Ambush By Angry Man: What's a Single Woman to Do?
06/07/2010 - 01:49

It started out as a lovely Shabbat walk. Who could have anticipated the unexpected ambush?

But as my girlfriend and I rounded the bend I spotted a gentleman I know - albeit vaguely. I had met him and his wife soon after I arrived in Israel around a year ago and liked them both. I probably only saw him since then one or two more times.

So it was only natural that I introduce him not only to my friend, but also to my dog, who had joined us on the walk. “This is Trevor Pickus,” I said.

“That’s pathetic,” he spat. Then he repeated it. “That is so pathetic!” I can only assume that people who give their dogs their surnames are pathetic because it suggests we think they are fully human. Which Trevor is.

We moved on to my new digs.

“I live in this neighborhood now and love it,” I said.

“You and a ton of other single, desperate woman,” he said, going on to tell me that he knows a therapist whose clients are all single “desperate” women and guess what? They all live in my neighborhood.

Not to give any credence to his point here, but for the record, since moving into this neighborhood I have only noticed families. Lots and lots of families with young children.

I could feel my friend stiffen with outrage. She is protective of me and has a zero jerk tolerance. Plus, as a single mom, she knows how it feels to be a bit different from everyone else. And also how it feels to be on the receiving end of unsolicited judgment.

Some more chitchat was exchanged.

And then he asked if I was still writing my singles column. When I answered in the affirmative he went off on that.

“That’s why you’re still single!” he said. His theory is that in order to keep my column it is in my best interest to stay single.

“Are you saying that if I stopped writing the column I would no longer be single?” I asked.

He did not have an answer for me but went on to point out that “it’s been two years now, right? And you’re still single.”

We bid him adieu.

“Something is very wrong with that guy!” was my friend’s assessment.

“He really attacked me, didn’t he?” I said.

We agreed that he did.  “Anyway, I’m not going to take it personally.”

But I have to admit, his words stung. I mean, who lashes out at someone like that? And with so much anger? And right, exactly, where it hurts the most?

As someone I love often says, “It is not for us to know everything.”

The only thing I can do the next time I spot him around the bend is to avoid him like the plague, because that is what he is.


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Thanks, everyone, for your feedback here! As my mother always says, "Just move on!" So I felt bad about this for a bit and then forgot about it. I feel sorry for anyone who has to lash out at someone else because clearly he's not a happy fellow. P.S. Hello, Emily!
Hi. When reading the story I thought that if I was you I would have defended myself. There is too many males who hate women. Next time you just trust your feelings more and leave the situation. If that is not possible, then you can attack him back (verbally only). Interestingly, I also met a nice couple lately. Afterwards the man tried to ask me out for a dinner, or wanted to make a short trip with me, etc etc. It was SO yucky. He left me after I explained to him that 'these are not part of my hobbies'. It was the nicest I could say as I didn't want to lose my patience. So, good luck
Yikes. That guy was basically reacting to you but his reactions had nothing to do with you. Maybe he's jealous of your singlehood, maybe of your success with your column. Maybe there is something clinically wrong with him. It for sure hurts anyway but I do hope you're trying to convince yourself that his behavior had NOTHING to do with you because it was too extreme towards a practical stranger for it to be connected to you. Either way you should have thanked him at the end of the conversation for helping feed your column with interesting material. :)
There are plenty of people in the world who suffer, and the still manage not to randomly verbally attack people walking down the street on a June Shabbas afternoon. Personal suffering does not give anyone the right to inflict viciousness on the world. HE'S A JERK.
there's not enough information to make an informed assessment, undoubtedly because he didn't give you enough information to understand either: (1) what cataclysmic events he had recently suffered through; or, more likely, (2) what accumulation of life experiences is responsible for his dysfunctional behavior. Not all jerks are evil incarnate; he might even surprise you and apologize. In the event he doesn't, letting him rent any space in your head is useless and counterproductive. In the meantime, pray for him and especially his wife