One Thursday evening, Mr. No Show texted me, “Hey there. I am at Firestone’s and I was hoping to see you here.” This was a few weeks after he didn’t show up at Firestone’s for our agreed “date.” Very odd. I was still stinging a bit from the rejection. No apology and no explanation. So I wondered if maybe I had misunderstood something. Should I give him another chance?
I sat basking in the sun on the lounge chair in a quiet back corner of my pool with my wing woman. The evening sun was delightful and making us quite thirsty as I read the text to her. She immediately said, “Tell him that you’re close by and that you were planning to go the Firestone’s next and will be there soon. Worse case scenario: we get a drink.”
Even though the neutrons and protons in my mind were screaming, “Hell no.” I reluctantly agreed against my better judgement.
So I texted Mr. No Show, “Hey! I am close by and am heading to Firestone’s next. See you soon!”
My wing woman and I each ran home, changed into dry clothes, and set off for downtown. So saying I was close was not a complete lie as I live only a few miles from downtown. We were there inside of 30 minutes.
I walked into Firestone’s, possibly smelling of chlorine, and scanned the crowd. Mr. No Show was true to his name and was nowhere to be seen. I shot off another text. “Hey, I’m here at Firestone’s. Where are you?”
So we ordered a drink and pondered the situation. Maybe he is in the bathroom? Maybe he already left?
So we left. Humiliated again. What the heck? What is the deal? Do you know the confusion of the unknown? It is a crazy, crazy place. Personally the unknown sends me down some dark alleys.
What Is Wrong With Him Alley. What Have I Misunderstood Alley. And the darkest one, What Is Wrong With Me Alley.
I vowed to never do this again. What is “this?” At that moment, “this” meant putting myself out there. So I cocooned myself back into my friends and family and forgot about Mr. No Show.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. I received a text from Mr. No show, similar to the previous one. Something about him hoping to run into me downtown. I ignored.
An hour or two later, I received a 3 inch long text from him. To summarize, he had the audacity to ask, “Why are you ignoring me?”
I ignored more. An hour later, I received a 6 inch long rant, criticizing and belittling me. I attempted to avoid the dark alleys and conclude that his no shows were actually me dodging a bullet filled with Sybil-like crazy. He shows up via text to yell but not in person to see me?
People are strange. Texting is ambiguous. And I personally have a difficult time residing in the place of The Unknown. I tend to obsess. Why did he not show up? Then why was he not there the 2nd time? Why does it feel like he is yelling at me via text? I blocked the number to avoid further contact, contact which only lead to more questions and confusion and quite frankly painful rejection from my perspective. I found myself comfortably lingering in What is Wrong With Him Alley. But, my self-confidence was injured and blaming somebody else is not usually a productive place for me anyway. My encouraging friend “Fur Eloise” was helping me.
I order to distract myself, I decided to go back on match.com. Big mistake. Wrong turn.
In retrospect, I wonder if it was “longing for love” or “loathing loneliness” that motivated me to change my path? To this day, I’m still not sure.
I signed back up for match.com online and in my head, making a commitment to be proactive and to reach out to find interesting people. I created a path to reach out to five men a day with a question specific to something that was posted on their profile.
“Hey there, I see that you love to see live music. What is your favorite venue?”
“I see that you love to travel. What is your next adventure planned or bucket list adventure?”
“I see that you are in an East Carolina shirt. Did you attend or does a child of yours attend?”
All good questions, right?
No responses. Five a day for about two weeks. Nothing. Not one person answered one of my questions. I was revisiting and stuck in What Is Wrong With Me Alley. A very sad, demoralizing, and lonely place to be. My friends encouraged me,
“It’s all about the timing.”
“Keep on trying.”
And then the worst advice ever, “Don’t be so picky.” Haha. Here is my advice to you:
I did receive several emails from men that I did not solicit. Were they supposed to get me out of What Is Wrong With Me Alley? Or were they supposed to validate my stay there? I think the latter.
What am I supposed to say to that?
“Hey babe. Wanna get a drink tonight? Of course it would be my treat.”
This came through at midnight.
“Hey babe. U look fine.”
Where is the question? Where is some depth? I am your babe?
I won’t even get into the messages with spelling and grammar errors.
Then I got some emails from men who lived 200+ miles away. But not one single message or response from somebody close in proximity logistically or with an inkling of depth to their person.
I was just on the edge of canceling my account. Then a firefighter reached out. He sounded interesting and asked me questions and answered mine.
We arranged to meet. I pulled up to the restaurant and got out of my 2009 Chevy Cobalt and began walking toward the entrance. He got out of his brand spanking new hot rod of some sort. He stood by his car with the driver’s door open and hollered, “Dorothy?” I turned and he waved, shut his car door and began walking toward me. This felt strange and somewhat staged. In retrospect, I believe that perhaps he wanted to be sure that I saw his car. I saw it but I do not remember what kind it was. Cuz I do not care.
As he approached me, a man in a lifted, tinted, and massive pickup truck screeched his brakes and began screaming, “Hey dumb fuck. Get the fuck out here.” I winced. Is a fight about to break out right here, mid day??? Well, my date started laughing hysterically and cursing back at his apparent friend. But he added in this rant that he was trying to impress a date. This is how they communicate with one another, oh ok. I was impressed alright. Not. But to be fair, I don’t think he was impressed with me and my car either. His loss.
Needless to say, this set a strange tone for the date that lasted less than an hour. I came home and quit match.com, vacillating in between What Is Wrong With Him Alley and What Is Wrong With Me Alley…
On deck, a peaceful stroll down the blissful and bright What Is Right With Me Alley.