Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear Sketchy...

Dear Bitter Amanda,

Two years ago I dated a girl that I met through a friend. It didn't work out and we stopped seeing each other after a few weeks. She however has infrequently texted me over once every few months in the last 6 months asking me to various events. The latest of which is a hockey game, watching hockey being an activity which I actually enjoy. Not wanting to turn it into a date, but also wanting to catch a game before the end of the season, our text conversation went like this.

her: you wouldn't happen to be a hockey fan would you? I've been wanting to catch an ice game. i don't know why. thought i'd ask
me: i go a few times a year. it's cheap and enjoyable
her: feel like going anytime soon?
me: i could fathom getting a group together
her: 26th would be good
me: let's invite the masses then
her: okay. i will attempt but might get a person
me: you know we have this facebook thing at our disposal. one of us should create an event and invite folk. i'll spearhead


It was late, but I didn't get a response. I wanted to get it across that I wasn't interested in having it be a date, but I'm worried that I left it too open. Let's be clear: I'm not interested - we already tried dating and it didn't work.

Sincerely,

Sketch


Dear Sketchy,
Yeahhhh...she wants to date you. Whatever you've done in the past to convey that you don't want to date her has not worked. Because she still wants to date you. She may have attempted casual there, but that's because she's not typing everything she's thinking. If she had, it might look a little like this: (additions in bold)

her: you wouldn't happen to be a hockey fan would you? I've stalked you on facebook and I know you are. I've been wanting to catch an ice game in hopes of showing you that we share many interests. i don't know why. thought i'd ask because I would like to spend some time with you and I'm confident you'll say yes to this activity.
me: i go a few times a year. it's cheap and enjoyable
her: feel like going anytime soon? Also our children would be really cute. I'm just saying.
me: i could fathom getting a group together
her: 26th would be good It would make a great anniversary for us. Nobody I know has a birthday or anniversary that day and it's not a holiday or anything.
me: let's invite the masses then
her: okay. Not really okay. i will attempt but might get a person I will probably ask two or three of my girlfriends who already have plans, hate hockey, and know that I want to be alone with you. I will not leave messages if they don't answer. I will call them on the 25th. Something tells me they will say no. Looks like it's just you and me!
me: you know we have this facebook thing at our disposal. one of us should create an event and invite folk. i'll spearhead

Do you see how that's not casual? It is very much to your benefit to make this a group outing. You'd like to be assured that she'll get the point and you'll be out of the woods, right?

I can't do that. (Let it be known that what I'm about to say is not something I feel good about. Like telling a child that coloring on the walls is totally fine just this once and expecting it to go well.) You have to be mean. Not a complete douchebag, mind you. But a little mean. Anything date-like will stand out as encouragement in her mind. It will be what she tells those girlfriends she "invited" to the game. It will be the story she imagines being told in her maid of honor's wedding toast. You have to be super-extra-without-a-doubt clear. And being mean? Is a great way to lose a woman's interest!

...Actually you may want to find a date for the game--either a real one or get someone to pretend. Do you have time to make up a
fiancée or something? That'd really help.
Solitarily yours,
Bitter Amanda

2 comments:

kevinmarshall said...

If "Sketch" doesn't want to be mean (though I can't fathom why a man referring to himself as freaking SKETCH would have any hesitation in regards to proper etiquette), there are two less mean but still dismissive ways he could have gone about this conversation:

1. Instead of saying "I could fathom getting a group together" like he's English aristocracy or something, he could've said "yeah, I'd have to look at my schedule...probably not anytime soon. I can get back to you if I have any time."
2. Said something like "I can watch it on TV, but I just can't do the whole watching it live thing. Something about it being so cold and not being able to find the puck; it's maddening I tell you!"
2. Ignored her and not replied to the text.

I josh with Sketch, because it seems like he's a good guy with his heart in the right place. And that's the problem. Sketch, you're a nice guy, but you're also pretty self-centered. We all are, to an extent, and every guy out there has thought the same thing at some point: that if you disappoint and/or ignore this girl, it will simply crush her and it's better to have her be a little hopeful or a nag than to make her cry. The truth of the matter is that she either needs that cry in order to move on, or she's not really going to be that upset...but will be if it keeps on like this.

Cut her out. Mutual acquaintances be damned.

Amanda said...

Guys...you really don't get it, do you? Some women are BATSHIT CRAZY. We hear "I'll get back to you" and we think, "Hey, he's a busy guy. He wants to be able to devote all his attention to me. That's so sweet!" If we hear "I'd rather watch it on TV" we assume that means you'd rather watch it on TV WITH US. "He wants us to be alone! Romantic!" We will justify all of your bad behavior by twisting it around until it suits our feelings. It's actually quite a talent.

I maintain that Sketchy ought to stage a fake date. Hey, Sketch, how do you feel about pretend proposing during the game?**

**For the record, proposing during a game is at the top of my list of Ways One Ought Not to Propose. Followed closely by proposing at a family event with everyone watching. In case you were all wondering.