Seeing the ways that people do and don’t take a global pandemic sincerely can help you expand your emotional palette. And by “expand” I mean it can inadvertently show you how to get frustrated with strangers. Running into multiple, seemingly responsible men who say they aren’t going to let the pan dulce we’re in “affect their lives” is never not baffling to me. The privilege one must feel to be able to say that. Acting like nothing’s wrong… as if well over 400,000 people haven’t died from this, just because you want to visit family and friends for every holiday and travel all around the country/world because that’s your prerogative. Well, you’re right. That is your prerogative. It’s also your prerogative to be selfish and narcissistic, a right you’re clearly exercising. I understand needing a break mentally because dealing with this is hard. But sirs, your inability or lack of desire to do what’s best not only for yourself but for the well-being of others is showing.
But that’s not why we’re here today. I bet you thought I was just going to “read” some men for being callous. Well you, dear reader, would be wrong. Let me tell you a story.
About a month ago, I got back on “the apps” as I like to call them. I’ve read quite a few pieces about dating online in a pandemic and decided to see what’s up for myself. Two weeks ago, I started messaging back and forth with a man on OkCupid. For context, he was between ages 36 and 41. He appeared intelligent and interesting, talking to him was a pleasure. I was intrigued. Last weekend, we exchanged numbers. He seemed more available to talk on the app on the weekend only so I thought I might be able to get to know him better with more direct contact. Little did I know… I gave him my Instagram so he could see “Neens in real life” (which doesn’t differ from “Neens on a dating app” but I digress). In return, because he didn’t have social media, he sent me pictures. I know what you’re thinking, not those kind of pictures. They all were selfies and there were a slew of them.
Fast forward to Monday. I got a text from him at 11:40am but I was busy and didn’t open it until a few hours later. What a surprise I was in for. It was a screen record from Twitter of a #bussit challenge video. The twist was, once the beat dropped, at the point in which the woman in the video usually has a spectacular outfit change, hair done, nails done, everything did, etc, this woman was naked, on her knees, performing fellacio. To say I was taken aback would be accurate. In that moment I was confused about so much. I texted back only “…wow” while trying to figure out how much of “the business” or an expression of my frustration I was going to give him over this. Then another text came in, it was a second video. I knew better, my gut warned me, but I opened it anyway. I hoped it would be different. I was wrong. This #bussit video started out the same, a woman in a robe, no makeup on. When the beat dropped however, she dropped down and was suddenly naked, on top of a man, riding him in reverse cowgirl.
At this point, I was offended. Why he felt it was acceptable to send me those was beyond me. Why would he send this to me mid-Monday? Why he would send this to someone he was supposedly romantically interested in without even prefacing it or giving context? I finally gathered myself and replied saying I didn’t understand why he’d send those to me seeing as they’re unnecessary, unwarranted, and rude. The parts of his response that had more than four words were as follows:
“It was just something to show as adults that this world is nuts”
“I forgot that there’s a barrier between males and females ,wheres there’s a bunch retarded dudes who messes us grown conversations to imply something for themselves”
He got blocked after that so who knows if there was anything else.
It’s not just that this was coming from a man I was considering romantically. It’s not just that this man was well beyond the age of “maturity” one should reach in order to know better. It’s that he attempted to even explain it away, in an almost disinterested way. As if it didn’t make sense that I didn’t understand this was his way of providing twisted social commentary. He stated he forgot there’s “a barrier.” A barrier between what? Sending inappropriate videos in the afternoon and being a decent human? A barrier of intelligence between the sexes? A barrier between giving any sort of warning about the content you’re going to send before sending it? Maybe just describing it to me instead of sending not one but TWO videos? What about sending me porn shows “as adults that this world is nuts”? What this shows me is you don’t have the decency to ask first before doing something inappropriate and wild. This shows me you didn’t think this would be an issue which means it must be regular behavior for you. And yes, people can very easily get carried away in a conversation and mess it up by implying sex prematurely. But you know what that necessitates? A conversation being in progress in the first place. You know what was not in progress when I received those videos? A conversation of any sort. As if sending porn to someone you hardly know is just randomly acceptable. As if I was interested in seeing some at 1:40pm on a Monday afternoon.
So to that man, I say, sir learn some tact.
And to the men previously mentioned who don’t let the pan dulce “affect their lives,” must be nice to not care.