Tag Archives: dead dogs

The Case of the Disappearing Dog


Out in the jungle of dating there exists a little known species known as the ‘disappearing dog’. Now you see him, now you don’t!  One day he’s there, hanging with your friends, making plans for holidays, mentioning the parents and then… *poof* gone without so much as an ‘it’s not you it’s me’ text. Where do they go? It’s a mystery, to doggie heaven perhaps!

Ladies beware, side-effects of the sting include all the usual marks of a Dog encounter (insomnia, depression, unusual attachment to Facebook) but this particular mutation can induce side effects ranging from mild hysteria to extreme obsession.

Yesterday I was sent a text conversation that was uploaded onto the internet entitled “this is what crazy looks like via text messaging” http://soundcloud.com/vaughan-1-1/this-is-what-crazy-looks-like . In a nut-shell (no pun intended) a girl called JJ goes gaga after her one night stand blows her out. Now while this is all very amusing and the girl in this case is clearly insane, I’m going to use this extreme case as evidence of the effect of the ‘disappearing dog’ phenomenon. When a guy just vanishes without any explanation, the need for closure, and answer, an explanation… anything! Can drive otherwise sane self- respecting women into fits of feverish text frenzies.

“I just wanted my stuff back!” Said my friend,  as she recounted the story of a guy she’d been seeing for several months.

“He told me he was going for a drink with an ex, texted me from the bar telling me how bored he was and how he can’t wait to see me later, then nothing! I texted once, tried calling and assumed he got back with the ex. He still had a lot of my stuff at his so I called his mobile from my friend’s phone and got as far as ‘oh hey it’s….’ When I heard him gasp and he slammed the phone down!”

My friend never did get her stuff back, and to this day she wonders what really happened that night.

When a dog just disappears, he leaves a great big question-mark that wouldn’t otherwise be there. With a question mark that big, the need to figure out why can become all-consuming; sending you spiraling off to Sherlock Holmes his Facebook for evidence of something (you’ll know what it is when you find it) or e-mailing his work account (just in case he lost his phone). One friend was so confused by a sudden disappearance that she texted the guy’s friend to see if he was still alive and OK. He was.

More-so than just closure, the reason why a disappearing dog has such an effect, is the utter non response to contact. It’s the digital equivalent of someone sticking their fingers in their ears and going “I CANT HEAR YOU!” Take JJ-loco above, the lack of reply from her Kevin was the catalyst to crazy-town. Could that really be any of us?

In the Ye Olde dating times you communicated on the phone or in person, but now it’s so easy to delete from Facebook, so simple to ignore a message that the need to actually step up and be honest is diminishing.

The recent launch of a website helping dumpees communicate with their dumpers has unsurprisingly been a success. Only two weeks after it launched, www.wotwentwrong.com received over 28,000 hits. That’s 28,000 people who would happily pay to have a site message their ex and have them fill out a questionnaire on why they ended the relationship. The figures smell suspiciously like disappearing dog. When a relationship ends, there is always ‘the chat’…right? Or is the phenomenon of the D-dog more widespread than any of us feared? Has the rise of digital communication created a monster?

I’m going to stray from the point a little and recount the events of last night, when my very own disappearing dog, non- other than Prince Charming (remember him?) wagged back into my life. I knew he would be at the club so it wasn’t a shock to see him there, all dazzling and chatting to some girl he’d no doubt just met. My phone vibrated and I had a moment of utter confusion when the name flashed up, because how he could be calling and standing in front of me at the same time? Then came the realisation that the guy busy charming every poor girl in the club was his identical twin.

Yes there are two of them. Two sets of chiseled cheekbones, two sets of piercing blue eyes, two heartless bastards. Could this be any more Dynasty? Apart from the whole warehouse in north west London, overflowing toilets and lack of toilet paper… so maybe more Dysentery than Dynasty but anyway, awkward encounter with Prince Charming’s equally evil twin averted, I turned my attention back to my phone where a message just appeared. PC wanted to know if I fancied coming round to his to ‘hook up’.

The reason for the story is this, first of all to exemplify the fact that if a dog disappears he’s probably not the kind of dog you’d have wanted around anyway, secondly that if there was no explanation given, perhaps instead of resorting to sending a questionnaire out (www.how-to-lose-your-dignity-in-one-easy-step.com) you can come to terms with the fact that finding out why, will not make the disappearance any easier. Had Prince Charming sat me down over a drink and explained that he didn’t actually want to go out with me because he only picks up girls for sport, maybe even elaborated that he has mother issues or a complex about being just a little bit fatter and shorter than his twin, would that have made any difference at all?

Back to the text, I was surprised at how keen he was to meet up especially considering the fact that every time I’d seen him previously he’d been quite happy to parade his gaggle of blondes right under my nose. Had things really got that bad? Or had he just slept with and not called every girl in Essex?

Even more curious was my realisation that not replying to him was actually getting a reaction! We’re not talking JJ-Loco but it was something!

“I give up!” he texted despondently. Then shortly after, “Kind of thought we were more grown up than this.”

I could have done one of two things. The first was to give him a taste of his own medicine, the guy stood me up twice, embarrassed me and hurt me he deserved to be ignored, but then would that be any better than a disappearing dog? It’s so easy to ignore a text message, to leave the words and the question dangling in space, forever echoing and never answered. I’m sure that it didn’t matter to him anyway whether I replied or didn’t, but in a world where common courtesy can so easily be forgotten, I decided to reply.

“I’m sorry… it’s just that that ship has sailed… and I’m not really the booty call type… Friends? Xx”

It was hardly a drink flung in his face, but to me it felt like closure, and that was antidote enough.

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I Love You. See? it’s easy!


Love. It really is a nice little word that rolls off the tongue, but to a girl dating a guy for a grand total of two months and two weeks it can stick, trapped somewhere between the teeth, stubbornly refusing to come out. You might easily tell him that you LOVE that meal he took you to, or that you LOVE his jumper. Casually telling him how you love spending time with him? Easy peas. But actually saying that you love him is, well, sometimes impossible.

Spoilt by a childhood of Disney films, teenage dreams of Dawson and an adulthood of Austen (and OK….I admit it Twilight,) the big declaration represents a moment of validation; you’ve made it to the finish line, you’ve won. Getting there becomes something like a challenge, and there is little to do but wait, because a girl has to wait for it. Right?

Even the most rules sceptic girl would agree that saying it first is never an option. It’s just not the done thing but more so, half the fun is the delivery and like reading the last page of a book, you risk missing out on the entire plot.

Still. If I felt it, if I really felt it, there should be no problem saying it. And therein lay the problem; how do I know if this is the real thing?

After the very first night I spent with Number Six, I marched into my best friend’s flat, threw my arms up and declared; “That’s it, I’m in Love.”

“You’re not in love.” She replied, rolling her eyes.
I have a habit of being ‘in love’ with anything; shoes, miso dishes, but more dangerously, men.  Let’s not forget the incident with Prince Charming; it took me a whole 48 hours of knowing him to go from mild interest to full blown passionate delusions.

Could it be that I was in love? So soon?

The Oxford Illustrated dictionary defines love as “A virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.
I’m not sure I entirely agree.

If love is in essence a challenge, there has to be an element of selfishness; a need that leads to that hook, be it sexual or emotional dependence.

Anthropologically speaking, the study of ‘love’ is divided into categories – biological, psychological and evolutionary.  Within these, the general consensus is that love has three stages; (because as a rule of thumb academics feel the need to divide everything into three…)

• Biologist Helen E. Fisher, categorised love into lust, attraction and attachment
• Psychologist Robert Steinberg, came up with the ‘triangular theory of love’ which divides love into intimacy, commitment and passion

A linear timeline for falling in love which begins with animal chemistry and ends with a sibling- like dependence, implies that not only are the two mutually exclusive but that the term ‘love’ is valid for even the basest of animal magnetisms. Ergo qualifying my ‘love’ for Number Six, Robert Pattinson and the guy I had a crush on in year 7.

If falling in love is really that easy, when then is the right time to say ‘I love you’?
My first boyfriend told me he loved me by writing 143 on a piece of paper (something about the number of letters in the word ‘I love you’.) He did it about two weeks in, and I later discovered he’d declared his love in the exact same way to his ex.

Golf Boy waited an excruciatingly long amount of time. But when he said it, I felt the entire world fell away like a smashed snow globe leaving just us in the middle.

Number four (or the one I never really talk about) said it at just the right time, and I don’t remember feeling anything at all, but then, I never felt much for him anyway.

And then there was Number Six. I’ve been telling him I love him silently in my head for about a month. He told me he likes me, that he really likes me, that he really really likes me.  And then, it happened.

“I really like you.” He said.
“Me too.” I replied for the hundredth time
“No, I REALLY like you.” He said again
I smiled.
“I would even say, maybe falling in love with you?”
Say it you coward. Just say it.

Then he paused. “How…do you feel?”
Seriously? You’re making ME do it?! I’ve never been a very patient person, and it was clear it needed a nudge. I rolled my eyes “You know I love you, you idiot!” I replied.

I’ll admit it was a bit of an anti-climax. I was expecting him to have thought of the right time, the right place, I wasn’t expecting an epic Notebook style declaration, but I wanted to at least be sure he meant it. Now that it was said, now that it was out in the open, I felt the words sit uncomfortably on my lips.

“Well, I’m glad that’s out the way,” he said, sighing “It’s like a weight’s been lifted. Wow so we’ve gone through another relationship landmark.”

I suppose we had, but we rushed through it so quickly I didn’t have time to stop and enjoy the view. Maybe hearing the words ‘I love you’ isn’t about winning at all.

And so I carry my ‘love trophy’ awkwardly, and return the words with  embarrassment because it feels like we’d jumped the queue into a club where we didn’t quite belong… yet.

 

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the Masochism Mambo


As my twitter-oos will know, my plan of a boy free three months resulted in a bout of binge texting.

The swede and GB were texted last night, the latter thankfully only resulting in minimal polite text banter which seemed to quench my need for attention and dulling the impact of the former who didn’t reply at all.

Not only did I binge text two people I care very little about and have only a very small interest in seeing but I decided to randomly message a guy I worked with almost five years ago in TV. Why ? who knows?

I know I’m not alone in this madness

I invited my friend Jade over tonight for dinner to cheer her up after her dog died.

(aside… the term dead dog originated when my friend Jessica, frustrated with the constant banter but no date invite from a guy she met, threw her phone down on the table and exclaimed- “I feel like I’m poking a dead dog with a stick” since, ‘dead dog’ had been coined for a boy that has, for some reason or another, turned out to be a loser. The activity of poking dead dogs is universally acknowledged to be pointless but at the time, a harmless bit of fun)

Jade’s dog hadn’t actually died of corse, she was merely grieving the loss of a something she thought had potential.

An entire bottle of vodka turned into a Karaoke session of singing into remote controls and jumping on the sofa to Flashdance soundtrack. I made the mistake of putting on Celine Dion when Jade slumped onto the sofa and declared that she wanted to poke her dead dog.

I knew how she felt.

If I still had Chris’s number in my phone I would have texted him in a second. If I still had PC on my Facebook I would have easily slipped into checking his profile.

You know it’s bad for you, you know no good can come of it but yet you just can’t help doing it!

But then, as I checked my facebook for the hundredth time (maybe the guy I messaged will message back after all….) I realised, there is a euphoria that’s so intertwined with doing something you KNOW is bad, that you just can’t help doing it.

Like maxing out your credit card on a last minute trip to Ibiza, or partying late on a Sunday. Have you noticed that watching Jeremy Kyle is really only ever fun if you’ve pulled a sickie?

“How have you been?” golden Boy texted me “it’s been a while.”

“Blah Blah Blah…. “ I responded, or something to that effect

“I’ve just moved to Clapham…..” he replied.

I’d stopped caring whether he replied or not. It wasn’t’ even fun anymore.

Thinking back over past relationships, not only have I always wanted what I couldn’t have, but I’ve always wanted things that were bad for me.

Is it fundamentally impossible to stop dancing the masochism mambo?

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