Writing left handed

Weekend Report

Peppermint candy cane on my scanner

Image via Wikipedia

You can’t break up with someone you were never with in the first place, but if you could, I’d be breaking up with Date #17.  It all started with the Martini Bar Soiree (leave it me to pick the one bachelor in all of Philadelphia who’s “too busy” to spend black Friday drinking martinis).  In his defense, he had to work on Black Friday but in my defense, I’ve never dated anyone who works in finance before.  How was I supposed to know that if the stock market’s open, the office is open too?

Also in my defense, I was totally rational about it (he did, after all, have a legitimate excuse) and although I’ve spent the past month bemoaning Date #17’s busy schedule online, I’ve been nothing but supportive in the flesh (“You ran the half marathon in less than two hours?  That’s great!  Good for you!”  “You scored a six-something-or-other on your GMATs?  That’s great!  Good for you!”).   Considering that I spend the better part of my day congratulating four year olds on tying their shoes, I’m pretty good at cheerleading… which is why, I suppose, Date #17 thought it was perfectly acceptable to ask if I’d like to go out Saturday night with nary an explanation for his MIA tendencies.

“I’m not gonna just sit around all day waiting for him to call!” I griped all the way to work on Monday.  My older (and therefore wiser) co-worker offered the requisite commiseration before advising me to move on.

Not finding myself terribly thrilled with her advice, I turned to my friend in Lyon on Tuesday.  “He can’t just ignore me and then expect me to go out with him at the drop of the hat!” I declared.  She too commiserated, and then gently told me that Date #17 was starting to sound a lot like her last beau (and seeing as I waged a three month campaign to convince her to dump the unfortunate fellow, this was not good news).

Finally I turned to my brother.  “I don’t understand him!  One minute he’s all flowers and chocolates and concert tickets and the next he’s MIA.  I know he’s busy but he’s not the only one.  I’m teaching nine classes right now and trying to revise a 90,000 word manuscript and he has the gall to tell me I don’t know what it’s like to come home at night too exhausted to pick up the phone or write an email???  Of course I know what it’s like!  But if you want to be with someone, you’ve got to suck it up!”

“Kat?” my brother interrupted.  “Why are you having this conversation with me?  You should be having it with him.”


Well now.  That seemed logical enough.

And so it was that I sent Date #17 a text on Tuesday night and asking him if we could have a “quick little chat.”

The chat lasted nearly two hours but did little to resolve the myriad of issues that have been keeping Date #17 and I apart over the past two weeks (or, for that matter, the past two months).  I had prepared all sorts of verbal smackdowns (calmly and collectedly of course) but I lost all resolve and found myself practically squealing with delight when Date #17 inquired, “What’s your schedule like on Saturday night?”

“Free!  Totally free!” I exclaimed.   “And I can’t wait to see you!  In fact, I have an outfit already picked out and I was thinking we could go to Rittenhouse Square to see the Christmas tree and afterwards we could try that new place with the…”

Or rather, that’s what I exclaimed on the inside, right before a little voice in my head said, “Stop being such a doormat, Kat! On the outside, I said, “I should be free in the evening but I think we both need to think about everything we’ve discussed tonight, and you need to decide whether or not you want to continue seeing me because right now I feel like I’m just sitting around waiting for you to call.”


Continuing in my little Zen-like trance, I concluded, “I’ll keep Saturday night free, so take a few days to think and if you conclude that you would like to see me again, give me a call.”

I was so proud of myself after hanging up the phone.  I stood my ground.  I told him how his actions (or rather inactions) were affecting me, and I did it calmly and rationally without getting emotional or clingy.

(Double Bazinga!)

But then Wednesday became Thursday, Thursday became Friday, and—surprise, surprise— I found myself waiting for him to call once again.

How did this happen? I wondered.  Didn’t I just finish telling to stop doing this?  Didn’t I— Oh wait.  That’s right: I said, “Take a few days to think and then give me a call,” thereby essentially giving Date #17 permission to keep dangling me along.

To his credit, he did eventually call, but I was teaching at the time so I was left with nothing more than a longwinded voicemail.

“Crap,” I thought, as I listened to his rather convoluted message.  “That didn’t turn out exactly as I’d hoped.”

But then I listened to his message again, and I had a completely different read on it the second time.  And the third time.  And the fourth time.  And by “different” I mean, “OMG!  He really does care about me!  We’re going to be okay!”

As such, I still don’t understand how it was that I somehow found myself making mint chocolate Christmas trees on Saturday night (alone, in my kitchen, on what should have been a perfectly good date night), smashing candy canes with a hammer, murmuring obscenities under my breath as I envisioned Date #17’s head on the cutting board and wondering, “Did I miss something here?”

19 Responses to “Weekend Report”

  1. Landlord

    Sounds like Santa is going to put a subscription to Match in your stocking–your public demands it anyway 🙂

  2. Matt79

    It’s a horrible feeling when friends are giving you advice which you know sounds right but which is the opposite of what you’d hoped to be told! Great work with the phone call. It sounds like there’s an unhappy “Part Two” post to come – I look forward to reading it through my fingers as I cover my eyes in trepidation!

  3. Debbie

    As a former “waiting by the phone” sister, I can tell you that we are fabulous women who deserve so much better… Our Mr. Darcy is out there. Maybe Santa will bring me a subscription too…

  4. Sam Barnett-Cormack

    It sucks, it’s not fun, but still, he’s being a bit… I don’t know a concise term for it. You seemed to be reaching a point where the relationship ought to develop, emotionally, and then he became even more distant and busy and stuff. That could be coincidence, or he could be having (possibly subconscious) issues with things getting more emotionally involved, but whatever the reason, it’s not good for you, and being completely single and date-free is, frankly, better than being dicked around.

  5. Jill

    I don’t envy you this, any more than I envy you the uncovered sneezes that come with teaching 4yos. But boy, you can write, and you can also be honest, which is part of #1. I have nothing more useful to say than good luck and keep writing. But I’m thinking of you. Break a leg with the Nutcracker performance. Or two.

  6. Dennis Hong

    Not that this is going to make you feel any better (that’s not what I’m here for, anyway), but I’ve always believed that if you’re really into someone, you’ll make the time for them, no matter how busy you may be….

  7. Elizabeth

    I agree with Landlord, too. Not just because I’m part of the public, but because I think you deserve better. That is great that he has a career, yay for him!! BUT being with you doesn’t seem like a priority for him, and it should be up there on his list! Best of luck!!

  8. wordofsoia

    Man that sucks. My Ex used to do that to me all the time. I finally realised that if he didnt have the time to even call me ( Not text – Because you know texting can be done anytime anywghere and basically doesnt require any concentration whatsoever) then he not going to make the time to see you either.
    Guys who do that just let their brotherhood of man down and leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths which is unfortunate, because next time this is the kind of behaviour you will end up expecting from a potential Beau when you shouldnt have to be thinking about whether or not he is going to call you.

    Onwards and upwards I say. All the good stuff he does, doesnt make up for lack of time he cares to give you. Seriously, a phone call takes no time at all.
    Its not rocket Science.

  9. awindram

    Date #17 sounds a little like one of my friends: shuts himself off into hermitude for weeks at an end before finally coming out to socialise. The problem is that every arrangement has to be on his terms and there’s no give or take. Needless to say, actual relationships tend to be fairly short-lived affairs.


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