It’s Monday morning and you’re running to Campbell Hall from Snidecor. You woke up an hour later than you planned, which means that you didn’t have time to take a shower. The only makeup you’re wearing is left over from last night. Your sporting your old flip-flops that occasionally produce a pungent odor and your hair is a little oily so you threw it in a ponytail. You were going for the “just got out of bed” look, but instead it’s something more along the lines of “just escaped murder by a moving vehicle.” You wear your old sweats and dorky sweatshirt because you don’t want to wear clean clothes when you smell bad. Which is when you make eye contact with Pike – the Pike that showed you a lovely time last weekend with foamy keg beer and a side of damp toilet paper coupled with the aroma of bathroom vomit. He’s seen you at least half-naked, you think, and he was supposed to make the call. You know your phone works because your grandma never ceases to call you at the wrong times. He says “Hey,” and you say, “I’m fine,” realizing that he didn’t ask you a question, and then you follow it up with “I mean, hey, how are you?” To which he says “Good,” and then there is what seems like 90 minutes of an uncomfortable silence before you hear the bell and say, “Well, gotta get to class.” Not exactly “When Harry Met Sally.”
This is the classic story of The Phone Call. Or the no phone call, actually. It comes in many shapes and forms – from faceless frat boys the night before, the athletic team or your ex. You name it, and we women have obsessed about it.
The Phone Call is supposed to come approximately three days after the event. So, if you hooked up with the singer (or the friendly manager Jim, whatever) from SOhO’s on Friday, you should get a phone call around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. on Monday. Not the next Friday, which is too careless, and not the next day either, which is too desperate.
There are many types of calls. One is the “My-Balls-Are-Blue-Just-Thinking-of-You” call that typically comes a day after the first encounter. This guy probably hasn’t gotten some since the new millennium and is just praying that you guys can meet up again in another dimly-lit club so you can’t see what he really looks like.
Another is the week-after call. This comes from the guy who realizes he has your number after he reaches into the laundry pile a week later to wear the same jeans he wore to the party when you met him. As he puts his keys and wallet into his pocket, he pulls a torn ATM withdrawal sheet and sees two things: “Bethalicious: 555-4827” and “Remaining balance: $856.55.” He thinks, “Great! She can buy drinks!” and calls you to get free drinks and ass. Except you have a paper due on Tacitus’ view of the emergence of the Roman Empire, and you have two pages done. Hence, there will be no drinks but diet Coke and no ass, except yours in the computer swivel chair.
There’s also the mandatory phone call. You already know you aren’t going to like this person. You’re roommate was sweet enough to tell you about her hairy upper lip, which while in a drunken stupor you mistook for lipstick, and her reputation, where the current score is 10 for the soccer team and five for rugby. Basically, you’d rather be on the phone with the telemarketers from the Santa Barbara News-Press. Or your mom while your stoned. But you call to be nice; you have awkward conversation about school and work, filled with lots of pauses. You hang up and thank the lord that at least you didn’t hook up.
Lastly, there’s the no phone call. Which is just plain discourteous. So maybe he saw what you really looked like as he awoke in your bed Sunday morning. Ok, and maybe you do a little false advertising, but he could at least do the obligatory call. It’s always better than no call at all. Almost everyone has two phones these days. There’s even an online directory. Payphones on campus, courtesy lines… Chancellor Yang is begging you to just call the girl!
Besides, if you don’t call, you might never know that her roommate is really a phone sex operator.
Beth Van Dyke is the Daily Nexus sex columnist. It sounds like she’s waiting for something.