Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Remember Curly (alias: Little Napoleon)?

He wrote me back the day after our failed meeting and said that he couldn't find me in the crowd and asked if I wanted to try again the next night. I wrote him back saying that I was real busy but maybe some other time. I was nice but intentionally vague in a way that was intended to convey that I was making an excuse to help him save face. He emailed the next week to see if things had slowed down and I didn't respond. He never wrote me again.

I was talking with some friends recently about the phenomenon of The Guy Who Never Lets Go. We all know this guy. You go on one date and then never return another phone call... six months later, you're still hearing from him once a week. It's sad, it's pathetic, it's completely bizarre-o. Unfortunately, The Guy Who Never Lets Go has a close relative known to some as The Girl Who Never Lets Go and, let's face of it, some of us are intimately acquainted with her.

But that's for another post.

Anyway, the point is that no matter how awkward, unattractive, or otherwise unsuitable a guy may be, if I blow him off and he takes the hint, he rises immeasurably in my esteem. Of course, it's a Catch-22 because of the guy tries to cash in on this newfound respect by calling me, he turns irreversibly into The Guy That My Girlfriends Mock over Brunch.

Anyway, Curly-- despite his unattractive eagerness and diminutive stature-- had earned a place in my Guys Who Actually Get It Hall of Fame.

That is, until today.

from Curly []
to Alex []
date Oct 10, 2007 10:33 AM
subject hey

Hey Alex,

we were supposed to get together the other week. Been a busy time of
year. But id still like to chill. What are you doing this week? Im
working all week. Want to get together one night after work, for real
this time? Theres a snowboard movie i kind of wanted to check out, it
ends on the 11th. Talk to you soon.

- C

Why, Curly, WHY?

I hate ignoring people but responding is obviously going to only extend this further and considering the fact that I have exchanged a total of, like, three very impersonal emails with this guy, I don't think that a full disclosure is really in order.

p.s. SNOWBOARDING movie?


sasha said...

seriously so many places to comment- but i think starting with the snowboarding movie and moving backwards is a good tactic.

is there a snowboarding movie genre? i can think of a great bobsledding movie ("cool runnings" obvi)but i don't even think i would classify that as a bobsledding movie.

sasha said...

i think he's grasping at straws here for a date.

Frankie said...

When cell phones were still sort of a novelty and/or associated with people who have jobs that require constant contactibility, like doctors or drug dealers, I remember many people saying to me that they didn't like cell phones because people could interrupt them at ANY TIME with a phone call. I always failed to see the logic in this argument, since a) you are perfectly free not to answer the phone and b) cell phones even come with caller ID! Built in!

Anyway, I have deduced from the large number of times I've heard this argument that a lot of people feel guilty when they don't answer the phone - no one likes to be ignored, after all. I, however, apparently lack the sort of fundamental human emotion that produces this guilt, because I will let that phone ring when I don't feel like answering it. The other day my MOTHER called and I didn't answer because I was in the middle of a really good episode of Psych.

My ability to ignore people may be frustrating to those who want my attention, but it does allow me to say this: there is ABSOLUTELY NO NEED to email this man back.

Alex said...

I thoroughly agree, Frankie. I guess what bugs me in these situations is this:

(a) it's pretty clear that the ignorer is not interested

(b) it seems like the ignoree is trying to force the ignorer to tell the ignoree why he is being ignored because he thinks he "deserves an explanation"*

(c) the ignoree does not actually deserve (nor could he probably handle) an explanation

By the way-- if you have ever found yourself demanding such an explanation, gentle readers, get thee to your local library and check out He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. If it is checked out, order it online. Overnight shipping.

* incidentally, this may not be what Curly is doing in this case but I've had this experience all too many times in the past

sasha said...

yes why does one need/want an explanation? i mean if i was subtly denied a date i don't think i would want to know the reason(s).* um yeah- "you seemed overeager slash creepy. and i saw the backpack. and you may or may not be a little person."

*i like how i said this as if i have never been subtly rejected for a date.

Alex said...

exactly. you deal exclusively in outright rejections.

no, but seriously, i agree. i have zero interest in people being honest with me. i mean, there are definitely situations in which brutal honesty is warranted (possible examples include "you are about to walk on stage with spinach in your teeth" and "your skirt is on fire") but these situations are clearly exceptional. in general, i do not want to know that you think i've gained a few pounds or that i have an annoying laugh or that you think i have intimacy issues. unless i explicitly ask for constructive criticism (this will be rare and is usually limited to artistic endeavors), i generally prefer blissful ignorance.

bottom line: most relationships aren't close enough to warrant full disclosure of judgment and most people's personal opinions are kind of whack anyway.

Drew said...

Frankie, the fact that you even think it was bad to ignore your mother's call is proof that you are less immune to guilt than you think. I hit "ignore" on my mom about 10 times a week. (It's not that I don't want to talk to her, it's just that I don't want to talk to her every hour on the hour.)

Anyway, I too agree that pushing for an explanation is always a bad move. If you want to date someone, but they are avoiding you, there is really no explanation necessary. And ignoring emails from people you barely know, have never met, and don't have any intention of meeting is completely fine.

sasha said...

ok comment number two on his awkward message- "...been a busy time of year..." what does this mean? i think he has actually created an excuse for you not to have gotten back to him. it's not a logical excuse, so it's probably more for him, but still it's something. sometimes when i haven't gotten a desired response from someone i like, i just sit and think to myself, (sigh) 'god it's such a busy time of year...'

ps- as it usually happens, the comments section of this blog is becoming more entertaining than the actual posts.

Alex said...

I know, I was wondering the same thing. I mean, it's not like there's a big holiday coming up or anything. Maybe he means Columbus Day? Ahh, the infamous Columbus Day Rush. Stressful for families, depressing for singles. What?

Then I thought that maybe his job involves him being especially busy at this time of year but that would be a weird comment since he hasn't told me what he does for a living. Most likely, as you suggested, he was just saying it as a vague excuse for the fact that we haven't talked.