The Joy of Growing a Pair

One of the greatest things we’re capable of as human beings is the ability to stand firm and stay true to our convictions.

It’s beyond easy not to do this, and I’ve wavered plenty of times. I probably waver on a daily basis, multiple times a day.

But when someone does something so contrary to what you’d do to someone else — when they break the golden rule of treating others the way you’d want to be treated — you can either walk away and quietly be done with them, or you can say something.

For the first time in a long time, I decided to say something tonight.

I’m not a big fan of dating, as a lot of it seems to be nothing more than game-playing. It wears me out and, really, work leaves me with low energy at the end of each day as it is. If I want a game, I’ll bust out Twister. Or play Bejeweled. Or fling an Angry Bird. I don’t think relationships should be work. Too often, in fact, I feel they’re forced. Someone has marriage on the brain. Someone’s clock is ticking. Someone feels left out because all their friends are partnered up, so shouldn’t they? In a word, no.

Be still, people. Everything in its own time.

But back to dating. Occasionally, I do hop back in the saddle, and it might be for a variety of reasons. Maybe I figure it would just be good to get some practice. Maybe I think the person is worth the risk if I’m hurt by them. Maybe there’s just a general interest to see what could be, and if the answer ends up being “nothing,” then I’d like to think that two people could be emotionally mature enough to know what’s up, identify the lack of whatever-magic-makes-two-particular-people-click, discuss it in an adult manner and move on. True, nobody owes anyone anything, but I would argue that as human beings who might’ve given it a go, we owe each other the courtesy of being, well, courteous.

After a mere four dates, I was stood up by someone last night. Not cool that yesterday’s phonecall and text about our plans that were supposed to be last night went unreturned until 9:30 this morning, but OK — I can improvise and find other things to do with my time. Details aren’t necessary, but when the final outcome doesn’t even include the decency of an apology, it’s just not right.

My old self would ignore it, not return calls, not reply to texts and be done.

Apparently this new self has a bit of a diplomatic side.

We had two phonecalls this evening. The first was odd and full of lengthy, silent pauses. A strange explanation and rambling about the matter that kept him completely occupied yesterday was given. I listened and hoped for an apology about his going MIA, but it never came. The call ended fairly quickly, which I can thank my confusion-fueled silence for.

I went in to bake some chicken for dinner, then wondered to myself, “Why am I baking chicken?” The question wasn’t so much about its method of preparation as much as it was about why I wasn’t irritated. I should be, right? It was clearly a case of “I’m just not that into him,” and I thought that a text to nip everything in the bud and put whatever was before us out of its misery would be best.

No, on second thought, a phonecall seemed the more mature thing to do.

I called back and asked if he had a moment. He said he did. My surprisingly calm delivery went something like this [ahem]:

“I just wanted to say thank you for the four dates we had, but I don’t think we should continue. It sounds like you have a messy situation on your hands, and I hope things work out.”

Him: “…oh, OK.”

(Awesome.)

Me, continuing the calm: “I also find the lack of communication yesterday somewhat appalling when we had plans, so I’m pretty much done.”

Him: “OK, I understand where you’re coming from,” followed by more rambling about the situation that kept him incommunicado.

(Awesome.)

Me: “OK, well good luck. Goodbye.”

Clearly he just wasn’t that into me, either.

While I never planned on writing a Thanky about a downer of a situation like this, tonight I am thankful to have seen a series of events for what it was, what it lacked, for not telling myself it was OK and for taking the road that I always hope someone will give me the courtesy of if and when the time comes.

I am also thankful for the writing fodder.

(Really…who makes chicken?)

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