‘So, how’s your love life?’
JN took a deep swig of his beer. ‘Alright I guess.’
I reached for my martini and took a large gulp. ‘Do tell.’
‘Well there was this girl…’
‘How did you meet?’
‘She knew one of the guys at work. She seemed nice, quite pretty, a good smile, a great
I laughed. ‘Of course, and?’
‘And a few weeks ago, she gave me her number and suggested we meet for a drink.’
‘And she was really keen – totally up for it.’
‘So you shagged her?’
‘No. She wanted to, but I just didn’t go for it.’
; she didn’t stoke my interest
‘Sorry to hear that.’
‘It’s fine, save for her emailing me the next day and asking to see me again.’
‘Yeah, well I think she’s got the message now.’
‘Did she take it badly?’
‘I don’t think so.’
‘Well, how did she respond when you told her you weren’t interested?’
JN paused, a guilty expression on his face.
I groaned. ‘Please tell me you told her JN.’
JN looked down at his feet.
‘You didn’t tell her?’ I exclaimed. ‘What, you just thought she could read your mind?’
‘No. But she got the message that I wasn’t interested.’
I stared at him. ‘So you sent her a text then.’
JN shook his head. ‘Look, she knows that I don’t want to see her again, OK?’
‘Because you didn’t contact her at all, right?’
‘For fucks’ sake JN, you’re such a typical fucking man, do you know that?!’
‘What?’ he said, grinning at me sheepishly.
‘Do you have any fucking idea how horrible it is – how insulting – to have a bloke do that to you?’
‘Look, let me tell you something about women. When you didn’t reply to her email, she didn’t
get the message.’
JN looked at me confused.
‘No. For the first three days after she emailed you and had no reply, she would have been worried.’
‘Yes, worried. Worried that she had made a mistake showing interest; that she had acted too keen and should have played it cooler.’
‘Well, that’s not a big deal.’
‘Whatever. Anyway, when she didn’t hear from you for another three days, she would have been hurt; wondering why you weren’t replying to her email.’
JN looked indifferent and I felt my temperature rising.
I continued. ‘And after feeling hurt, she would begin to feel offended, wondering why it was so hard for you to just email her back. Three more days after that and she would be infuriated and resentful and have angrily deleted your email address.’
JN shrugged nonchalantly and I was tempted to slap him. ‘Look, I don’t see what the big deal is’ he said. ‘She got the message, that’s all that matters.’
‘No. What message she got is that you’re just like all the other arseholes out there; that you have so little regard for women that you don’t even have the decency to be honest with them.’
JN stayed silent.
‘Do you wonder why women end up so pissed off with men?’ I asked him. ‘Does it not cross your mind that perhaps if men treated us a little better, we would have more respect for you? Do you not realise that when women get drunk together and bitch about how fucking crap men are, it’s because of shit like this? You're thirty-five not thirteen - why can't you just be a grown-up and say what you really think?’
JN continued his silence, knowing me well enough to understand that it was best for him to do so until I had finished my rant.
‘JN’ I said, exasperated, ‘what's wrong with being honest? How difficult would it have been to quickly email her and say “thanks for last night; you were good company and I had fun. However, I am not interested in getting into anything more, but thank you anyway”?’
JN shrugged again.
‘It’s just a simple matter of honesty and respect’ I pleaded. ‘Common courtesy, that’s all. If more men were able to be truthful and stop all this rude ‘if I ignore them, they’ll go away’ bullshit, there would be a lot more trust between us and lead to better communication all round.’
‘I suppose that’s a fair point.’ JN said, still looking sheepish.
I nodded. ‘If we could all just be honest with each other, surely that would make relations between us better in the long run?’
‘I guess, yeah. Presumably, the shagging would be better too.’ he said, and we both laughed.
I reached for my martini and took a large gulp.
JN took a deep swig of his beer. ‘So, how’s your
‘I don’t want to talk about it.’