I sent this email to Notta Goodman this morning in response to his statement that my shit was out of control I freely admit that I went over the top the night of a million emails and unanswered phone calls - but when you're convinced someone isn't listening to you anyway, it makes sense to go over the top to see if anyone is really paying attention. Given that I had said this bullshit with him reminded me of a couple of date rape situations in my past, I can understand why the man was defensive, and he may never read this letter. It will make me feel better to share it with someone, though, so I post it here with gratitude to my dear friend Mean Jean, one of the original Menopausal Stoners and a very good witch, who insisted I read Steve Harvey's book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, and with sincere appreciation for all my supportive compatriots out there in blogland who understand that this whole blog is my message in a bottle.
An Open Letter to Notta Goodman:
I continued writing to you in the face of the silence for a number of my own reasons, but I never used the blog to sort out all the mixed signals from you, as I normally would have, because I felt it would be disrespectful to you. With that avenue closed, I could only turn to you. You responded enough to suggest you were cool with staying in touch albeit at a safe distance. We did have a date planned in May, and then finally saw each other in July. You said you needed time and space, and that's what time and space looks like. When you became more responsive in August, it was encouraging, but the way you announced that you didn’t have any rubbers in July continued to bother me. Your tone pointed to an attitude about women usually associated with Republican Congressmen.
You clearly thought it was perfectly acceptable behavior to go two months without saying a word to a woman and then expect her to have unprotected sex with you with no questions asked. In addition to demanding unquestioning trust, you obviously believed birth control to be fully the woman’s responsibility despite the fact that your oldest child was absolutely unplanned and you yourself said your youngest was an attempt to stall the inevitable dissolution of your marriage. As it happened, I had just finished reading Steve Harvey’s book and decided it was time to clarify where I stood in this equation.
While I agree that there are varying levels of abuse, intentionally ignoring someone you have encouraged to passively accept your silence as logical in the circumstance – when she is asking you directly to be direct -- is so dismissive, condescending and disrespectful that it feels abusive. Further, although you have every right to be online, when you tell one woman that you can’t be in a relationship because of your overwhelming life situation and then state publicly that you’re looking for a solid relationship and wouldn’t rule out marriage in the future, you are clearly misrepresenting yourself to someone.
I repeat: At any time it would have been very easy to say, “This is all very flattering, but . . .” That you did not suggests you get an ego hit from the attention and were content to string me along until it became inconvenient. That’s emotionally abusive. Maybe not as abusive as date rape, but there are similarities between people who use women as playthings and those who consider us whores to be used at will. It’s all on the same continuum.
I never suspected you were a coward until I brought up the rubbers. I lost respect for you when you refused to even acknowledge the question. I covered my anger with adolescent romance, pushed more aggressively for an answer, and I finally found one on Match dot com. That night, you were such a chicken that I no longer saw any reason to be tactful or squeamish, but that didn’t mean I was not completely in control of my shit. I wrapped it up as tightly as I could and threw it in your face.
You can spin your own narrative so that you are an innocent bystander in all this and dismiss me as another crazy bitch with issues, but if you had been real with me, none of this would have ever happened. I refused to have unprotected sex with a man who clearly takes no responsibility for birth control and won't even say he appreciates a woman after roughly 10 months. When I asked for clarification of contradicting hypotheses, you couldn’t fall back on Occam’s Razor this time. You played deaf and let me find you on Match fishing for a solid relationship. You bet I got hostile. I’ll bet the next bitch gets hostile too, and you’ll keep trifling with us and switching us out – just like Steve Harvey said.
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