I have, literally, never stood anyone up.
Even in my most CPOS days, I worked hard to protect those with whom I was double-booking myself from too much inconvenience. Something I learned on SeekingArrangement (and on Craigslist) was that – well, that people often flake. They make plans and then don’t turn up, often with credible excuses, sometimes with incredible excuses. Sometimes with no excuses. And sometimes, without even telling me they wouldn’t turn up. Somewhere along the line, in my zeal to be sure that I got my dick sucked/rubbed, I started double-booking. My priority was the orgasm; I didn’t want to find myself in a situation in which I wouldn’t have the orgasm that I had convinced myself I needed, upon which I believed my life depended.
In my current life, that’s just not a thing.
The women I meet, I don’t generally meet until I know them well enough to know that there’s just no chance they won’t turn up.
Every once in a while, though – once every few years – I get it wrong. I imagine that there’s a connection, that I’ve correctly assessed someone, and then they surprise me, and just… ghost… at the very last minute, having set a time and place, and just not showing. That happened dozens of times in the years before the start of this blog. It’s happened four or five times since then.
Well. It happened today. Only this time, I had an inkling.
I had been interacting with a lovely young thing (soon to be christened “Sarah“) – to whom I had alluded in this post – and, in many ways, it seemed almost too good to be true. She sent me a dozen or so smoking hot pictures. She took direction exquisitely. And we were rushing toward a meeting. And then, as that rush approached, something… changed. Where the e-mails had been back-and-forth fast and furious, she started taking longer and longer between responses. Minutes, at first. Then hours. Even as the possibility of a meeting was approaching.
In the event, we made a plan. I told Charlotte about it – and, I told her, I thought the chances of this young thing’s showing up were on the order of twenty percent. In retrospect, I suspect my honest assessment of the probability was more on the order of thirty percent, and/but, I wanted to protect Charlotte, to reassure her that, as eager as I was, I had the distinct sense that whatever it was Charlotte feared was, in fact, relatively unlikely to transpire.
And so, I sat at the table, downstairs from the hotel, in the restaurant. I’d asked to see this woman as she dressed for me.
In a black and red dress.
In these panties.
And in a pair of stockings she told me she owned, but that I hadn’t seen.
As the moment approached, I didn’t hear.
I told her I’d be on time. I didn’t hear.
I told her I was sitting at the table. I didn’t hear.
I told her I was ordering in a few minutes. I didn’t hear.
Fifteen years ago, I’d have been a wreck. This time, I was amused. With myself, mostly. Fifteen years ago, I would have feared being stood up, but wouldn’t have acted to prevent it. Instead, as I described above, I acted to mitigate the damage it would inflict on me were I to be stood up.
Today? Today, I didn’t do the self-protective thing – simply canceling as it felt less likely, or even heading home when it became apparent she was a no-show. I still wanted the possibility. But. I was fortified. Not by the prospect of another date. Not by avoiding. Nope. Just by… just by knowing myself well enough to know that there’s not really any danger associated with being stood up. It’s not my mother abandoning me. It’s not my mother dying. It’s a minor loss. A disappointment. And even if it stings just a bit, it’s honestly not that big a deal.
And I ordered myself a nice bit of food, opened my book, and had a nice read/meal. And sent her a (final?) message: “Well. I hope you’re ok. I won’t try and guess what happened here, but I will stick around for a bit with my computer, doing some writing…. Please be in touch. I would welcome the opportunity to punish you a bit more, now that you’ve unequivocally earned some additional punishment.”
Fifteen minutes later? I got a text from her. Apologetic. With a health explanation. Credible. But annoying. (It’s hard for me to imagine a situation in which I wouldn’t contact someone I was scheduled to meet, someone I had very recently confirmed I was meeting. And her description of what had happened – as shitty as it was – didn’t, actually, explain her not having messaged me.)
We shall see. Perhaps we will meet. Perhaps not. But if we do, she will be traveling, and taking whatever risk there is associated with our meeting.
Postscript: she, did come to meet me after all. She arrived fully two hours late. But I got some reading done. And, I wrote this. And, you can read about the actual date here, tomorrow.