Monday, April 25, 2005

Potential Date

We had emailed several times and it was our first phone conversation. Every few minutes, his narration would slow down as he'd get to the end of what he had to say on the topic at hand (how often he sees his family, how he likes to exercise, where he works, etc.). At first, I'd step in at that point and give information about my job or whatever. But after a while, I began letting him wind down without saying anything back. He'd flounder, cast about for more to say on the subject; the words would slow down, then drag. I'd remain silent. He'd start improvising with anything that came into his mind (how the wind sounds hitting the back of his townhouse) just to fill the void I was not helping at all to fill. He'd eventually lapse into silence while I continued to not speak. He must have wondered why I wasn't helping, why I was just sitting there with nothing to say, why I didn't jump in. This was supposed to be a two-way conversation. He must have wondered, what's wrong with this woman?

This is why I was so quiet: I was waiting (and hoping) for him to ask me a question. Come on, baby, at least act like you have some interest in the person at the other end of the line. People, you have got to know that when you're in the middle of a first impression and you're trying to figure out if she's interesting enough for you to have a $5 drink with you have got to ask her questions.

I was keeping my end of the conversational bargain by asking him questions about his life and then listening, but a couple of times when we got to the point where it would have been appropriate for him to ask me a question back he just kept talking about himself....until he ran out of things to say on that topic.....and then faltered....and then we had an awkward pause, during which I silently begged him, "Please ask me a question. Please ask me a question."

Why didn't I say it out loud? I get tired of being a dating coach to these people.

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