Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dear Bobcat...

Dear Bitter Amanda,

Would you like to go get coffee sometime?


Dear Bobcat,
I've been mulling over your question for a few days. But here you have it:

Why yes, I would love to! I love getting coffee. I'll be heading to Dunkin' just as soon as I finish this letter! Thanks for the suggestion.

Oh wait, were you implying that you would also be getting coffee? (I'm not stupid, readers, I'm making a point. Wait for it and try to keep up.) I checked you out, boss, and unless you lie to the internet, we do not live in the same place. Hardly close enough to drink coffee in the same building. But you were sincere in your effort (you even stated that!) so I'm going to thank you for illustrating something I recently talked about.
In my last response, I pointed out that men often rely on an "easy-out" date invite. This is a perfect example of that. (Thanks Bob.) Imagine that this happened in person. There is no timeframe involved, so I'm not obligated to actually make plans with the asker! I could say yes, but then if I walk away and didn't really want to have coffee, I don't have to return his phone calls/IMs/facebook messages/you get my point. And then, well, it sucks to be Bob. Better luck next time.
He does earn some points for suggesting a specific activity, though. It is infinitely better than an offer to "hang out." Guys, seriously, this tells us nothing. You're trapping us--the only way we'll say yes to that is if we really like you and don't care when you wanted to hang out or what you wanted to do. In that situation, you are a lucky man. But if we're kind of "eh" about you...well, we need more information. What if you meant hang out like "go see the new Batman movie" and I can't stand comic book movies? See my point? We don't want to get roped into some lame activity. (For the record: Batman was just an example. I love Christian Bale.) Moral of the story: when dealing with asking someone out, man up. Don't be passive about it, boys.

And Bobcat, I realize that you may not have written this to help me compose a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of lazy dating and the modern man. If that's the case, and you were trying to be nice, then I'm sorry. I'm not really into, you know, people. It's not you, it's your Y chromosome. No hard feelings.
Solitarily yours,
Bitter Amanda


Bob Hague said...

Dear Bitter Amanda,

I guess I just thought that maybe something as simple as an honest invitation to get some coffee could break the chains of bitterness and transcend the obstacle of living 634 miles apart. Maybe I have watched “Sleepless in Seattle” too many times, or maybe I am just a hopeless romantic, but I thought that we could have something. Something special…

OK, sorry, that is not true. I have never seen “Sleepless in Seattle” and, like you, I am a bit bitter myself. Here is what really happened: I came home late one night after going to some local drinking establishments where I spent the evening coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t approach any ladies. When I got home I read the handful of your blog posts that I hadn’t read that day at work. I thought, “Hey, this girl seems to know what’s going on, she isn’t some silly girl that has ridiculous expectations of men. In fact, she kind of understands men.” Now, I am not some sort of self-deprecating man-hater, but a lot of what you say about men is pretty accurate. I always tell my friends who are girls, after they have been let down by a guy, that men are generally assholes and are mostly interested in sex. I would like to think that this analysis does not include me, but who am I kidding…

Long story short; I really would like to get coffee sometime, I was trying to be nice, that is genuine. Having said this, I have more than a potato between my ears and realize that neither of us will likely be willing to buy a plane ticket to go on a somewhat blind, internet-date. I knew that it was a passive invitation with an easy out, but the interest was well intentioned and honest.


p.s. I might be in Chicago (277 miles) in a few months…want to grab some coffee?

Anonymous said...


Would you like to meet up in New York, book a flight to Antarctica, and club baby seals with me?

Eagerly awaiting your reply,
Kevin Marshall

Amanda said...

For readers who failed to make it through Bob's novella reply, allow me to summarize:
+Bob has google-mapped me, which makes him a good stalker candidate.
+He is about as fond of the female gender as I am of the male gender. (Oh, flattered!)
+Bob thinks the expectations the average woman sets for men is too high to achieve. (Women love to hear that.)
+He was drunk when sent his first letter. (Romantic!)
+He believes my expectations to be much lower and thus easier to reach. (Thank you?)
+He thinks I'm right in my observations about men. (This is a bonus point for you, Bob.)

Dear Bobcat,
(Yes, I am sticking with that.) Since your second invite did include not only a specific plan, but also a (general) time-frame, I can tell that you learned a little something. Which is rather miraculous, given your gender. But you seem to have forgotten one little thing about this situation, other than the hundreds of miles. You're an internet person! You are someone that I do not know outside the confines of my laptop. So to me, you don't technically exist. I don't meet internet people. Sure, some people do it all the time and they're not chopped up in little pieces inside someone's freezer. Yet. But that does not mean I'm looking to be one of those people.
And after reading your reply, what girl in her right mind would turn you down? If I happen to find myself in Chicago (practically never) at the same time you do (hard, since I'm not likely to tell you I'll be there), maybe. In a very public place. With a good friend at the next table. And three friends prepared to call with "emergencies" no more than 24 minutes apart. And a detailed note at home describing where I'm going, what I'm doing, and what I'm wearing. And a public announcement on this very site. And probably a quick chat with the barista letting him or her know. And possibly working out some sort of signal.
So hey, if that sounds like your idea of fun, then you're in luck!

Oh, and you should see Sleepless in Seattle. It's an interesting commentary on the differences between men and women.
Solitarily yours,
Bitter Amanda

Amanda said...

Dear Kevin,
Thanks for the specific invite, but you failed to suggest a time.
Solitarily yours,
Bitter Amanda