Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can I Get Your Number Baby? Hit Me With The Seven Digits!

I've never been shy when it comes to giving my phone number to a man and making it clear that I'm interested, a character trait that is in direct conflict with the fact that I'm pretty much terrified of men. Especially ones I like. If you've read any previous blog entries, it should be fairly obvious why, though men make me giddy and giggly, they also set me a bit on edge. There's no telling what these strange, erratic creatures are going to do next. But that hasn't stopped me from putting myself out there from time to time. I'm pretty sure the first time I slipped a guy my number was when I dropped my digits into Jeff's tip jar (See: "Don't Go Around Breaking Young Girls' Hearts;" posted July 21, 2010), a move that I still argue was totally suave even though it didn't score me any dates.

There were a number of guys in college that I asked out, though I really don't remember if there was specific phone number distribution going on. One of these instances totally backfired for me because not only did Jim not take me up on my offer, but apparently dudes talk to each other in the football locker room. I was embarrassingly whistled at and catcalled every time I walked by the football table in the cafeteria for months, and I can assure you it was not in response to my extra-baggy hoodie emblazoned with our school's name.

I very clearly remember the first time a guy gave me his phone number and asked for mine in return. Alex and I met at a bar and realized we had a mutual friend, so when he scrawled his number on a napkin, I wasn't sure if his advances were strictly platonic or if they carried romantic undertones. I left the bar and he called me within the hour, so I decided he was probably into me... a hypothesis that was not supported when he took me out for coffee the next night and didn't even pay for my $1.10 cappucino at Dunkin Donuts. I don't think we ever spoke after that (well, until he came to pick up his tax returns when I was working in an H&R Block office two years later in a completely different city, but he definitely didn't remember me or recognize my name).

Then there was Steve, who cleaned the rugs at the bar and grill I hostessed at. Every Friday afternoon at 3:00 he'd come pick up our rugs, load them in his truck and replace them with clean ones. He always greeted me with a winning smile and he had totally gorgeous blue eyes that I couldn't stop staring at... but how to ask out this beautiful carpet-cleaning creature without attracting the attention of the entire waitstaff and restaurant patrons? Apparently the H&R Block office I was also working at was intent on providing me with opportunities to meet men or rekindle old flames, because Steve walked in one night to have his taxes prepared. He recognized me from the restaurant, we chatted and on the way out I slipped him my number. He never called, which made for some awkward Fridays, but I soon moved to a new state anyway.

There have been a handful of waiters who have been the lucky recipients of my number, too. In June, one such waiter became the first man to actually call me after receiving a scrap of paper with my number jotted on it. Ryan texted me within a half hour of receiving my digits: "I'm beyond flattered that a girl as goodlooking as yourself would give me her number. What should be do about this mutual attraction?" He then immediately asked me out for the coming weekend. He was a very attentive texter, giving me every indication that he was looking forward to going out. We met up late Saturday night and simply walked around his neighborhood, ending up in a park talking for two hours, leaving only when the park closed and city authorities kicked us out. I got on the train and before I even reached my apartment an hour later, I had a text from Ryan: "Get home safely! I enjoyed the conversation and look forward to doing it again." He asked me for a second date a few days later and we made weekend lunch plans.

The day of said second date, Ryan texted me to say his roommate totalled his truck and though unhurt, he was going to help him out, ending with, "Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?" Such a noble cause to cancel a date! I told him I was disappointed because I looked totally cute, but of course he was forgiven. He replied with, "I know, you always look fantastic! Thanks for understanding. I'll call soon."

Ryan never called. Did the roommate really total his truck or was it an excuse to get out of a date he didn't want to go on? I think it was true. He sure acted like he really wanted to go out again and if he didn't, why not just ignore me sooner? I think it's more likely that he let "too much time go by," a common theme I have recently observed. I've had a number of guys not call me back, only to tell me when I run into them weeks or months later, "I really did want to go out with you. But I forgot to call when I said I would and then I let too much time go by." I believe 100% that this is what they are truly thinking and not just a convenient excuse (I've done my research), but what a crock of shit. Maybe I'm in the minority of ladies, but I'd rather have a guy eventually call if I was looking forward to hearing from him than never hear from him at all. At any rate, Ryan was the last time I distributed my phone number to a near-stranger. I should probably count it as a near-success and quit while I'm on top.