Get out the marshmallows and the flashlights, campers. Here is my chilling ghost story.
We had a lot in common, he and I. My Tinder match. We liked the art of words. And he had so many dazzling turns of phrase. We were set to meet: romantic dinner, the works. But my fine fellow came down with a nasty bout of pneumonia. The last text I received indicated that he was drunk off of fruit juice and trying his best not to suffocate under the weight of his chest.
No word after that for a week. My mind whirled: was he okay? He had to be okay. He was surely not wasting away in a hospital, hoping for some yet unknown love to nurse him back to health. I texted several times but received no response. I toyed with the idea of actually calling hospitals, but what information would they give a total stranger anyhow? The whole thing was bewildering to me, and I was understandably upset at how such a beautiful introduction could turn so downright mysterious in the next chapter.
But the tragedy was yet to come: I had, in fact, been ghosted. The same jackass announced his new relationship with some other lass a few days later (thanks, fine art of Facebook stalking). I was devastated by this loss of a potential partner, though clearly, he was not worthy of my words or my affections.
For those of you who don't know what ghosting is, here is a definition: one of you is a tactless [insert expletive]. Instead of offering an explanation as to why you don't want to pursue a relationship, you do the cowardly thing and simply cut off all communication with no warning.
This is a socially acceptable thing to do, apparently. I've not been dating for all that long and it's happened to me several times. Do these men have reason to see fault with me? Absolutely, I'm looney tunes. But at least of the courtesy to say a) I find you repulsive, b) I've met someone else, or c) I just don't feel it's going to work out. Some sense of closure would be awesome. So would some sense that the person you've been communicating with isn't unquestionably rude and immature.
This practice is especially disconcerting when it happens after an actual date, or several dates. Everything is going swimmingly and then bam! Out of nowhere, you are ghosted. You have been deemed unworthy and you'll never know why. I can see why they call it ghosting, because it tends to haunt your self-esteem for days or weeks afterwards.
Heed my cry: do not fall for a pretty face, but more importantly, do not be smitten by pretty words. These men seem ethereal, yet they are insubstantial at best. They belong in your memory, surely, but only to warn you not to repeat your mistakes. And I strongly suspect that they have no souls.
Pneumonia, it seems, is an epidemic sweeping the nation. Hold your loved ones close, and your strangers met on the Internet, even closer. They call it Tinder because you never know when you're going to get burned.