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Asks for Number, Doesn't Call

Thursday, April 25, 2013
It is one of those mysteries of Single Life. Why do men ask women for their phone numbers and then not call them?

My guess is "The goldfish."

Recently I skimmed a news article on a goldfish who had lost its roommate (bowl-mate?) of 30 years. The article assured us readers not to worry about the survivor's grief: the goldfish memory is only 5 seconds long.

Some men, especially cute, happy-go-lucky, friendly men, are like goldfish.  "Hey, you're pretty! What's your number? Cool! I'll call ya. Hey, YOU'RE pretty! What's your number? I'll call ya!" At the time they are absolutely 100 % sincere. They honestly believe they are going to call you because right at that moment they want to call you. But then they forget as soon as another pretty face swims into view or as soon as they have slept off their hangover.

I believe it was Greg of He's Just Not That Into You who was refused a phone number by a woman who said she was tired of giving her phone number to men who didn't call. She said something like "My surname is Cupertino. If you really want to call me, find me in the phone book." Stung, poor old Greg called up every last Cupertino (or whatever) in the phone book until he found the girl. This is because Greg really, really, wanted to call that girl.

Another reason I think men ask for phone numbers is that they think they should as a polite gesture. It could be the man equivalent of you saying to another woman, "Oh my gosh! We should have coffee some time!" when what you mean is that it might kinda sorta be nice to have coffee some time, or it would be nice if you really did wish to have coffee some time. (If non-British, non-American, non-Canadian readers have no idea what I am talking about, you should understand that a lot of Anglo-Saxon social life is made smooth by what we call little white lies. It's almost a genetic disease. Having read St. Augustine on lying, I can't stand it, but I probably do it.)

Asking for phone numbers could also be a form of social insurance. For example, the guy may be thinking, "If tomorrow I remember this girl, it would be helpful if I had her number already." The operative word here is "If."

For the record, this is not about you. This is most definitely about them. A man will forget about meeting a woman who looks like Cindy Crawford if his subconscious has long been in thrall to women who look like Ava Gardner, or his kindergarten teacher, or his first babysitter, or his first girlfriend. Sure, he will acknowledge that the Cindy Lookalike is cute when she's right there in front of him, but after she's gone, it's Ava as usual. He'll just about kill himself to see an Ava-type again, even if he has no idea why.

That reminds me. I should write a whole post on this, but what do you think of going to events celebrating a famous singer, actress, writer, et alia, whom you resemble? Of course not many of us look like film stars, but say you are a dead ringer for the young Ayn Rand. Would it not make sense for you, despite not being a Randian yourself, to check out the local Objectivists' club?  The drawback , of course, would be meeting men whose beliefs might be entirely and uncomfortably different from yours. Still, I think it an amusing idea. And what could be more charming to some bloodthirsty Objectivist than a woman who looks exactly like Anne Rand asking him to explain Objectivism to her? Or to a Rita Hayworth fan than discovering himself beside a red-headed girl in the intermission between Hayworth films?