specimen of the male gender. Who should we pick today? David Duchovny, it is. Now, despite the fact that he and I have encountered each other (purely platonic, naturally) on numerous occasions, I am colossally bad at having a conversation with him (as I believe I’ve pointed out before). If I were to encounter him at any point in the next 3 months he is in town filming, which of the following is most likely to occur:
- We will engage in a heated exchange about how Lebron should never even consider leaving the Cavs for the Knicks, and that Dave is a tool for even suggesting it.
- He’ll say something enchantingly wry, and I’ll yell, “I’m telling Frank!”
- He’ll say something enchanting and just the slightest bit suggestive, and I’ll respond with “Ewwwww” and smack him on the arm.
- Our conversation will be entirely mundane, but the highlight will be my attire—sweats and pigtails after not showering for two days, eyebrows that have taken on a life of their own and a maniacal need to keep my arms down because I’ve just realized that I forgot to shave, and I’m wearing a tank top.
Please begin voting. Not fair choosing “all of the above”.