I got chatting to an older man (he was using a scooter like mine) in the shopping centre. I mentioned that I give writing workshops sometimes and he talked to me about writing up some of his stories of travels when he was younger. I offered to help and gave him my card. I did have the kids with me, there were crowds around, I thought nothing of it.
Then he rang, late one evening. husband answered the phone and was NOT happy. I quickly explained it was a nice old man I'd been talking to at he shops and a possible client. husband said (and he was right), "10 pm is not an appropriate time for a client to call." husband knew he didn't have to worry about me looking elsewhere, but HIS radar had been tripped.
I took the call. My friend from the mall said, "You never told me you were married!"
I replied, "You didn't ask - I didn't think it was relevant."
Turns out the poor man had misconstrued our conversation, had read more into it than he should have because he's so lonely. We only ever had one more conversation after that and by that time his boundaries were clearly defined. He was just about to go back into the psychiatric ward at the hospital, he wasn't in a good state. Turns out the poor man is also bipolar, which could have explained why he misread the signals.
I've seen him at the shopping centre since but I haven't spoken to him. I haven't ignored him but also I haven't actually gone up to him either. It's a big shopping centre and I think he embarrassed himself, he probably wouldn't remember me now. I think easy child 2/difficult child 2 serves him in the shop sometimes, but he wouldn't know her, either.
And what he was initially looking for from me - it didn't involve a book. He was looking for friendship, sure, but FEMALE companionship - but he wasn't into poaching. He was honourable.
I'm not a poacher or a strayer either, but I do enjoy talking to male friends, providing they don't view me as anything other than a friend. They don't make that mistake twice. husband was one of my male friends for several years before we 'found' each other. I do find, though, that it's important for me to make sure I'm also friends with the wives and partners of any male friends, or they get the wrong idea. And so do their men. By making obvious friends with the wives, I'm sending a clear message to the men that I'm not interested in anything more than a friendly chat. But generally the topics I like to discuss with the men are ones that not many women are interested in or want to talk about. When I find a female friend with the same interests as me, I often find someone in the same boat when it comes to friendships and misunderstandings, and we cling to each other for regular chats.