I’m a woman, so I’m used to disappointment. I’ve watched The Notebook and didn’t cry, I’ve tried quinoa (it’s like invisible cous cous-WTF!?) and I’ve made friends with people at work thinking they’re cool only to discover that they’re the sort of people that ask questions at the end of tediously unnecessary meetings, after the boss has quipped, ‘So, any questions?’. In short, I’ve had high expectations of something only to be left bitterly unsatisfied. Yet, the worst type of disappointment that a modern gal has to deal with is when something you really like disappears into thin air.
I’m talking being ghosted, people!
Now I’ve been ghosted by boys more so than I care to say. If I had a quid every time I’d been ghosted by a guy, I’d…feel a bit like I had sex for money. Let’s just say, a great deal of my twenties was spent coming home from dates, rocking back and forth into my housemate’s arms, looking like Haley Joel Osment, uttering ‘I see Dead People’ My single life was like a really bad episode of ‘Most Haunted with Evette Fielding’. Scary, ethereal and full of fumbles and shrieks in the dark. After aforementioned fumbles and shrieks, said ‘boy’ if I was going through my ‘skater boy’ fad or ‘man’ if I was going through my ‘all skater boys are skint’ phase, would spookily disappear off the face of the earth. Not even Mulder and Skully would be able to find, not even if they renamed the show ‘The Ex Files’ and pitched it to the producer of First Dates.
‘Ghosted’ used to have good connotations. Back in the 80’s, it meant romance, Whoppi Goldberg and getting felt up by a dead Patrick Swayze whilst making a handy piece of ceramic to keep all the flowers you got from male suiters mistaking you for Demi Moore.
Now it means, someone got to know you and thought, ‘Nah’. It’s the opposite of ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ Being ghosted confirms that it is you and furthermore your personality is so banal it doesn’t even warrant an explanation. Most daters know the worst thing about being ghosted is you never find out what happened. You have no closure. You have to make up your own reason in your head to put a pin in it, in order to get on with your life. If you’re a realist you’ll think, ‘I guess he just wasn’t that into me’ and ignore the voices in your head that say, ‘but he was soooooo into you, he was inside of you’. If you’re an optimist you’ll think, ‘I guess he his phone was stolen, it’s fate, it wasn’t meant to be’ and if you’re foolish you’ll think that they died in a horrific car accident and his last words as the paramedic wheeled him into the ambulance were your name.
‘Tell Zahra I love her’
‘I’m sorry, who?’
‘The girl I’ve gone on 3 dates with.’
‘The girl saved on your phone as Zara , 3 glasses of wine, Tinder’
But fuck men. (Well don’t actually fuck them because that’s exactly what they want). No, this is not about men. Let’s get this back on the Bechdel scale.
What happens if you’ve been ghosted by a TV show? #metoo anyone? You’re really into a TV show, it’s going really well, you binge watch it for days and the Season 1 Finale is the best Finale you’ve ever had. You imagine all the other Finales you will enjoy together and perhaps all the mid- season finales too. You’re on cloud nine, (channel 9) and your Netflix and chilling like there’s no work the next day. Then, wham! The show gets pulled (and not in a good way) and vanishes into ‘off air’. Your time together never even went sour, never jumped the shark, like when Joey started fancying Rachel in Friends. It’s taken away from you when you have only happy memories of it.
You’re left in a daze. Walking down the street, thinking what happened to Davina from Sensitive Skin? Will the Good Girls Revolt? Did Michael Sheen ever Master his Sex? And will Jefferey Tambour be Transparent about his sexual misconduct? You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, except you can because you eat when you’re sad and sleep when you’re sad. You can’t even think about starting a new show. Yet your friends tell you Queer Eye is ‘hilarious’ and will fill the void until something more serious comes back onto Netflix (Homeland). But it’s no good, you can’t get the ghosts of all those characters out of your head, wondering what happened to them all.
You blame yourself. I’m too avant-garde, I should strive for the mainstream. Maybe I came across too strong when I binge watched 3 series in 2 days. I should have waited. Always make them wait, goddamnit. A few days pass and you start to console yourself with a other apps: Amazon Prime, Hulu and oh my god, things get so desperate you ponder at ITV on Demand.
Alas, with time and space and the acknowledgement that all good things come to an end, it wasn’t meant to be and that you will love again. You find the love of your life and it was right under your nose all the time. Friends. The entire boxset on Netflix.