Over at Double X, there’s this truly hilarious essay by Kelly Seal, who explains how she found herself apologizing to someone she was supposed to go on a date with, before they ever met, via text messaging. How and why? Seal and “Doug1968” met online dating and exchanged a few emails before setting up an in-person date. As has become incredibly typical of modern dating rituals, they opted to firm up their plans via text message. That’s when things got tricky.
“Hey, hope u r well. We still on for Wed?”
His text back: “Wed? I thought we had plans for Mon?”
Me: “I thought we confirmed Wednesday …” Perhaps spelling it out would make it clear.
I got back an e-mail, in which Doug1968 explained that he had a class Wednesday night and would rather meet Monday. I had plans that night with a girlfriend who was just back from Europe. She trumped a blind date. I responded, asking if we could meet the following week.
He texted back: “No, let’s meet Weds. I can skip the class.”
I didn’t want to begin a date with reservations, or with him being upset or resentful in some way. I called my girlfriend to explain why I had to cancel. Feeling relieved, I sent an e-mail to Doug1968 letting him know that I could do Monday after all.
The following morning, I received his texted response: “I just changed plans on somebody because of our texts yesterday and I had plans with you! I expect the same courtesy. See him Friday.”
He thought I was blowing him off for another date? And he had plans with somebody? What happened to his “class”? This was definitely a hostile text.
Their back-and-forth texting continued, as Seal was forced to explain she had plans with a friend, not a date, only to have “Doug1968” write back, “Honestly, how many dates do you have a week? You realize you had to schedule me a week and a half out because you were booked up! Thinking online girls are spread too thin.” Seal and “Doug1968” continued to communicate via text and voicemail, until they finally made a plan — but “Doug1968” never made it because he thought Seal would be sending him directions. Her saga ends with the two never meeting face to face, their text messaging allowances for the month likely maxed out.
Seal seemingly attributes this miscommunication to the impersonal and altogether inconvenient nature of modern communication technology – after all, had she and “Doug1968” actually talked on the phone from the get-go, they could have gotten on the same page as to where and when to meet right away, not to mention ascertained each other’s tone and congeniality.
But really, eventually she would have learned what we already know about “Doug1968” based on his texts and his behavior. That he’s an a**hole. That he has a lot of nerve for being jealous of “other dates” – which she doesn’t even have – when they haven’t even gone out once. That he makes out-of-line assumptions. And that he obviously needs to get a day planner and learn how to use Google Maps. Text messaging may have aided in their miscommunication, but it also might have saved her from spending a rotten evening with a complete chump.