I am a person who likes things to always be the same. I like to do the same things each day at the same times, see the same people, wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. No surprises anywhere.
I don’t like incorporating new people into my life. Humans are a nuisance. Dogs are just fine by me.
So when I contacted someone on www.craigslist.com in the Boston area over the weekend and got a response, I hesitated to take it any further. M gave me his phone number and told me when he’d be home, saying he was easy to talk to.
I expected a hippie type, a Bush hater, beyond that, I didn’t know. He worked in human services. That could mean about anything. We had had minimal e-mail contact. I felt that I would get a clearer impression of this guy through the phone than e-mail because his e-mails were brief and vague–Red flag! Red flag!–which I assumed was simply a “guy thing,” or maybe he couldn’t type.
After three days of procrastination, I finally telephoned M. What I found was a nervous, whiny guy who didn’t quite know what to say to me. To quote the conversation to you, dear readers, would be dishonest, because truly I recall none of it; the conversation was not worth remembering. I never found out what his “work” with the homeless was except he never seemed to be at work, he was home all the time or hanging out at Harvard Square with the bums. I finally concluded, during this tedious conversation, that he probably volunteered at a soup kitchen once a week. Or ate at one. He claimed to have a college degree and rattled off the names of some local colleges, but didn’t seem intelligent enough to pass a college course let alone the entrance examinations. At the end of the conversation–well, this part I remember, so I’ll spell it out here:
M said, “So, do you want to go out sometime, I mean, you and me?”
“Er, well, uh, sure.” I was so angry at myself for saying this that I bit my lip.
“We could meet in Harvard Square.”
“Uh, okay.” Now, I told myself, I’ve truly blown it.
“How about tonight?”
No way. “I’m busy.”
“How about tomorrow?” It was at this point that I concluded he didn’t in fact have a job.
“I’m going grocery shopping.”
“Well, then, Wednesday. Wednesday at noon.”
Finally, I told him yes, hating myself for agreeing to it.
“At the entrance to Au Bon Pain.”
“M, Au Bon Pain has several entrances.”
“Then the entrance to the Coop.”
It occurs to me now that there are two Coops in Harvard Square, but that doesn’t matter.
Why was I meeting a man I didn’t want to date, didn’t want to be friends with, didn’t want to spend any time with at all in fact? I felt that I’d rather spend the time (in an hour, in fact) at the gym, which is what I’ll do.
I always want things to be the same. I would rather stick to my little world than venture out to try something new, even if I think I may enjoy myself.
But I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed my time with M. I panicked. I knew I had to cancel. Yesterday afternoon I wrote him a brief e-mail:
To which he wrote back a brief e-mail asking for an explanation. I didn’t write back. (Isn’t a woman entitled to change her mind?) He immediately called me (blocking the call so I wouldn’t know it was him) whining into the phone, again asking for an explanation.
Hopefully, that will be the end of my contact with him.
And so my life will continue with the same routine, my same little, predictable world, and it will be just as I like it.
See you tomorrow.