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Digging a Bigger Hole as I Scramble to Escape

January 7, 2014

Ah, the whirlwind world of social interactions. I’ve been assured that it’s not just people with Asperger’s who occasionally miss a step and wind up falling down a steep, pitch-black staircase of stigmatized despair.

But man, it sure seems like I miss more cues than the rest of the population.

Take, for instance, when I was recounting to my cousin my too-eagerly accepted invitation to see some Christmas lights with a guy I barely knew. She guffawed and asked me, perfectly seriously, “How could you not know what he meant when he asked that? Going to look at Christmas lights is one of the most date-like things two people can do!”

I shrugged helplessly. “I used to look at Christmas lights around the neighborhood with my friends–my purely platonic friends!–when we were bored, which happened a lot out in suburban Nowheresville. And sometimes I’d be in the car with my dad when we’d see a neat display of lights we wanted to investigate more closely, and I can assure you there was no Freudian business happening there!”

She conceded how I could have made that gross error after I presented my case, but neither she nor I could come up with a strategy for de-grossifying it. After all, I had accepted–with an exclamation point, no less! And we all know I’m NEVER prone to excessively hyperbolic uses of the shift key and punctuation marks!

As might be obvious by this point in the post, my very own Mr. Would-be Ho-Ho-Ho-Bag returned from Florida and immediately struck up a text conversation. I have pretended to be stuck in the mountains with a lousy cell connection (which, rather like the cough that prevented me from risking a make-out session by the multicolored glow of a staggering Xcel Energy bill, does have some basis in reality) that only permits me to respond to texts once a day.

The problem is that this is not simply some deranged stalker-type who got the wrong idea because he mistook my grimace for a game grin in a bar. This particular dude-bro happens to be in my line of work–we initiated contact over a video shoot–and Denver is a small enough town that, while the “You’ll never work in this town again!” cry doesn’t apply, it’s never good to burn bridges with nuclear warheads.

And since he has indicated an interest in talking more business (or was it simply a ruse to lure me out of the mountains and onto a now-dimly lit street where we could swap saliva samples in peace? I’m even worse at reading sublinguistic cues in text messages than I am at doing so face-to-face!), it’s not in my best interests to block his number or text him back with a totally-not-exaggerated, “Dude, FUCK OFF.”

Which leaves me scratching my socially oblivious scalp and wondering what move to try next. Do I respond to his inevitable next text with, “Yeah, swapping ideas sounds good. By the way, I guess you thought looking at Xmas lights was supposed to be a date, but I didn’t think it was at first, and I don’t date”? Or do I pick a grungy dive bar where you can see the STDs frolicking about the establishment and lay it on him in this sex-negative atmosphere that I do not want to get laid?

Or maybe I will find an abandoned cellar or bomb shelter to camp out in until he loses interest. At least I can’t dig myself in deeper once I hit concrete…not without that nuke, at any rate.


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  1. Love this, this happens to me all the time, I think I’m just meeting a friend and suddenly I’m on date. “Awkward”

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