I had to call someone on the phone earlier today.
It wasn’t my mom. It wasn’t my best friend. It wasn’t for work. It wasn’t on my calendar or on the clock.
I had to call someone today I met on the dancefloor at a bar last night.
Awkward. Um, understatement. But with zero fucks left to contribute to caring what men think of me, I decide to go for it. Can you call someone you met for a a few moments casually, with no expectations or pressure, without it being received as clinginess, weirdness, or just plain insanity? I’m about to find out.
So, I start with my call log. 12:35am. Yep, that’s gotta be him. I remember calling myself from his phone while trying to explain this whole #textless shit-uation over the irresistibly sexy bassline of Ice Cube’s You Can Do It sometime after midnight. Clarity of conversation in a rowdy bar setting is never the easiest task, but luckily I was successful in communicating the jist of my text-free lifestyle constraints.
This guy is handsome. Strikingly so. Mostly because he’s playful, which brings his mannerisms to life with quiet, confident effervescence. He definitely warrants further investigation beyond the evening’s boogie-ing. What can I say. I’m a curious creature.
Here’s something I’ve noticed the last few days of my experiment: Now that I’m not worried about being hounded by “Pen Pal Suitors” who text me watered-down dribble day-in and day-out the moment they get their mittens on my digits, I’m drastically warmer and more welcoming. My guard is down. I’m more plugged in to my “magnetic north” of where I should point my attention, and where I shouldn’t. My boundaries are, counterintuitively, making me act more open. Now that I’m a more discerning gatekeeper, my heart is knocking to have her walls scaled.
As I start to scoot closer to the door, he asks if he can see me again soon. He asks for my number. MY NUMBER. Uh oh. Here comes “The Talk.” He hands me his iPhone and I contemplate how I should break the news. (I’m still amazed that not texting feels like “big news,” aren’t you? Ridiculous. But I digress.)
I input my number and mystery man says the fateful words. “I’ll text you.” I reply, “I’m not that kind of girl.”
He looks a little deflated I’m kaboshing the potential of expanding our evening to a more intimate venue. But I go on to explain.
“Seriously. I’m not going to have text with you.”
He laughs, and then a blank stare invades his face. “You just don’t like to text?”
“Nope. You actually cannot text me. I can’t text you, either. Texting doesn’t exist in my world anymore. I’m #textless.”
“Ok. That’s weird. And, that’s fucking awesome.”
Relief. He is in.
So, now what?
I want to let him know I’m heading out of town for work this week. I want to get a pulse on his schedule. I want to honor my curiosity and explore him, very casually, yet intentionally, a little more. I want to connect. Even just saying that out loud sounds confident and clear, but a little much for a new person.
But is it? Or is that just how I’m conditioned to feel? I suspect the latter is true.
Texting gives us permission to be “whatever” and lazziez faire about our intentions. Calling forces us to not only have some balls, but to know where to swing those balls. And who to swing them at.
Do I just wait for him to call me, then? A stranger I met at a bar, with a voice, on the other end of a phone? Cringe. But, because I’ve put myself in this #textless position, I have no other choice. I’m going to do what I most dread.
I opt to bite the bullet. I pick up the phone.
But first, I hesitate. Why am I scared to call him? Who wrote the rules on texting new peeps being ok, but calling being “too much,” anyway? I’ve always agreed with that sentiment, but now I’m forced to tap into the deeper morays.
Texting is casual. Calling is intense. But why? Why don’t we just do what feels good? I think we don’t even know what actually does feel good anymore, that’s why.
This implicit rule on calling vs. texting must be an indicator that it’s not really about doing what feels good anymore. Courtship has become centered around keeping options open. Staying comfortable. Staying safe.
We’ve become total pussies because we don’t know how to pick up the phone and call. Or, answer.
The phone rings. It goes to voicemail.
And I know I must have come off as intense or needy. Maybe I was perceived as intimidating. Or maybe he was just drunk and didn’t even remember talking to me.
In any case, I feel liberated. The communication bandaid has been torn. I called. I grew some ladyballs. I suspect that’s far more valuable than getting a date out of this, anyway.