Whenever something goes awry with texting men–like, say…pulling an example out of the blue here…a guy I’ve known for 6 months suddenly just stops responding–I always think like a girl overanalyzing things (in other words: a girl).
Maybe he lost his phone! Maybe he accidentally threw his phone off a balcony! Maybe his friend stole his phone and refused to give it back! Maybe he dropped his phone while rescuing a little old woman about to be hit by a car crossing the street at the exact same time a cute puppy was about to be hit by the same car and he became a hero but in all the excitement while the woman gave him a billion dollars as a thank you and the puppy’s owner gave him the puppy as a reward, he forgot to retrieve it!
Maybe he’s dead!
Of course these things are never true. The truth is I occasionally meet less than courteous, compassionate men, and they occasionally think it’s okay to leave me in a lurch without closure.
So yesterday, when someone gave me his number via OkCupid to see if I wanted to hang out that night and I texted him to say I couldn’t but how about next week, I went through the typical cycle: after 20 minutes with no response, Well, maybe he’s in the subway; after an hour, Maybe he’s at the gym; after an hour and a half, Maybe he’s out with friends in a basement bar without reception; after 2 hours, Maybe he’s dead!
After 2 and a half hours, I thought maybe he’d just accidentally given me the wrong number–because, despite every other sign pointing to no, I still sometimes think I’m in a romantic comedy. I contemplated how I could send a message the next day saying, “Hey, just wondering if maybe you got your number mixed up,” without seeming a little desperate and a lot like a dummy. “Clearly,” my subconscious tried to tell me, “if he’s not responding, there’s a reason, and that reason is that he suddenly decided he doesn’t want to meet you.”
I tend to ignore my subconscious because it tends to be practical and that’s no fun. Instead, I clung to this belief that there was a logical explanation other than that the guy was not interested and was sort of a jerk.
Then I got an email saying I had a message from him: “Sorry, I mistyped my number.”
Cue every other time I’ve stupidly hoped for an easy explanation we’ll laugh about later dissolving into a pool of vindication.
“See!” I said to my subconscious. “It was all just an honest mistake!”
And that is why, even though every other time it’s not, every other time it’s just some guy being careless with my feelings, I choose to hope for the best and see the good in people. Because that one time you finally get the explanation you deserve, it feels better to be able to say, “Oh, no worries, I figured something like that had happened,” instead of, “Oh, well, I’d already written you off as cruel and unkind and how dare you even try to explain.”