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Dear Breakup Girl,
If you give a boy your number and he doesn't call, what does that mean?
Oh, I have such a good story about this -- worth
a rare glimpse into the sparingly revealed BG-autobiography -- based on my long-ago
date with a movie star who shall remain relatively
So we have this great date. Great. Theater, dinner,
drinks, drinks. Another round. Talkingandtalkingandtalking at this old-school
New York tavern, hardly noticing that the stools are all up on the counter and
we're the only ones there besides the David Lynch-style barkeep, sweeping back
and forth in one place. We're laughing, connecting, meeting each other's
gaze. Awwww, yeah. The kind of date other people have.
Finally, though, we must tear ourselves away; even superheroes
and movie stars have school nights. He hails me a cab. We thank each other.
I take a step toward the taxi. There is a pause. A brief, swollen, electric
spark-pricked silence. Then he speaks.
For weeks Friday
and I obsess, Seinfeld episode style, over tone and inflection. SEE ya? See
YA? What could he mean? More to the point, how lame did THAT sound?!
Fortunately, our inquiry distracted me from the ringing silence of the telephone.
Of course he never called. But of course you know what he should have
said in that moment: "I'll call you." Mmmm hmmm. Even
if it were a big fat lie. Yep. Because it's not actually a lie, anyway. It's
filler. Packing-peanuts for a fragile point in time. WD-40 for the moment.
Same as "Great, how are you?" or "Tell 'em I say hi!/Will do!"
Blah, blah, blah. We don't mean 'em, but without 'em, arguably, we sound...mean.
So women, don't worry about this "I'll call you"
thing any more. We have more important battles, such as campaign
finance reform and social security. And guys,
don't be surprised/miffed if you get I'llcallyoued, too.
And by the way, not calling might also mean...calling
is scary. So if you've got the guts (and the digits), just follow the
Prison Principle: you get one phone call. Drop a dime and say hey. Or try e-mail
(Calling Lite). But don't dwell (as in, by the phone). Get back out and meet
the guy you will see again, and not just in the movies.