A guy I slept with over a year ago sent me a message on Friendster. The note began with:
"You may or may not remember me, here are two clues:
2) We had sex"
Of course I remembered him. First of all, I'm never going to forget someone I had sex with, even if I never see him again, which was, until today (sort of; virtually anyway) the case. And secondly, I'm never going to forget when someone says they're going to call and they don't.
This has come up a little bit lately in discussions with my friends, this sex with no follow-up call issue. I would say most of the time I don't care. In fact, I would prefer they not bother to ask for my number at all if they're not planning on using it. (I hadn't anticipated the aforementioned guy calling me, and was surprised when he asked for my number in the first place.)
But I admit I am a strange breed of woman, a little bit cooler (and by cool I mean cold) and tougher than the rest, although lately I have been warmer and weaker. I also haven't been engaging in much of the same behaviors I have in the past. You've got to have a heart of steel to play in New York City, and I'm just not prepared to put that type of energy into myself right now.
But what about the rest of the ladies out there? The nice ones, the ones who think they'll get a call afterwards, be it a magical one night stand, a first, second, or third date. Yes, I have even heard tales of men kissing women off after a first sexual encounter occurring on the third date, waiting a week to call, or even a month, or never. How are they supposed to feel about this kind of disrespect?
Because even if, deep down inside, you know he's probably not going to call, there's also a small part of you that hopes he does. Or, reverse that ratio. Either way, it's going to hurt. For a second you've pictured the next steps, if it's going away together for a weekend, meeting the folks, or even just a simple dinner. And then, slowly, after a day, or after a week, or after however long it takes till you figure out he's not going to call (or email, I guess, although I think emailing is not ideal either, unless there are serious compliments lavished within that email), those visions of sugar plums dancing in your head explode (if you're like me), or lay down and take a big, fat nap (if you're like everyone else.)
I can't imagine why men act the way they do. I don't think they were raised to act this way, and yet this behavior is more common than not. It's rude and it's hurtful and it's dishonest. But there are, thankfully, a few lovely men out there.
A guy I dated a couple of years ago always called me the next day after a date. "I just wanted to thank you for last night," he would say. We didn't even have sex right away, I think it took about a month. But he always remained respectful, and even though the relationship ended after a few months, I have nothing but good things to say about him now. And I look to him as a reminder of how I should be treated, when the situation calls for that kind of treatment. If only more men were like him.
As to the man who emailed me today, in a way I'd rather he hadn't bothered. His email today is on par with running into someone in a bar and having them apologize to you for some past wrong. If you really meant it, you'd have done it long before.
"I felt weird seeing your pic and not saying hi...," he wrote. And I wanted to say to him, well why wasn't it weird a year ago? Why is it suddenly easier now? Is it because you're safe in the shell of some website? Is it because you're a pussy? Well, is it?
Instead, I wrote:
"oh YEAH, the guy who never called. you broke my heart. i cried for weeks and weeks. my friends were so worried about me. they put me on a 24-hour suicide watch.
why won't he call me? i moaned.
they stroked my hair, wiped my brow, dried my tears.
because, they said, you live in new york city, and that's what people do here."
Because even though he never stirred my sugar plum fairies, I'm sure I was speaking for someone else, some other woman he had hurt in the past.
Behave, boys. Behave.