Sunday, October 24, 2010


Last week, the Sensitive Bostonian's Brother (SBB) went on a date with a woman he had been out with several times before. He had enjoyed their previous dates and they had a nice dinner together, so he was surprised when, toward the end of the evening, she brought up the fact that he had been 15 minutes late (he called ahead of time to ask if they could change the time of the date). To her, this meant that he wasn't that interested in her.

Now, if you know SBB, you know that this does not mean anything of the sort. He's ALWAYS 15 minutes (or more) late; it's just part of who he is. Nonetheless, this woman did not appreciate his lateness, and the date ended badly when he told her that he was not ready to be exclusive with her (he had a date scheduled for the following evening).

Lateness and unreliability are ubiquitous in our culture, and it can be frustrating for those of us who do not possess these traits, so I can partially understand where she was coming from (even though I think she was wrong to take it so personally). Some people can accept it, others can't. Last weekend, Slinky and I got drinks in the early part of the evening, and later Dreamy was coming to meet up with me at the same bar. Throughout the evening, I got a series of texts from Dreamy postponing his impending arrival that ended with the comment, "Thank god you're so easygoing!" Slinky was not feeling so easygoing, though, and finally said, "I could not date Dreamy. This would drive me crazy." However, she also liked him immediately upon meeting him, and sent me a quick text right afterward to tell me he is a cutie pie (very true).

Of course, there are many levels of unreliability, and the fact that Dreamy always lets me know when he'll be late usually makes it acceptable to me. Still, there are times when I feel frustrated. When we talked a couple of weeks ago about trying to see each other more, Dreamy said that he'd like to talk sometimes during the week when we are both too busy to hang out. My phone did not ring for several days afterward, so I finally ended an email to him with a postscript: "Llamame!" He texted to tell me he was out to dinner with friends and could he call me around 9:30. I said fine, but I'd be going to bed early. Apparently we have different definitions of "early," because when he finally left his dinner at 11:15 it did not occur to him that I might already be asleep, and he awoke me from a deep slumber that I had already been in for nearly an hour and a half. Also this weekend, Dreamy had promised to spend the day Sunday helping me start moving into my new apartment, but midway through the week he realized that he had a full-day soccer tournament planned and had to be there at 8 in the morning. I mean, doesn't he have a calendar??

Dreamy and I are in the phase of our relationship now where we're learning about each other and negotiating how we interact. He knows now that if I say I'm going to bed early he shouldn't call after 10; I know that when he says he'll be somewhere at 7 it probably means 7:30. And I'm realizing that if I want to be in a relationship with him I'll have to accept a certain level of unreliability and not let it frustrate me. Luckily, though, the unreliability is more than compensated for by his many other wonderful qualities: He's affectionate, constantly saying adorable things to me like "I feel really lucky to be with someone who is so kind and sweet;" is generous -- he brought me a beautiful scarf from his recent business trip across the world; he took good care of me this weekend when I had the sniffles and a sore throat; he wants to spend lots of time with me, and we were together for almost the whole weekend with me this weekend and last (minus today of course, for his tournament); and is smart and thoughtful.

Yesterday Persil gave his stamp of approval, too: Dreamy and I were kissing, and Persil flew over and landed on his toe. Now I know for sure he's a good one.

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