A lot of things happened over this weekend when I was in New York for a debate tournament. Good food, drama, debate and getting hit on by a slightly drunk West Pointer. Interestingly enough, I had debated with him a few hours earlier on whether Harry should have married Hermione or Ginny (ultimately we both agreed on Hermione, obviously). I was honestly flattered, him being very handsome and all. But, since I wasn’t into him, it didn’t have the effect of making me feel good but rather of making me think: Why do all the wrong people hit on me? I know it sounds like a melodramatic statement, and it is, but bear with me.
This past summer when I was in Lisbon, I was sitting with two friends of mine in a square playing music. A group of tourists came towards us and asked one of my friends to play music. As she was playing her guitar, one of the men approached me and started talking to me. Within 10 minutes he had offered to fly me to Milan for a free weekend of vacation and wanted my number. After repeatedly telling him that I wasn’t interested and him insisting, he uttered one of the most disturbing and hilarious things anyone has ever said to me: ‘Don’t leave! I want to have black babies with you!’ However hilarious this very true incident is, at the time I felt once again that the universe was mocking me.
I do realize that the ‘all the wrong people hit on me’ statement is over-used and over dramatic, but I think it is partially true and it is important in our lives. The common thing about the drunk West Point Guy and the Black Babies Guy is that they were blatant. There was no ambiguity as to their ultimate goal. In everyday life though, things are much more complicated. People are not that straightforward and there is a lot of ambiguity as to what friendship is and what is something more. It gets even more complicated for people with a history of low self-esteem, such as me. In those cases, even if another person shows interest, we are in denial that such a thing is a possibility and we don’t see it. Therefore, what we are left with is straightforward and ultimately wrong for us West Point and Black Babies guys or gals or whatever you are into.
What is frightening and sad is that everyone has insecurities. A huge majority of women in America have body image issues which are inevitably followed by insecurities and can seriously damage one’s self-esteem. The case is not very different with men, but percentages are lower in comparison to women. The more I talk about feeling insecure the more I discover that almost everyone around me has experienced that feeling at some point in their lives when it comes to relationships. It is a feeling that blinds us from seeing that there are in fact people who like us, a feeling that prevents us from having fulfilling and satisfying relationships with others, whether that be friendships or something more. Because I think that only if we truly love ourselves we can allow others to truly love us in the sense that deep emotional connections stem from sharing every part of one’s being without shame and fear.
I guess what I was really thinking after WestPoint guy was: why does someone I don’t like hit on me and not the person I do like? But what If I am just too blind to see that it is happening? What if the right people are there but we are too afraid and too guarded to see them? So my point for this week’s article is (because I always have one): love yourself and others will love you. But for the sake of being realistic, I will end with this: since people are extremely complicated, whether we like it or not, by loving ourselves we might not get hit on by (or be with) the one we want. Yet, we will at least be able to deal with the disappointment better. And that must be worth something. Right?
Shameless plugin of a song: Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson. Because we all need a cheer-up.