I sent a text to the colleague I went out with last Saturday, because I know he's being "inspected" tomorrow, which involves a government inspector from l'Education Nationale sitting in on his class and evaluating him, an experience I imagine must be mildly nerve-wracking, to say the least. "Enjoy your day off today," I typed, "and good luck tomorrow!"
"Oh, that's nice of you," he replied. "I would invite you to have a drink with me to celebrate the end of the inspection."
Well, yay! I thought. I mean, I think...? What is that pesky conditional doing in there? I would invite you? Is this a lost in translation thing? Damn French! Given the circumstances, I had no idea how to reply. Ok, let's think about this, I thought. Either he's saying 'I would like to invite you to have a drink with me,' or he's saying 'I would like to invite you to have a drink with me but...' Because the conditional does usually imply that pesky but. I would invite you to have a drink with me but I have to work Saturday morning, for example, which I know that he does. So I replied the only way I could have: "Well, I would accept," I said, smiley face and all.
"Cool," he said (smiley face). "Talk to you soon."
I congratulated myself for interpreting correctly and started planning my date outfit for tomorrow.
But then, then! I was on the train home, pulling into the station where I have to change trains to the local, and where he gets on the train I just got off that goes direct to Paris. And who did I see out the window...A flutter went through my body as the train pulled to a stop. By the time I got off though, he had already gotten on a car further down, and so I pulled out my cell phone once again, and sent him a text: "I just saw you from the train," I typed (smiley face).
"Ohhh, I didn't see you!" he replied. "Sniff. Well, we'll catch up on Tuesday. Have a good night."
...Tuesday?! (The one day a week we see each other at school). What happened to 'I would invite you to have a drink'?! I guess that but was implied after all... But seriously, who sends cryptic messages like that, where the meaning of the sentences hinges on one lousy 's'? (Je t'inviterai=I will invite you vs. je t'inviterais=I would invite you).
I was feeling so bummed afterward that I came home and cancelled on a new guy I was supposed to go out with tonight. In my defense, I really didn't want to go out with him in the first place and only agreed because I had kept putting him off for so long, but in the end he was just too damn persistent. I've gone on enough internet dates at this point (oh my god, so many) that I know that when I get that panicky oh shit feeling prior to a date, it never bodes well. It was also pretty stupid of me to think that I would be up to getting on a train to Paris and going out after spending an entire day at school and an hour and a half on trains already today. Really, I don't know what I was thinking. The problem was that to get out of this I needed an excuse that would allow me to politely say, "I'm sorry, but I can't see you tonight, or also, ever." I decided I would pull the crazy card, if I had to, even borrowing the "I have problems in my life" line, if it came down to it. Let him think that he dodged a bullet.
And so I sent him a text, of course. "I am not doing well at the moment," I began, being purposely vague and at the same time, not untruthful, "and I don't feel like going out. I regret that I can't see you tonight."
"I hope it's not serious," he replied. "Take care of yourself. Let me know when you want to get a drink together; it would be a joy."
So, in the end I got my way and I'm home cozy with my computer tonight. So why do I feel like such an asshole?