Viva la Flake! (Or rather not?)


Somedays, you are that lady in the cheesy detergent commercial and you just want to try another product. Aisle after aisle, but which product should you pick? You make your rounds like a proper Stepford dolly and after a while decide, that the product you put in your trolley after all “just won’t do”. Heaving loud sighs, smiling politely but refusingly to the passing neighbour in the crayons and paper aisle, you go back to the shelf and replace the product with another one. Yes, that is much much better. You will never touch or even look at the other product again in your life! This, in short, is how iPhones, social media, fast demanding times, greed and an overall scaringly growing superficiality have influenced our “social” skills and etiquette. Be honest – does it happen now more than before, that you have not lived up to promise? That you have postponed and proscratinated appointments and dates till the end of time? That , well alright, that girl was cute, that boy was sexy but it’s not really in the front of your mind or head so why would you let them know it’s never going to work? We have become forgetful of proper ways to treat each other. We call it dated and old fashioned. It’s easier to ignore someone, than to call them, have a strong black coffee and tell them the truth. It’s easier to click on delete in your telephone contact list than to admit to yourself you like this person so much it actually scares you to death. The planet has become inundated with empty promises, loose contacts, superficial, meaningless words. If one is attached to words, or a promise, or something meaningful quickly they are referred to as “sensitive” and “emotional” or even “negative”. I am not saying I am innocent. It has happened to me. I would be incredibly angry and upset for someone who never got in touch again while later realizing I have also had not gotten back in touch with someone. We get insecure, we make assumptions. From the unknown we distill our own truths. We do not know what is going on. It could be anything from lack of interest to outright fear of being rejected – and thus fear of commitment. Every now and then it happens I get called on my behaviour. I get called on my behavior by people I have known for almost twenty years. They are usually my best and closest friends. They confront me with the unpleasant sides of me. Over years, we have both established a foundation of trust and openness that allows for candid conversations to take place. It’s understandable someone you met through Tinder or Gayromeo is not going to be someone you are going to have a candid conversation with quickly. Besides, there is almost nothing left to discover since it was widely discussed what they like, are “into” and have experienced by weeks (sometimes months) of chatting and texting. There was a time, not so long ago, a guy or girl would write their name and number on the back of a coaster, or you would do the same for them and the Long and Exciting Waiting would begin. It would be disappointing if you never heard from them again, of course. Now we throw a little Wagnerian opera drama if we see someone has been online on Whatsapp but does not reply within a window of say – an hour. This is not a plea for everyone to open up and be vulnerable. This is not a plea for a return of the “good old times”. I like to think of it more as an observation of the manners and “flake-tiquette” we have grown used to nowadays. Will you feel better if you tell this girl you are sorry but it’s not going to work ? Will you feel better if you admit to that guy you are afraid, but you would like to explore what vibe is happening between you and him? You’ll be nauseous with anxiety, expectation and perhaps insecurity, but you have looked into their eyes, and heard their voices. They were not tiny letters moving on a screen, or an image you swiped away with your thumb. There was a moment of human contact. The words might not have been what you wanted them to be, or maybe they were, but it was tangible, not fleeting. They made an impact. In short – they made you feel alive. So let’s try and talk. Let’s try and un-flake.


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