INT. PALANTINE HEADQUARTERS – DAY
TRAVIS scuffles with Tom. He talks to Betsy.
Why won’t you talk to me? Why won’t you answer my calls when I call? You think I don’t knowyou’re here? You think I don’t know? You think I don’t know? I just want you to know that I know you’re here.
Tom pushes Travis to the door.
Take your hands off me!
You’re in a hell. You’re in a hell! And you’re gonna die in a hell like the rest of them. You’re like the rest of them.
And I realize now how much she is just like the others, cold and distant. How many others are like that. Women especially. They’re like a union.
People have no courtesy nowadays. Or maybe it was just my luck.
So one Saturday, I went on a date with…let’s call her Monica. We had good conversation, smiles and laughs all around. The energy fell off a little at a few points, but it certainly didn’t dominate the atmosphere of the date. Overall, I’d say it certainly went well. We spent three and a half hours together, and there were plenty of opportunities for her to leave if she was not comfortable with me.
Little things stood out in my mind that gave me the impression that we were getting along. She took an active interest in things that defined me as a person. She asked questions about me, she didn’t carry on and on about herself. She remembered little details about me and brought them up later as the date when on. We had very good extended eye contact, the kind of eye contact that expresses bright interest and enthusiasm. We got to know each other better.Maybe it was a mistake, but as we hugged goodbye, I asked her in a non-needy way, “Am I going to see you again?” Personally, I wasn’t sure about her: our personalities and values were rather different. But I thought (well, who am I kidding, I wasn’t thinking) I would ask her point blank to see her reaction. She answered without hesitation, “Yeah, it was a good date.” And off she went onto the E train. I went on home on the R train, bringing home with me a nice pizza dinner.
I call her Monday evening. She doesn’t pick up, so I just leave a voice message telling her to give me a call back. Simple. I don’t use texts because they’re not as reliable: sometimes there are delays in SMS delivery or they don’t show up at all.
Never heard back from her. Not an email, not atext.She’s still available on Chemistry, but that doesn’t mean diddly. Now, I’m not crying over this. Certainly not. Plenty of fish in the sea, and hey, I don’t go on a date expecting it to work because, well, let’s face it: most first dates are just terrible. It’s rare that we find someone who is actually compatible.
My point of contention is the lack of courtesy and the outright lie. You know, I’d be happier if a girl told me, “Oh, I’m not sure, I’m really busy next week, but I’ll call you alright?” Then at least I know that there is a great chance that I will never see her again. But Monica told me outright that we would see each other again, and even said that she enjoyed the date. I always say that the things that you do say, and the things you choose not to say, all culminate in a picture of the truth.
From an optimistic point of view, she had chances to end the date. She paid attention to details about me. We made good conversation. She mentioned doing a future activity (visiting a shooting range, of all things). The date lasted over two hours. Sure, it was not some slam dunk. But really, its rare to have a slam dunk. Especially on a first date, there are way too many points of failure. The probability of two very compatible people meeting under ideal circumstances that facilitate a very smooth first date are very slim.
The bottom line is that she never got back to me. Now, I may be a trusting soul, but I don’t think I’m that socially deft that I can’t tell if someone doesn’t want to go out with me again. And I don’t want people getting the wrong idea: I don’t care very much if I don’t go on a day 2 with someone. Things are the way they are, and I’m not going to get all worked up.
But it certainly makes me question my ability to sniff out deception. I’ve had bad dates before, or dates where it was clear by the end that we weren’t going to see each other again. In this case, I was outright lied to. I wasn’t even given the courtesy of a white lie. I would’ve appreciated even a white lie sent via text or email.
To all the people who go out on first dates: be courteous. Don’t lie about future meetings. When he (or she) calls, pick up. If you really did miss the call, text them back or email them and apologize. Then lie about how you’re going to be very busy at work for the next couple of weeks and won’t have time to go out. It’s the polite thing to do. Don’t ignore them as if you never met them. You ignore homeless people begging on street corners, not regular respectful people, especially not someone you know, however briefly.