"You are in big trouble, lady!," my cousin chided me on the other end of the phone.
She had called twice in the past three weeks that I remember, but as per the theme of this semester, I never called back. I was sure that she wanted to catch up, but as with a friend who got married in October, my Dominican aunt, and a slew of other people, her call had gone unreturned.
It isn't that I don't care. It's that my brain no longer has the capacity to include social calls on my daily to-do list.
"What's going on?," I asked, expecting that she had something time-sensitive to talk about.
"Oh, nothing," she said. "What's going on with you?"
Internet, it was one of those kind of calls. One of those calls for which you know that you're going to have to modulate the intensity of your life. Unless she wanted to know about my impressive breath of knowledge on anti-cancer pharmacology, I truly had no news that I wanted to share.
After superficial chit-chat, in which I grossly downplayed how much work I have right now, she asked me if I'd be home in Florida for Christmas.
I gave her the standard explanation about The Lawyer and I deciding to road-trip home, purposely calling him "a friend from high school" and not "a man who has booked a ticket in my name to Asia for August of next year." (Actually, he has confirmed that the ticket is not for Hong Kong, and that it is booked for July. He also wrote a long, explanatory email about taking risks and knowing that his actions were crazy, but not being able to live with the regret if he didn't take the chance. There are other updates about him, but those will need to wait.)
I guess that my description was vague enough that she had to continue.
"So, does that mean that you're not seeing anyone?"
Since the answer to that question has reached an interesting complexity, I decided to further muddle definitions.
"Not seriously," I said. "I mean, my schedule is just so busy right now. I don't think that anything that I'm doing right now qualifies as 'dating,'" I replied, cleverly deflecting back to school.
"Oh, good!," she squealed. "Because there's this guy..."
Of course there is a guy. His name, apparently, is Walter, and he lives in Florida. His age and occupation are unknown, but his Indian mother asked for a picture of me when she found out that my cousin knew a pretty, single Adventist girl living in the DC area. I have my speculations about whether the words, "smart" and "going to be a doctor" were also included, but I'm going to presume yes.
My cousin asked if she could pass along either a picture or Facebook link and I distractedly said yes, as I continued to peruse notes. Then, she added,
"Well, his name is Walter, so if you get a call from someone by that name, you know who it is."
Wait...what? What the hell, internet!
So, he gets a picture and life story about me and I'm going to get a phone call from some random stranger who can live in any of the 66,000 square miles of Florida, with no information about job, age, or appearance? How is this a fair deal? Also, please note that I didn't give consent to release of the phone number. I hope that "Walter" is comfortable talking to my voicemail.
On the upside, The Lawyer and I are road-tripping in his car, so I can always use him as my pawn, with a, "Oh...yeah. I'm so sorry, but we actually decided that we're not making any pit stops on our way home. He's driving and I have no choice."
No choice, except to beat down future relatives who try to pimp me out to their friends, that is. All I have to say is that if I have to have a forced meeting with this guy out of politeness, he had better be a looker.