The funny thing about growing older as a woman is that we will do just about anything to not age. We will inject ourselves with unnatural things, have surgeries, apply chemicals to our face so we can peel off a piece of time. At the very least, we will spend a little too much on lotions, potions, serums and creams to do battle on a daily basis, or gag down fistfuls of vitamins that might serve as a remedy. No longer being a spring chicken myself, I get it. I'm a slave to sunscreen and appreciate a good peptide as much as the next girl. But, in spite of what the magazines are writing about, the one thing that truly keeps us young is men. Well, that's more than one thing, actually (pardon the pun). But there's nothing that will take a woman back in time, and to a perpetual teenage state, like trying to figure out a man. It's uncanny.
Since I kind of wrote the book on getting over a guy, I tend to field my share of relationship questions. I don't mind. They can be some pretty fascinating conversations. Especially the "Why Do You Think He Hasn't Called?" topic. It's amazing the amount of time women will waste on that subject. The precision of the analysis that goes into it. The predictions of doom (which can easily be self-fulfilled). Granted, it's always a curious moment when the man who's always called like clockwork suddenly goes MIA, but we all know that all men do this at one time or another. As one friend says, though, knowing is the booby prize. When that call doesn't come, it will freak more than a few of us out.
I have been going back and forth with one friend for two days on the subject. And, of course, right after one such convo, he called. (I know this because she emailed me after.) But then I got another concerned message from her because he didn't call the following day. What's worse, he didn't respond to a text she sent him. And he always responds to her texts. And she's, like, going away for, like, four days, leaving early the next morning, and he knows this. So why hasn't he called?
I mean, I care that my friend is upset by this (and, for the record, she does realize she's being just a tad irrational), but who cares why he hasn't called? He just hasn't. That's it. If there wasn't a fight or an issue or some other "cause" for the call to be skipped, the guy is just doing a guy thing. Who cares? And, besides, they just talked the day before. For over an hour. Criminy. Even I don't always want to talk that much.
There is one little distinction I would like to make, though: If a man says he's going call and then doesn't, that's going to make a little tickmark in my brain. I'm the kind that keeps a mental note of people who do what they say they will and those who don't. I do that with everyone, though. To me, it's a gauge of character. But, if it was just assumed that he would call and then knickers get twisted because he doesn't, that's simply self-created drama, and a sure sign that someone needs to get out and see friends more, or at least take up a new hobby.
Ironically, it's not like anyone has to be sitting by the phone to feel the angst of the missing man call. Today, our cells are perpetually attached, bombarding us not only with calls but texts and emails...or not. Perhaps that's what makes the missed communication sting a little more. It's so in your face. It's not like you have that one disappointing moment when you walk in the door and find your voicemail empty. No. You know the whole time that phone didn't ring with the call you were jonesing for. Bummer. Still, who cares? I would think by now we'd be beyond that stage and could simply blow something that silly off without a second thought. Then again, it's nice to know that, in some ways, youth never leaves us. It's really only a missed phone call away.