Have you ever felt like you were playing a game with all the wrong rules? Or worse, everyone else is using a different set of rules from you?
That’s how I feel sometimes, especially when it comes to life.
To illustrate my point, I’ll use an example from recent weeks. I met someone, he got my number, and then he said, “I’ll call you tomorrow….nah, I won’t call you tomorrow. It’ll actually be more like sometime next week.”
At first I was a little put off by it, but I soon grew to realize that his honesty made me feel way better than when someone says, “I’ll call you,” and they never follow through.
This is a touchy subject, I think. I’m reminded of the great scene in Swingers in which Mike gets a number, and then he asks his buddies how long he should wait to call.
Two days, they respond, is industry standard. But then again…three days is really kinda money. When he asks them how long they will wait before they call their beautiful babies, their answers are most unexpected:
Now, I must take a slight time out to be brutally honest here. I will be the first to say that games are wrong, men and women should be honest with one another, let’s cut the bullshit and get to the heart of the matter, right?
That being said, I actually like a little mystery. If I like someone, chances are I won’t like them nearly as much if they call me right away. I gave my number to someone one time, and he called me not a few hours later. Needless to say, I deleted him right away. I enjoy thinking, “Is he going to call, is he not going to call, did he like me…” et cetera, et cetera.
Is that so wrong?
I’m afraid that my attitude sets women back instead catapulting us forward. But I can’t help it; that’s how I’m programmed. There is such thing, however, as too much. Six days in my eyes in entirely inappropriate. Who sets the standard? If you get the number on the weekend, do you wait until the next weekend? Is it okay to call the next day if you really, really thought there were sparks?
While we are on the subject of phone etiquette, I’ve had a few other musings as well. There is an episode of “Sex and the City” in which Carrie gives her number to a man and starts to get worried when several days pass by without him calling. She asks her friends what they think. One man talks about how he met a girl and really liked her, so he didn’t call her for about four days. The woman, pissed, says that she waited to call him back for three days, and so it went. My question is, once the lines of communication are opened, what is acceptable?
I’ve always had the fear of calling too much or too often. But then there have been other times where I’ve honestly wanted to say fuck it, I have something to say, I want to talk to this person, I’m calling. But I never really know if I’m helping or hurting my case.
I went out with a guy two summers ago. We had dinner, watched TV; a fun time was had. The next day, I waited for him to call me. He didn’t. So I waited again. Still didn’t call. Beginning to get frustrated, I actually called him. We talked; things were fine. I think we spoke a few other times but never went out again.
What went wrong?
Many months later, we were chatting. Determined to get to the bottom of this, I brought it up. He said simply, “I thought you didn’t like me when you didn’t call. I figured when you wanted to see me, you’d let me know.”
Damn it. I tried to explain my whole system of not calling when you want to call, and trying not to feel like you’re overdoing it, and the complicated rules of the phone call, but he just looked really confused. This threw me off. It was one of the first times (but not the first, just one of the best examples) that I realized we were all playing by different rules.
So I guess the only hard and fast rule is that there are no rules. Everyone is different. Not all women like a little mystery, and not all men are going to call once they get the digits.
But one thing does remain.
If you like someone, there is still that little tingle during the number exchange, and the wondering, “Does he like me? Is he going call?” and “Did she like me? How long should I wait to call?”
At least, that’s true for me.
And PS. He did call me…not the next day, or the next day, or even the next day. But he did call.