Oblivious to Obvious

I’m somewhat oblivious to certain social cues, most specifically the ones where there may be any sort of romantic proclivity involved. It goes a little like this (what follows is a dramatization, not an actual conversation):

Feller: So what do you think about dinner?
Me: Who, me? Yes, dinner is nice.
Feller: So when are you free?
Me: Free for what?
Feller: Dinner – I just asked you to dinner…
Me:(internally) D’oh, I thought he was asking if I liked dinner… What exactly did I just agree to & how do I extract myself?

Over the weekend, I got a new phone. My sales rep, we’ll call him Joe, was a few years my junior and the stereotypical Verizon-store geek, a wee bit derpy but competent and pleasant. Part of my agenda that afternoon, in addition to upgrading hardware was to update my plan, since I’ve reverted to my maiden name. When I mentioned I had changed my name, Joe asked if I had gotten married. I replied no, divorced. He repeatedly said he was so sorry, but I assured him that I wasn’t and not to worry about it. It all seemed pretty innocuous.

Joe got me everything that I needed and was friendly and fairly chatty. He told me all about his phone, then his car, then his golf clubs and the kind of clothes he wore (when not mandated to a company dress code). It actually became a litany of conspicuous consumption. Not the type of small talk I normally listen to, but his incessant prattle kept me from having to hold up my end of a conversation that I was completely uninterested in participating in.

Fast forward to coffee with the girls. I mentioned how off putting I find that kind of obsession with material acquisition. Sure, I participate in mercantilism, as does everyone to varying degrees, but brandishing my purchasing power to a perfect stranger is not my style. This (actual) conversation ensued:

Girlfriend I: Aw, he liiiiiked you. He was totally showing off for you!
Me: What? Eh? No. That’s not what was happening. Was it?
Girlfriend II: Sure it was. He knew you were single and chatted you up!
Me: Nah, it wasn’t like that…

Well didn’t I get a text message from Joe later that evening asking me if I was happy with my new phone, and did I want to have coffee sometime. (Don’t get me started on the ethical question of using the business outreach as an excuse to ask me out…)

I politely declined, but dang, I’m oblivious… Gods forbid that someone intriguing ever attempts flirting with me, for I’m sure I would be clueless.


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