Admittedly, this will be an atypical post for this theme.
Spoiler Alert: No Date
It’s much more like January’s no-show dates. What makes it different is that these guys couldn’t even show up virtually. That’s how dire it is with these Lost Boys, my friends.
Without further doo doo, episode 8.
The other day, on my one remaining “Why do I even bother?” asocial media site, I had occasion to quote Maya Angelou.
It was a guy that had bothered to hit me up with an inscrutable wink via their messenger function. I mean, here, a wink can fairly well be interpreted as
I want you, but haven’t the social skills to actually successfully execute an action plan to formally seduce you…so maybe this will work?
Yeah, I think that’s a pretty good summary of a the definition of a “non-verbal” greeting on asocial media.
And here’s the deal, on these types of sites, there’s tells to back up someone’s intent. They may set their statue to some version of “Looking for Now” or if they have pictures they wish to only share discretely, they may make their stinky eye pic visible to you along with their winky eye greeting.
At least there used to be tells like that that you could rely upon to clarify someone’s intentions. I think people are getting more jaded on the ROI for flashing their selfie porn to strangers. That less than phenomenal individual is called a pic collector. That pejorative moniker can be a reality if a guy actively seeks out or requests that someone unlock their private gallery or it can be restorative if someone sends unsolicited access to their buttoir pics and then doesn’t get the response they were anticipating.
Either way, it’s a sad substitute for initiating an actual conversation or behaving in a way that isn’t just a base form of selfishness. I mean, FFS, masturbate already.
Anywho…I checked his profile and his status didn’t indicate he was looking and his nudie pics were still locked up. And in a jackalope type rarity (he isn’t unicorn-cute), his profile had words in it! It wasn’t just a bunch of checked or unchecked boxes…and the words were clever and funny.
Now, there’s a third vague tell that I employ to suss out someone’s intent…y’know, whether they are just killing time or are maybe really looking to make a connection that doesn’t necessarily involve an erection.
They’ll introduce themselves.
When I replied, I signed off with my name.
After a few traded messages, I noticed he had yet to do the same. I knew that he was off early on a Wednesday and beginning a little staycation. After a couple more, I knew that it wasn’t just a really long weekend, that he had the entire following week off and that he had plans to do nothing.
Since I still didn’t know his name, I wished him well and told him I hoped he enjoyed himself. When he asked where I was going off to, I let him know that I wasn’t really going anywhere, I just didn’t take him seriously as friend material since he still hadn’t introduced himself.
He actually replied with something I could interpret as charm and chagrin.
Another jackalope moment. Maybe just as a projection on my part. Who knows.
We chatted a but more and then went off with our respective afternoons. I’m sure I had to go drink something somewhere with someone or something.
No, that’s probably exactly what it was…I really need to go back to full-time work!
We exchanged messages over the weekend and throughout the next week, but always about 12 hours out of sync. I blamed it on my janky sleep schedule. But while I was on, I took a look to see who else was lurking around that might be worthwhile.
What did I find? Maybe a unicorn!
A good looking guy with a few shared interests? Sure…he doesn’t maybe take his sexual health as seriously as he should, coming up allegedly on his second anniversary of his last STI screening. Maybe he just doesn’t update his profile here very often. This seems likely since he was 1200 GPS feet from me, it’s Fall and he’s not in Lancaster after a summer in Portland.
It didn’t matter, anyway, since an hour later he’d read my greeting and not replied. His profile says he liked tea, but I’m – obviously – not everyone’s cup of tea.
Still, it bothered me. Like this…
For me, if you’re looking for honesty and respect, ya oughta reflect it. I’ve broken off dating relationships with a couple of guys since moving back to Portland simply because they bankrupted my emotional bank account. Specifically, they withdrew my affection but never really made deposits, so eventually I just ran out of figurative fucks to give about them.
I think respect works off that same notion. If you only demand it and don’t return it, people aren’t going to give a damn about your demands.
Well, I’m not. I am a grumpy old man, after all.
So, I trotted our my bullshit buzzer and sent him a second message the next evening.
Notice the check mark in the yellow circle, that’s how I knew he’d seen my message.
What I notice about these lurking denizens of asocial media is the overprotectiveness they demonstrate for their brand. Usually, when I call out people on their bullshit, one of two things happens:
A) They posture and make excuses…your basic Crocodile Tears scenario.
B) They go on the offensive. So much energy into what just amounts to a blustering defense of themselves. It’s exhausting to witness and I really just hope this type of person will shorthand it and block me. Get it over with, already.
Well, this guy was a Type A in this case.
But what constitutes a “rather difficult evening”? It’s not really my business, but why bother offering it without context? You read my message but didn’t bother to reply until I impugned your brand the following day. If you hadn’t even read my message would that have meant that you had a “very difficult evening”?
And on a Halloween Weekend Saturday night…should I even care to believe such an excuse from someone? Halloween is generally referred to as Gay Christmas, in a fit of true irreverence. So maybe his costume just wasn’t coming together right and he read my message before deciding that he just really needed to focus on getting his Gay Vampire look just right.
I get it. Halloweekend is a struggle. Difficult times.
Almost as difficult as trying to figure out whether to indulge this fella’s response with anymore of my time.
So, I didn’t.
I had other things to attend to. Like Staycation Guy.
On Friday, I decided to just throw caution to the wind and call the guy out on his intentions. I acknowledged the awkwardness of communicating via a website and suggested we move to text for faster and easier communication.
If he was interested in continuing the charade…er, conversation.
12 hours later, I had his phone number and sent him a text.
Before bed that day, I sent him a message back on the old asocial media website.
I awoke the next day to this
…as well as the realization that text obviously wasn’t going to improve this guy’s communication rhythm.
I went and got coffee with The Fox and let his reply simmer on my mind’s back burner.
Ultimately, I decided not to say anything and just let it lie.
Six hours later, he messaged me on my favorite timesuck. He was riffing on my follow up via the same routine which was a simple, “I sent a text”.
I sent one back.
Ok, I appreciate a certain wryness. But was that what was happening here or was this guy just fucking with me?
Or was he just a complete social retard?
And, yes, I know retard is not a good word. But I’m saying his social skills seemed to be somehow retarded. Like undeveloped or halted in such a way that he really didn’t know he was failing.
I’m ambivalent about training boyfriends anymore. I think I’m less enthusiastic about training friends. Shouldn’t friendship come naturally?
At the same time, I look around our country today and see how people are so divided. So readily writing people off as The Other. Declaring The Other as an enemy…
I decided to reply. On the timesuck.
In a message that would make a terrible text – it was about 3″ long – I laid it out.
Texting should have been a much more effective form of communication but wasn’t for him.
If we’d failed to successfully burst into the real world when he had no work to complicate it and no other plans for his week, could we reasonably expect it to get easier when he added the complexity of work back into his schedule?
He read it.
I guess there’s a third type of person that I failed to consider, they just do nothing when pushed. No response. Which is probably as much genuine honesty as you’ll ever get from that type of person.
Plus, I’m sure nothing makes a denizen of asocial media less responsive than being confronted with something that’s 3″ long…