When a Date is a No Show

Charlie is a character in the novella series about five women trying to figure out what it means to be 40 plus in the 21st Century. Here are the character Charlie's thoughts about a date who ghosted her.


Some call dating a game. Some call it a dance. I call it a complete waste of time.

I don’t know how Lindsay does it, she always has someone asking her out and making plans with her. She has men bending over backwards to get her attention and here I am on a Friday night with nothing to do. I want to know how she does it. I had a date lined up for yesterday, which moved to today, and guess what? I’m sitting in my apartment drinking wine, alone.

I started chatting with this guy on an online dating site a few months back. Good looking guy, built. A body builder type who looks fabulous in a suit. Mr. Muscles all the way. I compliment him, a lot. I went all out on the compliments to stroke that ego. We flirted and I didn’t mention any of my crappitty-crap-crap. He was flirty, nice, smart, and respectful. He was a gentleman. A decent guy.  I thought we were hitting it off. Thing is, you never can tell with online instant messaging.

His last words to me the were, can we meet this week? I’ll come downtown.

I messages back. Perfect, let me know what works best for you. 

His response, I’ll message you later this week. 

I never heard from him. Not one message. Not one word. Nothing. Weeks pass and I don’t think anymore of it, he obviously changed his mind. OK so, I’m a bit disappointed. It is rejection. Another guy who is kinda into me, but not really. He messages me when he’s bored and there is no one prettier to talk to.

I’m the fall back chick. I really hate that. It hurts to know that I’m good enough to pass the time with online, but not good enough to get excited about meeting. I’m getting used to it. I mean I’m no beauty.

Don’t get me wrong, I like myself. I’m a great person with a lot to offer a man, the list is endless. But this is men we’re talking about here. Men who are looking at an online catalogue with countless options available. Men who are visual creatures and they are searching for the best looking thing they can score. I’m not that on the outside.

Lindsay is. Lindsay is drop dead gorgeous and the men flood her inbox with requests for dinner and movies and fun activities. They don’t ask her if they can give it to her up the, well let’s just say I get a lot of odd requests online.

Then I go and do something stupid.

Three days ago, he puts up a new sexy hot pic and dumb ass me, I message him. Nice pic, I’m drooling.  We start chatting again and this time we make actual concrete plans for Thursday at 5:00 for sushi, near his place. He actually asked me out on a real date. A real date. Not a hook-up. Not a Netflix n chill. Not a coffee meet. It’s an actual date.

I am so excited.

I want to look hot, really smokin hot, so I make an appointment to get my hair done, I clear my Thursday schedule, I make plans to go shopping for something extra sexy to wear. I make a list of all the things I need to do to look FAB U LOUS. A dinner date is a big deal to me. Most of the time, guys just want to play with my huge chest so, when it comes time to meet, I ask where and they say:

Let’s meet in my bedroom, car or hotel room.  - That’s when I disappear.

Mr. Muscles asked me on a real date. Three days ago...

He asked me to go out for sushi. I’m over the moon. I’m nervous as hell because I know I’m overweight, I know I’m in my 40s, I know I’m not all that on the outside. A few times I think, I should message him and tell him that I’m not thin. That I’m overweight. That it’s OK if he doesn’t want to meet me because I’m fat. I don’t. I stay strong. I want to meet him. I say nothing.

I don’t message him, I wait for him to message me. I don’t want to come across as needy. I don’t want to push him away. He doesn’t message me and I don’t message him for 3 days. Better to talk over dinner. I always screw it up by messaging some stupid ass remark anyway. Then Thursday morning comes and I need to confirm plans. I need to. I don’t want to be stood up.

I really hate when that happens.

I send him a message:

Are we still on for today?

His Response: Call me This doesn’t sound promising. I call.

“Hey it’s Charlie.”

“Hi Charlie, how are you?”

“Good. How about you?”

“Busy. My day got really busy and I have a lot of meetings so, I don’t think I can meet at 5.”

I’m disappointed. I try to keep it out of my voice. He’s in finance at some bank downtown, so I get it. These things happen. They do. I’ve had to rebook dates at times because of court and clients. Professionals are busy people. That’s how it goes. I get that. I do. I keep telling myself this.

“Oh OK.” I say.

“We could meet later today.”

“How about this. You call me when you know what time you can meet and if you can’t today, then we’ll meet tomorrow, sound good?”

The way I figure it, a girl has to be flexible if she’s gonna get a date and not be classified as some princess or drama queen. Besides he didn’t cancel he just pushed it out.

“I’ll text you when I know. Thanks Charlie.”

“No problem, see you later.”

I go to get my hair done and buy a new dress. I even splurged for a facial. I get home at about 3 and me being me, I check my work emails and my inbox is full, as usual. I’ll just answer a couple, the most urgent ones. Work is like a bag of chips, I can’t just stop at one and before I know it a couple of hours have gone by and it’s 5pm.


Panic and stress pull me in two different directions egging me on to get ready. Hold your horses my brain says. My horses stop and I think. Hmmm. It’s 5:00. He hasn’t texted me with a new time. He’s obviously too busy and probably too tired to meet up tonight. I take a deep breath and then let it and all the stress out. No use getting ready if he can’t make it. Just wait.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been very good at waiting for a boy to call and an hour passes at a snails pace. This really ticks me off about time, when I am working and want it to slow down, so I can get everything done, it speeds up. Then when I want it to speed up, it slows down. I hate that about time.

I babble when I’m nervous. I babble when I feel like I’m being judged. I babble when I’m stressed. I’m feeling nervous, stressed, and it’s a date so I know I’m going to be judged. Triple whammy.

6:00 PM

Finally, he texts.

Him: Just finishing up 

Me: OK

Him: Going to the Gym 

Me: OK

Now when a guy says we’ll see each other later, then later comes and he texts going to the gym, what is the right response? I could ask what about our date? But that would come off as too needy. I really want to tell him what I think about him going to the gym instead of meeting me, but that would come off as too bitchy. So, I leave it at OK, cause they’re is always tomorrow. My phone beeps.

Him: Got to focus chat with you later.

Me: OK chat later

I go back to my computer, work some more, go to bed and to work all day. I stay busy. I don’t text him. Texting him is bad, it signals that I’m desperate, waiting beside the phone for him. I’m not pathetic. Well, I am, I just don’t want him to know it.

The day starts, the day goes by, and the day ends. No texts. No date tonight either.

Now what? What am I supposed to do now?

Text him how much of an asshole he is for doing this to me?

Forget him and move on?

Text him and ask why he didn’t want to meet me?

Block him?

I hate dating. I hate the game. I hate the dance. I hate it because I’m always on the loosing end. Five years. Five long fu**ing years and I haven’t met one guy who stuck past 2 dates. Not one.

Why can some women find boyfriends and others can’t?

Shannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

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