Men’s Mixed Messages
July 26, 2011 § 31 Comments
The Snowman has not been the only one. In three years there might have been as many as eight or ten men who have sent out mixed messages. Please God, spare me mixed messages. They are head destruction.
Men other than the Snowman have talked to and confided in and laughed with me all evening but I have never seen or heard of them again. Yet more have taken my telephone number and never fucking called. (Oh, do I have a story to tell on that score, but I’ll leave that for another day).
There is one at the moment who emails me, invites me to stay. I have just seen the film Beginners and there’s this line in it, I can’t remember it exactly, something about how we envisage a lion and get a giraffe. This guy’s a giraffe but I like him. He sends me emails which make me laugh. I am surprised, all alone in my house, by how loud. I speak to my mum most days – because in the absence of someone significant and male to listen to my minutae, my mum’s the only one remotely interested – and I hear myself again and again saying things to her like, “I just got an email from X and it made me laugh”, or “I just had a cup of coffee with X and he was so funny he said…” He’s not the lion I had in mind but all the same I have told myself that that does not matter and I guess he has become a smidgen on the horizon, of hope?
I email back, friendly, witty, enthusiastic – but not too enthusiastic, Lord, no – thinking we’re starting a conversation here, and things might move. But then… silence. A few weeks pass, as they did with the Snowman, and I give up the idea in my head. I didn’t really fancy them anyway but was interested because in my circumstances beggars and all that, and because I thought I mustn’t discount anyone who is funny and nice and doesn’t look like a Melanocetus johnsoni (look it up) and because I could or would, if things were to inch on a little, to shift slightly… if the Snowman had kissed me on the night of the snow, or the night of the theatre, then who knows where my head and heart might have leaped to? But because of the puzzling silence, I think, no, forget it. Put a stop to any thoughts you might have had.
Then a good while later they email or text again, just as all is about forgotten, and it sets my head in motion again, and I respond. I compose something just right – I know I can express myself to communicate precisely what it is I wish to get across, a mixture of clever and funny and flirtatious, as well as concise and devoid of gush but also not clever-clever and scary-offy or demanding or up my own arse. I can write so it’s right. I’ve been writing all my life. I am not fingers and thumbs when it comes to writing. Or leaving a message on his telephone (in response to his on mine: I know I said I never ring a man, but I do respond to them, that’s different, that’s allowed). I think I am articulate enough.
And you know what, again? Sodding silence.
Girlfriends are kind and speculate that these mix-y men might be out of range or their internet is down or they are ill or in a week-long meeting or have just had their teeth pulled or a suffered a breakdown or have lost their i-phone or Blackberry or… or…? This speculation was ever thus, though in my younger days it was that his phone was out of order and BT were taking nine months to fix it, or his answering-machine might have broken, or he might have scrubbed off the message by mistake, or that my witty postcard must have got lost in the post?
It’s funny how I think I understand men – my father, my half-brothers, my uncles and brothers-in-law and all my male friends to whom I talk as I do to my women friends, as openly and honestly, and who are all pretty open about how they operate and think and are typical examples of the gender I would have thought.
And yet I don’t for the life of me understand men who may or may not be interested in me.
I want to get inside their heads and shout, what the fuck are you on about? If you don’t fancy me, ditch the mixed messages; and if you do, ditch them too.
Just be straight-forward. We are too old for shenanigans. We don’t have so much time. Just make your intentions, or lack of them, clear.
That is all I ask.