It’s nice to have a tall friend who will put her hand on our your shoulder, and steer you away from the (alleged) NFL player, you’re yelling at like you’re on Jersey Shore, except it’s Santa Monica, and the bar is a lot swankier. Let’s rewind.
It was my first girl’s night out after having broken off a relationship with a sweet, but ultimately, too young man, a couple of weeks before (that’s another story).
NFL approached me and after some kind of opening chit chat about him being a California native and having gone to high school in Venice, we moved onto the conversation about what I do.
“I’m producer,” I said.
“You media people cause all kinds of problems. You make up stories,” he said.
“I don’t,” I say. “I’ve worked in news and it’s terrifying what people actually do. We don’t need to make anything up.”
He knew I wasn’t lying and seemed intrigued.
“What do you do?” I asked.
“I’m in sports,” he said.
“Oh yeah,” I say, because I hate sports, except basketball and I never recognize famous people. “What kind?”
“Football”, he said. Then, “I have money.” Like I didn’t believe he did or like, I cared.
I don’t know why I’m surprised. I’ve noticed in my dating adventures that guys do this. They tell you about their property, their salary and the money they plan to make, so that you fully understand they have value; like their actions, intellect and sense of humor have absolutely nothing to do with it.
I know the whole sports thing carries a lot of prestige with some women in America and they seek it out: I don’t. Although in my old age, I can see the simplicity (and irony) of the cash-in-on-his-adultery plan, I’m too much of a romantic to be remotely interested in the pain. Besides, I’ve made my own money. I’ve owned a home. Which is another thing men don’t want to know about. It’s okay for you to make money, as long as it’s less than they do.
“Do you have a card?” he asked after drilling me about my ethnic background –- winning.
“I don’t.” I usually do but I was disorganized when I left the house.
“Well how are we going to continue this conversation?” he asks.
“You could put my number in your cell phone?”
“I don’t have one,” he says. “You take mine.”
“I don’t call men for dates, I say.” (I learned that lesson the hard way).
Then after some jib jab back and forth, he pulls out his cell phone and says he was just “playing” me and that I should give him my number now.
“So…you want my number but you’re a sports player, and you’ve already lied about whether or not you had a phone? That’s not a great start.”
He stormed off. I shrugged my shoulders -- win some, lose some.
Now at this point, the bar was closing and I joined the conversation my friend was having with his, and we ended up joining the rest of his group and walking out of the bar. NFL stormed past all of us.
“Good night cranky,” I called after him.
Then he said, “ARE YOU GOING TO GIVE ME YOUR NUMBER OR WHAT?” (That’s written in caps because he was yelling at me. I know. I couldn’t believe it either because his tone made it seem like he was entitled to it.)
And that’s when I went to my crazy place.
I can’t remember exactly what I screamed, something about just because he played sports and had money, did he really think I was going to roll over and drop my drawers or thank my luck stars that he picked me. I do recall saying something about having my own $!@#$* money and that boys play games, men don’t.
“You’re a football player. BIG DEAL! Why don’t you start acting like a freakin’ MAN.”
I saw those words land right smack between his eyeballs and that’s when I felt the hand of my tall friend on my shoulder.
“Good night Rapunzel,” one of his friends called from the distance but I was too tired to respond.
I’m also tired of all the Arnolds, Tigers and Tonys, all the men whose big salaries have inflated their sense of self-worth and lowered the value of the women who stand by them with the expectation of a loving, faithful relationship. You’ve got money? That’s nice sports guy because I'm brokering a deal on single women's worth and the price of a real one in America just went up.
Why do you think men tell us how much they earn? Would you ever date a professional athlete?