Monday, November 21, 2011

Still Fresh

As much as I'd like to think that I don't repeat my mistakes, the truth is that I sometimes often do. And on the rare occasions that I'm able to see one of these repeats coming, recalling an old blog post can help me remember the pain of past mistakes and motivate me to avoid them.

Last year I wrote about a guy an asshole who repeatedly took advantage of my time. He'd make plans and break them, or worse, say, "We'll do something later this week," and then never follow through (in the meantime, I'd foolishly keep my schedule open and... wait...). He had excuses, and always told me that he really did want to spend time with me, but had work/family/fill-in-the-blank-with-an-important-sounding-thing obligations that kept him from being able to. He even chose watching a 15-year-old movie that rated a paltry 36% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes over spending time with me, leading me to question exactly how fresh I would rate in comparison. I put up with this for months until I finally realized that he actually was doing exactly what he wanted to do, but that just didn't include making time for me. The lesson I took away from it was that in situations like this, it's better to believe what people do than what they say.

So when I went on what seemed like a promising first date a couple weeks ago, I was really excited at the end of the date when the guy asked if I'd like to get together the following week to see a movie. I told him, yes, I'd love to. A three-day weekend followed, and I knew he had plans and didn't expect a call right away. When a few days passed and I didn't hear from him, I texted him to say I had a good time and hoped we could do it again. He apologized for being out of touch, and saying that yes, he'd like to go out again, we'd see a movie later that week, let's play the day/time by ear. 

This triggered red flags for me. Ever since the guy asshole last year, I've been hyper-sensitive to men leaving me dangling, expecting me to keep my schedule open and be on call for them. But I didn't want to be That Girl, the crazy one who gets pissy out of nowhere and clearly has some serious baggage, setting off red flags of his own. And besides, he hadn't brushed me off - yet. So instead, I replied with, "Sounds good. But keep in mind, my dance card fills quickly." I followed it with a little winking emoticon to let him know I wasn't trying to be difficult or rude, just wanting to plan something ahead of time. He responded saying we'd be sure to plan something in advance then, complete with a winking emoticon of his own.

Except he didn't. He didn't call, or text, or email to make plans. He did absolutely nothing. I sat around, wringing my hands and wondering if I should follow up again. Maybe he thought that when I said my dance card fills quickly I was giving him the brush off? But no, that didn't make sense, since I had followed up with him, so clearly I wanted to see him again, right...? I rehashed it over and over and over again. And then, finally, I remembered the lesson I learned last year: ultimately, he's going to do exactly what he wants to do. I signaled - twice! - that I'd like to see him again. I even gave him an opening to schedule something. I couldn't have been clearer about my interest. If he wanted to see me again, he would call. Simple as that.

That doesn't make it sting any less, and it really doesn't leave me any less confused - I still don't get why he'd go to the trouble of asking to see me again, reiterate that he wanted to do so, and then just disappear. But the irritation I feel does reinforce one thing for me: I really want the person I'm dating to be someone who is honest and up-front and does what he says he's going to do. I'm direct and usually follow through on my commitments, and I have little patience for people who can't give me the same courtesies. 

Of course, I also want someone smart enough to recognize just how fresh I am. And this guy imbecile clearly wasn't him.


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