I promise, this is the last piece of the story about the "what's wrong with you?" date.
I got a call from him the day after we went out.
He left a message. He'd had a great time. And would I like to go out again sometime next week?
Since I didn't return his message within a couple hours, he called again. And then again. And once again. And, you guessed it, again the next day. At which point I really really really was never going to call him back.
So I sent a polite email. I thanked him for dinner. I'd said I'd had a nice time, but really, I didn't think we were particularly well-suited. I wished him well.
And I got an immediate phone call. Which I let go to voicemail. I only listened to the beginning of the message, which was, "Clearly, you're screening your calls."
And then I received an email. Which said, "And to add to my voicemail: I have to assume this is about attraction. And if you weren't attracted to me, don't you think it was unfair to let me buy you an expensive dinner?"
I swear, that's practically verbatim what he said.
I considered a variety of angry responses:
1. I offered to pay, asshole, both for the drinks earlier and for dinner later. You absolutely declined both times. Because going out with someone for "free" dinner? Is something I never do. I value my time more than that.
2. Are you kidding me? Unfair? Just because you bought me dinner doesn't obligate me to anything. If you buy someone two dinners then what do you think they owe you?
3. Are you out of your bloody mind? Stop calling me, take your anger and inflict it on someone else. Christ, go push women with strollers out of the way on the sidewalk or something. Might make you feel better.
But I took a bit of time to think about it. Truthfully, I was afraid he'd keep calling. Clearly, he wasn't afraid to call. And he was so angry. I couldn't just not respond, but I didn't want to provoke him.
So I wrote a very nice email complimenting him about a couple things that I'd liked about him - and sincerely, because he definitely has positive attributes. I said that it was not about attraction, but rather about the fact that it seems to me that if he doesn't get what he wants immediately, he will push until he does. And I don't want to be pushed.
To which I got a very nice, profusely apologetic response. And an explanation for his behavior.
I believe he is a decent person. With a lot of anger and a lot of issues. I believe he meant his kind response. But I also believe his objective was to get me to do what he wanted. Like, hmm, impressing her with my importance didn't work, and neither did bullying. But maybe I can play on her sympathy.
Playing on my sympathy? Are you kidding me? That stopped working a whole, oh, I don't know, year ago.
I didn't delete him from my phone, even though he said that if he didn't hear back from me, he wouldn't contact me again. Because that, I don't entirely believe.