…more social awkwardness–it’s rude to text….

Originally published at stonerwithaboner on July 14, 2012

Well, for the record, I don’t know if this little train wreck counts as a “date” or not….

So, my friend gave me a call. He met a lady at the beach. She invited him to see some live music at a park. She said some of her friends would be there. He asked if I’d like to go. Anyways, I felt a little apprehensive. I thought this was gonna be like those after work social events where everyone is on their best behavior and no one is having fun.

I get there, my friend introduces me to everyone. I guess the word would be blasse, as the ladies barely acknowledge me… It’s in a park so you kind of have to sit on the grass or stand. So I sit down. Every time I look back the girls are texting. Anyways, at this point I’m feeling unwelcome. My friend grabs a juggling ball and tosses it at me. The one lady who invited us to the event says, “Don’t toss those, they’re expensive.”

I ask, “Which ones can I toss?”

She points at a beanie ball and I toss it right back at my friend. Anyways, the ladies are still texting. I really get the feeling they don’t want me around. So, my friend borrows a frisbee from a kid and we begin tossing it around. A few random people kind of get involved in our little game and thus far this is the only friendliness that has been extended to me this evening. Anyways, the game winds down.

I suggest to my friend that we take a walk. He agrees. I’m thinking I want to get out of here. He sends a quick text to “his girl” and she replies “Okay.” We walk past some cool looking bars and restaurants. I ask, “Was everyone so unfriendly or is it me?”

He says they were texting the whole evening before I got there. He said that he didn’t really feel welcome either. He said that they might’ve been shy and have poor social skills.

I told him, I “get” shyness, I also “get” bad social skills, but texting and not even acknowledging someone is a little different, it’s straight up rude. I told him I didn’t plan on going back to the event as I didn’t feel welcome. “They don’t have an obligation to make me feel welcome, and I don’t have an obligation to stay.” I told him I was going to my gym that’s nearby. He could join me and I could probably get him a free pass or I could drive him back to the park as my vehicle was parked a few streets away. He opted to go to the gym.

He fired off a quick text that he was joining me at the gym. He got a text back that the concert was ending. I guess there wasn’t gonna be an after party, not that I woulda been welcome if there was. We got a good workout in. I usually work out by myself and I know this has been holding me back. He showed me a few things with foam rollers and kettle bells that I haven’t tried before.

Well, of course the evening later led us to a greasy burger joint. What better way to reward yourself for a good workout and undo most of your labors, right? I mentioned that bailing felt like the right thing to do, but dang, it seemed rude that they were texting the whole time. We discussed how culturally everyone seems absorbed in their phones these days. He went back to the whole poor social skills/shyness thing. And then I mentioned, “Well, she has a professional job and you said she had traveled-she can obviously function as an adult but chose not to this evening.”

We both agreed they were behaving like 13 year olds. I also explained how I’m past pursuing women in my personal life. I realize as a male I’ll have to probably initiate and such, however, a woman who is interested has to reciprocate interest at some point. It’s not equitable to expect me to do it all and to the feminists and every one else talks about equality-fair is only fair. Again, think of it this way, a teacher has an obligation to teach a student. However, the student also has an obligation to learn-that is take the time to study, show up to class. One sided propositions don’t work.

What where we supposed to do? Say 67 different things until we “cracked the code” and they thought we were witty enough/worthy enough to put down the phone? You do see the risk in that, in trying to “say the right thing” there is an equal risk in saying something that is meant to be edgy humor that could be offensive to one of them. A system where men are supposed to always pursue women putts men in the disadvantaged position. If “things go wrong” it is the pursuers fault-always. (And yes, I’m also aware of the possibility that none of the ladies were attracted to either of us in any way or even interested in a friendly conversation.)

I know allot of guys would’ve said that walking off was a dick move and that we should’ve sucked it up and tolerated their rudeness. We should’ve waited until the concert was over then offered to treat them to drinks at a bar or a meal. We should’ve stuck around like lonely puppy dogs waiting for a kernel of affection. Well, that’s not a game I’ll play at this point in my life. I explained to him that this is a losing proposition. He thought about it for a minute and then agreed.

We walked along a street with some dive bars and restaurants. We popped our head in one where a latinesque band was shredding on acoustic guitars and a bucket as drums. Walked into another with a locals-only vibe where people were playing pool and ping pong. Finally we stepped into the seediest joint of the night-a place that could’ve been the set to a scene in Sin City. An out of tune and out of time rock band was spitting it out loudly. My friend covered his ears. I wryly stated “I always bring protection” as I grabbed some earplugs from my pocket. He seemed uncomfortable so we left after a few minutes. He mentioned that I seemed most comfortable in that place of all the places we were that evening. I replied with a “Hell yeah.” I drove him back to his car and we went our separate ways.

Strangely enough, this lonely guy’s night out did end with a kiss. As I was entering my building a drunk but attractive lady asked if I could let her in as she misplaced her key. I obliged and she planted a kiss on my cheek