2 Degrees Of Separation

I want my DM’s poppin. Word to @mirthamichelle’s epic backshot.

I think? Well…… maybe I don’t. You see, there’s a catch 22 about the whole direct message thing. Whenever my direct messages are popping, it opens me up to a whole bunch of tomfoolery. In my whole direct message history, there have only been three ACTUAL prospects and none of them ended well.  The first, was a guy who I didn’t know was already dating a girl I knew.  The second guy ended up sliding in two of my best friend’s inboxes the same day, and the last one ended up being a TOTAL weirdo.  However, my latest experience has made me marvel at the danger of the direct message.

About a year and a half ago a gentleman slid into my DM’s.  Although his page was private, I could still gather a bit about him.  He was obviously some type of boxer.  His icon picture was one of him in the ring with the whole get up on, championship belt included. His bio said something along the lines of “Boxing is not a hobby, It’s a lifestyle.” He had listed his hometown, he was from the south, and the string of emojis in his bio told me that he loved his family, his alma mater, and he was single. Isn’t it amazing what you can quickly gather so quickly about a total stranger?

Anyhow, in my inbox sat a fresh direct message. I clicked his message and to my surprise he wasn’t new at all.  He had already sent me a couple of messages, but in typical Ashley fashion, I never replied.  This time, some form of guilt mixed with “Ashley don’t be closed minded,” made me respond.

We engaged in about 2-3 friendly messages.  The “Hellos” “How are you’s” and the “Where are you from’s.”  The next message was an invite to a boxing match coupled with a “Can I have your number to get to know you offline?” Just that quick it was over.  I responded, “I’m sorry I don’t give out my number via Instagram.”

It’s true. It’s one thing to meet a guy in person chit chat and then he later decides to reach out via social media if you didn’t exchange contacts. But give my phone number to a stranger behind a private page? No thanks. I watch way too much MTV’s “Catfish” for that.  I didn’t hear from him again after that.

Cut to about 9 months later. I had been seeing a new guy for a few months that I was into. One night we were up late watching TV flipping channels and ended up stopping on a big boxing match. We partook in small banter about boxing, placed bets on opposing sides, and threw flirty jabs at each other when our respective boxer landed a solid right hook. At some point in our fight night, he mentioned to me, “my little brother is a professional boxer.”  He went on for about 5 minutes on his skills, training regime, titles won, and an impressive list of his other accolades.  You could tell he was proud of him. We watched a few rounds but I actually ended up dozing off.

A few weeks later, my guy hit a personal and professional speed bump.  It shook him up a bit so he had a bunch of family and friends fly into town to help get his mind right. On the night before their arrival, I went over there to have dinner and watch a comedy special. A few glasses of wine later, I knocked out. That wasn’t the plan…..

I woke up at 7am, late for work.  I took a quick shower and recycled yesterday’s clothes.  Luckily, my boss hadn’t seen me the day before, so only I would have to live with my own clothes reminding me all day that I’m an irresponsible human being.  I tied my shoes with utter regret and opened the door to the master bedroom.

I got about 3 steps out of the room before I looked up.  Just in front of me, in the living room, was a gentleman sitting on the couch who looked eerily familiar. He stuck his hand out to introduce himself. “Damien.”

Damien, the boxer who slid in my DM’s a year ago!! The same boxing-brother my guy mentioned not 3 weeks before. The same boxer who I respectfully declined. Holy Shit.

I played it cool, at least I think I did, and acted like I had no recollection of him or the DM’s he had sent. He did the same.

As soon as I got into the car I opened up Instagram. I scrolled through my direct messages, sure enough, 9 months down, a direct message from Damien! I reread the conversation about 3-5 times. There was nothing there but it still kind of grossed me out, I couldn’t believe the 6 degrees of separation had been reduced to 2.  I left my guys house that day totally anticipating that I would be the main topic of their next conversation.

Fortunately for me…. I was wrong.  I’m not sure if Damien didn’t remember or if he’s too embarrassed to admit to big bro that he shot his shot and got blocked by Motumbo.  Either way, for right now, the secret is mine…. and yours.

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