Here it is at last! Ibis vs Ibis Part 2. Not only will I wrap up my previous message, I will skillfully weave in my other random posts since then and make them suddenly relevant. Feminism, magnanimous-ness, abuse of texting privileges. It’s all coming together and it’s happening now. If you’re standing, you may want to sit down.
So the original post was all about Sam. But I’d like to expand the topic to include all boys and all text messages. Because it’s basically the same story every time, although it can be divided into quantitative and qualitative components.
Ibis meets boy. Ibis likes boy. Ibis texts boy way too frequently and effectively shoots herself in the foot and dooms the relationship to failure before there’s even been a first date. That’s the quantitative part. Too many texts, sent too soon after whatever boy texts me. A friend of a friend once told me that her rule of thumb is to make them wait twice as long as they made you wait to reply. So if you say “Hey” at 8am on Monday morning, and they say “Hey how are you?” at 8:30am, you shouldn’t say anything until at least 9:30am. If the boy is playing the same game, you will eventually be texting him at 3:30pm on Tuesday, he will write back at 11:30pm on Wednesday, and at that point you’re not allowed to write him back until 3:30pm on Saturday. I don’t care who you are, if you’re really into a guy it will be near impossible to wait 64 hours to text him back. But one rule of thumb I can agree with is that if a guy waits 128 hours to text you back, he’s doesn’t like you and it’s time to move on. That’s over five days.
The qualitative part of the problem is, of course, the content of my text messages. But before we go there, let’s address my previous question about being a feminist. If we turn to dictionary.com for the definition of feminism, we find the following:
1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. feminine character.
So when I wonder whether I am a feminist, at the most cut and dry level I must ask myself:
1. Do I believe that women deserve social, political and all other rights for women equal to those of men? The answer is, of course, a ringing affirmative. YES!
2. Am I a member of an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women? Well, no.
3. Do I exhibit feminine character? Yes, and no. Let’s save that for another post, another day.
Definition 1 leaves me wanting more. According to that litmus test, I’m a feminist. But what else is captured in the generality of “all other rights?” A particularly interesting question for all single and dating females might be: what are our rights when it comes to dating? And because texting precedes the majority of dates in this day and age, I’d like to know: what are our rights when it comes to texting? Somewhere along the way (ie. from the first moment I ever held a cell phone), I got into the habit of texting things I find hilarious or outrageous even when I’m aware that it’s ultimately not going to further my cause. Because 1, hilarity is pretty high up on my priority list. And 2, as part of my personal feminist manifesto, I believe in the right to be honest in my relationships, and expect honesty from my would-be partners. So I ask questions that might lead to disappointment and heartbreak. I believe that I deserve to know the answer. And I share what I’m feeling instead of playing coy. If I happen to be feeling frisky and in the mood to pounce the guy, then I believe I’m allowed to express that. This leads to the next point of my personal feminist manifesto. I believe in my right to be both sexy and sexual unapologetically and without judgement from anyone.
Here’s a couple of good examples, courtesy of Sam and I’s text message history (disclaimer: I was definitely drunk in the first example):
Ibis: Hey Sam
Ibis: I’m at Mercer Tavern
Ibis: You may recall, we had a kickass second date here
Ibis: And inquiring minds want to know
Ibis: What the hell is your problem
Ibis: Get your shit together. Be in my city. Tear my clothes off.
Sam: Sounds like someone was a little drunk last night.
Sam: I’ll be in town in a couple weeks.
Ibis: Hey Sam, happy halloween
Sam: Happy Halloween to you too Ibis! You goin out trick or treatin?
Ibis: Haha not this year…I was going to go as the girl making out with you in the back of your truck but I couldn’t find everything I needed for my costume 😦
Sam: Ha welllll I wish you would told me what you needed Ibis, I prob coulda supplied the necessary items.
Now here’s the problem with texting. I read those messages and I laugh. I think what I said was funny. Maybe a little aggressive, yes. Maybe even a little bit crass. But ultimately intended to be funny and flirty. When I click with someone and have good banter with them, I’m in my element. I get completely high off the back and forth. And I love that certain things we say and laugh at will turn into wonderful inside jokes. When you find that sweet spot with someone, it’s more precious than gold. I was definitely giggling over my drink when I sent the messages in the first example. And I was outright laughing when I came up with the line about my Halloween costume. And if someone sent me those same texts, I would applaud their outrageous hilarity. Sam was clearly not on board though, and his responses were completely underwhelming.
I understand that not everyone has the same sense of humour, and perhaps more importantly, so many things do not translate well via text message. Via text message I may have come off as a crazy person. Ok, via text message I definitely came off as a crazy person. And I tell myself to quit it and start playing it cool. Be nonchalant, be evasive, be hard-to-get. But then I think of my personal feminist manifesto and I say no! No I will not pretend to be someone I’m not! If I think of something funny, and I’m comfortable with saying it, then I’m going to say it. If someone says they’re into me, but their actions totally contradict that, I’m going to ask them what their problem is. And if I’m drunk, I will probably ask them what THE HELL their problem is. And I’m not going to change my ways so that boys can have their “thrill of the chase.” And if they’re put off by that, we weren’t a good match in the first place. Because with rights come responsibilities. I have the right to be myself. But I also have the responsibility to accept that not every guy is going to be into the particular brand of femininity that is Ibis.
And here’s where we finally wrap up the story of Ibis and Sam once and for all. Sam was in town this weekend. Spoiler alert…we didn’t meet up. Had he asked me specifically, “Can I see you at this date and time?” I probably would have said yes and we would have gotten together, and maybe the awesome banter that was present on our first two dates would still have been there. But he didn’t ask to see me. He just texted me a few times asking what I was up to. Now we’re at Sunday afternoon and the only time I’m free between now and when he leaves the city on Tuesday is right now. Here’s the instant replay:
Ibis: btw I’m not free at all tomorrow so if you do want to meet up while you’re in town, today is probably the only day that would work.
Ibis: I think coffee this afternoon is about all I have time for. Let me know.
Sam: Today is a bad day for me. I’ll be home a lot around Christmas so hopefully we line up better then!
Pause for commentary. Last week he asked me when I was free and I said maybe Saturday. He replied that he would call me on Saturday to see if that maybe had become a yes. He didn’t contact me until Saturday at 7:30pm. At which point I was already out for a drink with a friend. I invited him to join us at the bar we were at and he didn’t respond until this morning, saying that he had gone to bed at 9pm. Sam must not have realized that I’m pretty good at math. A quick calculation tells me there’s a whole 90 minutes between 7:30pm and 9pm. Even if your fingers suddenly fell off and you had to text using the tip of your nose, it would not take 90 minutes to write the reply message, “cant come, fingers fell off, call 911”. (This is a good example of why it’s important that we keep teaching math in school). Ok back to the instant replay…
Ibis: Let’s not worry about it. I stopped being smitten long before you went to Europe and now we’re just beating a dead horse. If you wanted to see me, you’d see me.
Ibis: And I’d love to say that ya let’s hang out at Xmas and treat it just as friends…but I get the sense that you think I’m totally crazy now and that’s a crappy thing to think about a friend :p
Sam: Ya its more that every time I come home I’m getting pulled in so many directions for ppl to see. …I get what you’re saying and its a shame that circumstances just didn’t work out better. And no I don’t think your crazy so don’t worry about that!
Ibis: Have a safe drive home, cheers
So, la fin. What did I learn? I learned that despite refusing to play hard to get, I am hard to get. I don’t like playing games, and I have my limits. At a certain point I will decide that being magnanimous and excusing his poor behaviour really is just masochistic. So I gave myself an early Christmas present, and instead of saying, “ok ya sure maybe see you at Christmas,” and dragging this charade out any further, I decided to be perfectly honest one last time. I want Sam to know that I’m not an option for him anymore. Something tells me he’s not very sad about this. But that’s ok, because neither am I.
Love you with all the crazy that every boy I’ve ever texted has attributed to me,
PS. He used the wrong “your” again. I hate that.