Although she really didn’t speak Spanish, the woman liked the foreignness of another language. She typed in her message and google did the translation. Simple, right? Well, not exactly.
This simple idea would lead to a firestorm that would nearly break them.
On Nov 27 at 6:37 PM she hit send on the seemingly innocuous message.
Expresaste interés en venir a mi casa a cenar. ¿Cómo suena el viernes 30 de noviembre? Sin presión. ¿Como te gusta mi español? Google es mi mejor amigo.
(You expressed interest in coming to my house for dinner. How does it sound on Friday, November 30? No pressure. How do you like my Spanish? Google is my best friend.)
On Nov 27 at 11:33 PM he responded.
We don’t really have to cook and all that stuff at your place; we can just hang out and watch Kanopy and eat popcorn and such. Let’s see what day is best…
Somehow for reasons she couldn’t explain, his harmless little reply hit her wrong and squarely in the gut.
On Nov 28 at 6:11 AM she wrote:
Now Larry, when you ask me to do something, do I rearrange it? No.
As this is my first time asking you anything, well, one might think you would be a bit more, I don’t know…honored, pleased, agreeable? Pick any descriptor you like.
Be that as it may, you may be as disagreeable or agreeable as you like, but Friday is my offer.
You elusive Pisces, you.
She reread her message several times before hitting send. She had not planned on sounding like an arrogant bitch and had not intended to let her anger show, yet in retrospect she remembered it being there. Why?
When she was a child her mother often said, “We’ll see,” when she asked for something. This always translated into an eventual, “No.” His, “Let’s see what day is best…” was the adult equivalent to her. It somehow made her feel small. Ego knocked and she opened the door. It was always to her peril when she did not see this. That day she did not see this and hit send. Off into the murky internet her feisty message went.
On Nov 28 at 8:57 AM he responded with a bomb.
Wow…that was one pointed and harsh message response. I’m assuming that my intent to take it easy and be accommodating didn’t translate as such. I didn’t mean to back out or anything, it’s just that since you stated that cooking is not your thing (and certainly not mine!) we could still meet at your place and order take out, or just hang out and enjoy mutual company this weekend at a time that would be best for both. But, yes…I agree that I do sound elusive much of the time…
So, back to our plan…Fridays I can be at your place from 7 to 9 p.m. or thereabouts. Saturday or Sunday would be more open, basically all day, and we can plan more activities as well. Oh, and if we were to become an item, with your character and mine, you’d make mincemeat out of me. No more Mr. Cool and Confident…in fact, I’d be so pussy-whipped EVEN YOU wouldn’t like me.
When she read his response, the woman felt like she’d been punched in the gut. She knew somehow, she’d gone too far and would have to eat some serious crow to make things right. She was really only being sarcastic after all. She’d expected him not to make much of it being the cool, calm, collected guy he said he was. But no, she’d crossed a line on this one.
On Nov 28 at 9:46 AM she wrote:
WOW! I am so sorry. I was just joking. I never intended for you to feel insulted. I can’t believe you thought, oh well, I guess all I can do is say I’m sorry.
You are constantly surprising me. This time in a way that I feel, oh it doesn’t matter. I’ll pull back and be quiet. I was just playing. Obviously, you don’t know me well enough to know when I’m joking. That’s OK. But I have never, nor would I ever attempt to pussy-whip anyone. That was not my intent. Obviously, I should have chosen my words more carefully.
My original intent was just to do something nice.
If you want to come to my house on Friday that’s fine. If you’d rather on Saturday that’s fine too. Or if I’ve made you so uncomfortable now that you’d rather not at all, I understand and I’ll go back to letting you make the plans. I’ll just be quiet and pleasant.
Gee, I’m really sorry. I thought we were friends and I didn’t want to make my friend feel this way. I misjudged everything. Sorry. I am so sorry. That was not the response I wanted to elicit.
On Nov 28 at 1:14 PM he responded.
Well, to back your point…the “elusive Pisces” ending should have been the clarifying point…but, by then I had over read the previous lines. Yes, I did think that you were quite disappointed and offended because I seemingly wasn’t following through. You know, that I was a flake. So, now I am the sorry one…for going past your original intent. I can see why you would think that it wasn’t fair for me to react as such. I didn’t think that I was overreacting, but not that you made it clear…no doubt I was.
And, even though I’m planning things, if it seems as such up to now, I’m always careful to add “if you would like to” or “if you are free”…or something to the effect so that it doesn’t seem as if I only expect one answer or outcome. Believe it or not, I only value that you do things with me that you enjoy, have fun in and with. The last thing I’d want is an uncompromising yes just to go along or not reject my offer.
I had told you (warned even?) that I get more complicated as time goes on, because at first, I seem to be so not so. See, I told you!!! Anyhow, voice intonation is so key, that’s why when we are face to face it all ends up being good stuff to say and hear. I misread it, and I acknowledge it and take the blame. Though I still think that you have a much stronger character than me, oh Mysterious One…that, I’ll keep 🙂
Let’s text/talk this (late) evening?
She knew he was right, but was still feeling a bit blind sighted by this flurry of emails that had turned into a runaway train. Not wanting to risk anything further, on Nov 28 at 2:17 PM she simply responded:
Yes, I would like that.
The call would turn into a 2-hour disaster that resulted in his snapping something about never wanting to be her lover. She interpreted this to mean that she had meant nothing to him and his plan would have been to fuck and dump. At midnight, they both agreed to stop.
“Let’s meet for coffee on Friday to resolve this because that’s what friends do,” she said, harshly.
The resolve required a coffee, a walk and a dinner. During coffee, she suggested that they go on without defining anything. They had been enjoying themselves before the parameters had been thrown around. He suggested “friends with benefits,” a term she particularly hated. More definitions, will this never stop? She agreed because she liked this man.
In his defense, she had told him she was, “still interviewing for the position,” referring to a lover. He laughed and enjoyed this, although he didn’t know she would have closed all interviews if he had just asked. He didn’t and so she didn’t.
No, he suggested this was the best course of action because she might meet someone and fall in love, or he might move away.
Tiring of this line of thinking she said, “Or I might die.”
She couldn’t help it, she was sarcastic by nature.
“Life hangs by a spider web,” she said, more softly now.
“I walk on the precipice,” he said, smiling as his fingers walked the table’s edge.