I am a file dumper. I don't keep old emails. I don't keep old files. I read and delete. Or read and file away in a folder if I need it later. But I hate having things in my inbox. Or on my DVR. I want them cleared off and away. It's an anti-hoarding thing I'm sure. But every once in awhile I try to ignore things and let them just sit. Only to have a frenzied deletion session later.
Today was one of those and as I was clearing out old Facebook messages I ran across one I got at the beginning of March. It was from an old boyfriend. Now it's not too odd that I have contact with old boyfriends, I have a few of them on my friend list even today. Mostly because I was friends with them before we dated and friends with them after. I didn't ever really see the need to get rid of a friendship just because we decided that "more" wasn't really for us. It helps that these weren't messy emotional overwrought breakups as well. For the most part it was just done.
But this boy and I weren't. We weren't friends before we dated and we weren't after we stopped. Hell we barely liked each other while we were together. One of those relationships where everyone looking at it from the outside knew what a bad idea it was and how awful we were for each other. Something about our personalities just brought the worst out in each other. So I was a little surprised to hear from him.
A little like the first thing I did when I got the message was send a message to a mutual friend of ours and say YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHO JUST SENT ME A MESSAGE! It was unexpected. Like I said, we didn't break up well. After not dating well. And I hadn't talked to him since 1985.
So anyway it became apparent after the first volley of "what have you been doing for 30 years?" that he was looking for something. Or at least testing the waters to see if there was something there. And I made a game out of it. How many attempts at flirty banter will he try with no reciprocation before he gets the hint? It was three, by the way.
Now I am not opposed to some flirty banter. You can see it on my Facebook wall and on the walls of many of my friends. It's not really my fault I have such wonderfully talented, kind, attractive friends and that they need to be told that they are freaking hot and talented and smart and funny and clever at frequent intervals. But did you see the key there? You can see it on my wall and on theirs. It's all out in the open. Everyone likes to be flirted with. Everyone likes to feel like they are attractive or kind or funny or talented or whatever floats their boat. But there is a difference with a private message.
Then it gets dicey.
Now I will still tell many of my friends how awesome they are via email but we have established that this is just banter. There is no intent behind it. Flirting with intent is a totally different kettle of fish. And if I suspect you are flirting with intent I will shut you down. Subtly, if I feel you might just be unsure. Kindly, if I believe that there has been a true misunderstanding. Or solidly if I have tried the other tactics and you aren't getting it.
Now to his credit I never had to get really direct with him. I just didn't give him anything that would make him think there was an option. And he wasn't really inappropriate. Just testing the waters. And the waters were frozen over and he was smart enough to back out before he got a hockey puck in the face. And he did. And I have an email exchange that actually made me laugh to read today. And one that I wouldn't have been bothered by Brent reading, which is the real key.
Now of course I am SUPER curious about how often he does such things. Or was it just me that he tried it with? Cause I am that awesome. Yeah...no. I doubt that. But it makes me wonder.
And so of course it will end up being a short story at some point where I will decide if this is something he normally does. And how often. And how bad it will be for him when he gets caught. Or in to a relationship he didn't really expect...Oh! That one! That's what it will be...she will take the bait and he will find out he should have never been fishing those waters in the first place....