Friday, January 26, 2007

Call me

In case anyone is wondering, Index Card Guy did call, and we are currently engaged in the ever-popular game of phone tag. Apparently he adheres not to that three-day rule made maddeningly standard by the film Swingers, but to an even more casual five-day rule instead. This is all good and fine; five days is still well within the realm of acceptable follow-up time as far as I'm concerned, but in discussing the unwritten standards and usual patterns for this sort of thing with some friends this week, I got to thinking about other first phone calls in my dating life and the timeline, script, and circumstances of each. Here are five of them... the good, the bad, and the absurd.

Five memorable first (and, in some cases, last) calls from men

  1. Troy (March 1999) - Even though I just said that five days post-meeting is a perfectly reasonable time to call a woman, I still can't help feeling it is on the outer edge of acceptable, just barely on this side of "disinterested and lazy." Back in 1999, however, with much less dating experience to my name, my standards were maybe a bit looser. Had that not been the case, I am not sure I would have accepted a date from a guy who called me three months after receiving my number. If he hadn't been a friend of my sister's, I sort of doubt I would even have remembered who he was. As it turns out, it wouldn't have been a great loss. My one (two-part) date with Troy is documented here, by the way. Our one uneventful phone call is not.

  2. Jimmy (March 2001) - If Troy wins the award for most belated phone call, Jimmy without a doubt gets the award for promptest call. Something clicked between us immediately while chatting in the coat check line after a concert. Only later did he tell me that his friends had actually handed him his coat about four minutes into our conversation but that he had stayed in line all the way to the front anyway, just to keep talking to me. He called me the next day, approximately ten hours after our meeting, and left what I still think was a ridiculously sweet message [in a tone of voice that I wish I could convey properly in print], saying, "I know I just met you, like... ten hours ago, and I probably should have waited a while to call you, but... I just really wanted to call you, so, um, I hope you want to call me back..." It really is a shame that he was a pothead with a Peter Pan complex, because I still sometimes think that one should have worked out differently than it did.

  3. Brian (January 2001) - Brian was a one-date boy documented here as well, but what I didn't talk about in that post was his first phone call to me. He called me at work (since, as I mentioned last week, handing out business cards to potential suitors was at one point my norm), but when he did so, he pretended to be a recruiter who had found my resume online. Points for originality, I suppose, but frankly, it annoyed me more than it charmed me (which, now that I think about it, sort of sums up my thoughts about him after our one date as well).

  4. Kris (December 1999) - I'll admit that sometimes, when I call someone, I am hoping for voicemail. This is generally the rule when I have some quick info to convey or some sort of brief response to provide. When I'm looking to get to know someone and make plans, however, I recognize fully that it's better just to reach the person live. Kris must not have thought so, however, as his first phone call (to what he knew was my home number) came at 2:00 in the afternoon, despite the fact that he was well aware I had a day job. Apparently he wanted to toss the proverbial ball directly into my court. What he forgot was that I had a roommate who was in grad school (and therefore home at sporadic hours during the day), and that my roommate would tell me exactly what time he called and exactly how surprised and thrown off guard he was when someone actually answered the phone. I later realized that Kris was an idiot in many, many ways. I didn't even need the first phone call as a cue.

  5. What's-his-name (sometime in 1999 or 2000) - I don't remember this guy's name, and since we didn't ever go on a date, I probably needn't include him in the list. The details are still funny to me, though, so I'm including him anyway. I met this guy at a friend's bachelorette party in a city five hours from my home. I do not remember why I gave him my card except that he had given me his (and had been swapping cards with others in our group, too, seemingly for no other reason than that we were all relatively new to professional business card-toting positions and it therefore was for some reason the thing to do). He didn't call me after that event (I never expected him to), but he did call about five months later, with a line that went something like this, "I found your card in my wallet, and I see that you work in St. Paul, and I'm just trying to figure out who you are or how I know you..." He told me that he was planning to move to the Twin Cities so when he found my card he figured he'd get in touch with someone living in the area. After a few details about himself, I finally figured out who he was and how he had my card, but I didn't let on to him that I remembered. My foolish pride decided, I guess, that if I weren't worth remembering to him, he should be similarly unmemorable to me. I basically said, "Sorry, dude; I don't know why you have my card," and I never heard from him again.

You know, when I started this list, I really thought more than one of them might be a nice memory. I have been called by men I liked; really I swear I have. I guess that, as with so many dating-related tales, however, the bad ones are almost invariably more interesting.


3carnations said...

I KNEW he would call. ;) Enjoy the phone tag.

My weirdest call after giving out my number - To this day, I never figured out who he was. I was on my way out the door to leave on a group camping trip when the phone rang. He told me his name (What did you say your name was again?), where we met (I remember going there), described the conversation (That sounds like something I'd say), but I never ever figured out who he was. I said "I'm about to leave. I'm sorry but I don't know who you are.", and that was the end of that. I have no idea who he was, but I am guessing he took an inappropriate amount of time to call back, otherwise I would have HAD A CLUE WHO HE WAS.

Hubby was the best call back after a first date. He met on a blind date for drinks on a Thursday evening. The next night I went to a hockey game with a friend of mine, doing my typical "after a first date lamentation" of "Do you think he'll call? When will he call? Should I call him?" She talked me down to the point where no, I would not call him. I got home from the game and he had already left a message.

Another notable one - In high school at a teen dance club. A guy asked for both my number and my friend's. Classy. I gave him mine, my friend gave him a phony one. He called me, and I asked if he had called her first, and he said no. Like he would tell me if he had called her and it was a phony number? I never saw him again.

Married Jen said...

During my single life, in efforts to break some of the bad dating karma that was going my way, I once tried to be honest.

Well, let me start w/ the beginning of the story. I was notorious for getting my buzz going and then giving my number out to pretty much anyone who asked for it--because I can't say no. Usually I would remember them (and have NO desire to go out w/ them) the next day and just decide not to answer (screening, as they say) until they stopping calling (thank god for caller ID). But I felt this was backfiring on me, as I went thru a couple of months of giving my number out or going on dates and not having the guy call ME! So, I met a guy one night (same scenario--wouldn't ever date him but couldn't say no) and when he called me (the next day mind you), I was completely honest. I said, "I'm sorry, I'm not really interested in dating anyone right now, but thanks for calling"... He came right back and said something like, "Geez, I wasn't asking you to marry me, I just wanted to hang out!" Click. I was so thrown off!!! KARMA SHMARMA

guinness girl said...

Ha. Oh, this is soooo making me remember some of my first phone calls. I might have to document them, too. Or - even worse - the first phone calls that I made myself. Shudder. Men can really suck sometimes.

L Sass said...

It was a sad day when I finally deleted AS's first phone call to me... fortunately, I have it memorized and recite it to him verbatim every couple weeks.

lizgwiz said...

I got a phone call once from a guy I remembered giving my number to--he wrote it on a cocktail napkin at a club. But he kept asking for the wrong name, so I figured he had a lot of writing on there, and was mixing my name with someone else's number, and I pretended I had no idea what he was talking about, and hung up. The name was nowhere near sounding like mine, so I don't think he just wrote it down wrong.

stefanie said...

3Cs--Some guy asked for your number AND a friend's number? That's just wrong. It's one thing to up your odds by getting two numbers instead of just one, but not when the two girls actually know each other!

Jen--You just reminded me why I always gave out my work number instead of my home one. It wasn't just because it was easier to hand out a business card than to find a pen and paper; it was because at the time, I had caller ID at work but not at home. You're right: screening is crucial. ;-)

GG--Yes, they can. But in all fairness, I haven't been perfect on plenty of occasions either. We're all clueless and/or total jerks at times, am I right?

L Sass--If I hadn't had an answering machine (that used a tape) instead of voicemail at the time, I totally would have saved that message from Jimmy well beyond the time that it was probably normal to do so, so I totally understand that story.

Liz--Niiice. See, that's why I checked to make sure the index card was blank before I wrote my number! :-) (Of course, I don't know what he wrote on that card after I left, but he did get my name right, so that's good.)

Red said...

You gotta have a sense of humor about the duds. Kudos for doing just that. And good luck with the new guy!

metalia said...

Yay! So happy that Index Card Guy called.

(And you're right; the bad calls/dates are inevitably always infinitely more entertaining.)

3carnations said...

So? Did you guys finally stop with the tag?

Incidentally, looking WAY into the future...Say you end up with index card guy. At some point, you will have to tell him you referred to him as index card guy. But there are worse things to be called...:)

stefanie said...

3Cs--Yes, we managed to catch each other in real-time, but we haven't gone out yet. As for the nickname or reference point... I don't know. I doubt Jimmy ever knew that my friends originally knew him as "Coat Check Guy"... Then again, I didn't have a blog at the time. Things may likely come back to bite me in the ass now that I do, right?