When we last saw our heroine, she was slowly losing her mind while waiting for a phone call. Over the weekend, some valiant attempts to be social were executed but at least one social event was abandoned. She was left a hopeless, miserable wreck on Sunday night, not knowing whether she should give up--did the lack of a phone call mean he simply wasn't interested?--or hang on a little longer, hoping that there was a tiny possibility that he liked her and there was some reasonable explanation for the lack of a call.
Monday morning, sees our heroine at work. After an initial burst of enthusiasm and the completion of one semi-important task, she finds herself unable to focus. She feels physically ill--sick to her stomach. She knows if she calls his office, he is likely to be there. She has the chance to assert some control. Should she call? Should she wait? Should she let go? The debating leaves her stomach churning. She tries to eat a muffin but she can barely chew it--it tastes like sand. She thinks, "When am I going to handle this kind of thing like a grown up? I'm in tatters because some guy hasn't called--there are a lot worse things going on in the world." She considers her two grown-up options: decide he isn't interested and let go or call him and find out what is going on. She calls.
Jamy: Hi. May I speak to Jay?
Jay: This is Jay. [She didn't recognize his voice.]
Jamy: Hi. This is [Jamy].
Jay: Hi. How are you? What are you up to?
Jamy: I'm fine. Just got outside to clear my head and get a little fresh air.
[Inane conversation about the weather and how she walked to work and where her office is located.]
Jay: So did you hear I lost my phone? [Does he think that is why she's calling?]
Jamy: What? You lost your phone. How would I have heard that? [No way! A reasonable explanation???]
Jay: Well, I didn't lose it. It stopped working. It broke. It got knocked on the desk. It hasn't been working right for a while.
Jamy: It broke? That's so...unlikely. So...it's a good thing I called?
Jay: Yes. I'm glad you called.
Jamy: So…you broke the phone. You mean, it really broke when you banged it on the desk in frustration?
Jay: Uh, um...yes. I was going to get in touch with CC and get your email...but it's good you called.
Jamy: Yes. I guess so.
Jay: I wanted a new phone anyway. Maybe one of those Blackberries.
[Inane conversation about how she is sometimes mistaken for a librarian, touched off by the Blackberry comment. A whole bunch about softball on Sunday. Other less memorable stuff.]
Jay: I should get your number and write it down on a piece of paper.
Jamy: Are you ready? It's 202.XXX.XXXX.
Jay: And your email?
Jamy: email@example.com. [Why didn't she ask for his email? A mystery for the ages.]
Jay: I should try and get some work done.
Jamy: Ok. Me too. I need to get some lunch. [Pause. (She may never eat again. This whole mess is a real appetite killer.)] So, um, do you want to get together sometime?
Jamy: [Repeating] Do you want to get together?
Jay: What? Oh, yes, I'd like to get together. I'm going to the beach on Friday, so it might not be this week...
Jay: ...unless you'd like to get together during the week...
Jamy: Yes. I can do something this week. [Firm, positive.]
Jay: ...tonight I have to something with [mumbles] family. Maybe Wednesday or Thursday?
Jamy: I could do something on Wednesday or Thursday. I would like to do something. [Trying very hard not to be ambiguous, though her instinct was to hedge right along with him.]
Jay: So, I'll give you a call.
Jamy: You'll give me a call? [Pathetic?] Ok. But I was kind of wondering what happened...why I didn't hear from you, so if you aren't going to call...[desire to scream in frustration suppressed]
Jay: I'll call you, don't worry. [Bemused?] But I don't know if I can get together this week.
Jay: But I'll call you and we'll work something out. Maybe something on Wednesday or Thursday.
Jamy.: Ok. I'll talk to you later.
I'll shift back to first person here, if you don't mind.
That conversation lasted about twenty minutes. Immediately after we hung up, I called Pele. I gave her the gist and she said, "I'm glad you called."
"Me too. I guess. I don't feel much better." I was close to tears, for not the first time this morning. "Maybe I'll feel better in a couple of hours. I'm just so used to feeling bad maybe I can't feel better right away."
"You will feel better. You should. He had a good reason not to call."
"He's still useless, though. He could have figured out how to reach me. I'm in the goddamn phonebook." I did not share my theory that guys are incapable of using the phonebook, which has been proven to me on more than one occasion.
"Still, he got your number and he said he'll call you."
"I'm all set up to wait again. Great. I don't think I can take it. I can't take it. But that's just because I've blown everything out of proportion. I don't expect him to feel the same way as I do."
"He may not like you as much, but that's not unreasonable."
"He may like me plenty, but he's such an idiot he can't get his act together. It's probably just the shy thing. Is it? Am I making excuses for him? And is this who I want to go out with--the guy who breaks his phone in frustration, can't figure out how to call me and who won't even make plans when I call?"
"It's good to keep those things in mind…the reasons you may not like him."
"No. I don't think so. I just want to overlook all his faults." Wow, I can't believe I actually said that. "Unless he's like this all the time, I don't care. It will make the beginning part of this (if this is indeed the beginning of something) very hard on me, though."
"You need to find some way to relax about it."
"Right. But I don't think the way is focusing on his faults. I think the way is to remember that he's just the KIND of guy I want to be with, not necessarily THE guy. And there is more than one kind of guy I could be happy with. I've dated a lot of different kinds of guys. Some of them could have made me happy--and some came pretty close. I just need to remember that." Otherwise it's so much pressure that I think I may explode.
I don't think my complete and utter--well, my partial and fairly overwhelming--desperation was apparent to Jay. I tried to give him an out in case he doesn't like me (which is still possible). Now I get to wait again, but if he doesn't call or email by Wednesday (I'm not sure what the deadline is), I will probably have to give up. I'm not going down without a fight, though.
I am starting to feel better. Maybe I'll finish that muffin.
Grateful for: surviving.