I was cycling on a Saturday afternoon, thinking about my imminent first date with the woman of my dreams – drinks that night in an upscale restaurant – when my cell phone chirped receipt of a text message. Lo and behold, she was texting me. We’d met ten days before at Loveawake dating site. Nervy of me to ask for her number, but I got it. How sweet is that?
Her text message said: Sorry, working late. Have to cancel.
Shit. Not again. The previous Monday she’d flaked on making plans without even sending a follow up text message or phone call. It seemed rude, but the next day she phoned to apologize, saying she’d had a doctor’s emergency. We rescheduled for Saturday drinks. At the time, it seemed like a dating upgrade. But maybe I should have asked for a doctor’s excuse note. (just kidding!)
I texted her: Bummer. Want to meet later? What time are you done?
She texted right back: 10. Maybe I will call u later.
Okay, sweet enough. She wasn’t sending rude text messages, just being a little vague. Maybe it would work out, after all. But I didn’t get my hopes up – she did say maybe, and it was a first date. I didn’t know what sort of work she did (I guessed nanny), but if she got off at 10pm on a Saturday night, she’d either want to chill at home by herself or head out for drinks with friends. Given the circumstances, our first date seemed unlikely to happen that night.
I didn’t hear from her again that night, or even the next day. How rude could one person be? I know, I know, I should have just walked away. But after the flirty sweet way we met, I couldn’t. Late afternoon, I resorted to texting. Can I ask what sort of work you do?
She texted right back: I’m a personal assistant to a family.
That explained the crazy hours. She worked in a wealthy suburb, and perhaps the mom and dad spent too much time in high tech jobs. They might keep her on call. (Would they phone, or send text messages? Ha.) Still, it seemed rude of her not to mention our broken date from the night before. Then again, did she have to? She’d already apologized when she cancelled, and she hadn’t promised to meet up or even get back to me.
I sent her a text message: Oh, that’s why you work strange hours.
She texted right back: Yes, I work too much. I don’t have a life. :-(
Some men might interpret that as her being rude, or trying to appear unattractive as a way of saying she wasn’t interested in dating. But not me. My reaction, however misguided: David to the rescue! I put rudeness and text messaging aside and phoned her immediately, intent on asking her out for drinks that very night. No more planning days in advance. My call went through to voicemail. Fine, she preferred texting.
I texted her: Free tonight? We could get drinks!
No response. This was beyond frustrating. But half an hour later a new text message from her arrived: Sounds good.
Sweet! I was in there. I phoned again. No answer. I texted her back: Want to meet at 8? Let’s talk and make plans.
She didn’t write back. I followed up with a phone call an hour later. No answer. Maybe she was taking a bath or getting her nails done, prepping for our date. I called again at 7 and left voicemail, asking if 8 still worked. No response.
WTF? Three flaked dates is all I can take. Granted, the first two were excused. But the third, saying sounds good, then not responding further? I almost wish she’d sent some actual rude text messages, instead. Anything. Just be straightforward.
It’s been a week since this last exchange. I texted her once more a few days later. But after her sounds good message, I never heard from her again. Was she date stacking? (making plans with multiple guys in one night, intending to only see one of them? Rude, I know.) Was she really that busy? Did she simply not like me or my circumstance? The whole thing vexes me.
I will say one thing – silence is the rudest text message of all.