I had gone to a bar Saturday night to see a friend play with her band. I was sitting at the bar minding my own business, trying to pay attention to the music. It was getting harder and harder to ignore the conversation next to me—not that I could understand every word, but I could tell exactly what was going on. There was a twenty-something woman standing next to me, with a fifty-something guy on the other side trying to hit on her. At least, that’s how he was coming across. I’m a firm believer that age isn’t important in a relationship, but it is a point that will become relevant in a moment.
Whatever your views on the age gap are, this guy was generally being creepy and not getting the hint that she wasn’t interested in talking to him. She kept turning to me and expressing discomfort. Her body language was another hint, although more so to me than it was to him. In the process of trying to move away from him, she kept pushing up against my thigh. I’m not so sure that she was conscious of that as she did seem a bit tipsy, but I wasn’t going to argue. I didn’t push back but I didn’t complain, either.
Anyway, as I said I couldn’t hear everything. Aside from her occasionally turning to me to express disgust I wasn’t really in the conversation. However, I clearly heard this line:
“You remind me of my daughter.”
I’m not an expert on pick-up lines. I don’t want to be one, either. But even I was sitting there internally going “no, dude, no.” I then looked over to see that he produced a photo of said daughter. I couldn’t be sure but it looked like the photo was old. I have to hope that the guy wasn’t actually trying to hit on this poor woman but instead just being annoying. Either way, it was just a creepy thing to say.
She asked me twice if I smoked, hoping she could bum a cigarette off of me. I had to tell her no. I wasn’t completely lying, although I had a lapse recently, resulting in my having a pack of cigarettes at the time. Unfortunately, I left them at home. Otherwise I would help her out and step outside for a smoke with her. I don’t know if she really was interested in me, really craving a cigarette or just wanted to get away from that guy. I want to think it was a combination of all three things. I somehow doubt it, but I want to think that anyway.
Finally, while his attention was diverted, she turned to me and said something like “I’m outta here” and left. He left soon afterwards, and I got to enjoy the third set without the weird conversation next to me. It wasn’t that I minded it—especially when she kept pushing up against me—but that wasn’t what I was there for.
I did try at one point to say that he looked like he was a nice guy most of the time. She said that didn’t matter. I’m sorry, I don’t remember her exact response to what I said. I wish I did as it was clever. But she was right: what mattered was then, and that he was bothering her.
I wasn’t going to bother sticking up for her, either. For one thing, I didn’t know her. I didn’t even catch her name. Secondly, she didn’t have to stay there getting harassed by him. She was alone and I think by that point she had finished drinking. I don’t even know if she was there for the band. So it looked like she put up with it out of politeness. I’ve been in that position: not knowing how to get out of an uncomfortable situation because I don’t want to be rude. Yet afterwards I realize that the other person was the one causing the uncomfortable situation, so why would I be the rude one? Nonetheless, she could have walked away. I think she recognized that he was harmless and didn’t want to offend him.
Finally, he generally looked like a nice guy. He just didn’t have the best social skills. Plus, I think he had a few himself. I didn’t have any reason to believe that he was going to cause her harm. I think he was just lonely and his inhibitions were down. Besides, when I said that he left soon after she did it wasn’t like he followed her. He lingered for a while. So I’m not accusing him of anything.
But seriously, dude, “You remind me of my daughter” is a fucking creepy line.