If you’ve yet to have a perfect stranger tell you how you feel, or tell you what you, yourself, has been up to, then I sympathize with you. While it’s perhaps the single most agitating thing that’s come from this blog and from my “persona” on social this past year, it’s something I think everyone should have to experience just once or twice, so that we’re all in accordance with just how senseless it is to coldly and curtly diagnose or advise a stranger.
Whether in the form of advice, a mean message from a rejected and deflected man, or anything in between, I can’t count on both hands how many people within this past year have told me that I should “drop the act”..
“Your ‘shtick is really getting old”, they’d say.. “We see right through your ice-cold, hates men little act”, they’ll sneer through my DMs or confidently message on whatever completely ephemeral mobile app they choose to fluff their feathers on.
Though most of the world gets a kick out of the candid way I speak about dating, and about the nature of courtship or hookup culture in general, there are some who seem to think it’s a little skit that I’ve been putting on, as if every morning when I put on my mascara I do some vocal warmups and rehearse the day’s narrative while I wait for my M train..
I’m sorry to say, to those of you who have it confidently devised that I’m some sort of sketch comic, that that’s far from the case.
You see, when I describe the way I speak on social as “candid”, it’s because it’s just that! I’m not sitting there in apps like, “hm, what would be a funny thing for ‘Haley’ to say to this guy.. I just want to make sure my followers get a good kick”.. Hardly..
I respond as I would even without the capabilities of screenshot, and as I would even without your waiting eyes patiently perched within my channels ready to scrutinize.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m thankful for the ability to share my experiences because, obviously, if nothing else it’s funny and something lots of young women can relate to! Also, I think it’s important for men to see that the way they talk to women, especially in the act of “courtship”, (though I’ve yet to receive flowers or sit down for a candlelight spaghetti dinner so I’m not even sure we should call it that), is often so uncool!!
Above all else, I speak candidly about my life because why wouldn’t I?
But for the homies who tell me my act is stale, or the friends that look at me, with a “tsk, tsk” practically jumping off of their tongues, there’s nothing about my approach or even personality that’s an “act”… The sheer presence of the exaggeration in my stories or recounts something I’ve always fallen victim to, as I exaggerate just as much about what I’ve eaten for dinner or how my commute into the office was..
Some may want it to be all an act.. They don’t want it to be true that they said something douchey and thus I flamed them because duh.. they’d rather my rejection of them all be a part of a larger story I’m telling.
There are times I’d love for all of this nonsense to have an on-off switch, a mask I can remove each night when I’ve grown bored, or I’m tired of the constant volleying back and forth. But like any other inherent trait, I sleep and wake just the same, and it’s just as intact.
Will this so called “act” be agile, especially moving forward into a new year? Probably, yes. Just the same as other personality traits or even methods of approach, they change with us, grow and mature with us. I don’t anticipate I’ll be 30 years old, swiping left on Bumble and giving wine-drunk recounts while my followers on Snapchat sit with their volume up, waiting for a nip-slip, but for now, while I’m out here experiencing the hilarity that is courtship, and while I, for some reason have a platform to speak about it, I’m going to do so.
And so rest assured that I, above all else, do so as Haley. Savage comments, witty comebacks, wasted rants, shameful Uber rides, deflated date recaps, stubborn hiatuses, rude rejections, colorful commentary and all. Each time, it’s just me. So if it comes across like anything other than that I can only blame my own dramatics, but here on out watch and listen with the knowledge that its far from, and think now, just how much more truly disturbing that lone fact is.