Don’t Worry—She’ll Respond

This is it. The Bold Italic

You had a great time last night. You were the best version of yourself. You danced away to “Get Low” by Lil John & the East Side Boyz. You had only a little bit of armpit sweat, and no one noticed. You had only one drink too many, but you were still coherent. You were the “fun” wedding guest. You exuded charisma.

Beneath the string lights, at the mason-jar-lit dinner tables and in the retro photo booth, your star shone bright.

And you met her. She was amazing. She “got” you. She saw that you were breaking up the monotony. She found your junior-high dancing skills charming.

You wake up, slightly hung over from mixing red wine, champagne and vodka shots. The shots were excessive. But you had to convince the father of the bride to take a shot. That was epic. No one will forget that. Wedding-album material.

You can’t wait. You need to reach out to her. You know she had a good time. You know you had a good time. Why play games?

You wait as long as you can. The clock is ticking. Time is not moving fast enough. OK, now it’s time. Will you seem too desperate if you text at 9:00? You go to Philz and wait in line to burn some time. Waiting. Anxiety. Waiting.

No game playing. You draft 50 versions of the text while you sit at Philz. You delete all of them. Finally. The one. Keep it simple. Not too witty. You’ve got it. She’s definitely going to respond.

The magical bubbles appear. She’s going to respond. SUCCESS.

She definitely read it.

Then, nothing.

You are driving. You are looking at your hands-free cell-phone holder. You are waiting. Some cars are behind you and to your side. They are in your way. Why can’t the road be empty? Why do these annoying drivers have to be around you? You have important things to tend to. How annoying.

Nothing. No response. Maybe you can get someone else to respond. Maybe that will make you feel better. It’s not you. You text-message Sam. You were kind of a dick to him last night. You made yourself look good at his expense. Nothing.

He’s a friend, so maybe if you send him a Facebook message, he will be more responsive.

“Why isn’t he responding?” The Bold Italic

The bubbles. But no response. Nothing. He definitely read it. A tiny circular version of his profile picture appears next to your last message. Since you spoke to him, he posted an image from the wedding with you in it. He didn’t tag you. He tweeted an Atlantic article about the Google Manifesto. WTF?

Why isn’t he responding? Maybe you weren’t as smooth as you thought you were? Maybe the wedding was a failure? Maybe everyone got together after and agreed not to speak to you ever again? Maybe you lost all your friends.

Maybe you shouldn’t have gone with the quintuple message. Maybe you should have just gone with one. Maybe you scared him off too.

You sleep more. Waiting will solve everything. You will wake up, and it will be OK.

You sleep with your phone in your hand, waiting eagerly for a vibration — a short one for Facebook, a double vibration for text.

Five minutes into your sleep, you check What’s App. Did she log in? When was the last time she was active?

Recently. Fuck. What do you do now? Is she just playing games with you now? Two can play that game. You aren’t going to text her. Not ever again.

You’ll delete the text thread. That’s what you’ll do. It will be as if none of this ever happened.

You follow her on Instagram. She posts a photo from the wedding. She tags some people in it — not you. She doesn’t follow you back instantly. You are paranoid. You comment on the photo. Maybe she’ll respond?

Minutes feel like hours.

You go to grab some lunch at a Poke restaurant. Avocado toast. Otherwise known as Pokecado toast.

What did you do wrong? Maybe you should have gone with a different deodorant? Maybe you should have gone with a shirt that didn’t have brown stains under the armpit area?

You kill some time by watching your favorite movie—Swingers—again. Bad choice. The Jon Favreau scene invovling multiple voice messages makes you cringe.

You take a Xanax. You are now “that guy.”

You check some work email. Your boss has an urgent item for you to work on. SHIT. You hurry; you email him. He has Outlook read receipts on. No response.

You Slack him because he’s active. No response. Did you screw it up? Are you going to get fired? What a catastrophe. You’ll never drink again.

You post a picture of the wedding on Facebook and tag Sam and some others who might be fiends with her. Maybe their privacy settings are lax, and they’ll allow the image to show up on their wall?

Ten minutes. Zero likes.

This is it. You are going to make some major life changes after last night. You start planning your exercise routine for the week. You do your laundry. You’re going to be a better person. You’re going on a keto diet.

You feel your phone vibrate twice. DING, DING.

She finally responds. Unrecognized number.

“Thanks!”

Almost at the same time, as if it were a connectivity issue, Sam responds: “You had one too many.”

Sunil Rajaraman is the Co-Founder of Scripted.com, CEO of The Bold Italic, and a columnist at Inc.com.