I’d been texting with a handsome British guy over the past few weeks. We initially met on Tinder. I did what I typically do – re-open my account, swipe around, make a few matches, engage in a handful of empty conversations, delete account. He was persistent, though, and found me on Facebook when I’d gone AWOL on Tinder. This is where I should maybe have seen this as an intrusive red flag, but instead I thought, “well, he must REALLY be interested, give him a chance.” We messaged a few times and I gave him my number.
We’d been texting away, without much of a hint toward flirtation – talking about our jobs, our kids, and our nerdy habits including a shared love of Pokemon Go. And then it happened.
Out of nowhere, he sends me a picture.
Now let me preface this by saying that he didn’t ask if I wanted a picture, we weren’t talking about anything contextually relevant to said picture, and we weren’t in any habit of exchanging photos, aside from the time he asked for one, and I took a selfie in an ugly sweatshirt because I’m terrible at dating.
So what was in the picture? I’ll bet you think he channeled his, uh, inner Anthony Weiner. Not quite! But what he sent had the same terrible effect: it was a photo of his hairy legs in a bubble bath. Could I see any other…parts? No, but the SUGGESTION was there, I could see bubble-covered thigh and if the water were clear, I would have an unclouded view of a region I had less than zero interest in seeing.
You might be saying to yourself, “so what? It’s just LEGS.” And you would be right. Except that, as my friend Rick says, “men don’t get it. Women’s bodies are beautiful, no matter the shape or size. Men’s are not. Even to people who may be attracted to them.” He was being funny, but HE’S RIGHT. Kind of. I mean, I can appreciate a beautiful pair of arms or a nice chest any day, but I don’t need a photo even of those parts – UNLESS I ASK FOR ONE.
I couldn’t figure out how to respond to this guy. He asked if I was ok, if his ‘hairy knees’ scared me away. The truth was, yes, they did. But the way I saw it, I had three options:
- Lie because I didn’t want to shame him
- Tell him the truth – YES, YOUR KNEES AND OTHER LEG PARTS SCARED ME AWAY
- Ghost him, which, I guess, *is* shaming him but in a much more passive-aggressive way that is probably a lot more hurtful than option 2
Obviously I took door #3 because I’m the worst.
This prompted me to dissect the reasons WHY this particular photo skeeved me out as much as it did. It wasn’t JUST the hairy legs, or the ‘suggestion’ of a Loch Ness Monster lurking just beneath the water’s surface. It was also the very fact that it was taken in a bubble bath.
HEAR ME OUT.
I’m not saying that men can’t take bubble baths. Of course they can. They SHOULD, in fact, bubble baths are wonderful and soothing and they make you smell great. But there’s something about them that *seems* intrinsically feminine. I know I’ll get backlash for saying that. But, honestly, I don’t care how manly you are – John Cena could be chillin’ with Mister Bubbs and I’d look away. NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Maybe it’s just me, it could totally be just me.
Additionally, I, as a hyper-aware individual, did not simply glance at the photo. No. First, I got grossed out. THEN, I MADE IT WORSE AND ZOOMED IN. I noticed a weird moldy corner of his bathtub. I saw what looked like a kid’s toy (seriously, CROP THAT OUT AT LEAST). I didn’t appreciate what was happening with the grout situation.
And I couldn’t hang.
Here’s the problem with where we’re at as a society, and it’s our own damn fault: we take too many selfies. And we women started it! “Here I am driving, with a Starbucks in my hand! Here I am on my couch! Here I am in cat ears with the good Snapchat filter!” I get it – I DO IT, TOO! But the thing is, ladies…men have taken our lead and have decided to get in on that selfie game. Now they’re taking pics of themselves in the car. At the gym. We send them a pic of our gorgeous gams in a tub and THEY think WE must want the same type of pic from THEM and it RUINS EVERYTHING, JUST TAKE YOUR BUBBLE BATH IN SHAME AND PRIVACY LIKE A NORMAL MAN, NOBODY WANTS TO SEE THAT SHIT.
By the way, I considered putting the pic in this post but…fine…I won’t. I’m not above texting it to you, though.
*This has been a public service announcement*Share it: