Chatting the The Bride the other day (of course), I found that we were bemoaning the loss of a certain kind of guy, what we’d call normal, but somehow seems to have become rather rare and, as it were, abnormal.

I was telling her how annoying it is that people in general and men in particular have become so discourteous*. I don’t mean that one must live by Emily Post, but it is immensely irritating how no one can be bothered to respond to things anymore. Or tell you that they’re running late. Or bother to dress well – by which I don’t mean suits: merely taking the effort to dress a little spiffy, shoes, a shirt, not cargoes…

Essentially, what with all this trying to be proactive about life and love and meeting new people, I’ve been talking to several guys my age – mostly online of course. Now, granted that talking online has it’s own set of rules rather removed from those around meeting in person. However, when eventually setting up said meeting in person, why must people be discourteous? I’m comparing chiefly the behavior of two guys. Let’s call them Normal and New Normal.

NN and I were talking a LOT online and he was always extremely busy, but would make time to talk. Once we broached the subject of meeting in person, he got even flakier with contact, so much so that the day of said meeting came without my hearing from him. He then breathlessly told me how ill and busy he’d been without mentioning our scheduled meeting, and when I brought it up told me we must catch up soon. What a terrible turn of phrase, calculated to piss me off, since it’s one of those meaningless things people say in this day and age.

I promptly ignored him for a few days, and that Sunday he called me and invited me to a gig he had, which I accepted with many caveats, because I had to go dancing before. I finally did go there and meet him, and he was rather different from expected and visibly nervous. The nervousness was cute so I thought heh it’s fine, let’s let the rudeness go. After more silence he reappeared abruptly and we talked a bit and I said hey do you want to hang out again. He said yes, lets get a drink tonight, I’ll be done at 9, so I’ll call you and if we’re both up for it lets go. Of course I haven’t heard from him since.

Regular readers will know I have very little patience with the game, and I do honestly think that the initial premise of He’s Just Not That Into You is very true. If a guy likes a girl, he goes for it. This I have seen with all my friends, both male and female, barring possibly BBot. So when, at the beginning, he was making time, he was into me, but now he’s not, so he’s not. Regardless, the part I object to most of all is the rudeness of not responding to people. Would it kill you to send a text/email saying hey sorry it’s late I can’t make it? Hey, sorry, I’m sick, can we take a rain check? Hey, I’m madly busy so I’m going to go off the radar for a few weeks. It really wouldn’t. So then why be lame and not do it?

N, on the other hand, is much older than NN, and extremely courteous. Our rendezvous also had to be postponed, and the minute he found out I got an email saying I’m very sorry, this is when it will likely be, I will let you know as soon as I can confirm. And the thing is, I can believe him. Long before we were due to meet, he picked a date, and then repeated in another email. He worried about the time we set and told me to pick a place close to me so I wouldn’t have trouble getting home, adding that he had a car and could drive me, but wouldn’t want me to be uncomfortable since I didn’t know him.

I’m not demanding chivalry or claiming women need looking after, but it is simply the courtesy inherent in thinking about the complications something could cause another person that I appreciate. Being on time, for example, or letting people know as soon as you know that you’re going to be late, is another example. It means that you’re thinking, okay, this is going to inconvenience the other person so let me tell them quickly so they can be inconvenienced the least. If I’m going to take forty minutes, I should say forty minutes, not ten. The number of times I’ve been left standing on the side of the road because someone refused to tell me accurately how long they would take!

*Oh sweet jesus I’m eighty-five aren’t I?

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