8/23/2012

Day of Comeuppance

Story Sent in by Eugene:

Sandra was a very attractive but quiet girl with whom I went to high school. We had a lot of the same friends, and she always acted a bit shy around me. That, in turn, increased my interest in her, and I did my part to engage her in conversation, finally chipping through enough so that we could be called friends.

It was around this time that our high school was gearing up for a Day of Silence (www.dayofsilence.org). A Day of Silence is an event in which students take a vow of silence for a single school day to draw attention to anti-LGBT bullying. A noble cause, and a noble event. Not every student participated (Sandra and I did), but many did, and our school was supportive.

A week before the Day of Silence, I asked Sandra out to dinner. She named the evening of the Day of Silence as a good time to meet up. As the event was (as I understood it) meant to draw attention to bullying in school, I believe the general plan was to go back to speaking after classes were over.

The event went well, and after the final bell rang, I sought Sandra to confirm plans for the evening. When I found her, she remained silent, but confirmed the details by nodding her head. I thought about asking her, "Are you going to be silent the whole time?" but further thought that that would be bad taste, and so I went on my way. I assumed that she wouldn't have agreed to the date that night if she was going to be silent for it.

Well, my mistake. She remained silent through all of dinner, leaving me to do all the talking. At one point, I think I even asked her, "If you were planning to be silent the whole time, then why did you tell me that tonight would be a good night for this?"

Her response? Silence.

I tried to make the best of it, and cracked some jokes that made her smile. I thought that maybe if I gave her a good enough impression, she'd break the silence and we could still salvage the evening.

I guess I didn't try hard enough, because she was quiet the whole time. When the food was served, though, she certainly opened her mouth for that.

I had originally planned on treating her, but due to the circumstances (it was really like I was out on a date with myself), I had decided to ask her to split the check. When it arrived, I glanced it over and then slid it to her.

She gaped at me, and to help her out, I said, "I think you owe $12 or $13."

She took out a pen and wrote a message on a paper napkin, then slid it to me.

She had written, "Silent people can't pay. Sorry."

I looked at her note for several moments, then up at her. She gave me a what-are-you-gonna-do shrug.

Was she seriously pulling this? After I spent all of dinner talking for two? No way. Not happening. I was fed up.

I said, "Then silent people shouldn't have eaten. Pay up."

She gave me a bug-eyed stare, but when it was clear that I was serious, she gave a closed-mouth groan and pulled out her wallet.

Oddly enough, for the rest of the school year, long after the Day of Silence, she continued to give me the silent treatment.

22 comments:

  1. One day, when you're older, you'll appreciate the beauty of an attractive woman who knows how to be seen and not heard...

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  2. Just so you know, I am NOT the Sandra in the story. I've been told I even talk in my sleep. :)

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  3. If you really liked her, you should've paid and asked her out for another real date. Sharing a weird encounter like that can be a bonding experience. And if she just wasn't interested in you, you were only out $12.

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    1. She didn't speak to him the entire time, and this is a bonding experience?

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    2. If there's a real date a few days later, yes. It was pretty obvious after 1 minute at dinner that she wasn't going to talk. And it was a day of silence for a cause that he knew about, not like she was just randomly not talking.

      He persevered through the entire meal, cracking jokes, etc., keeping the date at least interesting, and then at the last minute he came off to her as a jerk, over $12.

      If he was going to do that, he should've bailed after 1 minute, or at least just eaten and left. Why all the effort only to torpedo himself at the last minute?

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    3. He said, "As the event was (as I understood it) meant to draw attention to bullying in school, I believe the general plan was to go back to speaking after classes were over."

      He also said, "She named the evening of the Day of Silence as a good time to meet up."

      She picked a day during which she clearly meant to take the entire day to be silent, for their date. She didn't warn him about her choice to do that, in advance. She did plenty of things that day, but the two things she chooses not to do are talk during a date and offer to pay?

      I agree that he should've bailed earlier, however, I can't fault him for, as he says, "I thought that maybe if I gave her a good enough impression, she'd break the silence and we could still salvage the evening."

      A bullet was certainly dodged, but not by her.

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    4. Just for the record, there's no "standard" that says the Day of Silence ends at the end of the school day. Each event sets its own parameters. In this case, maybe the girl is thinking, "Wtf, why is this guy talking when he made a vow of silence for today? What a jerk!"

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    5. ^x3.

      Sandy's one of those people who will act stupidly to justify their previous acting stupidly. Or something like that. Like the woman I dated who smoked to spite her ex who asked her not to. I called her on it, probably why there was no second date. Damn, she was smokin', too. I never said I was smarter than Sandy.

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    6. ^x3 to Jared's post.

      Jason, again, why did she set the date for a day she didn't plan to talk? Was he supposed to predict that? Asking "Hey, like, are we gonna talk during the date, 'cause if not I don't wanna go out." would likely trash any chance he had with her.

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    7. Agreed that there's no standard, and people can certainly choose to observe the day as they see fit.

      From the context, it seems that Eugene had a good faith belief that it was meant to last only during the school day, and it may not be a stretch to say, given his assumption, that others in his school were also of the same mind. He says, "As the event was (as I understood it) meant to draw attention to bullying in school, I believe the general plan was to go back to speaking after classes were over."

      Bottom line, even if "silent people can't pay," silent people should be polite. If she could write on a napkin, she could at least reach into her wallet and offer to chip in.

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    8. I'm not saying the OP was in the wrong.. just didn't understand why he'd make so much effort to have the "silent dinner" go as well as possible, and then end with a move that would guarantee she'd think badly of him.

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    9. A form of cognitive dissonance and scenario fulfillment. When she started the silent bit, he might have predicted how the date would end and stopped it before he became a dick. But seriously, who wants to extrapolate shitty scenarios when trying to get laid? His flareup at the end was trying to recover a sunk cost.

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    10. Why should he have to pay for the chance for a do-over when she's the one who sabotaged the date? Her "silent people can't pay" bit made it pretty clear that she planned this.

      Even if he gave her more than a fair shot by not leaving immediately that doesn't mean he should pay. She spent an entire dinner ignoring him.

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  4. Jason is seeing the romantic side :)

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    1. Did this non-date have a romantic side?

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  5. Why are people mad against OP? Are you missing the point where she wrote a note that "silent people can't pay"? She could have easily written to him during the date... like "Tell me about your family" "tell me your hobbies" etc. But no, she choose not to write a note UNTIL it came time for her to spend money.

    Good move OP

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    1. I noticed that, too. So the only time the OP was worth communicating with was when he asked she pay her way. Wow.

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    2. Yes, thank you!

      She could have at least bothered to explain herself if she didn't have enough napkins for a whole conversation.

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  6. How is awareness raised by her not talking during the date? OP obviously was aware and no one else was there. She deliberately set up a date on that day. Maybe she thought they would both be silent and she would get a peaceful free dinner.

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  7. How did she order her meal if she didn't talk?

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    1. I wondered that, myself. Then I realized that she could've pointed to an item on the menu.

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  8. Nothing like a wordless day to impress those bullies. They must have been floored.

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