Ok. So, here’s the scenario. You’ve exchanged a few emails. He [I’ll call him Mr U (S of A) for the purposes of this post, but that is questionable as you’ll read later] seems interested and interesting. He’s already calling you ‘babe’ and ‘sweetie’, and despite alarm bells ringing in the far reaches of your smitten mind you’ve convinced yourself it’s a warm and touching gesture. In his next email he sends you his telephone number. He also asks for yours because he’d ‘really like to hear your voice’. You’re full of the joys of spring (well, very late winter…) and he’s got such a sweet smile in his profile pic, dammit, that you tap out your digits and press SEND.
You sit back and get on with the rest of your day, convinced you’ll hear from him later in the day. You dream of the perfect conversation you’ll have. You remember his profile ad, that smile, the interesting things he said. You look forward to hearing more about him, having that first phone date that you hope will lead to a meeting in person.
But by the end of the first day there is no phone call. You imagine it’s because he’s busy at work. Hell, you’re busy too. It’s understandable. You’re feeling quite casual about it.
A second day passes. Every now and again, you wonder if he’s going to call. You could call him but you want him to do what he said he would. It’s the principle. The end of the third day approaches and you realize you’ve given it a lot more thought than the day before. Is this going to fizzle out before it’s begun? You hope not, he seemed like a real possibility. On the fourth day you’re making boiled eggs for breakfast but visualizing fluffy bunnies in green pastures. He’s playing games. He’s just plain rude. You want to give him a piece of your mind…
You shouldn’t care, but you do. That dangerous, unwanted guest called Expectation has entered the room. It was all going so well, but somewhere something has gone terribly wrong. I hate that I’m feeling like a bunny boiler. This isn’t me. But how do you contact him without coming over all ‘Glenn Close’?
I mean, let’s face it, there’s nothing so gross than a potential ‘squeeze’ turning all psycho on you – before you’ve even met. No, this wasn’t me. I had to find a way to confront the situation with some guarantee of success.
So, what do you do?
Here’s what I did. I sent him the following email:
Hello [I used his full name here, as it appeared in his email]. I have a very short quiz for you… It really is VERY short and won’t take but a second of your time.
So, you haven’t called the lady you met online. Is the reason for this…
a) You’ve found the woman of your dreams and been swept off your feet
b) You prefer a woman to take control – after all what was the point of the whole equality movement
c) You have temporary amnesia and ‘who the hell is this anyway?’
d) None of the above
See, very short, huh? Let me know your preferred answer.
It turned my anxiety into humour. It also gave me the opportunity to see where he was at by the answer he gave. I even alluded to the fact that I’d thought of calling him. A strange feeling of calm overcame me. I realized then that my anxiety was caused by my lack of control. As soon as he told me he was going to call the power was in his hands and my expectation had begun to hammer the last nails into my coffin.
I sent the email off and, I have to say, it worked. Almost straightaway I got a reply:
Baby [see what I mean] this is a very funny quiz and you got me laughing so hard in the office today. Well, the answer is I didn’t know you were a serious woman who was interested in me [duh!] as I was in you when I saw your profile. But now I think I know and am calling you NOW.
And call he did. About 10 minutes later. That was when it all went downhill. ‘Where did you get my full name?’ he demanded after our brief salutations.
‘What do you mean?’ I say.
‘I didn’t tell you my full name.’
I explained that it was in all the emails he’d sent me and that he sounded just a tad bit suspicious. I wondered whether my email quiz, however carefully worded, had still somehow screamed bunny boiler.
Added to this my phone signal kept coming and going and Mr U had to call me back two more times before complaining about it and telling me to call him back instead. Maybe he’s having a bad day I thought, even though I didn’t believe it. I called him back and tried to resume a normal conversation. I asked him where he was from. ‘America’ he said in an accent that was anything but American. ‘Really,’ I said, ‘your accent doesn’t really sound American. Did you grow up somewhere else?’ But Mr U had grown even more suspicious and said he didn’t really want to talk about it before we knew more about each other. The alarm bells were now causing major tinnitus, so I acquiesced. ‘I think from some of the things you’ve said,’ I explained calmly, ‘ that I really don’t think we’d make a good match so…’ But I didn’t get the chance to finish because Mr U cursed down the phone at me, then hung up. Understandably, I was a bit miffed, but actually really quite relieved.
So, I was right. He was rude. And I was certainly no bunny boiler.