“When you know better, you do better” is maybe life’s most laughable platitude. Has anyone ever even pretended to take that to heart? There’s a reason that even the most discerning of society – moms – have homes littered with pillows and hand towels that say “I’m a hybrid – I’m fueled by chocolate and wine!” and “I can’t calm down – I’m out of wine!” and it’s because life is full of regret.
Knowing better and doing better is a U-turn opening, and then there’s us smiling in our car, driving directly and proudly into the median. Not me personally, just people I know. I make perfect decisions. But this might ring especially true for people of a certain orientation who spend time and energy on women of another orientation. That is one hypothetical for, again, you and not me.
Rejection is hard enough without the dramatic unfurling of an “oh honey” banner in the background, so I can’t imagine this an easy journey. What’s worse is that cultural visual cues have crossed the party line, and so this goof seems doomed to repeat itself. Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time it happens.
Immediately ask another question
It should look something like this:
“Hey, we should go out sometime.”
“Oh… That’s really flattering. I’m actually straight.”
“Have you ever been to the Empire State building?”
Just like that. Imagine. How unsettling! Maybe you do this with everyone you meet because you are some sort of statistics wizard, data-collecting and odds-testing every one of your daily interactions. She’ll leave the conversation thinking she’s met someone who 1) asks out every person they meet and 2) has possibly been conducting a life long survey. What a strange person you are, she might think with a sip from her martini, but notice what you aren’t: one to be pitied.
Just do anything else
Commitedly, which is not a word, but I need you to consider it and then embody it fully. This was simply an inconsequential meeting in the middle of your busy schedule. If the only thing that’s around you is a Sunglass Hut, go inside of it with the efficiency of a dad on a Saturday. Ah, yes, the new sunglasses you’ve been needing. Time to try on exactly one pair and feel satisfied that they meet your only requirement: that they rest on the tops of your ears without then sliding down the rest of your face.
Set aside an appropriate grieving period
Three, eight months? Whatever feels right to you.
Talk to a trusted friend
Don’t assume this is something that needs to be kept to yourself. Reach out. Remember your chosen family. If the friend you first contact doesn’t laugh at you, go to another friend. Do this until you find a friend who laughs at you.
Is this like the time you woke up from a dream where you were Rihanna’s girlfriend only to realize you weren’t Rihanna’s girlfriend and then were deeply affected for the rest of the day? What’s going on in your life, babe? Oh, anyone can have a podcast or be a DJ and so why can’t you ask out this clearly straight woman? Get it together, you messy bitch!
Order something off Anthropologie
Reframe the rejection
And by reframe it, I mean rewrite it. Recently a friend took her child to get a haircut and the experience was so tantrum-riddled that it ended in her child throwing up in her hand while they sat together in the barber’s chair. On the ride home she decided to record herself asking him how it went. “Jack, how did the haircut go?” to which he responded with ease, “Very, very well.” And why not? This is a gorgeous move universally available.
Find an ocean
Lie on your back and let the current take you past the break. Float until you hear colors.