Two or three weeks after receiving The Foreigner’s ‘Oh shit! I can’t do this! panic email’, I received another e-mail from her on the dating website. Well, color me shocked! There was nothing meaningful in the e-mail itself; just a “Hey how are you? I like the new profile picture you added.” kind of thing. But I wasn’t expecting it … Not. At. All. So I replied in kind and we went back and forth over the course of a day.
There are times when I’m e-mailing, talking with or dating a girl and I know she’s blowing me off. I know that:
“I’ve been busy” = I’m seeing other people that I find more interesting than you.
“I have a lot on my plate” = I would rather polish my spoon collection than see you.
“I’m in a complicated relationship” (my current favorite) = I have a crush on someone else and I don’t see you ever changing that.
“I’m not ready to date” = I AM ready to date, just not you, not now and not ever.
In this case, though, “I have a lot on my plate” was not code-speak at all but actually literal in nature … to be fair, though, how the hell would I have guessed that?
And so, through the course of my e-mail exchange that day with The Foreigner, I realized that I hadn’t been blown off, per se, but rather, that she actually did have a lot on her plate and was not in any position to try to date anyone at that time. (Side note: it was at that exact moment that I became ever-so thankful for being tactful when I told her that I was open to friendship if she was. Because I could have easily come off as the world’s most insensitive asshole had I not gracefully accepted her last-minute date cancellation e-mail. It is a rare and celebratory moment indeed when I’m not swallowing my own foot.) So I listened … and I sympathized … and I understood perfectly: she is going through hell.
She was apologetic. She was sincere. And she was … hold the phone … interested in seeing me again? Say what now?!
T.F.: “I hope that I didn’t just confuse you more.”
Me: “I’m totally confused. Do you want to see me as a friend or as a friend with potential?”
And she said simply, “Yes.”
Hmmm … still no clear cut answer, but I decided not to push and agreed to see her again. The plan was to have a quiet lunch at her home. And when was this confusing lunch to take place, you ask? The actual, literal fucking day after I had just had my head spun by Nugget.
To say that I showed up for lunch even half dedicated would be an overstatement. The ego-bruising unreciprocated lean in for a kiss continued to play over and over in my mind. The red flag that was her ‘Oh shit! I can’t do this! panic email’ was still waving itself proudly. The cautionary bell that was her hell-on-earth overloaded plate was deafening in my ears. And the fact that I had just met this dynamic glittering super star, which prevented me from getting one minute of sleep the night before, was swirling around my head with diamonds and miniature heart bubbles.
But you know what? I showed up. I showed up because I promised I would show up, because there was still a sliver of a chance that we could have hit it off, because despite all the obstacles in our way, I still found her attractive, because I actually felt real sympathy for everything that she was going through, because even though my head was in the clouds and there were stars in my eyes for an entirely different girl, I knew that there was no chance in hell that Nugget was going to run off and join the circus that is my life, especially since there was another woman in hers.
And so … lunch was lovely. Lunch turned into long and easy conversation. Long and easy conversation turned into a movie on the sofa. A movie on the sofa turned into two hours of innocent and friendly cuddling. And throughout the entire day I kept telling myself, I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to make the lean again and suffer another blow to my already fragile ego. So the time came … and I headed home; no lean, no kiss, no definitive plans to see each other again.
And so, students, what did we learn from the dating miscues of Miss-Adventures and The Foreigner? Timing is fucking everything.
Spoiler Alert: You’ll begin to recognize this as a running theme going forward.