This is a post for all my male readers.
Here’s the deal, Gents: When you take your sweet time answering the texts or phone calls or emails wherein we ask you a question, we will start to make up fascinating little storylines in our heads. Your silence is a blank slate on which we will fingerpaint with our neurosis.
You might have thought that dynamic ended with dating, and if you married an emotionally stable woman, you might be right. But for guys like Jeff who married women like me, there is serious danger in letting inquiries go unanswered.
EXHIBIT A: (My texts appear in green and blue. FN 1)
I discovered that the legendary Willie Nelson was playing a concert in Chicago and decided I wanted to go. Really badly. Jeff was out of town at the time, so I sent him a text at 2:15 PM to open a conversation about getting tickets. Initially, I wanted him to know I would never think of forcing him to attend. (Is there anything worse than going to a concert with someone who doesn’t want to be there?)
My opening salvo was of the breezy “don’t worry, you are off the hook for this, but put it on your calendar because I am going out that night; oh, and also, the tickets are on the pricey side so don’t flip out” variety.
When I didn’t immediately hear from Jeff, who has the gall to be busy doing his job when I was texting about MY social calendar, I had a chance to think.
That usually gets us all in trouble.
Wait. I have never seen Willie Nelson in concert. Willie’s kind of a big deal for my Texas and familial history, and he provided the early soundtrack of my life. Maybe it’s wrong to let Jeff off the hook. Maybe it’s important to experience this with Jeff. OH MY GOD, I am blocking intimacy with Jeff by excluding him from this. I am a terrible wife. I am going to fix this.
So, that’s how I ended up sending the second text 19 minutes later. That’s the text that hints I was doing some deep thinking about history and intimacy.
No wonder Jeff wanted to give this whole thing some breathing room. (Also, he was busy at his job.)
Then, hours went by. Kids were fed and bathed. Books were read. Compulsive text-checking ensued. No word from Jeff for almost 5 hours. Naturally, I assumed he was either dead or furious that I would invite him to a country music concert.
I suppose if Jeff wants to avoid an invitation, he should simply wait me out, because I will probably do this routine every single time. (Points for consistency?) On the other hand, if I ever invite him to something he would like to attend, he better answer my texts in less than 5.5 hours.
FN 1: Why do some of my texts appear in blue and some in green? AT&T, are you reading? What’s up with that? I would prefer one or the other for aesthetic purposes. I have a blog to run, you know.