Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

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Last year I dated a guy who snooped through my phone while I was in the shower. He admitted this to me after my obligatory, halfhearted prying of, “What’s wrong?” in response to his melancholic gaze out the window.

I was taken aback by his admission. No, I didn’t feel violated or angry, as I suppose I should have. His nervous, somber face shifted to a look of mortification when I blurted out, “Aren’t you supposed to be a man?”

I’m a woman and therefore I’m allowed to be psycho. We are cursed with intuition and we use it as justification for psycho behavior such as cell phone intrusion, email break-ins, Myspace page research, spyware on the computer—you know, the usual. I’m sure women will read that and gasp at how I have set back feminist efforts with these statements. Save it. If you’re not doing it, you are popping a Xanax and then sitting on your hands. And if you’re Xanax-free, then you’re settling, because clearly you’re not that into him.  

In my discovery that I might actually be dating a fifteen-year-old girl rather than a twenty-nine-year-old man, it has become quite apparent that I’m not alone. These teenage girls disguised as men seem to be all around us. And they are dating my friends.

Take, for instance, a guy we’ll call Mark. Mark dated my friend that we’ll call Laura for four months, tops. Laura politely and respectfully excused herself out of the relationship nearly two months ago now, and upon doing so, Mark got out his pompoms and glitter pen and set out to win her back. A few samples from notes put in her locker; or as we call in modern times, text messages and emails.

I sent you a text last night to see how your trip went but did not get a response from you.

You didn’t get a response? Some would consider that a hint, but we appreciate your follow up.

I don’t know if you read any of my other emails that I sent you have you?

A+ for determination. Someone must have not explained that the “squeaky wheel” theory is best applicable to business scenarios. Dating? Not so much.

If you want to act like a bitch act like a bitch. I tried being nice and it didn’t work! So going to beat the brakes off this girl at my place!

This was sent the same day, about 10:30 p.m. Guys, if I knew where he found a girl ready to be taken home at such an early hour I would tell you. Apparently there is a bar right here in our little southern metropolis that hosts drunk girls ready to go home with slightly chubby men after only being there for thirty minutes.

Ok, you need to lose some weight.

Same night. Now about 11:30 p.m. Dude! You have a naked, drunk chick in your bed that you’re “beating the brakes off of.” Don’t text while beating brakes … that’s rude.

Please erase all my info you have and if you see me out don’t speak! I have moved on! Not being mean just so over it! Thank you.

Received the next morning. Did I mention that Laura has yet to respond to him in any fashion? Apparently he just couldn’t take all of her harassment and decided to put a stop to it as he made eggs for the brake-beaten girl in his bed.

Laura I have addressed that I had a problem and I went and did something about it … It really took a lot out of me to go see Dr. M. I knew that I could never act like that again and that is why I have been paying this lady $125 a visit so that will never happen again. I knew the only way to solve my problem was by going and talking to someone to get it off my chest and I have accomplished that and I feel so much better with myself. I have really changed a lot since going to see her and I think it is all for the better.

Wow. Can someone get me Dr. M’s phone number? One session and all of your rage, jealousy, and childhood baggage is wiped clean?! And you were able to get an appointment first thing Monday morning and be seen that same afternoon? While you’re at it, get me an attorney. The therapist I saw for over a year is obviously a money-grubbing sadist not worth his salt.   

So what’s it going to take for  both of us to be civil! Because both of us can be mean as hell to each other and that’s not right for either one of us?

Received days after still not receiving a response. Perhaps there’s another Laura in his phone who is sending him messages that are unkind? Almost a text Turrets if you will? I know, it’s a stretch, I’m just trying to help him out. I mean the guy has a full outbox and an empty inbox. I would need to see a miracle therapist too.

Enough beating up on Mark. On this very same weekend, my friend, we will call Erica, was approached by her on-again, off-again teenage girl boyfriend, we’ll call John, about doing something on Saturday night. When Erica told him to call her on Saturday afternoon and they’d figure something out, John literally stomped his foot, looked up and closed his eyes as he said, “I just can’t take this lifestyle Erica,” and walked away.

This lifestyle? What the hell is he talking about? And what’s with the foot stomping? I told her we’d have to chalk it up to him being on the rag.

Probably most disconcerting about this epidemic is when I learned that this transcends Generation Y. A baby boomer in my office asked me “hypothetically” if after two unreturned voicemails, three unreturned emails, and three unreturned text messages, if it would still be unclear as to whether or not she was interested to the man she went out with last week. I was astonished, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been.

The other day when she told me she had “taken care of it,” I inquired as to how. I just had this intuitive feeling that unless she had it “taken care of” mafia style, nothing had been taken care of. She told me she bit the bullet and replied to one of his emails to let him know she wasn’t interested. I couldn’t help but chuckle. “He’ll be back,” I told her. A man who can’t grasp the message of unreturned calls, emails, and texts isn’t going to grasp direct confrontation either.

Any guesses on how many times she heard from him this weekend?

So I’m left with the same Paula Cole pondering: Where have all the cowboys gone? Perhaps it’s not their fault. Maybe in these times if you’re not presented with a rose, backstage pass, key, or oversized clock necklace in a public elimination ceremony, you simply don’t know where you stand.



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