Seven signs you’re a ghost
Number eight will surprise you because it’s not really there. Or is it?
1. The Wave’n Dry® paper towel dispenser at the Vince Lombardi New Jersey Turnpike rest stop won’t dispense paper towels when you wave frantically hoping to dry off and get away from people at New Jersey rest stops.
Same with the motion-sensing faucet that refuses to release water when you motion for water.
Same with the liquid soap dispenser with soap that smells more like New Jersey rest-stop urinal cakes than Aesop’s Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash (“an unorthodox aromatic blend with botanical extracts and finely milled pumice to gently cleanse, exfoliate, and leave hands smooth, purified and refreshed”).
The automatic-flushing commode also doesn’t flush when you stand up and even after you motion vigorously at it for many reasons.
2. You wonder out loud in the stall why a highway rest stop in New Jersey is named for a legendary football coach who put Green Bay, Wisc., on the map, and nobody listens or responds.
3. You suddenly stopped texting someone to convey romantic interest and get together again after two dates.
But it’s not because you’ve lost interest due to date’s irritating habits, adoration for Trump or 12 cats you are fortunate to learn about before any intimate stuff happens and then you can’t back out easily without accusations that you just wanted another notch on your headboard or belt or wherever you file your notches.
But you lack the courage, let alone basic human decency, to be completely honest.
You can’t seem to “grow a pair” and explain how the biggest red flag was when date vociferously argued that “Friends” was the greatest television show ever and David Schwimmer is a comic genius rivaling history’s finest such as Charlie Chaplin, Jacques Tati and Roland the Farter, 12th Century jester of Henry II of England.
4. Date stopped texting after two dates for reasons unexplained but likely even worse than yours.
Even if you’re a ghost, it doesn’t mean you’re not a still a catch, like Patrick Swayze. Obviously your date has major relationship issues. Fear of intimacy? Not over the ex? Easily bored?
Or maybe she suffers from man-hating radical feminism and doesn’t appreciate how you mansplain, man-spread, get handsy in odd ways (fondling her shoe) and generally act like a weird, lame-brained, insensitive jerk.
Women can be soooo picky when choosing a terrible man for the rest of their lives. No wonder so many wonderful women are still single!
5. You see dead people in movies about ghosts and zombies or starring people whose careers are virtually dead like American actor, director, activist and producer David Schwimmer.
6. People get in your way like you’re not even there.
Like the other day at Whole Foods, when this guy suddenly stops for 20 minutes at the freezer case, his cart blocking the aisle, to carefully examine the ingredients of the 365 organic frozen peas for deadly glutens and GMOs like you’re not standing there seething. Later he cut in front of you in line!
On the highway, while you’re going a sensible, fuel- and planet-saving 45 mph in the passing lane in your beige Prius, lean-in moms with babies on board and managing work-life balance roar past you in turbocharged BMW X5 SUVs screaming baby-inappropriate expletives like you can’t hear them.
In nice, quiet, expensive restaurants, parents let their children scream and run around like they’re at Dave & Buster’s while you’re trying to have a nice second date to get to know someone better before you ghost her.
At work, your boss stops giving you work or even talking to you after HR gives you a third warning about your performance, the paychecks stop and your key card doesn’t work anymore.
Your girlfriend, if you ever get one, stops listening to exciting tales of your fascinating life even though they demonstrate how you’re smarter and better than your boss and everyone else.
7. You go to a funeral service and the respectfully dishonest eulogies are about you, and your family is huddled off discussing competitively priced cremations and arguing about who has more time to sort through and dispose of your worthless crap.
As such, you really are dead and a ghost. In which case, you begin planning your afterlife focused mostly on haunting everyone who ghosted you.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer