I sat and stared at my phone for a few minutes. Then I slammed it down. London Man had been making witty comments on my Facebook page just this morning. And then - this? Don't get me wrong, Ashley's beautiful and gorgeous. I get it. But...oh.
"Yes, I know him, he's a nice guy," I texted back. "I don't know him that well though." Well - that was true enough, wasn't it? I didn't. Obviously.
I called my girlfriend Cara. "I hate men, they're DUMB!" I screamed into the phone. "Hang on," she said, "I have to turn you down, you're breaking my eardrums."
I told her the whole story.
"You're right," she agreed. "Men are dumb. I have no other platitudes to impart."
I hung up, and stared at the phone again for a little bit. Should I tell Ash or not? I didn't want to be disingenuous. Or have it be weird if they did start dating. Like, really dating. So, I called her.
She could tell something was up right away, although my tone was upbeat.
"Look," I said as brightly as I can. "He's a very nice guy. You'll have fun. And I'm not telling you this to be discouraging. It's just - well, London Man and I have been doing a little flirting, that's all."
Ashley started to say something but I continued on. "But look, obviously, if he's asked you out, and hasn't been bothered to get back to me, then he's not interested! So you should go for it! Seriously! I just wanted to tell you so you wouldn't think I was being all aloof or weird about it."
"Oh god, what a strange, sad little world," she said. "Um, I won't tell him about this exchange."
"Oh, of course not, " I said cheerily. "But seriously, have fun. I just wanted you to know the weird little history, I'm really not trying to put you off. If he's just not that into me, he's just not that into me."
I managed to convince Ashley that it was all fine. She said, "Well, obviously, I won't keep you totally in the loop then." I asked when they were going out.
"Do you really want to know?" she asked. "Oh sure," I said brightly.
"Well - tomorrow. We're going for a drink tomorrow."
We talked about her most recent breakup a little, made a date for brunch, and hung up.
I sighed. Maybe I shouldn't have told her, but - well, I didn't want to hear anything about how great her date was. Or what happened. Or if they went back to her place. No. I didn't want to hear any of that.
Well, it was a fun romantic fantasy while it lasted - the meet-cute, the coincidences, the parallel lives - that stuff doesn't work out in reality anyway. Right? Yes. I'll be more convincing about that tomorrow.