New York subway. Photo taken by me in 2001, shortly before 9/11

King St, SoHo, New York

Sex and the City writer Greg Behrendt was inspired by the lengthy we-had-a-great-date-so-why-hasn’t-he-called-me? conversations of his female colleagues to co-author a book called He’s Just Not That Into You.

The book is in the format of an agony uncle dealing (very frankly) with letters from women frustrated with their non-relationships. His point is, if the guy hasn’t rung, no matter how great the date was he just didn’t like you enough to see you again. Get over it and move on.

I was reading this book on a rather brutal 10-hour Greyhound bus journey from Montreal to New York overnight last night, feeling rather smug to be out of the whole dating game (never in one place long enough, and increasingly hard to find a man I can look up to), when it suddenly occurred to me that I’ve made exactly the same mistakes as these fictional women, just my mistakes were in the sponsorship game, not the dating game. Suddenly my illusion of superiority deflated and I felt as pathetic as Bridget Jones sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring.

So, with apologies to Greg B, here is my adaptation of ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’:

‘Dear Greg

I’m dating this guy [pursuing this sponsor] who ends conversations saying he’ll call me. Like, “I’ll call you over the weekend.” Or “I’ll give you a call tomorrow.” Or if he has to take a call on the other line, he promises, “I’ll call you back in a few minutes.” And then he doesn’t. Should I read something into this, or should I just know to ignore whatever he says?


‘Dear Call Waiting

Yes, you should read something into it. In fact the very something is “He’s just not that into you.” Here’s the deal. Most guys [sponsors] will say what they think you want to hear at the end of a date [meeting] or phone call, rather than nothing at all. Some guys [sponsors] are lying, some guys [sponsors] really mean it. Here’s how you can tell the difference. you know they mean it when they actually do what they said they were going to do.

Here’s a multiple choice:

A guy you went out with [had a meeting with] once hasn’t called you in two weeks. Do you:

a) jump to the conclusion he’s just really busy, lost your phone number, and was struck in the skull, and is now suffering from short-term memory loss, and you should call him?

b) quit your job, stay at home, call the telephone company to make sure your phone works, and wait for him to call?

c) realise he’s jut not that into you and move on with your life?

Correct answer: (c)

We men would rather lose an arm out a city bus window than tell you simply, “You’re not the one.” We are quite sure you will kill us or yourself or both – or even worse, cry and yell at us. We are pathetic. But the fact remains, even though we may not be saying it we are absolutely showing you all the time. If a dude isn’t calling you when he says he will, you already have your answer. Stop making excuses for him, his actions are screaming the truth: he’s just not that into you. Move on, sister! Cut your losses and don’t waste your time.’

Other stuff:

Am now in the heart of Sex and the City country, staying in my friend Dwight’s apartment in SoHo tonight before flying on to Las Vegas tomorrow. Great to be back in my old stamping grounds of Seventh Avenue South.

I bought myself a US mobile phone today – contract made better financial sense than pay-as-you-go. Also feels more like a commitment to America. I hope to spend a lot of time over here in the run-up to my Pacific row, immigration officials permitting, and am childishly excited at the prospect. In this most can-do of countries, I hope to launch my Pacific campaign in all senses of the word.

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