There’s a nice woman I casually dated a few times last year, we’ll call her Jill. The relationship didn’t go anywhere, not much spark, but she’s a very sweet intelligent and fun person and we’ve stayed friends. But another reason it didn’t go anywhere is she’s been hung up bad on another man for a couple of years, let’s call him Jack. This particular Jack is married, and he kept stringing Jill along telling her he couldn’t stand his wife and was going to get a divorce. Then he moved from Austin to Houston for work reasons, wife in tow. Jack finally did get a divorce, but he didn’t follow through on any plans with Jill, much to her heartbreak.
Jack’s is now dating another woman, but he still comes to Austin every few months and, when he does, sometimes he calls Jill. Often from a sixth street bar late at night. They crash together, Jill rekindles her hope this time, this night, all will be different and Jack will fall madly in love with her. Of course that never happens.
Some of Jill’s coworkers had a Memorial Day Weekend pool party and cookout this evening, she asked me if I would go with her as a friend so that she wouldn’t have to go alone. I was happy to do it. She texted me when to pick her up, where the party would be, etc., around noon this morning. I want to help her feel good so I dressed up nice and metro, new haircut, new pants because I’m now down to a svelte 30 inch waist! I text Jill I’m on my way right before 6 PM, arrive at her house, ring the doorbell and …. nothing. I called her cell but it rang twice and then went to voice mail.
I was worried I might have gotten my signals crossed, so after waiting fifteen minutes loitering at the doorstep like a thief casing a house, I went to the private home where the party was and told them I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to meet her there or not. They were totally cool, invited me in, I waited for a bit. But no Jill. I texted her several times and tried to call letting her know where I was, no responses. Eventually it felt awkward enough that I politely thanked them and left.
Finally, just before 9 PM, two and half hours after I was supposed to pick her up. I get a brief text saying Jack flew in unexpectedly and “he doesn’t feel like going to the party so we’re just gonna stay in.” That’s it. Now you guys and galls tell me, I understand Jill and I are friends, I understand matters of the heart take precedence, and she honestly and earnestly told me about the weird hold this guy has over her from the moment we first we went out.
But does that justify leaving me hanging like that? It was her idea to call me and ask me to go with her, not mine. Had she told me right up until this evening that her plans had changed, or even standing at the door when I went to pick her up, I would have been completely sympathetic. But she didn’t. I didn’t even rate a ten second text or phone call telling me not to show up. That’s dating life folks, doesn’t matter if you’re middle aged or in Middle School. People will use you, disregard you, keep you as a back up without telling you, and even often profess how special you are and what a unique connection they have with you while they’re doing all that.
And lest anyone thing I’m singling out flaky women. When I go out with a new girl there are a lot of things I have to worry about, they might be scammers, suffering from borderline personality or extreme depression, almost all of them have psycho ex boyfriends stalking them, there may be a serious substance abuse issue, they might even be professional hustlers. But one of the things I don’t give a second though to is ending up tied in the basement being sodomized and strangled by a psycho serial killer. So don’t get the idea I think women are the sole problem here…
Nevertheless, this left me feeling pretty unimportant, worthless, like I wasn’t even a good enough friend to rate simple basic decency