Well here I am! Washed and brushed; shiny of coat, lustrous of pelt, and wearing a lovely smile that I tattooed onto my face last night with a rusty nail.
I had a blip. A wobble. Last night I chewed my pillow, howled at the universe and wrote some sixth-form cobblers that David Geffen could’ve put a Seattle grunge dirge behind and minted himself another million. All this after just one and a bit dates. Johnny Fucking Christ.
Yes. I was dumped. Like a teenage twat with his hands in his pockets standing outside his girlfriend’s house; his torn-up love letter falling like confetti around his scuffed shoes.
It’s a horrible experience becoming a cliché for a few hours. Ask Stella, she knows. This dumped guy was straight from central casting. An utter trope.
First there was the premonition. The pause in correspondence which YOU KNEW was being used to finely tune that final note.
Its arrival. And funnily enough it didn’t seem to hurt. Like people in traumatic incidents who look down and notice they’ve lost a leg.
“Oh”, they think.
So I dropped back an immediate, rather jolly reply. Oh that’s fine, I say. Yeah, it wasn’t quite right, was it? Whatever. Good luck. See you around. And I hit the send button.
And then there was the silence. The feel of something very nice melting away, and pattering onto the floor. The clock ticked, and my face morphed like a sad clown. Don’t go.
That’s the thing about dating over social media. You become conditioned to expect a reply. You work out your correspondent’s rhythms. Like two tennis players warming up. Batting entertainment and attention to each other to keep out the cold.
Knocking the ball to no one and watching it sail off into the car park is not something you’ve become used to.
This is exactly when the trope walks in and asks you to leave. He’ll take it from here, thank you.
THE STANDARD PROCEDURE
This can’t just stop. I was enjoying it.
Step One: send another message. This will read something like, “we should definitely stay in touch, though. I mean our correspondence was great”. Your digital voice is increasing in pitch. Subtext: “Oh Shit”.
Step Two: send another message, naturally. I mean the last two have been such a success; why stop? This one will be the last wobbling stand of your dignity, and will usually start with the word ‘Look’. Something like “Look. I’m not letting this one get away … etc.”. Subtext: “This one’s getting away, isn’t it?”.
Step Three: gently place your self-respect in a bucket, leave it at her door. Ring the bell, present yourself on a plate, and serve. This final note will haunt you for days. It is essentially a carte-blanche menu of yourself, no charge. Please use me. Muck me about if you want. Squeeze me in between shags. Keep me in the kitchen cupboard, and drag me out in needy emergencies. Subtext: none. There it is, in all it’s glory.
Score: Game, Set and Match.
This happens to all of us. It’s the flipside of the laughs and the joy found in meeting new people. You’ve got to put a bit of yourself in. Take a risk. Even if you know it might hurt. This hassle is part of being ALIVE. The alternatives to being alive are not promising. Believe me, I’ve checked out the options.
And try to consider the positives. I got so caught up with this that I didn’t eat for a week. A few more romantic disappointments and I’ll have reached my target weight in no time.
I don’t mind losing the odd game. Especially as I’ve only just walked onto the court after a long lay-off.
Not playing at all – now that’s a proper tragedy.
Who’s for a game?