HOLLA ON THE GO: A Sunday afternoon I was dropping off my laundry

A Sunday afternoon I was dropping off my laundry and a man grabbed my arm. I had headphones in, so I was a bit caught off guard and assumed he needed directions or I had dropped something on the street. He then told me he had followed me across and down the street, and that he had just moved into the area and that we should go get a drink. I tried to signal that I needed to go drop my laundry off and get to the gym. He said that he was busy too, he was meeting a friend for a drink, which was confusing because he’d just suggested we go get one. I tried to walk away and he grabbed my arm insisting that I give him my phone number. Caught off guard and trying to get out of the situation, I gave him my phone number and walked away.

I then went to a workout class, pissed at myself for not giving a fake number and for what just happened. When I left the gym I had a text that said “That was a big load of laundry… How many weeks was that”
I should have ignored the text and not responded, but I ignorantly thought maybe if I said something he wouldn’t approach someone again so here is the conversation that followed:

Me: In my experience, most women don’t like being followed on the street then asked about their laundry. Have a nice life.

Street Follower: So why mean and bitchy? Most women appreciate the courage it takes to do so. You’re clearly not smart enough to recognize that.

Me: It is not courageous to follow someone down the street. It is not courageous to insist that person give you their number when you try to get out of the conversation. It is not courageous to insult someone and call them names. It is not courageous to insult someone’s intelligence. These actions are predatory and demeaning. Goodbye.

Street follower: You have major issues. Clearly you’ve never been chased before like how a woman like to be chased in the dating world. You don’t know what that experience is like or how to deal with it. You sould like an asexual, miserable ‘woman’

Me: If you feel that way you should probably stop texting me. This will be my last response.

Street follower: I don’t feel that way – your texts made me think that. I was being nice and polite with you and sent you a casual text about your laundry (that’s how we met) and you came back with a nasty response blowing me off for no reason. All I wanted was to grab a friendly cup of coffee with you. When someone is nasty with me, I get nasty too. This is my last text unless you text me back. Unlike you, today’s women CRAVE a man being a man and approach them in real life. “Men” nowadays are all feminine soyboys swiping apps in their living rooms. I would still like to start this with a clean slate and push our first fight past us and meet you for a hot tea sometime. 🙂

One week later:
Street Follower: Coffee?

Two weeks Later:
Street Follower: Coffee?

Though this was a mostly digital interaction, I’m left concerned and worried if I ever see this person on the street again. He clearly lives in my neighborhood and does not know how to accept rejection. I find myself hyperaware of who is around me on my own block.