Here is a short story about the characters we meet in life. Last spring I met a girl-next-door type through some friends. Let's call her, in a Seinfeld way, the Closer for reasons that will become obvious. I remember we all grabbed ice cream, and the Closer wore a maxi dress, which is an item of clothing that all females should be forewarned is hideous. I have never seen someone wear a maxi who I thought looked desirable. At best, you look like Cleopatra rolled up in a rug. Then again, you don't have to dress to catch my eye, but I just wanted to put out a PSA.
Despite her maxi, the Closer fit my hypothetical dating material prerequisites. That is, she was an educated, attractive brunette. I contemplated a summer fling. The spring nights were already lengthening into perpetual twilights, classes had ended, and both of us singles (another prerequisite . . . theoretically) would be in town for the summer with a much smaller friend group.
Spoiler alert: Nothing happens.
The first reason why could be that the first time we hung out, we met for a happy hour with some of her friends (ones I didn't know). I ordered a glass of wine, and then I ordered a second, and then I was drunk. But I've never hung out with these people before! I couldn't announce, "Hey, I'm a lightweight, I've been here 40 minutes, and I'm sch-wasted." Of course my ruby cheeks probably said that for me. I abruptly departed by saying I had dinner plans with a friend.
I run into her a few more times. We grab coffee. We spend the entirety of Memorial Day together. I can't decide how interested I am aka if I'm interested enough to pursue something, declare intentions, commit to something, because I'm busy with school, with work, with not being busy, i.e. busy maintaining singlehood - classic me.
Naturally, I have to rationalize my self-sabotaging, self-doubting ways. This is when I notice her odd habit: She does not have open-ended conversations via social media. In every digital interaction, she bookends with "Talk to you soon!" or "Have a good night!" or "Haha okay see you soon." All very casual phrases, but they don't really invite follow-up conversation. Hence, the Closer. According to Myers-Briggs, she would be a huge J.
This began to drive me berserk. I screenshot our conversations to friends. We would be making lunch plans, I would clarify the time, and she would reply with a tacked-on "See you then!" Like, I am seeing you in 30 minutes. Need we say bye?
This even spilled into Snapchat. We would be Snapping about an interstate backup, and then suddenly I would receive her face with the words "Talk to you later!" across her chin. Did traffic pick up? I support you not Snapping and driving, but should I not Snap you a pic of my Starbucks later?
Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of it. There were no other red flags - if this is even a red flag and not just a quirk I'm wielding as an explanation for my commitmentphobia. And that is also being presumptive that I had a chance. Because she found a thing by the end of a summer. When I found out, I wasn't even disappointed; I simply felt the breeze of a door closing (get it?) - and a list compiling in my head of how I was a much better catch than the boy she found.
We remained friends, though we saw each other less once summer ended. Last week I ran into her. She texted me afterward that she was glad we could catch up, etc. She then asked if I had weekend plans. I didn't, so I said as much and added, "We can make some if you want."
She replied, "Okay, we can chat Friday then. Have a good night!"
And I closed my phone.