Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Case of the Missing Reply Icon!

I woke up the morning after my birthday party and sleepily checked my email. The only one that mattered was from Peter: “Thanks again for having me last night, it was a real blast. We will absolutely do that Japanese BBQ place at some point soon. Yes.”

I spent most of the night before ignoring my lovely friends to flirt with this cute, sorta shy boy I’d been trying to make notice me as more than a buddy for weeks. It seemed to finally be working and as we said goodbye, I suggested coffee “sometime.” He upped the ante to the aforementioned Japanese BBQ and narrowed the timeline to “this week.” But then he mumbled, “It doesn’t have to be a date, it could just be two friends cooking their own meat.” Nope, nuh-huh, not on the day I designated to celebrate my birthday with too much cider, mister. I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “I’d be amenable to either.” (I say things like “amenable” when I’m drunk).

He looked surprised, but when I said, “What about you?” he smiled and said, “Oh yeah. Yes.” And then I gave him a goodbye kiss on the cheek because that’s on the same list as saying “amenable.”

The next morning, snuggled under the covers with my trusty iPhone, I read his message and smiled. I wouldn’t spend the rest of the day wondering if I’d misread things or been a drunk idiot. He’d emailed me before noon, presumably not still tipsy from the night before, and all was right with the world. I typed out a quick response confirming that I had fun too and giving him my phone number for future Asian cook-your-own-meat dinner plans. The phone made its comforting delivery swoosh and I went back to sleep.

By the end of the week, the nonchalance of the morning after was gone. Peter hadn’t called. Or texted. Or emailed. My real birthday came and went without so much as a facebook wall post. I assumed he was busy with work, but he’d emailed me so promptly the first time and if he was actually interested...

While trying to make new messages appear in my inbox using only the force of my mind, I noticed something. All the messages I’d responded to had little grey arrows next to them. Peter’s didn’t. He didn’t get my email! I clicked on my sent folder to confirm, but there it was, my response, just hanging out like “yep, I was delivered.” I checked to see if perhaps responses from my phone didn’t show the little arrow when pulled up on my laptop. Nope, Peter’s was the only one missing the icon.

Since I couldn’t very well email him to say, “Hey, so I didn’t get a response from you and I’m wondering if you maybe didn’t get my response and now you think I’m an asshole. Not that I think you’re an asshole if you did get it and haven’t responded and oh by the way, did you know I’m insane?” I opted for inviting him for a casual after-work beer.

He emailed me back—right away—to say he’d like to, but he had to work all night. Crazy-making problems solved: I now knew that he was super busy with work, and even if he didn’t get my first response, he knew I was interested in seeing him again. The ball was in his court.

And it stayed in his court for a frustrating month or so. I’m not great with sports metaphors, so bear with me. He would like dribble the ball – seeking me out at parties to talk, buying me a rose from a street vendor – but he wouldn’t pass me the ball or go for a layup or try in any way to score.

I gave it one last shot, inviting him to see a friend perform stand-up in the middle of the week. He responded—again, very promptly—that he had standing plans to watch “fucking ‘True Blood’” with a female friend — “Thanks though!” That infuriating bit of politeness was it. I respect honoring plans with friends, but I was being blown off to watch a show he didn’t even like and that was clearly recorded since it airs on SUNDAY.

I replied the way I would to any of my guy friends: “Poor Peter, so much self-sacrifice, so little supernatural T&A.” Unlike my other friends, he didn’t volley any snark back. The little grey arrow assured me that he got the message. But that time I got it too.

1 comment:

  1. First things first--- a guy cannot buy you a rose from a street vendor and not follow through. I mean, even boyfriends and husbands don't buy roses from street vendors. Second, I LOVE your response to him. Hilarious. Clearly if he couldn't come up with a good response back, he's too boring for you. and it's just not cool he would dangle Japanese bbq like that.

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