Jerked and Re-Jerked

There was a young lady that I had met through a dating/meeting site. (I don’t remember which one) We had written a few times early on, and added each other as friends on MySpace… and then nothing really happened. We sat there as “MySpace friends” for probably about a year. Then one day, I was looking through my friend list, and saw her, and was reminded of her.

Now, I don’t like to have “MySpace Friends”… that is to say, people whose only connection to me is through MySpace. I took a bit of pride in the fact that all my “friends” on there… were ACTUALLY my friends, and I at least knew them in SOME capacity outside of MySpace. There are a few I’ve never met in person… but those are women that were posters to the now-defunct Grrl Genius Blog that was on iVillage.com… so I don’t mind having them on there. But this woman was someone that I really *didn’t * know… but I had wanted to. Technically… since I met her “online” BEFORE I swore off the Internet dating… well, I figured I’d be okay making that last exception. (The fact she had a very beautiful picture probably helped with that… I admit.)

So, I wrote to her… reinstituting contact. She wrote back… and we started a pretty regular correspondence for a week or so. Then we traded phone numbers… and chatted a few times. I enjoyed what I was hearing… and she didn’t seem turned off by my self-deprecating geekiness (though I was trying to keep it under control). I took the chance and asked if she wanted to go out that weekend. She said yes… and we made plans.

She lives just outside Boston, so it took me a little over an hour to get there. Now, it being a first date and all… and I had a *little* more interest in her going into this then the other casual dates I’d met… so I wanted to do something “date-like”, but non-pressure. I admit… I’m looking for love, not just friends… but I also don’t want to jump into anything. I don’t want to go into this thinking, “Yes, let’s start a relationship right now”… but rather say, “I want to give this a fair opportunity to see if it goes anywhere.”

Pressure sucks… I’m not looking to give any pressure, and I don’t want to get any. I just want to be able to relax, and have a good time with someone and be myself.

Then again, I also move slower than a snail through a tar pit.

Anyway… I wanted to do something “date-like”… and I considered flowers, or rather a single flower… but thought that *would* be a slight form of “pressure” or even cliché (maybe not… maybe I’m the only one that overthinks this crap). But I did get, what I thought was, a good idea. I got her a book. “The Tao of Pooh”… we had actually talked a little about that subject during one of our conversations, and I mentioned that book as one I liked, and she said she never read it. I thought it might be a nice, no-pressure kind of small first-date gift that would be appropriate, respectful, fun… and hopefully leave a good impression.

I got to her apartment building, called her, and waited outside. When she came out… I would go so far to say that I thought she looked BETTER than her picture. She dressed practically (it was chilly New England Spring Weather), and still looked very stylish. I thought she looked great. We greeted, I gave her the book, (which she seemed pleased by) and then we got in my car to go get lunch.

I figured “lunch” was a nice, casual non-pressure kind of first date. I knew it was going to be fairly short, as such… and I was okay with that. I didn’t want to wear out any welcome… especially on the first in-person meeting… and of all the “Dating Rules” I’ve ever heard, “leave them wanting more” was one of the few that ever actually made any sense to me. I just had to hope that brief time we hung out… would in fact leave her wanting more.

To be honest… I had a great time. Yeah, driving there felt a *little* awkward… only because I never know what to do with the awkward silences. For me, it’s easier to forward the conversation when I’m facing her. Obviously, that would have killed us (ramming into the guardrail is never cool)… but I did my best, and didn’t think the drive was painful. When we found a restaurant, I felt that the conversation went a bit easier… (but that’s only my opinion… she could have had a completely different view on the matter)

And she was really nice to talk to. You know, if I were to try and judge by body language… I would have thought that she was interested in me as well. There was lots of smiling, a little bit of shyly looking away… all the crap *I* do when I’m interested in someone. I was actually feeling good about this date… and I hadn’t had a good first date (meaning “one that I wanted to lead to a second”) in a very long time.

I dropped her off at her home… I think we only spent about 2 hours… maybe 2 ½ hours together total. Like I said… wanted to start light… not overstay my welcome, and leave her wanting more. (Because I sure did)

Now, I told her flat-out and upfront and honestly… I had a great time, I really liked her… and I wanted to see her again. She said, “Sure”. But I reiterated… I wasn’t saying this because that’s what you’re supposed to say at this point… I wanted to make PLANS to see her again. She said she was busy that next weekend, due to a fundraiser she was working at… but the next weekend, she was free. I said, “Great! I hope I’ll also get to speak to you several times before then.” I told her I would give her a call soon, we hugged goodbye and I left.

No, I didn’t try for a kiss. (I told you… snail through a tar pit.) I figure if it really does go somewhere, there’s plenty of time for that in the future… and again, I don’t like to give pressure. Maybe I move TOO slowly for most people… but I was hoping it would be just enough for her.

I called her the next evening… just like I said I would. She didn’t answer, so I left a brief message… thanking her and telling her I had a great time, and that I hope to hear from her soon.

Nothing. Didn’t hear back from her.

I knew she was majorly busy during the week most days (though we didn’t have much of a problem with our phone calls before… oddly), and normally only “available” on weekends. With it being an hour-plus drive for me… that would have to be the only time I’d be able to physically see her. But I was okay with that idea. If we did develop into something, I’d rather see her once a week than not at all… but I would at least want to TALK to her as often as possible.

But the week went by… and I heard nothing from her. No call… no e-mail message. That Friday, I sent her a message saying, “You’ve probably been busy… but I wanted to wish you luck with your fundraiser tomorrow, and I hope to hear from you soon.” After that… I wasn’t going to send any more. I instituted contact twice… and that’s enough. Any more than that feels stalker-ish. (And stalking is soooo mid-90s)

So, after another week… I concluded that I was being blown off. For the next 3 weeks, I *still* hoped she would call.

I’ve gotten that kind of rejection several times before. Seem to have a great time with someone… they say they’d like to see me again… I call, and they never call back. Why can’t they just say upfront, “You’re a nice guy… but I don’t know if I feel any sparks”?

Personally, I feel that if I have to work up the guts to ask you out… you should work up the guts to tell me you’re not interested. I’ll respect that a hell of a lot more than just being blown off, while keeping my expectations going and stringing me along. It’s the “inaction” that sucks.

A bit more than a month goes by… it’s May. After 4 years of having the same cell phone… I decided to finally upgrade. I go into the AT&T store… my provider, and see what they have. I find a pretty good deal… with the same phone plan I have, same cost and everything… so I get it. The clerk takes the chip out of my old phone and puts it into the new one… and it brings with it the address book and all my contacts. (ooooh… neato) While he’s ringing up my order… I’m playing with the buttons on my new phone… which is turning out to be VERY different from the old one. The concurrent conversation in my head went something like this:

“Okay, that seems to be the ‘menu’ button… that brings me back to the start screen… okay, that’s what brings up the address book….I’ll scroll down a bit… yep, they all seem to be there. Alright, cancel out of this, and get to that main menu… Wait… that’s not it. Dialing? What’s it dialing? I didn’t want it to dial… Who’s it calling? “So-and-So”… Huh? Oh, So-and-So was that Beautiful one that blew me off and didn’t call back. Why do I still have her number? It says I’m calling her… I’m calling her?... Uh… Oh my God… I’m *calling* her! AHHH!!! CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL!!!!”

Visions of her looking at her “missed call” list and saying, “Oh God… not this guy. I thought he got the hint!” plagued me for the next 3 hours.

Yeah… further proof that my life is a badly-written sitcom.

After that little “3-Stooges” moment… I did delete her number, out of fear of that happening again. Also, it didn’t make sense to hang onto it… as I most likely wasn’t going to hear from her again.

A few weeks later, after I got back from a brief trip to California for a friend’s wedding… during which I attained some minor revelations about other issues in my life… I did some “clean-up”… and deleted some people from MySpace… ones that I didn’t really know, and seem to have no interest in knowing me. So-and-So was one of them.

Now it brings us to about now. 2 months later… 4 months since that initial first date.

So-and-So wrote to me.

It came pretty much out of the blue… she thanked me for the book, said it was thoughtful… and she was sorry for being so inconsiderate for waiting so long to write me. She also said that if I wasn’t “too mad”, she’d like to hang out as friends, as she thinks it would be fun.

Well… I wasn’t ever “mad”. Just disappointed that she seemed uninterested.

But now… does this mean she is/was interested? That’s only the start of my questions…

Does she *really* want to just “be friends”? Because I thought I made it clear that I was looking for *more* than “friends”. I’ve got a lot of friends… several that are already an hour-plus away. I go that much North, I see my Best Friend… I go that way West… I can see another friend. I go that way East, I… end up in the ocean. Okay, East is out… but still.

Is saying “Friends” just a euphemism? Is she trying to undershoot with her words, playing it safe? What exactly are her expectations here?

And what is the impetus for all this? What was the sudden inspiration to write to me after 4 months?

Did she also go out with another guy at the time? Decided to try and pursue something with him, that didn’t work out? Then thought, “Hey, what about that other guy, the one that gave me the Tao of Pooh? I never really gave him a chance…” (If so… I can understand that… that’s fine. Maybe that makes me sound like the Second Choice… but I also tend to look at those kinds of situations as “Second Chances”.)

Did she randomly come across the book in her apartment, and that reminded her of me?

Or did she notice I deleted her off MySpace? *shrug* I have no idea.

I wrote her back the next morning, after sleeping on it. I’m open to the idea of seeing her again… and yes, I’m weary… but I don’t want to reject what could be an opportunity. I was busy that weekend, but I suggested we could plan something for the next weekend.

And that was the truth… She left a great first impression on me… and yeah, the blow-off may have sullied that a bit… and I think I do deserve to know why it took so long… what was the holdup, why was I seemingly being jerked around? But if she’s serious about seeing me again… I can wait until she’s willing to tell me on her own terms.

I sent it off. Didn’t get a reply. One of the neat things about MySpace is that you can go to your “Sent” messages and see whether or not the recipient actually read your e-mail. Well… she apparently didn’t check her e-mail all weekend. In fact, apparently, she didn’t check it until Monday… and she did read it.

As of this writing, she hasn’t responded back.

So… I’m suddenly feeling “jerked around” all over again. Sheesh… why is it when I get someone out of my mind, they try to show up in my life again? Why does anyone think I need the reminder?

I wasn’t mad before… just disappointed… but now I’m getting a bit “upset”. If you contact someone and you’re expecting/hoping for a response… why wouldn’t you try and check your e-mail more often? She probably doesn’t know I no longer have her number… but I’m not going to assume she still has mine... so maybe she just doesn’t get the chance to check e-mail. Okay, I’ll go with that. But when she DOES check it… and reads my response… no reply? I’m sorry… if you have time to read it… you have time to write a fast note saying, “I don’t have much time… here’s my number again, call me so we can plan something. I look forward to it!” There. Voila. That’s all you need. That’s all *I* need. (and when I call… return it!)

But if she honestly didn’t have the time to read or reply to my messages… well, if we *were* to develop into something… when was there going to be time for Me? I understand “being busy”… but guess what? We’re ALL busy. But I *make* the time if I want to see someone.

That’s one of the things on my “Required List”… I want someone who’s willing to MAKE time for me… and I’m under the impression she’s not willing or able to do that.

So why am I torturing myself over all this? Especially when there’s a 95% chance that she probably ISN’T thinking about it.

Cause I’m an idiot. That’s why. (Good thing I’m okay with that…)

So… I wish her well. She’s smart, beautiful, and more than pleasant to be around. I hope she finds what she’s looking for… I just have a sneaking suspicion it’s not me.



fritz said...

That sucks! I'd stand by your assessment--if she can't take the 60 seconds (maybe she's a slow typer) to dash off a quick note to acknowledge receipt of your email, then she's not really interested in making time for you to be a part of her life.

And over analyzing this situation saves you from having to think about...whatever else you don't want to think about instead. And it's part of the great mystery of love. Or at least, trying to find it. Devoting brain time and brain chemicals to said pursuit is what you're supposed to do, even if you don't get anything tangible from it.

When I'm driving a car, I try not to ever take my eyes off the road. I'm operating a potentially lethal, almost-2-ton weapon. Eye contact can wait until the car's no longer in motion and the fasten your seatbelt sign has been turned off.

Valancy Jane said...

You know how some people are single and although you'd never say so to their face, it doesn't really surprise you?

You aren't one of those people.

You're wonderful and thoughtful and fair and have great insights about people because you take the time to really know them, as they are.

I know this has been said so often that it often sounds trite, but I really do mean this. It's a lucky girl that gets you.

Anonymous said...

Run like hell, don't look back, she only wants your attention when she's alone, don't fall for it. If you were closer to Cali, I'd take you out on a date!

Stop looking and someone will fall into your lap, true love does happen.