I arrived at work ready for another great day in the think tank. Granted, my decision to have a Gossip Girl marathon the night before had left me more tired than usual but in hindsight, it was worth it apart from the bags under my eyes, that apparently no amount of high-end concealer could cover up. I plonked myself down at my desk, as I would any other day and took an overly ambitious sip of coffee from my mug – needless to say half of it went down my dress. My elegance really knows no bounds.
I flipped up my laptop screen ready to begin the working day, making sure my coffee cup was at a safe distance and if spilled, would cause no detrimental damage to technology – a spillage being almost inevitable at this point considering I was struggling to keep my peepers open. Well, that was until I caught my phone lighting up in the corner of my eye. Alas, as exhausted I was, my peripheral vision had not let me down. I grabbed my phone and my reaction to what was on screen could be described as nothing other than sheer astonishment:
“Hey you! Sorry about the other week, had so much going on. I’d still love to meet up with you, you’re looking great. You free Friday? G x”
It was Gareth. Do you remember Gareth? I certainly do, well, kind of. We’d never met although we had arranged to. Gareth had stood me up a few weeks previously, and now, after days upon days upon days of no communication whatsoever, he drops this bomb on me. If ever there was a definition of audacity and general impertinence, this was it. I kept scanning his text message over and over again, not in an attempt to read between the lines but to almost decipher why he believed it was perfectly appropriate to proposition me after letting me down so badly.
What could have been going on at the time that he couldn’t find a few seconds to drop me a text to say he didn’t want to meet that evening? His discourteous behaviour had caused me to eliminate his name from my mental list of “men I’d like to date”, and to categorise him under the headline “men I should avoid at all costs”. After having paused in perplexity to read his message one last time, I suddenly felt that the centre of this man’s attention was a very bad place to be. If he was willing to let me down once, what would be in store for the future?
He still offered no real explanation to his actions and more to the point, his apology was a little too relaxed to be conceived as genuine regret. Let me tell you, if this laissez-faire attitude to people’s feelings is an integral part of Gareth’s personality, then he’s gonna find himself on Tinder – and indeed, alone – for a very, very, very long time. So why now, and what informed his decision to pick up his phone and send me a message? I could only assume that an alternative offer fell through and I was simply a back up plan. Dearest Gareth, do I strike you as the type of person who is perfectly okay with being second best? The answer is no – I am not a doormat, nor am I a piece of toast, therefore I do not take kindly to being buttered up. Compliments, such as “you’re looking great”, certainly don’t wash with me under the wrong circumstances – his sincerity lost all authenticity the moment he left me standing outside a bar, on my own, in the rain, on a Friday night.
In case you’re wondering, I didn’t reply to his message. Instead, I swiftly deleted his text and then proceeded to delete his number too. My decision was to rest on traditions in this instance, in the form of “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. If Gareth was to get a second chance, I’d have no one to blame but myself if it went pear-shaped and given his track record, that seemed unavoidable. No, Gareth was not going to get the benefit of the doubt and from now on, he would be nothing but a mere cocktail party anecdote of my foolish youth.