If he weren’t so obviously an ass, I’d feel terribly sorry for Mike, the thirtysomething New Yorker whose email to Lauren, a woman who spurned him, went viral on the web. You may have read it — or at least skimmed it, as the poor sod wrote 1600 words trying to explain to Lauren why she should not be avoiding his phone calls and text messages. I’ve written magazine stories that were shorter than 1600 words, and those readers wanted to hear from me.
In his letter, the rejected suitor delineates, in achingly embarrassing detail, how the gal sent him “mixed messages” during their one evening together. She played with her hair, for one, which his google search revealed is a sure sign of flirtation. (A google search also revealed her email address, as God knows she didn’t offer it to him.) She made direct eye contact, and also ended the date with “It was nice to meet you,” which Mike considers “inconclusive.”
Disappointed and angry as he is at Lauren’s “impolite and immature” attitude in not responding to his frequent overtures, he says “I suggest that we continue to go out and see what happens. Needless to say, I find you less appealing now (given that you haven’t returned my messages) than I did at our first date. However, I would be willing to go out with you again.” He asks her to at least call him and explain why she doesn’t want to call. Just leave a message, that will be fine. Or text him. Email is good, too. Something. Anything.
You cringe. I cringe. We all cringe for Mike… because we have all written similar pleading, berating, clutching-their-ankle emails ourselves. Luckily, we had good sense to not send them — or, at least, to not get caught. Any love addict worth the name has entertained the fantasy that if we just say the right thing in the right way at the right time, the object of our affection will come to their senses and realize that this is, indeed, the love of their life. They just didn’t see it at first.
It’s the feeling Bonnie Raitt evoked so well in 1991’s tearjerker “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Songwriter Mike Reid said he came up with the lyric after reading about a man who shot up his ex-girlfriend’s car. At sentencing, the judge asked the guy what he had learned from this experience. The prisoner replied, “You can’t make a woman love you if she don’t.”
Good lesson. Unfortunately, most love addicts forget that lesson five minutes after they learn it. Surely there’s some magic word or phrase that will make him suddenly slap his forehead and exclaim, “Of course! It was you all along!”
Mike may not be the most self-aware individual in Manhattan. Okay, maybe he’s the least self-aware individual in Manhattan aside from to Donald Trump, who apparently hasn’t looked in a three-way mirror since 1985. I can only tell him what I tell my women friends, who will use any excuse to call whatever guy it is who isn’t calling them. “He knows where to find you.”
What I can tell Lauren is: Watch out where you park your car, ‘cause sometimes they get shot up.