Chalkboard Lessons

by Penelope Smallbone

I will not allow a boy to make me feel bad about myself. (repeat)
I will not allow a boy to make me feel bad about myself. (repeat)
I will not allow a boy to make me feel bad about myself. (repeat)
I will not allow a boy to make me feel bad about myself. (repeat)
I will not allow a boy to make me feel bad about myself….

I need to write about something that happened to me last night. I’m not exactly proud of all the details in the story, but it happened. And my philosophy is that if you don’t feel good about sharing what you’ve done, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. So here I go, ripping this bandaid.

A couple weeks ago I met a guy while I was out. He walked me home after the bar, and in my/his drunkenness, he came inside and we started messing around. One thing led to another and soon enough he was pressuring me to have sex with him. I kept telling him no, no no. And finally he pulls out the line “Look, if it makes you feel any better I get tested every 6 months and I’m clean.” (like that will convince me)

I was recently diagnosed with a minor issue that apparently is very common, but one that can be transmitted even when things are practiced safely. I’m still dealing with what the consequences of that diagnosis means for me, both physically and emotionally. It’s been a very difficult thing for me to understand.

And I snapped back at him, “Yeah, well, I get tested too, and I’m not okay right now.” He instantly backed off (like a gag reflex “instant”) and laid next to me. He asked a lot of questions and genuinely felt bad for me. Eventually he left because he was wide awake and I was ready for sleep. Unfortunately he left his keys on the floor of my room, which I did not discover until the next morning.

The next night I called him to come get his crap. I didn’t really want to see him again after what had happened, but he suggested meeting up for a glass of wine. We did. It was fine. Good conversation and he walked me home afterwards and told me he would like to be friends. That was fine with me, because I wasn’t really that into him anyway.

We’ve been calling/texting back and forth all week to get together again as friends. Last night he came to dinner with my roommate and I, and then we stopped by our neighborhood bar on the way home, which was having a completely insane open bar event. It was insane… but he was a little flirty and touchy, and he suggested we go home to escape the insanity.

I left two of my friends at the bar.

We got home and again started messing around. This time he made no attempts to do anything to me, fully knowing that he would be rejected. After about a half hour and some laying there, he got up and said, “I can’t do this.”

“I can’t sleep next to someone that I can’t have sex with. This is why I just wanted to be friends.”
I replied, “Okay… Then if we’re just friends you have got to stop trying to kiss me when we’re out.”
“Okay.”

And then he left. And I cried. He didn’t want me, and didn’t even want to lay next to me. I felt completely empty for the first time ever. And not only did I feel bad about myself because he didn’t want me, I felt bad that I had left my friends. And the real kicker is that there was absolutely no reason for me to believe that he would be a nice guy. I don’t know who I was trying to fool. All signs read “ASSHOLE.”

I started this post with the statement, “I will not allow a boy to make me feel bad about myself.” I woke up this morning and it doesn’t matter what happened last night. I’m not going to let some jerk ruin my day.

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