I’ve never thought of Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat as a means to make a love connection.
I figured that was just presumed. I never share personal information on social media. I keep a firm boundary between the ongoings in my day-to-day life and the masses online that both consume and opine on one’s status updates. We all know that girl whose boyfriend cheated on her, or the guy reveling in his new relationship- the third one that week. There’s the fights between friends, couple or colleagues, which I admit I follow with the enthusiasm of teenage boy who’s discovered his first pubic hair. I watch with bated breath for the next accusation or insult to come hurling across the universe and land squarely on my timeline.
Sure, sometimes I share my reactions to current news topics, or Trans-positive thoughts for the day, but mostly, my timeline is an abyss of bad jokes and random thoughts typical of someone heavily, happily medicated. I don’t take social media seriously, nor do I apply much gravity to the things I read.
I’ve learned that Facebook and other social media sites have a whole other demographic: And that is primarily men looking to ‘connect’ with women. In the past few years, I’ve become rather discriminating with regard to the friend requests I accept, because allowing a stranger past the threshold of my virtual door usually resulted in an immediate instant private message… a “Hey baby,” or “Hi sexy.” Is this Craigslist?
It became so predictable that I started to just have fun with it. So, exchanges like this became routine.
I know, I know it seems cruel. But, as I’d sit here, fiddling about on my laptop, working, only to be inundated with something so unexpected and oftentimes simply grotesque, I could think of no other way to react other than to be as bold and unapologetic as these complete strangers had been to me.
I particularly appreciated the men from places like India who possessed a level of sexual confidence that I envy. Like Ragamesh, for example, who invited me to be his cow.
Words cannot describe how flattered I was to be offered such a spirited opportunity as being plowed like a cow. I like to think that this is about as close as one can get to a marriage proposal in his part of the world. Others who reside in his general area were far less creative.
That’s a lot of thumbs, and while the approval is hugely appreciated by someone like me, who often wonders if my efforts are paying off, the routine “Thumps Up” emoticons of varying sizes became the measure of my daily status success. I figured, the bigger the thumb, the better my status updates must have been on that particular day.
Not all of them bothered with a cute emoticon or sweet little kissy-face sticker to express their approval, some amorous fellows just decided to bombard me, like that classic cartoon character, Pepe Le Pew and his eternally unrequited love interest who spends every episode trying to escape his, ahem, charms.
I must be big in India. Like, huge. A proper sex symbol. At least in my head. I bet they have a billboard of me somewhere with my Facebook URL, because it isn’t just the sudden manifestation of random men who find their way to the terrifying cesspool that is the “Filtered” inbox of my messages, but some pretty interesting job offers as well.
I had to google what a lahk was, and I’m pretty sure I’m worth a whole lot of lakhs. So, I passed up this offer in hopes that a more lucrative opportunity might pop up down the line.
To be fair, some part of me also appreciates the persistence of some men. The sheer refusal to be ignored, even after months and months of failed attempts to fetch a response. But, I’m a charitable sort.
The accounts with strange, clearly fake names aren’t the only sources of gratuitous solicitations of my person. On a few occasions, I’ve received quite polite messages from interested men who’ve mistaken Facebook for Tinder, or OKCupid;
I love it when you don’t even have to say “No.” You just hand them their pride, pat them on the head and they find their way to the nearest exit. Other times, they seem thrown into an abyss of confusion when my response isn’t as overwhelmingly agreeable as they believed it would be…
They don’t get angry, or start calling you names. Usually, in my case, an outright rejection fetches catastrophic results and the guy who was just asking to see me in my underwear is now calling me “Ugly,” and an “Abomination to God” or a “Sick pervert.” The irony is too entertaining to actually muster any reciprocal outrage.
Most odd, though, are the men who know me… or more precisely, knew me at some point in my life. By some sheer coincidence, perhaps curiosity, they find me again, like this old schoolmate who I couldn’t remember for the life of me, but he certainly knew me.
I’m still amazed he remembered me, given he strikes me as the kind of guy with Velcro shoes. Others try to be clever with their pick up lines, but I’m a pretty hardened bitch. As a Trans woman, I have to adapt a tough exterior, so I don’t leave much room for guys to think they have a hope in hell that I’m suddenly going to fall madly in love over messenger.
And then there are the married men- or men in relationships. I still find it bizarre that these men write me love letters online like I’m the Santa Claus of sex. Like if they’re convincing enough I’ll drop down their chimney or show up on their doorstep like Frost the Hoe-man.
I think my favorite type of guys are the ones who think that they can best stimulate your interest by being combative or aggressive. They charge into your private messages like the Don Juan of bullfighters, waving a red flag to challenge something you’ve said in a status to demonstrate their bravery and dominance- even though there is little question that they were just looking for an open door to start a dialog. That’s the wrong way to approach me.
Some just get outright angry if they don’t grab your attention by other means.
As much as facebook has offered me a portal into the universe, and sometimes the lives of strangers where I sit like some voyeur scrolling down my feed, I’ve been most entertained by the treasures left in my inbox. I’m sure most of the women you know get these messages, have a cackle with their girlfriends over the water cooler at work and move on with their day. I save them.
As much of a social experiment as Facebook is, it’s just as much fun to see what happens when a user approaches it with a different intention altogether. I’ll leave you with my favorite experience so far. The guy who attacked me online, and I decided to tell his mother.
Thank you for messaging.
Powered by WPeMatico