How to Get Stood Up

How to Get Stood Up

Thursday, 5 p.m. Send tentative text message, painstakingly loose and breezy, so you hide the hours during work you crafted it, Hey! You wanna go to a sweet 90s dance party Sat?! Don’t yet consider anything about Mel Gibson foiling your plans.

Thursday, 5 p.m.—Friday 2 a.m. Stay awake, alert, shaking, keeping your phone at close proximity. Damnit another fucking comment on my Spotify account! Why can’t it buzz for HERRRRR!?

Friday 2:13 a.m. She buzzes. Yah, Sat sounds SWEEETTTT!

Friday 2:15 a.m. Remove yourself from floor. Put down the brandy. Turn off the lava lamp. Remove your faith in God from the dumpster. All is right with the world.

Friday 2:25 a.m.-3 a.m. Remain stiff-as-board with adrenaline boosting as you remember that in the modern day, girls don’t mean shit when they intentionally and wildly misspell things in their text messages. Earnestness is only as good as the autocorrect.

Friday: Stuff happens. You go to work. Teach. The world turns. Put your tie on backward. Leave fly unzipped. Don’t comb hair. Your brain is in pre-meltdown stage.

Friday night: Get drunk. Send her text message about that funny thing that happens to me that I just knew you and ONLY YOU would love. Order four gin ‘n’ tonics and bet the bartender with denim bra how far you’ll be into drunkness happy time by the time girl responds. Eventually her response lands: “OH YAH! THAT IS LOLZ.” Head.Hits.Bar.

Saturday morning/afternoon: Play it cool. Don’t over-analyze. Don’t text her. Just constantly check Twitter and Facebook to make certain she doesn’t leave country/mention being “sick” or “boo—hungover!” Girls always know to roll out that preemptive shit like hours in advance.

Saturday 6 p.m.: Compulsively eat bag of Skittles, buy $200 of clothing at MOA, and wash face multiple times in public restroom. Slap face. Towel off. Then call her up: Hey, just ME! Yah, so, lookin forward to tonight? Should be good time or whatever. Looking forward to getting’ loaded mostly. Hope you can still make it. Hang up. Convince yourself you sounded non-serial-killer-ish.

Saturday 6 p.m.-8:25 p.m. Perform a series of anxiety-reducing measures, starting with expensive BBQ, then playoff basketball, and eventually find yourself on the interstate out in the suburbs blasting Kansas’s “Point of No Return.” Consider your life as a tragic-comedy. Consider you maybe are “above” relationships, like something Platonic.

Saturday 8:26 p.m. Text message. It’s her!!! Forget the bullshit you just swallowed and take most-dangerous-veering-cutting-off-14-drivers-tangent to the shoulder. (Wait a few minutes, so you don’t do that digital-I-can-see-your-boner thing of responding to her text immediately.) She says she’s been busy like washing her hair or something girls do that takes like FOREVER. Respond coolish. You still down?

Saturday, sometime in the 8 o’clock hour, but spiritually the moment GOD DIED: She responds with: Actually I was going to watch Signs. Maybe meet up later?!

Saturday, 8:35 p.m. What the fuc…? Are you..? Whatever. Still on shoulder, IMBD how long Signs is (that fucking M. Night Shyamalan keeps ‘em quick thank God), then tell her you’ll wait for her text, but like in a cool James Dean, wait-for-it-baby-maybe-we’ll-see kinda way not in the honest I’ll-check-my-phone-like-a-chimp-in-the-zoo-fondles-the-empty-trunk-looking-for-ants-to-eat kind of way.

95 minutes later, still Saturday night: Like microwave popcorn bell going off, you realize the MOVIE’S DONE! And text her. Wait, wait, wait for little blue ellipsis on her iPhone to show up. But nothing. No three dots of joy. No digital smoke signals.

Sometime around Midnight, Saturday: Loudly go up to strangers and (since you’re drunk) begin confusing your subject/verbs, etc, and tell them, stammering all over yourself, that I just got stood up tonight for that M. Night Shyamalan. Ignore their horrified faces, take their beers, for a sip, then return, and go crotch thrust the nearest skirt during “No Diggity.”

2 a.m., Sunday, leaning against wall of dance club, maybe urinating, mumbling to yourself, perhaps with a crowd around you: What are y’all looking at, nothing here but a guy who got stood up for Shyamalan’s second-best film.

4 a.m., Sunday: Pass out with The Village on mute, admiring the director’s craftsmanship, and thinking that though you’d watch it again, you saw the ending coming the whole way.

Dunstan McGill