I’m such a hipster.
I ghosted before ghosting was cool. It happened in 1993, to be exact.
The victim’s name was Anita.
She was a sweet divorced mother who lived on the westside, near Venice. She was amorphously cute in a deranged Jo Ann Worley way (circa 1960’s, of course). I don’t think that’s who she modeled herself after, but truth hurts. Hey, it was cool. I wasn’t exactly Tom Selleck.
Still, she was light and easy and we went on several lunch and dinner activity dates. I even met her parents and her young daughter. We grew closer, but I never felt a great kinship. I was not connected to her, but I was young, I was bored, I was enjoying the “benefits” of our acquaintanceship. Who was I to turn my back on the cow?
At one point later in our “relationship,” we began discussing a trip to San Francisco. She was really into the idea and I was sorta, as well, but I was more excited about the San Francisco part of it than anything else. See, our relationship had turned sexual only a week or two in, and we had sex frequently, in the dark. Once, we had sex on her parent’s living room floor, and after we were done, she stood up to go the restroom and in the semi-lit room I saw for the first time that the back of her legs were cascaded by cliffs upon cliffs of cellulite. She was not terribly fat, but she wasn’t thin either. However she was one of those unfortunate people who just has a natural state of cellulite. I was grossed out and my feelings for her were henceforth stunted in place. It was very immature and shallow of me, a little Seinfeldian even, I’ll admit, but I was only like 27 at the time. I had no maturity, no honor and from that moment on, I just didn’t see her the same, even as we planned our SF trip.
We finally decided upon the details of our SF trip. The dates, activities, etc. During this time I answered a dating advertisement in one of those circulars that made the rounds prior to our Ashley Madisonian cyber age.
The girl’s name was N****. She was a cute Filipino girl and our first date was on a Sunday night. She was slender and fit, albeit a little FOBish, but she had a great sense of humor and bubbly personality. She was single, had no local children whatsoever (well, other than the ones that she left behind in the Philippines). She lived closer to me so we began hanging out a lot while in the background, I was making plans with poor Anita for our SF trip. I was a meek coward. Me and N**** grew very close and the sex was great, and moreover, she had NO cellulite!
The day drew closer for the trip to San Francisco and I never let on to Anita that I really didn’t want to go, and in fact, didn’t want to hang out with her any more. But I had no balls. Anita called the house frequently (I lived with my parents at the time) in the days leading up to the trip and I would not answer. I disguised my languor by spending all those free moments with N**** or on the phone with her. My mom told me Anita called several times and she was thrust into the unsavory role of covering for me. It is one of the worst things I’ve ever done. I was a simpering, vile coward.
Finally, Anita gave up. The San Francisco dates came and went, and I spent them with N**** because apparently, Anita finally got my passive message.
Now somewhere along the way, I grew up.
My spine stiffened, my testicles descended, something.
I “matured” and came to face confrontation with nary a reservation; to welcome it, in fact. The more protracted, intense and angry the confrontation, the better. My adoration of interpersonal conflict was a strongly ethnic extension of my personality and Socially Extinct at 27 was nothing like Socially Extinct at 40. I would have played that Anita game very differently if I was older.
Ghosting has been covered extensively by Althouse on her blog. She linked to a comment chain at the NYT discussing the justifications and damnation of ghosting.
I personally feel ghosting is the last refuge of the coward. It is a tool of escape wielded by both men and women (a young version of yours truly, included). It is no surprise that the concept has made a return engagement because we appear to be entering, have entered, an era of weak humanity in which direct human interaction has give way to disconnected, bridged interaction that dampens all emotional vitality.
Ghosting is the break up tool of our times.