That’s the name of a game I used to play in San Marcos. I played it again yesterday, only this time I played it alone.
As usual, you need the “back story” first.
Two years ago I was on one of my weekend trips. This trip was to San Marcos. It by no means was my first trip there, but there was a first for this trip. This was the start of the summer of 2010, and it was my first trip there knowing that someone I wanted to see was there.
While I was on the road I sent that person a text message saying I was coming and asking if she had time to meet. She never replied. There is a place in San Marcos where I like to eat, so when I arrived I went to that restaurant first. It was busy, but I saw a table with three young ladies dining and there was an empty seat. So I approached them, introduced myself, and offered to buy them a round of drinks if they would let me dine at their table.
It was the start of a two year friendship with these young ladies.
After dinner, we were walking out and I decided to try to contact that special someone again. One of the young ladies saw me and asked who I was texting. To me it was a bit too personal for me to share, so I just remarked that I was trying to connect with an old friend. The four of us began chatting, and time sort of slipped away. It had been maybe 20 minutes since I had sent the text message when one of the ladies asked if my friend had replied.
[Little did I know back then that this was her modus operandi]
Even though I was very capable of making my own plans, which I always did anyway, the ladies told me of a party they were attending that evening. They asked if I wanted to go too. It sounded like fun so I began negotiating. Since I wasn’t invited by a host, I explained to them that they would have to escort me to the party. They agreed.
We parted ways, I checked into my room and got a shower and changed clothes. I connected with my new friends, went by their place and picked them up. And they escorted me to a college frat party. A few hours into the party one of them asked if I had ever heard from my friend.
She suggested I try again. And then assuming I needed coaxing she told me that she couldn’t imagine someone not wanting to hang out with me. So I agreed to try again. But one of the other girls suggested a wager. She was bored with the party and bet me that my friend wouldn’t reply. I still firmly believed in my friend back then so I took the bet.
And that was when the four of us played our first game of “Ringy Dingy”
[Again, she didn’t reply]
Over the next two years I went to San Marcos once or twice a month. Each time I would try to let my special friend know I was coming. But since it had become obvious that she would never reply, I would also contact my three young coeds.
They were ALWAYS happy to hear I was coming. We would get together and go dancing, or out to eat, or attend a game, or go to a party, or just hang out at a local bar.
And EVERY time we would play “Ringy Dingy”. The game actually became a big event over the years. Where ever we were, I would announce that I was about to call or text my friend again. These three ladies would gather up everyone they could, sometimes up to 20 strangers. And everyone would place bets on whether my special friend would ignore me or not.
To be fair, this friend would communicate with me on occasion. She would simply never reply when I was on my way or in her town. And just so you know that I am not a total jerk, I never gave anyone her name. I meant it was a small college town and someone probably knew her. We were just playing a stupid game and no one needed to know the identity of my friend.
Actually, one night we had a close call. On that occasion a few days before I went to San Marcos I did get a reply from my friend. Her response was she was so busy, and she had to study non-stop all weekend long. During that weekend, while I was with my three friends (who now had become my close friends) I looked up and saw my special friend coming into the bar. I guess she was taking a break from studying.
I felt it would be in poor taste to disclose to my friend that I was there, especially since she was hanging all over the guys she was with. So I remained distant and quiet. But then to my amazement, one of my three new friends saw her . . . . and knew her. I panicked momentarily, but then realized that my new friends had no idea that the girl they knew was my friend too.
And that was when the stories began. Apparently my special friend was . . . hmmm . . . how do I say this . . . ummm . . . let’s say she was well known.
[Honest to god, that didn't bother me one bit. I SERIOUSLY cared about this woman . . . . who she is today. I just didn't like people saying bad things about someone so special to me!]
I actually didn’t want to hear the stories, but it took me a few minutes to fake an illness just so I could get away from hearing more. And they had already rattled off some less than modest stories. I did leave shortly after the stories began. But since they had pointed her out to me, and since she did have a big reputation, more stories came up over the years.
This May my three coeds became Alumni and left San Marcos to begin their adult life. I still stay in touch with them, and I heard from one yesterday. Her first question was to ask me if I wanted to play “Ringy Dingy”. We laughed and I went on with my day.
But then I decided to play on my own. So I sent a text message around 1 pm. At 4 pm I sent the same message again. I never got a reply. Later in the evening I was actually trying to delete the message from my phone (while very drunk) and somehow sent it again. To my surprise I got a reply! It was one word. My feelings were a combination of shock that she replied, and a bit of anger that she only had time for one word. So I replied with one word as well.
I got a question mark back as a reply.
Anyway, I am trying to decide if I lost my bet with myself or not. I mean she didn’t reply to my two intentional messages, which means I win. She did reply to an accidental message though. So did I lose?
So, the next time any of us hang out . . . . let’s play “Ringy Dingy” ok?