My new favorite show is called “Gavin & Stacey.” It’s a British show on the BBC about a cute guy named Gavin and a cute girl named Stacey who work and live in Essex and Wales, respectively. They meet when they’re forced to talk to one another on the phone for work. Finally, after six months of pining, they agree to meet in person. After much nervousness and baited breath and pacing and primping, they discover they’re totally and completely in love and live happily ever after, with only a few hiccups because of their neurotic but hilarious families and friends. Gavin and Stacey heart each other. Well, at least after, like, seven episodes they do.
Recently, this entire scenario happened to me, except for the “in love” part, and the “we’re actually meant for each other part.” Other than that, it was exactly the same.
A few months ago, I began emailing with Dave. It started out of work-related necessity, but soon Dave and I were exchanging five, ten, fifteen, twenty emails a day. Hours would go by where I would get nothing done. Instead, I would stare at my computer, attempting to come up with witticisms that Dave would find impressive. I would hit my email box’s “refresh” button with the unencumbered enthusiasm of a rhesus monkey. I scoured YouTube, looking for clever and amusing videos I thought he would like. Like this one.
Because who doesn’t want to “Blame it On the Boogie”? Or see what Michael Jackson looked like when he was less than 50 percent plastic?
My productivity was low, but my propensity to act like a giddy fifteen-year-old with a first crush was very, very high. I would call friends and read them our email exchanges out loud. And, for the record, as amusing as you might find your email exchanges with a guy you like, no one — and I mean no one — extracts an even remotely similar level of enjoyment from them.
Dave and I exchanged phone numbers and became Facebook friends. Text messages flew back and forth. When I was drunk I would scroll through his photos like a psychopath. And don’t judge me, because you totally do that stuff, too. I’m just moronic enough to admit it.
I had developed a full blown virtual crush.
Unlike Gavin and Stacey, Dave and I didn’t need to traverse great distances to meet one another. We both live in Los Angeles, and soon the day came when we met. The attraction was there. I could feel it. OK, maybe, just maybe, we weren’t as dynamic a match in person. But, I justified, maybe he was shy. And we did have our burgeoning email relationship to fall back on.
But how was I going to transition our bandwith love into taking our clothes off in front of each other?
The answer came to me in a late night text message: “Do you want to make out?”
I replied: “Yes.”
I was excited. Actually, excited is a vast understatement. I was expecting fireworks, explosions, being thrown up against a wall and shown who’s boss (him, not me).
I drove to his house and waited on the doorstep.
He was very drunk. I was way too sober. The fireworks never happened. Our hookup was more like a slow, sputtering, awkward engine.
I left the next morning feeling disappointed. Was it my fault? Was it his fault? Were there faults in this situation? Had emailing somehow created tension where there wasn’t? I couldn’t decide.
Perhaps it was a little bit of all that. Attraction can be mental and physical, but there is also something chemical, something that didn’t happen that night, and something that I had wanted to happen so badly. Perhaps that was it. The thrill of the tension had duped me into creating a romance in my mind.
Whatever the case was, one thing remains true. I really do miss his emails.