Friday, October 24, 2008

Knocking the Air Out of an Ether Boy


There are many advantages to being a D.C. townie. Lifelong friends. Familiar bartenders. Free shots. Running into people I went to high school with, and finding out how many of them peaked in 1993.

But there’s one drawback: Washington is lousy with romantic failure. My failed romances, to be exact. I work five blocks away from my first boyfriend. I pass my ex-husband’s apartment (and my ex-car) on my way to a friend’s house. I routinely run into guys I’ve gone out with, everywhere from the sidewalk to the bar to the police station.

This isn’t as bad as it sounds. I’m friends, or on friendly terms, with almost everyone I’ve ever dated. My Facebook friends list is a veritable Ouija board, conjuring the Ghosts of Beaux Past. It’s no big deal, and I can make small talk with virtually anyone.

But one category of run-in can knock me speechless: smacking into an Ether Boy.

We all know an Ether Boy. He's that man who took you out two, three, or four times, never to be heard from again. A tsunami of enthusiasm, a barrage of the you’re-so-pretties, followed by dead air and queasy inadequacy. I can handle rejection with fantastic grace, but an information vacuum turns me into a bunny-boiling insecure wacknutter. When a run-in happens, I can’t decide whether to dive behind a tree or shove the guy into traffic.

So, what do you do if you both like the same bars? And you run into one another? And what if the Ether Boy is on a date? Lucky for me, I have a cadre of loyal (and mentally twisted) girlfriends who enjoy a good Dater Demolition Derby.
Last week, we downed sausages and beer and waited to see if the latest Ether Boy had the gall to show up at my favorite happy hour spot. The girls cheerfully offered to go up and say something awful:

LiLu: (rubs stomach) You may not care about our baby, but I do!
Lemmonex: The rash cleared.

But that might not be enough. It might be necessary to get weird. Pick your favorite:

1. Hi! I’m Ether’s parole officer.
2. He’s allergic, you know. To the female orgasm. He gets hives.
3. Ether really likes it when you lick his left elbow.

You know, I’m almost disappointed that the Ether Boy didn’t show. Because this would have been gold.
Happy Friday, gang.

33 comments:

[F]oxymoron said...

I'm assuming Lilu's statement would be said while holding a beer (or margarita)?

Shannon said...

Foxy - Make that a double, and maybe have her hold some cold cuts and sushi.

Jamie said...

Shannon, I am disappointed by your venom. Snarkiness, I expect. But even joking about being a psycho not-even-ex-girlfriend is NOT funny. Come on, don't confirm the stereotypes, be the bigger person.

Nice to meet you the other day, by the way... I never would have expected to randomly run into you in West Virginia. West Virgina Avenue, maybe...

Shannon said...

Jamie - Dude, there's no way any of us would ACTUALLY go through with it...we'd all bust up laughing until we snorted beer out of our noses.

But I do have an issue with cowardly men...if it's not going to work out, that's fine. I'm a big girl. But the vanishing act is a really low blow, and I think most people know that.

Jack said...

I have go with shannon on this one. I find that guys (myself included) vanish way more than chicks. It's an epidemic out there.

One question though: For all the ex boyfriends you are still friends with, do you group them into distinct categories on Facebook? (as in "Cute" "Big Balls" "Way Too Metrosexual" etc...?

J

http://adventuresinvoluntarysimplicity.blogspot.com/

Doug said...

oh I'm so with you. I haven't run into any ether girls recently, but it's always weird. What I hate is going to a bar, and seeing someone from behind or out of the corner of my eye and who looks exactly like an ex. That first initial stomach drop always gets me.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

I think there's way more ether girls than guys. Jus' sayin'

Shannon said...

Jack - I don't know who vanishes more, as I've never dated any women. And, no, I don't have any special Facebook categories. I do have a habit of changing names in my phone, "Handsy McInsincere," "Don't Answer the Phone," etc.

Doug - That stomach lurch is the worst. I think it's better find the humor in the situation, rather than to let it get the best of me.

Ninja - I don't know, really, as I've never dated women. But I do know my girlfriends seem to get hit with the disappearing act more often than my guy friends do.

Ibid said...

Disclaimer: This is a general comment about Ether people and not associated with any case mentioned here.

Are you just waiting for that person to get in touch with you or are you calling them from time to time?
I've known several who probably seemed to Ether but were just waiting for the other person to show a bit of interest in seeing them.

Corollary: If you're not interested just say so instead of just making up other plans until he stops asking.

charlotteharris said...

Shannon, Ha! I change the names in my phone too, except to Don't Answer 1, Don't Answer 2... and so on. I know I don't care who's calling just that I don't want to answer!

Shannon said...

Ibid - If I'm interested in someone, and don't hear from him for a few days, I'll email or call. What I'm talking about is when a guy shows a ton of interest and then suddenly stops responding.

And I agree - I come right out and say I'm not interested, without being a jerk about it. C'mon, nobody's going to DIE OF SHAME if I don't want another date. I'm awesome, but not that awesome.

CH - But then you can't keep a tracking spreadsheet of which person called the most. Wait, am I the only person who does that?

Lemmonex said...

I like to pretend the disappeared to the same farm as my childhood dog...

Also, speak for yourself. I was hopped up on brats, cheese fries and Heifeweisen. I would have done it.

Ibid said...

I like lemmonex's idea. That way the dog can bite them.

Shannon said...

Lem - And that's why we're friends. Revenge is a dish best served cold...with cheese fries and sauerkraut.

Ibid - Biting's too good for someone who was mean to Lemmonex!

bh said...

mmmm....cheese fries.

Did you say something?

Lance said...

i challenge any girl i've been out with/hooked up with/shared an anonymous encounter in the bathroom at stetsons to try to get the better of me in a situation like this.

i guarantee that all thoughts of my own well-being will be quickly jettisoned as i turn the tables. one of the benefits of being shameless is... well, being shameless.

Shannon said...

BH - I have that effect on people.

Lance - Oh, do NOT even dare me.

Lance said...

ok. when you put it that way... i DARE you. if you ever see me out in DC, i dare you to try and embarrass me. i guarantee that you won't succeed.

lacochran said...

It's not what you say, it's what you do. Have one of your friends fake trip and spill a drink all over him. Ohh! Too bad!! So sad!

Shannon said...

Lance - Oh, it is ON.

Lacochran - Only if they aim for the pants.

Tina said...

My response to this went something like this- Walk over while new girl was in the restroom. Plunk myself down in his lap. Drape an arm around his neck and flirt outrageously. When the dumbass said - gee i thought you'd be mad at me my answer was "oh I am and your date? She is too now. I just watched her leave. Have a good night."

Lance said...

some of you ladies are straight haters. good thing any capable man could turn such antics to his immediate benefit.

shannon:
just remember that i ain't never skurred, girl. if you see me out, lemon knows what i look like, take your best shot. just abstain from anything that mentions my blog or requires dry cleaning.

Shannon said...

Tina - Sick. And totally deserved if it was the Eight-Ball Concussion Man.

Lance - "Haters" is a pretty strong term, considering we're all just goofing around on a Friday afternoon. This is a humor site, not a PUA, debate, or battle-of-the-sexes blog, and silliness is very welcome.

Lance said...

disagree. 'hater' is only a strong term if you're a teenage boy and/or wear crooked baseball hats with straight brims.

zandria said...

I hate Ether Boys. Total wussie jackasses.

Shannon said...

Zan - Agreed! Leaving someone hanging is bad form.

Ellie said...

I say it's all fair game when running into an Ether boy. I think it is a pandemic in the DC area and they should be called out on it. They are rude and you didn't track them down to tell them that, you ran into them at a bar etc. Fair game!! Put them in their place so their already small dicks shrink a little. You don't have to confront to get the message across, but damn put a little shame into it.

LivitLuvit said...

And you know that I not only would have done it, I would have absolutely RELISHED it too.

Next time...

Jamie said...

I dunno Ellie... all that does is let him know you gave a rat's ass. Sorry, but his dick won't shrink. quite the opposite, his ego will inflate. And any confrontation at all will just give him another psycho chick story to laugh about with his friends.

If you really need to say something, then don't give him power by validating his blowoff. Instead, walk up to him at the bar, give him a hug, and say hey, long time no see! How ya doing? Yeah, doing great! See you around! That will leave him baffled and confused, and he may even call you in a couple days. At which point you can not call him back, completing the desired ego destruction.

Hmm, I feel like I've just sold out my gender...

freckledk said...

You should add me to your short list of backups. I'd TOTALLY go through with it.

Shannon said...

Ellie/Jamie - I think the trick is to be suave, put the guy in his place, and move on. Or, just get one of my girls on it. They're vicious, and hilarious.

Liv/Frecks - Thanks! No man will ever wrong me now! They'll be too scared.

Shannon said...

Ellie/Jamie - I think the trick is to be suave, put the guy in his place, and move on. Or, just get one of my girls on it. They're vicious, and hilarious.

Liv/Frecks - Thanks! No man will ever wrong me now! They'll be too scared.

a. jane doe said...

I ran into mine at the restaurant two doors from my house. Whatever, you go there all the time, it's practically IN MY LIVING ROOM. Thus: mine. We had awkward, eye-contact-less chat, followed by awkward god-I-hope-I-don't-get-caught sidelong glances throughout dinner. Two days later he texts me -- TEXTS ME -- to apologize for the weirdness and for being 'the dick who never called.'

Note that he did not CALL to apologize for this. Dick.

My response: 'Yes.'

And that was that.