My Name is Frankie

My name is not Frankie.

Worst Moment: I met him at the conference. Throughout the week, he was excited and persistent to ski or go to the hot tub together. Friends can do those activities together, so I happily obliged to go skiing together. We became good acquaintances and, I would say, friends. At the farewell banquet, we bumped into each other and I invited him to sit with me and my friends, a group of maybe six – eight other conference goers. He had a lot of drink tickets and distributed them to my friends in good humor. He would pull me aside to the bar and playfully push drinks on me. I resisted the drinks at first but gave in shortly.

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Frankie was new to conferences and was happy to have found friends. One of her friends got increasingly creepy, pushing drinks and physical contact in spite of clearly being told she wasn’t interested. The last night, she said she felt lucky to escape him.

He knows that I have a boyfriend from earlier conversation and said: “your boyfriend is a lucky guy. You’re adorable.” I started to feel uncomfortable at this point and looked down, gesturing discomfort with my body. I swept this moment aside because this comment was a first offense. I felt warm inside so I got up and told the table I was going to go outside. I did not invite him but he got up and told me to wait. He followed me outside. I was shivering and he took off his jacket to place it around my shoulders while facing me. In doing so, he got very close, nearly encasing me with his arms. I told him I felt uncomfortable and stepped back: the first vocal indication and assertion. I took off his coat and gave it back to him but he refused to take it back. He said something along the lines: “you’re so pretty; I can’t help it.”

I said I wanted to go back inside because I was cold. I wanted to go back to a public place with my friends to shed his attention off me. We got back to the table at the banquet and I started socializing with my friends. He would chime in and say other comments to me quietly, telling me how cute, pretty, gorgeous, etc. I was. I asked him, “could we stay friends and just friends?” He acknowledged my question and asked to talk to me privately outside. I asked if anything was going to happen and he said no. I followed him outside to have a private discussion. He then fully confessed how much he likes me and how he can’t help telling me about how much he likes me. At this point, I am shifting my weight back and forth, feeling very anxious and uneasy as to how the situation was escalating. I told him I was nervous, anxious, again uncomfortable, and how I do not want this attention. I was visibly shivering and I said I want to go back inside, but he told me to wait and enjoy the moment.

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We went back inside and I made an effort not to talk to him unless the group was also involved. After the banquet was over, my friends and I wanted to take the party elsewhere and he suggested Montana Jack’s. My friends eagerly agreed so we all went downstairs. The bar was hosting karaoke night and I tried to always have a friend nearby to talk to. Somehow, he kept on snaking his way to me, pulling me close, putting his hand on my waist. When he put his arm around me, I told him again that I was uncomfortable and stepped away.

After the bar closed, I told everyone I was going to go home and he said he was going to walk me home. I told him I wanted to walk home alone (I was staying at the Village Center and the walk is less than a block away). He persisted and followed me; my reaction was to be very guarded and I felt super uneasy. I repeated that I was not interested in him and he should spend his efforts elsewhere. He persisted and told me that we have a connection. When we got to my hotel lobby moments later, he said he would walk me to my room and I felt very alarmed. I knew that if he got to my room, I would be in a very unsafe situation. I told him to stay in the lobby and he told me “I just want to make sure you get to your room.” I asserted more aggressively that this will be where he stays and I said good night. I did not want to take the elevator to spend more time with him or to allow him to enclose me in a small, private space. I sincerely felt unsafe at this time and ran up the stairs, checking if he followed me. I ran to my room and shut the door behind me, relieved that nothing more did escalate.

I Have Given Up On: After a bit of recovery, nothing. He’s not going to define my future.

I’m Afraid: Of networking/being friends with men but I will still strive to be successful in my field.

This Has Cost Me: Peace of mind.

Something You Should Know About Me: I’m not just a victim. I’m a successful, happy person.

Is There a Bright Side? He didn’t assault me.