If you recall, we had our first date on a Monday night--when he tried to carry me into his bedroom, I grabbed the door frame to stop him. We did some meaningless texting--initiated by me--the following night, which led nowhere. On Thursday, around 530pm, I texted him to ask if he wanted to come to a reading I was doing that night. He wrote back to say he was out of town for the weekend and wishing me luck. That Monday evening, he wrote me this bizarre email, saying:
"Maura, did you get over your aversion to IM-ing? I'm going to be hard to get a hold of for the next little while. Unfortunate events over the weekend."
Since I do not have a degree in cryptology, I didn't know what to make of that. Instead of playing it cool, I wrote back:
"What happened? Did you decide to marry a mail-order bride from some exotic locale, and did you leave the country to pick her up? Did you lose your cell phone in a fit of drunken debauchery? Or, more seriously, did something bad happen to you or someone in your family? I hope everything is fine. Anyway, I'm not sure we really need to be in touch by IM--do we? Maybe you should just get in touch again when you want to make a plan to hang out!"
Then ... no word from him. Not a response. I'd basically decided he was a wanker by then, but I was also bothered by the question: Why in the HELL would he ever bother to be in touch, to say what he'd said? Why wasn't he just blowing me off entirely instead of going to the trouble to send an idiotic and confusing email?
So I began to worry that something really WAS wrong, and that I'd been a flippant jerk in my email. And on Saturday afternoon, I wrote to him: "I just saw a big red fire engine go by, and it made me think of you." [Which, incidentally, was true.] "Is everything okay? I hope nothing's wrong. Let me know if I can help in some way."
Sunday evening he wrote back: "Spent a beautiful weekend upstate. Short one man. All is well."
To which my response was: What the hell? This dude is all smoke and mirrors!
Lovelies: tell me: you must have stories, yourselves, about similarly wack behavior on the part of dates. Tell me--what are the most incomprehensible texts you've gotten from peeps you've gone on Internet dates with? What's the most random behavior you've witnessed from someone you've smooched? What's the kookiest email you've received after a romantic rendezvous with someone who turned out to be not-so-special?
to my darling commenters:
dear Edwinna: you cracked me up with that "shivers me timbers" line on Friday, btw, i meant to say.
also, dear Celia: thank you for writing! and for looking out for me. i like to think i have great instincts about people ... but doesn't that sound like exactly the kind of thing someone says in a horror movie before she gets killed by a Hannibal Lecter type? anyway, I'v contacted a personal safety+defense expert to see if she has some tips for us about how to make smart judgements before going home with strangers.
and dear Yesenia: what a great name you have, sister! i'm glad you're digging the blog.