The first date is behind us, and we have managed at least enough mutual intrigue to have murmured, upon our leave taking, that we would like to see each other again. Both elated by such agreement, he says, "I'll call you sometime, okay?" And there it begins..... The agony of that period of floating aimlessly in the Doldrums, hoping to see signs of a fresh breeze as the days pass without a puff. The Scylla and Charybdis of dating decisions: do you crank up the outboard motor and get on your way, or do you place your trust in his sincere promise to call and wait in quiet, tortured dignity? The aggressive outboard maneuver may well settle the question of the next date - but, then, is he only agreeing because you have tracked him down and nailed him to specifics? So, for your forwardness, you earn 1) a specific time and place for that second date, and 2) the eternal uncertainty as to whether he really would have called you. On the other hand, a woman won't even think about the man calling her later that night or the next day - much too soon for maintaining the "cool" factor; on the third day, however, she wonders if she ever gave him her number - maybe she forgot? Or he lost it? What if he doesn't know how to do a people search? (Which she did before ever meeting him, and now knows his landline, work, and cell numbers, 2 email addresses, his home address, the names of various persons related to him, and their approximate ages, and, very likely, the number on his license plate. But NEVER would she even dream of running a criminal background check - too creepy.)
Our fair lady, languishing in the inactivity of these phone-call-less days, nevertheless has read enough Dorothy Parker to refrain from any affirmative action. And so.... her cellphone seems to have broken, or has become inhabited by an evil genie who laughs derisively as she pulls it out to check if she left the ringer on silent - for the 27th time that day. She never calls her voicemail for her home phone messages but disciplines herself to wait until actually home before examining the answering machine. Could she have forgotten to pay her phone bill and it's been shut off? Her mother calls, eliminating that possibility. This is so stupid - she hardly even knows this guy, so why should he be all she thinks about? In fact, as the days go on, she resolves to receive his call - some day - with ice cold civility, and the dismissive words to the effect of something about being too busy to plan anything at the moment, but she'll let him know when she's available. He has no time to account for his delay, and now the second date is vanishing in the distance - why????
And now, I turn this delicate if thorny matter over to you, gentle reader, and solicit your thoughts and ideas about solving, avoiding or eliminating such a labyrinthine network of non- and mis- communication.