Submitted for your, er, approval.
I go out with this guy a couple of times. Have an OK time. He calls and asks for a third date. I agree. He says he’ll call in a few days to confirm. He never calls.
One month later, he calls and leaves a message on my answering machine. “Boy, it’s been a long time since we’ve talked. That’s not right,” he says. “Let’s have dinner or something. Call me.”
I ponder. For a week. I weigh the guy’s -- let’s call him Blake the Flake -- pros and cons. They basically come down to this: He’s kind of dimwitted but really cute. I return his call.
He invites me over for dinner that night. I can’t; I already have plans. He says, “How about next week?” “Sure,” I say. Next week comes. Next week goes. Next month comes. Next month goes. And on and on for six months.
So I get home from work one Friday night and the little red light on my answering machine is flashing. I hit “play” and hear the following: “Hey, Samantha, it’s Blake. I was just in your neighborhood; I drove by your house and was thinking we haven’t talked in a while. I was wondering if you’d like to get together this weekend? In case you don’t have my number handy, it’s .... I’ll talk to you soon!”
I push the “delete” button.
This is a male phenomenon I will never understand. Do men have no sense of the passage of time? Has this guy been living in the Land of the Lost for the last six months? Trapped in the Twilight Zone of the bizarre male psyche? He blows me off twice, then disappears for six months, then reemerges with nary an apology, much less an explanation, as if I have been waiting eagerly by the phone for that day when my prince would call.
Not only did I not have his number handy, I had thrown it away months ago and have had a relationship in the interim. After only two dates with this fellow, I had no emotional investment in him and no interest in seeing him again, what with his jerking-around tendencies. I quickly forgot that he had called.
Three weeks later, he called a friend of mine at work, whom he had met once and remembered also works at The Times. He tried to ferret out of her why I hadn’t returned his call: Was I seeing someone? Should he try to call me again?
I tried to imagine what this guy was thinking:
(1) “I have realized after months of consideration that Samantha is a catch and I completely blew it. Maybe if I don’t apologize for my past bad behavior, we can both pretend it never happened. I hope she gives me another chance.”
(2) “I wonder if this chick still likes me. I’ll call and see if she’ll agree to go out with me again.”
(3) “Woman, good.”
Samantha Bonar can be contacted at email@example.com.