I Got Fluffed

Patience or denial? Um, that would be denial. I got fluffed. Played like a banjo.

I saved a low-level of optimism that that Sunday’s tentative wine-tasting date with Mr. Perfect would come together. After all, his efforts of pursuit had increased after Wednesday’s date, so there was hope he was “getting it”. On the flip side, I knew his company was firing a key executive on Friday, and that meant the likelihood that he’d have to work all weekend at about 99%. I didn’t care, this would be the test.

And of course, on Sunday, I was blown-off. I called in the morning to confirm plans, no return call. In the afternoon, I realized – ironically, before my blog was posted and Josh made his (psychic or experienced?) prediction – that eventually I would have to call his bluff. So I did.

The email I sent (after careful review by trusted friends), was simple and sincere. No drama, no psycho chick shit, just pointed, with a touch of warmth but clearly conveying – I was frustrated and ready to walk away. The essence was – you’re not being respectful of my time and interest, being busy is not a sufficient excuse, and it’s telling me that you’re just not that interested. In a different time and place I would have welcome a casual/whatever relationship, but now I was looking for something that has at least a chance of progressing forward. Even tentative plans deserve at least a “hey, can’t make it.” Period. So I left it in his court – if he thought we could work it out, I’d welcome the call. If not, best wishes, was nice to meet you.

It’s important to note that normally I would have ignored him and send him back to Doggy Training School, where silence says more than words. But I knew I had to test his oh-so-perfect words of Wed night about working things out instead of playing games. More than that, I keep getting advice to give men a chance and say how I feel, which is very, very, very hard for me to do. I sent the email to his personal address, and a note to his work email saying I had sent a message.

I got an immediate response – I mean, in seconds. He said he was slammed at work (surprise), but would check his personal email. Then, less than a minute later, a response: “Did we make plans for today??”

I laughed out loud. True, drink-induced date planning was probably not a great idea. Assuming we were on for Sunday instead on confirming, another mistake. Was he simply playing dumb? Or had I assumed friendly intoxicated banter meant a Sunday date? I wish I had posted my blogs in real-time, because then I would have known (based on the feedback) that he was playing dumb.

Can you hear the banjo music?

I didn’t mean to let him off the hook, but I think I sort of did. I communicate most things with humor, and in my reply (aka, “LOL, I guess drink induced date planning is not a good idea”), I inadvertently made it sound like it was no big deal.

It really doesn’t matter. A normal person with a functioning sensitivity chip would have at least called to say, “oops, sorry for the confusion.” The lack of a phone call told me everything I needed to know. This guy was a self-absorbed asshole or he just wasn’t that into me. Either way I lose. And more importantly, either way, I was a fool.

The realization should have been like a crisp and clear slap in the face, but honestly, it crept in slowly. I just couldn’t believe I got fluffed by this guy. I’m a reformed game player, skeptical, burned hard in the past, and as a result, slow to believe a single word that comes out of a man’s mouth. But somehow, I had allowed myself to believe – the connection, in every way, felt real. Conversation you can manipulate, but the unique physical chemistry too? Why invest in 4-6 hr dates with a woman you’re not really into? Why share embarrassing confessions or intimate details about the insecurities in your life with a woman you might toss away at any moment (that’s risky, we do crazy shit when we’re pissed and want revenge)? It just didn’t make sense.

But within a day or two, I realized none of it ever made sense. Again, props to our reader, Josh (who should start his own Relationship Crime Scene Investigation service) carefully picked out the inconsistencies from blog #1 on this. You know what the real mystery is? How the HELL did I fall for this BS? How did I let myself believe in anything this early? I KNOW better. Am I so desperate to believe in men and relationships again that I was willing to let it ride, even in the face of obvious and consistent red flags?

Oh, I talked to my guy friends and assured them this is EXACTLY why I don’t take men seriously and that I am going back to game-playing and using sexual appeal as a weapon. That I’m never going to tell men how I really feel because it’s always a big fucking waste of my time, and that the next time I sense an inkling, a sliver, a micron of taking me for granted I’m going MIA and that’s that. I told my girlfriends that I hope for his sake he never contacts me again or he’ll understand what it really means to be played, ‘cause I have all the time on my hands in the world to teach him what it feels like to feel stupid, that I’ll show him what being gamed really looks like.

That was just pain talking. Here’s the truth. My fear of being a bitter, man-hating woman is bigger than my fear of being duped or hurt. The truth is I realized through this that I am surrounded by a small army of wonderful friends who love me and are adamant I deserve better, cheering me on to keep trying and making plans to kick this guy in the balls if they ever see him. In all my stupidity and denial, I feel even more loved and valued by the people who know me.

So thank you friends, for keeping it real and not letting me wallow in self-pity. You’ve all convinced me I shouldn’t say no to the gamble, even if it doesn’t turn out the way it should.  It’s funny, I’ve been thinking a lot about my favorite game in Vegas, Let It Ride. Even when you’re dealt shitty cards, you can pull back your bet a little but never fold entirely. And those of you who have played with me know I always put $1 on the side bet – sure, it’s against the odds, but when you win, you win big. So I’m staying at the dating table, putting a $1 on the side bet to boot, and when I have a hand I think might win, I’m not going to pull back my bet, I’m going to let it ride.

So screw you Mr. Perfect Date.  The pain of losing this round will fade fast as a new set of cards are dealt.


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