I’d like to think I’m a pretty good judge of character. A spattering of good friends and bad experiences in my 29 years has contributed towards that.
But recently, as you may have read; I’ve been less than useless at seeing things for how they actually are.
Case studies to support this:
- Date with a commitment phobic whom I didn’t think was a commitment phobic (!)
- Date with a guy I didn’t realise was a date (Yes. I am that stupid)
And lastly….the following huge human error which I really should have foreseen.
I’m calling it the friend zone trick, and it goes a little something like this:
An old school friend got back in touch a few weeks ago. He’s back in the area – would I care to meet up for a good ol’ chinwag and a cuppa coffee?
Of course I’m not going to say no. For 1) I like to think I’m polite in my old age, and 2) He was a good friend once upon a time. A little school-day-reminiscing-over-coffee as adults is something I love to do (mainly due to my weirdly good memory!).
So I’m sat in Starbucks with my fluffy pink Xmas hat on, being told I look like a ‘nordic Christmas elf’ by a suspicious looking fellow across from me, when he walks in.
To protect his giant ego, I’ll refer to him as Rod (Rod is a name reminiscent of a pervy guy with a motive, I think. Apologies to any Rod’s whom may be reading and are perfectly lovely and without agenda).
It all starts off as usual. “You look nice. How have you been” etc etc. I’m not seeing any warning signs as we get re-acquainted after 4 years.
Then he suddenly gets my back up by uttering my least favourite sentence EVER. So I’m telling him about my Christmas plans, and how excited I am about the big day, and he leans over, pulls off my lovely warm pink santa hat and goes “Don’t care for Christmas. I don’t get the big deal. It’s just another day.”
Appalled and hat-less, I decide that I have had quite enough of bah-humbug men this side of December, and launch into an attack on his hatred of my favourite time of year (bar Summer).
Our argument was along the lines of:
Me: “I love that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I’m walking in the cold and see Christmas lights”
Him: “But why do you celebrate Christmas? You can get that feeling every day of the year.”
Me: “I know, and I try to create little moments of warm fuzziness every day anyway (he so hasn’t read my blog!) but Christmas is one time of year everyone (well everyone apart from you and the other humbugs I met) universally feel the same way. People are politer, friends want to catch up for winter drinks” blah blah (I throw out all of my usual examples, but alas, he is having none of it).”
Him: “I bet you have a Christmas jumper to go with that daft hat….”
Me: “Yes, I have two actually and aiming for a 3rd this weekend. In fact (just to rile him further) I’m sewing decorations onto my jumper, and bells…lots of bells, so I literally am Christmas!”
Him: (Scoffs) “that’s ridiculous. You’ll have to send me a picture and give me a good laugh.”
At this point I just gave up. But the anger that I felt was palpable. I felt like a crusader of Christmas. Defending the rights of all the people out there who LOVE Christmas.
Rod, sensing my annoyance, swiftly changes the subject to relationships. Oh goody, I think. Something I know nothing about!
It’s at this exact point I start to realise he may have an ulterior motive to this last minute ‘catch up.’
There were signs. Gaudy flashing red light signs (and not the Christmas light type!).
Signs a guy (well, a guy like Rod) wants to take you out of the friend zone:
- He tells you he misses the companionship of a relationship AND describes how he’D treat a girl if he was with her (I’m not talking vague conceptual stuff, I’m talking graphic DVD nights, bottles of wine, snuggles- the whole shebang)
- He says you look really pretty (even though you don’t really, to be honest)
- He tries to maintain eye contact even when walking away from you (Seriously, this guy had a remarkable knack of turning his neck 180 degrees. He was like a bloody barn owl).
- You attempt to leave a myriad of ways and he refutes them all:
“I’ve gotta go, I have some shopping to do.” – Most men would take that hint if it’s said enough times, but not the Rod’s of this world: “Oh, I’ll tag along with you!” (Even though he was arguing only minutes ago how much he hated shopping!)
- He tries to tag along with you whilst you dive into Primark.
- You eventually get rid of him by using the least believable excuse uttered by anyone ever: “I’m sorry, but I get really nervous when I shop with another person. I like to just be alone while I browse…helps me keep a clear head with the whole decision making process, otherwise I get buyers remorse.”
Yes…this actually worked! Maybe he just didn’t understand what I was saying, blowing his brain with basic level marketing speak!
Before I forget, the very last (but most crucial) sign a guy like Rod is interested is thus:
As you watch them walk out (and, weirdly, they watch you; with their boneless neck swivelling round like a horror movie) suddenly everything feels safe again.
You probably relax a little, but no sooner has he left, neck and all, that you reach for your phone to be faced with a ‘goodbye’ text. (How did he send a text so quickly? Maybe he wrote it out before you met?!)
And even though you know you gave them 10% at most of your full potential as a human being, they rave about having ‘an amazing time and would love to do it again at the weekend!’
I have only one reply to that:
“If that’s what you a good time, then it’s no wonder you’ve set yourself up for a miserable Christmas! Yours respectfully – Christmas Crusader.”
Till next time