Last week, at Pele's suggestion, I posted the following notice on craigslist:
I'm a 37 y.o. woman looking for a recreational, co-ed, slow pitch softball team/league in the DC area. I've played casually all my life and I've been on an organized team for the last three years. I'm looking for a group who plays for fun and is not super competitive. That said, I always play to win.Note: I'm not actually 37, but I will be when the season starts. Maybe I'm just trying to get used to it. Sigh.
That very same day, I received an email from "Chad." He wrote without capitalization and little punctuation. Most emails were one or two lines. I signed all of my messages and even had more than one paragraph occasionally, but I've condensed it here. I've kept our original spelling/puntucation. Here is some of our exchange:
Chad: hi-im chad-33-white male-dc-i play in several different leagues in the spring and summer along the mall if interested...are you in d.c.?
Jamy: Hi Chad--thanks for writing. Yes, I'm in DC. Games on/around the mall would be perfect. I know things are gearing up for spring/summer, which is why I posted now.
Chad: i play in two lawyer leagues and one through my colleges alumni..i can ask if we need any new women this season...we could throw some if you wanted...
Jamy: That would be great if you could ask. I'd love to throw. I'm so out of practice. That reminds me, I need a new glove. Lost mine at the end of last season and the replacement is really crappy. So, is it warm enough for catch?
Chad: well..i'm from colorado so i like the cold, i try and ride my bike to work every morning regardless of weather...do you have a bike? i'm in georgetown.
I had a feeling that we weren't talking about softball anymore, but what the heck? I continued to engage him.
Jamy: I do have a bike, but I am more likely to walk to work than ride. I must admit, riding in temps below 40 is not for me. I won't walk if it's much colder than that either. Luckily, there is a gym at work, so I'm not completely sedentary. I'm from Seattle--is that a good excuse? Where do you work? Far from georgetown?
Chad: seattle..are you a big seahawks fan? i'm from [resort town], co. i take it you dont ski?
Jamy: I am a big Mariners fan. I am rooting for the Seahawks, though. Loyalty and all. And of course I ski! Used to go all the time, but I haven't been for years. But I've only skied at the places near Seattle, so it's that cruddy snow, not that beautiful CO powder.
Chad: i was up in whistler a month ago, it was sweet....did some heli-skiing. i enjoy riding my bike through the city at night.
That one did give me some pause, "…my bike through the city at night…"? WTF?
Jamy: I've never been to whistler. Just snoqualimie and crystal mountain. Oh well. Hope you use lights for your night riding :)
Chad: sometimes.....so, you are athletic?
I figured he wanted to know what I looked like. I answered the question I preferred it to be.
Jamy: I suppose. I rowed competitively for 2.5 years in grad school. I like to play softball. I go to the gym. Try to keep moving! I used to love skiing--but it's just too much work now.
Chad: you sound lovely
That threw me. I promptly sent the entire exchange to Velvet, the master of all things CL. She gave me my next line. Poor guy had to wait almost an hour.
Jamy: I sound lovely as a softball player or just in general?
Chad: lol..in general..have a photo?
Jamy: Do you? Send me one of you and I'll reciprocate. [Reading Velvet has taught me well.] (I have to wrap this up--I have to get out of here in 10 minutes.)
Chad: i'm 6'3-210-athletic build [his tiny picture was attached]
Jamy: I'm 5'5" and would have no idea how to characterize my build. (I sent two--one where you can see my face.) [I sent two pictures. I'm generous that way.]
Chad: you are quite cute :) nice smile...maybe we can hang?
Jamy: Thank you. I would return the compliment, but your pic is so tiny :) Still, you're probably ok. We can hang, sure. What's the whole point of this? I really would like to play catch. Seems like a good place to start, no?
Chad: date much?
Jamy: oh, wouldn't you like to know. you?
Chad (seems to be answering email before last): [his phone number] :) u cant characterize your build? athletic..curvy?..skinny?.
Jamy: Curvy + athletic. Robust? you call me. [my phone number].
Chad: curvy as in big boobs curvy...i hope-lol
I didn't care for that, so I ignored it. He kept writing, however.
Chad: i dont even know the name that goes with that cute face?
I signed the first few messages, then I used an initial. Geez, read your email. I went to the gym and he kept writing.
Chad: ill be [out of town] tomorrow and sunday with no football being played, i hope you stay in touch and would like to meet up one night soon, maybe to ride after work? maybe throw some, drinks? lol you are cute
When I got back to my desk he'd called twice and left one message. I called him back and we talked for about ten minutes. Plans for catch were tossed around for the next Saturday afternoon as he was going to be out of town this weekend. It struck me that he was very shy. We hung up and I had the distinct impression that I would never hear from him again.
I was wrong. Yesterday, Monday morning, I received an email from him.
Chad: hi good morning
About an hour later, I wrote back.
Jamy: Good Morning. How was your [weekend activity]?
He didn't write back until late in the afternoon.
Chad: you around?
Jamy: Yep. Getting ready to go soon.
Chad: how about a date sometime?
Pele called and I read Chad's emails to her.
Jamy: A date sounds good. What do you have in mind?
Chad: maybe a few drinks...a nice dinner...some nice kissing :)
I told Pele that I didn't like the sound of this. I said, "It's a little ick. I think I might be done." She said, "You might be done."
Jamy: That "kissing" comment bugs me. I'm not sure what you think is going on here.
He has yet to respond.
I shared the last exchange with Velvet. She thought I was being a little tough on him. I didn't agree. I explained,
…his kissing comment made me all kinds of uncomfortable. It was a real gut-check--exactly the kind of thing I've promised myself not to overlook anymore. So, I called him on it. He had the opportunity to clarify, apologize or whatever. If he were a good guy he would have written back and said, "just kidding around, sorry if I crossed the line, I hope we can still go out" or "i was just teasing, I don't expect anything" or probably hundreds of other variations on that theme that would have made it easy for me to let it go.Grateful for: banter.
Instead, he hasn't written back at all. Bye-bye is what I say. Next!
Drop me a line.