Tuesday, September 25, 2012

T and I fall out...

The next few days were a flurry of witty texts and emails (I was still riding on the wave of date 3: the positive interpretation).

I would recount them here, but 1) my phone had an epileptic fit and deleted all my texts, and 2) the emails are extremely intense and still make me blush (despite the fact we hadn't even kissed) - e.g. his creative responses to my task "25 uses for a stethoscope" or the more dramatic (and let's face it, immensely flattering) sign off: I want to kiss you. Deeply. For ages. And for time to stop.  

Phew! Pass me a fan!

As he was wading (Darcy-esque) into the marsh of "risque", I had the inspired idea of sending a book with the addressee "Dr Fifty Shades of T" (this was when the book had just been released and the wider populace were still deciding whether it was acceptable to read or not). 

When I requested his address, he sent his work one. Why not his home one?! What did he think I was going to do? Turn up uninvited? Hmmph!

Undeterred, I ordered the item on Book Depository (in fact simply a harmless miscellany) and, egged on by my housemate, addressed it accordingly. 0.2 seconds after I had submitted the order, my housemate (also a hot ambitious male doctor) informed me he was only joking, and of course I should never dream of sending such a thing to a man's workplace, particularly if it were a hospital, as the internal mail system meant the entire staff would get a laugh at it before it made its way to his pigeon hole, thus rendering him the subject of undermining smutty jokes from his entire team.

Oh fuck.

This became less than my key concern however, due to what happened next. 


Whilst I was unequivocally relishing the bosom-heaving sections of the correspondence, other areas were causing me serious dismay. Here I'm talking about the references to the "simplicity" of women, attention-seeking being "clearly more prevalent in those with two X chromosomes" (he who had sent me a text that morning, when I hadn't replied instantaneously to his first two, in capitals, demanding "GIVE ME SOME ATTENTION!") and more on the "my best friends fall in love with me" theme.

In particular, comments such as "What is it with women?! Are they simply unable to listen to men talk?! Or are they just too shocked when they come across a man who knows how to communicate!" had started to grate to much to be ignored.  

What to do? Clearly no amount of bodice-ripping correspondence could make this sort of hogwash tolerable. I wrote a cautious email asking if he could go easy on the casual sexism, positing it as a personal tic of mine to be over-sensitive in such matters, in an effort not to offend.

I received an apology, followed by a summary of a couple of my failings (I'm perhaps unable to love, it seems), and the following facile question which he seemed to think as a trump card: If a woman refers to "man-flu" is that being sexist? (Of course it is!! But if that's the worst it gets, are you truly going to compare it to e.g. the wage gap, being told you're genetically predisposed to being hysterical by a qualified doctor, or Todd Akin's rape comments?)

Somehow he then rationalised the entire situation through reference to the Oedipus Affair (i.e. as it was unintentional he was innocent - an excuse one can unfortunately never use more than once) gave two examples of times he harassed female colleagues to the point of them making official complaints about him, and a request for us to put the matter behind us. The email returned to the apologetic, before this grand finale:
Anyway dear, I also hope that on reading this you will have calmed down. You must have had a terribly stressful day at work. Maybe your stilettoes might have broken and you had fallen over. And clearly you are on your period.
I'm sorry, what? 

Did I write back, "Whilst reapplying my lippy I reflected that I must be careful not to irritate you, or you might stone some women to death, strap yourself to a bomb and then blow yourself up"? 

No, I did not.

I wrote back briefly, saying that I'd thought it over and despite enjoying his company when we'd met up, I didn't think we were compatible enough to take it any further: good luck with the search.

What happened next...

Response 1: curt email, "No problem, good luck."

Response 2: apologetic email with the admission the quoted paragraph was inappropriate and a request not to end it in this way and give him another chance.

Response 3: the next day a box of red roses arrived at my workplace, with a thoughtfully written card.

To be continued...
And then I remembered the "50 Shades" book hadn't yet arrived... [Clasps hand to forehead]

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