The number you have dialled
I am rubbish with numbers. I think that’s a pretty common understanding and it’s not really something I’m embarrassed by. I can’t do mathematical equations (in part because I am so intimidated by numbers that I don’t even try) and I am the queen of flipping numbers around.
This is how bad it is: I can be thinking of the number 47. I can visualise it and say it as 47. But when I go to write it down—even if I say it as I write it—it becomes 74. Over and over and over again this happens. Much like when I am thinking right and pointing right, but I tell someone to turn left.
I’d blame it on my dyslexia, but I don’t know if that’s really the reason. But this post isn’t really about the whys-and-hows of my number reversals. It’s about the consequences.
You see, a few months ago, I met a very nice man. We were introduced by a mutual acquaintance when out at the pub and we seemed to hit it off. So when he asked for my number, I was happy to oblige.
Over the next week, I waited for his call but it never came. After two weeks, I had completely written him off. I mean, there’s playing it cool and there’s playing it cool. He just wasn’t really interested, I guess.
I’d nearly forgotten about the man until this evening when I was on my way home from Edinburgh and ran into him at the train station. We awkwardly said hellos and chatted about the weather, then he asked if he could ask a “Why women do that?” question, to which I said yes.
His question was this: “Why do women give out fake phone numbers? Why don’t they just tell a man they’re not interested?”
I was stunned by his question as it seemed to me a mixture of accusation and hurt, and I think that my fumbled reply may have confirmed my confusion—especially when I asked why a man would ask for a woman’s number if he never intended to call.
Well, it turns out that I reversed not one but two sets of digits when I gave this man my number. And he not only tried to call, but tried to call the very next day—and was horrified when a very jealous-sounding man answered the phone.
Anyhow, it worked out for him in the end because he met a woman shortly after that who gave him her real number, and they’ve been happily dating ever since.
It didn’t work out for me, of course, since he really did seem like a nice guy and I would have loved the opportunity to get to know him better.
But I guess our numbers weren’t aligned with the universe on the day we met.
If I believed in omens, I’d find myself wondering if this was a sign that there is a better match out there for me—or if it’s a sign that I will be alone forever because, let's face it, I've yet to manage to get this whole dating game started! (But I don’t believe in omens, so I’ll just chalk it up to one of life’s many missed opportunities.)