Dating Bradford: Benefit of the Doubt

By: Bradford Noble

Recently I wrote a piece about being stood up called, “Letting Go ,” but even after I’d washed that man right out of my hair, I still
wondered why - after he pursued me with silly texts, thought provoking
emails, and great hour long phone calls - he would bail on our first date?

So I took the “advice” of one of my commenters who posted
something that stuck in my head. He wrote, “If it’s answers you want instead
of revenge, why don’t you write him an email asking why he didn’t show?

Simple, right? 
The secret would be to do it in a non-confrontational way because the guy’s probably avoiding me - expecting me to hiss and spit fire (or write
about him for the one of the world's biggest gay websites - Shhh, don't tell him I'm a columnist) and who wants to respond to any
of that shit? 

I really was after answers instead of retaliation.

So I emailed this simple note: 

Hey Mister,  

Not that I’m bent out of shape or
anything (anymore) but it was really odd that you were all up in my stuff one
minute then POOF disappeared. What happened?

Not angry, just curious.

He wrote back: 


I'm very sorry for not
getting back to you sooner. The night before our brunch date I had a
really bad time with my shoulder injury from the bike accident I told you about
-woke up in excruciating pain and went to see my doctor. He did X-rays and
a cat scan, which showed that the bones were not healing properly and one piece
had shifted up near my carotid artery in my neck. He said surgery was necessary
and ASAP, so I got all caught up in prepping for that with all blood tests, papers,
etc.... and ended up on the operating table by that afternoon. The
procedure took four hours, some complications... kind of a mess actually.
Anyway, I'm still recovering and have been off work, on major pain meds,
and out of touch with my life completely. It's been sort of horrible actually,
stitches from my shoulder to my sternum and my arm bound in a sling and
waistband for five more weeks, so very limited movement.  

That's the quick update - one finger
typing here. Again I’m sorry I forgot to call.
 I hope I can get a rain check and still meet you when I'm
back on my feet.  

Okay, assuming he’s not a
pathological liar – and if so he’s really good at it - wouldn’t you give the
guy another chance? I mean, that’s the best excuse for standing me up I’ve ever
gotten. He’s sent it complete with gory pictures of his puss oozing wound –
isn’t that romantic?
  So I wrote
him back:

WHAT A PRICK I AM for not asking if you were okay to begin with before jumping to conclusions.

I have such little faith in men lately, please forgive me for being so
self-absorbed when you had to go through such a horrible ordeal.
I’m so glad I emailed because I totally learned a lesson about not
making assumptions and giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Now I feel rotten for thinking you were such a turd, I’d even bring
you chicken soup to make up for it – or rather,
Arnica might be more useful. 

Anyway feel free to call me when you’re up to it – I’d like that. I was
enjoying our phone chemistry before the epic saga unfolded. 

Of course he called right away and we’ve been talking for the
last couple weeks. It’s sweet actually – sometimes I get him at his Morphine
best right before bedtime and he reminds me of all those addict ex-boyfriends
of mine, only this time with a prescription. Sigh – color me co-dep.

The whole thing got me thinking, had I not taken the time to
do such a simple thing as write him that email, I would still be leaving questions unanswered. 

So I ask you:
When dating frustrating vexatious louts,
when do
YOU give
the benefit of the doubt?

(Photo: Heath McBride – shot at Empire Diner, NY)

Bradford&DexOwego Based in New York City, Bradford Noble has been an international celebrity,
fashion, and advertising photographer for 15 years. His first novel called, "Dating Bradford - A Memoir" is soon to be published. Still curious? Dive into his world!