Devin Dearing Preston: NYC writer, playwright, and storyteller

Why haven’t I heard from you?

September 26, 2010

Okay, my Texan is showing a little. I usually keep it in the closet with my boots, cowboy hat and shot-gun. But you gotta love Reba. McEntire that is. The country western singer. The red-head Diva. She was in the Kevin Beacon movie “Tremors”? Come on, you know you have accidentally watched an episode of her reched UPN show. Well, I love her. The farther away I get from the south, the greater my love for this overly sentimental music genre becomes. Its weird, but true.

Reba sings the best all time anthem for how frustrating it is when men fail to communicate. “Why haven’t I heard from you?” she wails, as I cry into my sweet tea. And this song is from back in the day, when the whole world was a slave to the land line. Now, fuck, our phones in our gd pockets. There is really no reasonable excuse for not keeping in touch. And “I left my phone at home” or “I was charging my phone” or any other flemsy reason is suspect.

Can the difference between the sexes really be boiled down to this age-old issue? Women love to talk and men don’t?   

Someone I know and like more than I want to, (yes my latin lover, for those playing along at home) suffers from what I want to call a “failure to communicate.” He doesn’t call. He doesn’t return texts in a reasonable and timely fashion. He cancels dates at the last-minute. And not with a phone call, but with a brief text. It’s very infuriating behavior. I have erased him from my phone, so I won’t be tempted to reach out. But he always calls, correction, texts when I have almost put him completely out of my mind. Almost. Like he can feel it in the air. 

Why are phone calls so important? Well for me, it lets me know that I am on your mind. Which is nice. I like to be on people’s minds. In their thoughts. Part of their considerations. Just a quick “Hi, how are you?” is all I’m looking for. So (and I’m willing to admit this is on the crazy side) when you don’t call, I immediately jump to I’m the last thing on their mind. I’m not even a consideration. They hate me! They never even liked me in the first place. They’ve met someone else. They are with her right now. Having sex. Lots of it. And, of course, they never want to see me again. 

I’m going to fess up to a small, irritating problem I have. I like to be in touch with the people I care about. Obnoxious, I know. I like to hear about their days. Their minor victories. Their measly defeats. Laugh about the weirdo who stole their coffee in Starbucks that morning. Ponder the homeless drunk who aggressively bummed their lit cigarette that night only to thrust an unsolicited booze soaked dollar into their hand. Offering only the crazed salutation, “Sorry!” as an explanation. Those brief connections over minor life trivialities bring my life great meaning. Call me crazy, but it makes it easier to get up in the morning.

 Okay, I know what you are thinking. And you are right. I want to share my experiences too. Guilty. What is that great philosophical question, “If a girl has a good day, and there is no one to share the news with, did the good day really happen?” And telling my imaginary cat just isn’t the same. His name is Buster. And he doesn’t usually care either. Now Facebook is sort of the same. But not really. It doesn’t stop me from abusing it. But, writing on someone’s wall or commenting on an amusing post isn’t actual human contact. Who are we kidding?  It’s more like nicotine gum when all you want is a cigarette. 

 So, yes. I do hound my friends and family. I feel bad about it. Most of the time.

 I hound them to a point of annoyance. (I can only suppose) My own sister has told me to call someone else. More than once. I’m the girl who calls you two times in a row. Sometimes more than two times. Okay, my limit is four. Fine, five. But I’m not having sex people! I’m a very lonely woman. If you are not going to call me, at least you could answer your phone or respond with an assertive text.

 “I’m at work, crazy, leave me alone : ) ” or  “TTYL” or “LOL! Take a deep breath, I still love you. ; )”

 But only my close inner circle is the target of this abusive love. I would never dream of revealing my occasional neediness to a near stranger.  So if I don’t already call you too much, its safe to say I probably won’t start. And I try my very best to adhere to the “girls don’t call boys” rule, so I have never behaved this way with a male friend.As much as I have wanted to. Don’t worry; I have talked to my therapist about it. He asked why I don’t call him in my desperate search to be heard.

 “Why? Um, that’s nice of you to offer. But, you aren’t really my friend. No offense! You are the person I pay to listen to the problems my friends and family don’t want to hear about. Plus, that’s a really slippery slope, isn’t it? You call your therapist when you are on the ledge looking into the icy abyss. I want to call someone cause I can’t decide which condiment to put on my sandwich. “MAYO? MUSTARD? I JUST CAN’T DECIDE!” Or because I saw a breath-taking sunset that made me think of them. Or usually, because I don’t know what to do with myself between the hours of 4 and 8 on a Tuesday.  

 Is this desperate, insecure, unattractive behavior? Oh yeah. You betcha. Totally. It’s the worst. And it is something I am making a concerted effort to control. Imagine what it would look like if I wasn’t aware of it. Actually, do yourself a favor, don’t.

 So, I’m willing to admit that my idea of keeping in touch is a little out of step with the norm. And I also know that there is an appropriate time to begin the daily check in. Which isn’t even what I’m looking for. But, if I am “seeing” you, consistently, and contemplating having you be an important part of my life, maybe even sleeping with you, I need to know that you are pretty cool with contacting me more than once a week. Preferably in the form of an actual phone conversation. This is especially important in the beginning when I am still in the dark about how you actually feel about me.

 Am I asking too much? Are there any men out there who actually use their fancy iphones to talk to people?

My mother always said action speaks louder than words. He can we and us all he wants in my presence. Meet my family, weekend get away, lets do this that and the other till he’s blue in the face. But until he learns how to pick up the fucking phone and follow through on these plans, I can’t believe a word of it. 

Because…

 I know what’s going on. I’m actually on the ledge with this guy I like more than I want to. We are standing there, looking at each other, wondering if the other is going to take the leap too. I’m almost ready to free-fall. Almost. But I’m done jumping all alone. His hesitance to reach out every now and then sends the message that he just likes flirting with the edge. Or, that he likes sending ladies over it. 

Are you guys getting better at spotting the unavailable men? Cause I am. The next step is for me to get better at not falling for them.

Categories: See Jane Give Up Dick

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