Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“He Poked Me, So I Mocked Him”

Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s letter comes from “His Take” contributor, Dennis Hong, who writes about relationships and other topics at Musings on Life and Love.

I am a twenty-year-old girl in university, and there’s a guy in the swing dance club I am a part of who comes across very boyish (so boyish, in fact, that I still don’t see 26 years of age when I look at him). He is a grad student and only became a part of the club this year. Soon after his arrival, he took a noticeable shine to me which I was quite flattered by, but, after a bit of musing, realized I did not return (not in the same way, in any case). He’s sweet, cute, and endearing, but I just don’t see him that way. I’ve always been friendly and kind to him and we really don’t see each other outside of the club.

Recently, he added me on Facebook. Shortly after this, he “poked” me on Facebook. I wasn’t sure why. I mean, I understand that it means someone likes you, but the only people who have ever “poked” me on Facebook are my little sister and my friend who doesn’t have the firmest grasp of the mechanics of Facebook. It just felt very juvenile, like the notes from grade three with the question “Do you like me? check ‘yes’ or ‘no.'” Anyway, I playfully pointed out the childishness the other day in a passing comment that totally took the wind out of his sails. There was a marked difference in his demeanor. I approached him a bit later and apologized for the comment and he laughed it off, but that didn’t fix it. I don’t know if the awkwardness will be a lasting thing (I haven’t seen him since, as I only see him at this club once a week). This might turn out to be a non-issue, but I’m still confused. Was my remark unintentionally mean-spirited? Or was his response childish? — Miss Construed

Facebook poking? People still do that? I thought Facebook poking was something people stopped doing like five years ago….

I wish you had been more specific in what you said to him, because it’s hard to gauge his response otherwise. You may believe that you “playfully” pointed out his childishness, but that may not have been how it came across at all. Maybe to you, it was playful, but to him, it only sounded insulting. And unfortunately, in these types of interactions, it doesn’t matter how playful or tongue-in-cheek you were trying to be. What matters is how he took it. And it doesn’t seem like he took it well. Either way, I’m going to be blunt: I can’t imagine how you can accuse someone of “childishness” and not have it come across as an insult. I don’t think even an actual drool-dispensing, diaper-pooping child would appreciate being called childish. That word just doesn’t have any positive connotations, ya know? So if that is the actual word you used, I’d say that you’ve got your mouth well past your ankles at this point.

At the same time, you did apologize sincerely, right? Not, ahem, “playfully”? Because clearly, your “playfulness” and his “childishness” don’t mesh. If you did apologize sincerely, then that’s about all you can do. Perhaps he’s feeling awkward around you only because of your perceived insult. Or perhaps he’s feeling awkward because he’s finally realizing that you’re not interested in him and is feeling kinda rejected. If that’s the case, then his self-esteem is smarting already, so the last thing you want to do is try to talk to him about it and make him feel even more awkward. Above all else, I suggest that you treat him no differently than you did before. If or when he asks you to dance, respond as you did in the past. But also don’t go out of your way to ask him to dance any more than you did previously, because then that smacks of pity. And certainly don’t let him (warning: geeky swing dancer in-joke impending) pull any aerials on you on the social dance floor.

Dennis Hong is a teacher of juvenile delinquents, freelance comedy writer, group blog overlord, and internet entrepreneur. His personal mantra is: “Always stay positive in life (except when taking a drug or STD test)!” You can read more of his musings on life and love here.



88 comments… add one
  • cporoski December 8, 2011, 7:09 am

    LW, so you don’t like him, he liked you, you rebuffed him, he is keeping his distance. I don’t think it is anything you said specifically. He just isn’t going to continue to flirt with you and give you attention if you don’t like him. You can’t get it both ways. He will dance with other girls that might be more interested.

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  • Addie Pray December 8, 2011, 7:25 am

    About the poking, I have never thought of poking as something you do only when you “like like” someone. I think of poking as a “hi, you” gesture that requires less effort than writing on your wall, sending a message, texting, emailing, or, gasp, picking up the phone and calling (a lost art). Am I wrong? If so, well shit. I have a lot of ‘splaining to do to friends, relatives, former teachers, old neighbors, and coworkers. That is, for pokes from about 5 years ago, because, like Dennis said, that’s the last time people were poking.

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    • Lydia December 8, 2011, 7:39 am

      Yup, that’s how I see poking as well. Though I admit I didn’t even know the feature existed until a few months ago.

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    • cookiesandcream December 8, 2011, 8:32 am

      I’ve always been curious about who came up with the idea of poking in the first place. My money is on the Winklevoss twins.

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    • GatorGirl December 8, 2011, 8:44 am

      I think it depends on your circle. When I was in college poking someone of Facebook definitely had a sexual undertone. It sort of served as a digital wink or nod. But really who uses them now?

      Acutaly my BF and I poke back and forth and have for years…but I don’t think other people do.

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      • ele4phant December 8, 2011, 10:02 am

        Yeah, back when poking was all the rage on my campus five years ago, poking definitely was flirtatious.

      • EscapeHatches December 8, 2011, 11:48 am

        My husband and I do, but we’re dorks. We wouldn’t continue doing so if anyone else could see it though…

    • lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 11:41 am

      I have to admit I didn’t even think Facebook existed as late as 5 years ago. I’m getting really sick of feeling so old…

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    • MsMisery December 9, 2011, 11:12 am

      Yep, I never read anything into poking either. In fact, there used to be a “Superpoke” function on FB. You could throw stuff at people, give them trinkets, or poke them with seasonal items. But then FB got boring. Anyway, I think the LW seems a little uptight about the poke and there isn’t going to be much she can do to fix the situation now.

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  • Tax Geek December 8, 2011, 7:48 am

    There is a difference between childish and child-like.

    Maybe he was being a little silly and then felt like you called him out on it. Don’t expect him to be vulnerable like that with you again real soon.

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  • Ruby December 8, 2011, 8:02 am

    He was just being playful and ‘poking’ you as a way to say ‘hi’.
    Instead of saying Hi back, you made fun of him, so he feels hurt.
    He’s now gotten the message that you’re not into him.
    I don’t think there is anything to ‘fix’ here. You made him feel bad and now you feel a bit bad about that. Maybe next time, try not to be so insensitive to someone who likes you!
    After a few days it will all be forgotten. No need to remind him to try and make things ‘right’.

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  • FireStar December 8, 2011, 8:26 am

    I’m with Dennis – there is just no nice way of calling someone childish. He made an overture to you, you rejected him – to his mind meanly – and now here you are. An apology is not a fix for bad behaviour – just an acknowledgement of it. You can’t have the same relationship back with him since the puppy dog phase is likely over for him given your comment. So treat him nicely – as you would anyone else (which is how I assume you have been treating him this whole time since you aren’t interested) and let it go.

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    • Will.i.am December 8, 2011, 12:00 pm

      I wonder if some of it was due to an ego boost on her part. She’s 21 and knows facebook poking is dead, and he’s 26 and has no clue. Maybe she felt the need to insult him, because she feels that he’s “beneath” her?

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      • FireStar December 8, 2011, 12:18 pm

        She’s not interested and that’s fine – but you can’t be snarky or cruel – even unintentionally – to people who have a crush on you. Everyone has been there where someone has a crush on them that they aren’t feeling. I think you have to be extra careful with those people so no one feelings get unduly hurt. They are already feeling rejected – no need to make it worse. It’s just bad karma.

      • Will.i.am December 8, 2011, 12:29 pm

        Agreed. You can come across as sweet and genuine without making them feel like they are deserving of no one. Most people do that for the ego boost and that is it. There’s no need to make someone feel bad.

        To take a spoonful of my own medicine, I have a problem with giving a bit too much constructive criticism. I never say it to be mean. Just to try and give someone a push to try something different, who may be too scared to step and look outside the box. Some of the best decisions I have made in life is when someone pushed me to venture outside the box. Career wise and education wise especially.

  • cookiesandcream December 8, 2011, 8:26 am

    I’m curious about the actual comment, and I agree with Dennis’s advice. Don’t worry, LW; like you said, give it some time and it will most certainly “turn out to be a non-issue.”

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  • oppositeofzen December 8, 2011, 8:31 am

    I always viewed a poke on facebook as way of saying hi or playfully pestering someone (my guy and I have been poking each other for a couple of years because neither wants to loose the poke war). If he was goofy and did stuff like that in class, of course you’ll see it on facebook. And after calling him out and essentially rejecting him, did you really think he would keep heaping attention on you? If I were you, I’d be nice and say hi when you see him, but don’t act as anything happened. Just let it go.

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    • BD57 December 9, 2011, 9:13 pm

      Re: “Poking” …. Bingo!!!!!

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  • silver_dragon_girl December 8, 2011, 8:56 am

    All the above advice is good.

    What I want to know is, if you’re not at all interested in this guy, why you’re so upset that you’re writing to DW about it?

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    • Jess December 8, 2011, 9:00 am

      also I agree it’s strange she wrote in about this. sounds like she just hurt his feelings and he doesn’t have a crush on her anymore. she apologized, which was the right thing to do, but he still doesn’t have a crush on her anymore. nothing wrong here.

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      • silver_dragon_girl December 8, 2011, 9:32 am

        Exactly. It makes me think maybe she’s more interested in him than she thinks. Or maybe she just misses the attention? I’m not saying this to be critical of her, I just think if she examines her reaction a little more she might figure out why this is bothering her so much.

      • bethany December 8, 2011, 9:57 am

        My thought was the she liked the attention. If she didn’t, why would this even matter to her?

      • LennyBee December 8, 2011, 11:11 am

        I don’t know. I feel terrible when I’m unintentionally mean to someone (or even when I’m intentionally mean to someone, which is rare since it just makes me upset). So I can see why it would bother her. Even if you don’t care for someone romantically or don’t particularly like the puppy dog attention, you could still care that you hurt someone’s feelings.

      • LennyBee December 8, 2011, 11:15 am

        Plus, she could have wanted to remain friends with this guy. In which case, it feels doubly awful if you unintentionally hurt your friend’s feelings and aren’t sure how to fix it.

      • Budj December 8, 2011, 11:28 am

        I got the impression she looked down on the guy “26 and still a boy” is a pretty condescending opinion from a 20 year-old. I wouldn’t want to be friends with her if I was him and aware of that….but that’s coming from a fellow “boy-ish” 26 year-old…except when I’m at work….well….sometimes at work…

      • silver_dragon_girl December 8, 2011, 11:43 am

        I agree. I got the impression that she really wasn’t even interested in being friends with him, she was just being polite and nice at this dance group. She’s very condescending in her descriptions of him, actually.

        Again, I’m not trying to be hard on the girl, I just think maybe the reason she’s so concerned about this is that she really enjoyed his attention more than she let on.

      • cherry December 8, 2011, 12:04 pm


      • Will.i.am December 8, 2011, 12:11 pm

        Budj, I just said the same thing above. You and I think entirely too much alike!

      • Skyblossom December 8, 2011, 3:30 pm

        In many ways my 49-year-old husband is boyish and I love it. He dances down the hallway and makes jokes and keeps me laughing with his good humored silliness.

      • katie December 8, 2011, 8:14 pm

        i read in a womens magazine once (i think the only good peice of advice to come out of those… lol) that there is a difference between child-like and child-ish behavior. your husband sounds child-like. the whole whimsy of it- being carefree, seeing the amazing in everything, being silly… that is the good part about kids right? the satisfaction they get from doing something seemingly insignificant, the wonder in learning new things, ect…. so then on the flip side there is the childish behavior. that is the bad stuff- throwing temper tantrums, not being able to see future consequences, ect.

        i think that everyone should find their child-like side. it makes life a lot more fun!!

      • BD57 December 9, 2011, 9:14 pm

        Ah yes … “we can still be friends …. “

    • cookiesandcream December 8, 2011, 3:03 pm

      I wondered that too. This letter reminds me of the girl who wrote in about hooking up with her crush’s twin and friend. Just like that LW, this LW will forget about this within a month.

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  • Allison December 8, 2011, 9:00 am

    I haven’t personally known of anyone to use the poking feature for about six years. That aside, Dennis and the others are right. I playfully joke with people a lot, however, there are ways of saying it that come across as rude no matter what, and if it’s someone you don’t know, or if they were trying to show interest in you, it might come across that way anyway. Not only did you not reciprocate, but you made fun of him, so of course, he’s not going to show the same interest. But in no way is he acting childish.

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  • caitie_didn't December 8, 2011, 9:12 am

    Again with facebook drama?? Facebook isn’t real life….really the only time you should mention someone’s facebook behaviour there is if they are “stalking” you and constantly posting on your wall/messaging etc.

    In terms of poking…I’m college-aged ish and poking most definitely has a sexual undertone for myself and peers. As far as I can recall, I’ve only ever been poked by recent male additions to my friends list who were interested in me.

    So, yes, LW you were rude to mention it, you apologized, and he’s over you. Now you just need to get over the whole incident.

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    • lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 10:15 am

      You know, I 100% agree about your view on Facebook. I use it to see photos of my siblings who don’t live close anymore and thats it. But, it seems everyone is quick to laugh about how dumb/silly people who use it and take it “seriously.” It doesn’t mean they think its “real-life” or the end all, be all. (At least I don’t think so, haha) I guess my point is just because someone mentions or questions something done on Facebook doesn’t mean they are totally ridiculous. Sometimes its no different than saying ‘so and so e-mailed me and what do you think of what he/she said?’ but instead of e-mail, its Facebook.

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      • Will.i.am December 8, 2011, 12:21 pm

        I don’t know about that. An email is still confidential, to where facebook is pretty open. I’ve joked about someone being stupid and hopelessly posting how lonely they are on their wall. I would never tell them, or post on their wall how ridiculous it is, I would just get a laugh out of it.

        Email and facebook are entirely two different forms of communication.

      • lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 12:32 pm

        I didn’t mean everything about them is equal, because you are right, mostly they are not the same. I just meant in the context of my example. If someone I had a crush on for example, wrote to me on facebook and I told my friend that, I would hope she wouldn’t say I’m silly for talking about facebook, and would assume she wouldn’t if I called and said he e-mailed me. IDK, I’m not relaying my point well I guess.
        My point is it just sorta bugs me when people say how dumb/silly someone is for mentioning Facebook (not in the LW’s instance which I do think was a bit silly), yet the same people also probably use facebook themselves. Reminds me of being a 14 year old and saying how silly 12 year olds act, as though you weren’t the same way at one point.
        But no, I certainly wouldn’t comment on someone’s sad, hopeless facebook postings to say how ridiculous it is either. I could see joking about someone’s dumb rants on there though over drinks with my girlfriends.
        Ugh, I can’t be clear today for some reason. Need more coffee.

      • Splash December 8, 2011, 12:43 pm

        So basically you are referring to the role of Facebook in different people’s lives? like if you mention Facebook in passing as in “did you see those adorable pictures so-and-so posted on facebook?” Versus “OMG, I can’t believe what whoosie-whatsit posted about!” ? kind of? =)

      • lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 1:02 pm

        Yes! Thank you for saying what I’m trying to say, haha.

        Everyone, it seems, uses facebook. I agree that it can be taken too seriously, like when people change their relationships every other day and things like that, but other than seriously silly things, we all use it, so if you say people are dumb for it or its not real life, then we all are dumb. Like I said, if my crush sent me a message on there or walled me (?), I’d probably say something to my girlfriends about it and would hope that doesn’t make me crazy or be told its not real life.

      • Will.i.am December 8, 2011, 2:14 pm

        I like facebook for what it is. I don’t use it to channel my thoughts or anything like that. For instance, my status yesterday was, “I’m looking for Dallas Cowboy underwear for my co-workers grandson and all I can find is G-string Cowboy underwear.”

      • bethany December 8, 2011, 2:18 pm

        Nice 🙂

        I also like FB for keeping in touch with relatives who live far away or to share pictures with a bunch of people and not have to send out a mass email!

      • lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 2:25 pm

        Same here. I use it for seeing photos of family and close friends. But I also love some of the jokes people post and funny things like your Cowboys g-string! Unfortunately, I’m never clever enough to post funny things myself, so I just post nothing.

      • Skyblossom December 8, 2011, 1:23 pm

        Facebook can be confidential when someone sends a private message. Last week a friend of a friend that I’ve never met sent me a private message telling me I had a lovely profile and he’d like to go out for coffee. It’s the kind of real message that can destroy a real marriage so it can be private and it can have serious consequences. I thought about telling him that my lovely profile picture was taken by my delightful husband but decided that might just encourage him to send more messages so didn’t reply and showed it to my husband.

      • bethany December 8, 2011, 2:19 pm

        Put your profile on private!! That’ll keep that from happening!

      • Skyblossom December 8, 2011, 2:36 pm

        I had it set so friends of friends could see it but not the general public. He happened to be the friend of a friend. I set it that way so that old high school friends could find me if they found one of our other classmates.

      • FireStar December 8, 2011, 2:45 pm

        Why not just say thank you but I’m married?

      • Skyblossom December 8, 2011, 3:00 pm

        My profile already said I was married.

      • theattack December 8, 2011, 6:02 pm

        Sometimes people need a clue that your marriage means something to you, as terrible as that sounds. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard things like “Well your boyfriend isn’t here right now, is he?” or “He must not be great because, blah blah blah something stupid.” Sometimes people knowingly hit on taken people, unfortunately.

      • Will.i.am December 8, 2011, 2:20 pm

        One thing that does urk me about facebook is people will tend to always post why things are going bad in their lives or why people keep betraying them. I always want to show them the definition of Insanity. Insanity: Doing the same process over and over expecting a different outcome.

    • GatorGirl December 8, 2011, 1:14 pm

      So, I’ve read through all the comments below and I pretty much agree with everyone’s assesment of Facebook BUT Facebook is real life. It is very very much so real life. It’s not a fantasy land…it’s a virtual semi-public profile of yourself. Most people use it to keep in touch with family and friends, to share information about their own life, and to connect with people.

      I live 900 miles away from my family and they look at Facebook as a way to keep up with whats going on in my life, my real life.

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      • Budj December 8, 2011, 1:47 pm

        Agreed. FB is so immersed in our society that it is akin to a very large room with a bunch of people in it – except you have a little control over who’s conversations you over hear. There is personal accountability for what you do and say just like in real life.

      • rangerchic December 8, 2011, 2:35 pm

        I agree FB is a part of our society. I, however, refuse to have a FB page. I simply don’t want to have “one more thing to do” all the time. I really wonder where people get all the time to continuously post. Also, though, all of my and my husband’s family is local so I can see how I might use it if we lived further away. I had never heard of “poking” on FB.
        I guess I am so out of the loop!

      • caitie_didn't December 8, 2011, 3:34 pm

        yes…you definitely are accountable for what you post on facebook in real life. But as a general rule, I’d argue that facebook isn’t “real life” in the sense that you don’t usually need to bring up what happens there in real, face-to-face conversation. Like, why, why why, did the LW need to mention the poke to this guy? the only reason would be to make him feel like crap. Which she seems to have accomplished, because generally, all “OMG DID YOU SEE WHAT SO AND SO POSTED ON FACEBOOK???” gossip is solely to belittle/mock/make fun of someone. The more I think about this letter, the more rude and condescending I find the LW’s actions.

      • Budj December 9, 2011, 11:35 am

        Yea – I don’t talk about it really. What happens on facebook usually is laughed and discussed about on facebook, but i think it does correlate with real life based on the content and purpose of it. Which for me is staying connected with people I don’t see every day, promoting, and reading my news feed when I am bored and no one is commenting on DW.

  • Fabelle December 8, 2011, 9:18 am

    LW- It would be helpful to know what you said, but he’s probably being a little silly about it regardless. And maybe it’s not even the comment you made, but his realization that you’re not into him.

    With that said, I thought they actually did away with that feature? Although my past ‘pokes’ still show up on my page, and yeah…it’s all dudes. I think it is generally something people do when they’re interested in you, but don’t actually have anything to say so they’re literally prodding you to make the first move? (a littleee close of an analyzation for FB but whatever)

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  • LolaBeans December 8, 2011, 9:27 am

    LW, given that you already apologized and he his actions haven’t changed. I will assume his feelings are really hurt and he now knows you aren’t into him.
    I will also assume you may like the attention he gives you, seeing as you are writing in about it and how you no longer have that sort of attention from him. maybe you should think about whether you do have feelings for him? or if it was just the attention that you desired?

    In any case, you apologized and there isn’t much else you can do. He can choose to accept it or not. Just remain friendly and hopefully it will blow over.

    I also think that “poking” on facebook is just a cute way to say hello (I don’t use this function, but I can see why people would)

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  • Elle Marie December 8, 2011, 9:50 am

    The only person I “poke” on Facebook is my fiance. (Same for poking IRL, both euphemistically and otherwise.) We both have jobs that let us occasionally check Facebook, so it’s our little “I love you — no, *I* love you!” throughout the work day. Because we are disgusting saps like that. But we’re also engaged, not trying to flirt with someone and failing.

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  • bethany December 8, 2011, 9:53 am

    If someone poked me I would ignore it, because I have no idea what it means. LW- If you were not interested, you should have ignored it. If he brought it up then you should have said you saw it but didn’t really think anything of it and let that be that.

    To answer your question, yes, it was unintentionally mean spirited. Let it go. Don’t mention it again, don’t apologize again, just move on. And if he’s not as friendly and flirty with you anymore, then just accept it. Our actions have consequences, regardless of what our intent was.

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  • ReginaRey December 8, 2011, 10:02 am

    So I assume that, in writing into DW, having potentially hurt his feelings is weighing rather guiltily on your conscious. Maybe your playful comment wasn’t interpreted so playfully. But you know what? You apologized for it, which is all you really could have done.

    Don’t continue to feel guilty or ruminate on this for too long. I suspect you feel bad that you might have bruised his ego or made him feel less-than-desirable…but if a dude can be THAT deflated by a comment about a Facebook poke…he’s got other problems.

    Move on. Treat him as you did before. If he stays away from you or treats you differently, then oh well. You tried, but he’s allowed to nurse his wounded pride if he wants to.

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  • atraditionalist December 8, 2011, 10:12 am

    This really isn’t that big of a deal. Like the above said: just treat it like it never happened. That being said, next time someone flirts with you and you don’t appreciate it don’t call them out on it in public, just don’t respond. It’s far less rude and just as effective.

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  • Jshizzle December 8, 2011, 10:22 am

    A friend of mine winked at me in a text message and I mocked him. But I have a boyfriend so it was my intent for him to not continue the trend. If you don’t like him that way, why care what his reaction was. Also, poking was a thing 4-5 years ago, ageist.

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  • Budj December 8, 2011, 11:10 am

    I think you made way bigger deal out of the “poking” event than he probably intended. If you have been dancing together and he enjoys goofing around with you at your dance classes then he probably was just being goofy outside of dance class (on facebook…). There is no timeline mentioned, but I’m pretty sure if he thought you might be interested he would have asked you out after a few classes. My guess is he just thought you were fun and now…well…he’ll be polite…mission accomplished.

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  • theattack December 8, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I can’t believe I just read this. I don’t mean that in a rude way, but seriously, who pays attention to “poking?” I’ve got probably five or six old pokes sitting on my facebook right now that I just ignore. My friends who I’m not that close to anymore send them to me when they want to acknowledge that we exist and we like each other, but there’s not a whole lot to say. It’s just not that big of a deal. It is what it is, and there is no need to have a conversation about it. But now that you have, there’s no going back. You probably can’t undo what you did, which was pretty mean, but you can stop mentioning facebook in real life in the future. Seriously, there aren’t very many times when you need to mention what’s happening on facebook. It already happened on facebook, so both people know about it. The only time I ever talk about what’s happening on facebook is if I’m gossiping with my best friend about people we went to high school with. Ugh. Please just stop. It is so terribly awkward to talk about this in real life.

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    • Budj December 8, 2011, 12:25 pm

      You left out the Jerry Springer type 100 comment long threads that you are only aware of because one of your friend’s friends is talking about it.

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  • AKchic December 8, 2011, 12:30 pm

    Do you want to fix the relationship so it goes back to what it was; which is to say – back to him pining for your affections where you won’t be reciprocating because you think he’s childish?

    That’s kind of what it sounds like here.

    You didn’t really like him the same way he obviously (in your opinion) liked you. You rebuffed his online attempt at communication outside of this dance class you two have in common. He took the hint and has stopped showing his affections. Now you’re missing those affections, even though you didn’t have any back.
    Sounds like you just liked being chased when you had no intention of being “caught”. That’s called being a “tease”. He’s not biting that particular apple.

    Move on.

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  • Landygirl December 8, 2011, 2:11 pm

    He’s been pokemoked!!!

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  • bittergaymark December 8, 2011, 2:17 pm

    Poking usually is shorthand, for “hi! I was just thinking about you” or “hey, something on your page caught my interest and so I am letting you know I was here to check it out…” I’ve never used it as a grade school method of saying I like you…

    So…basically, a guy told you that he was thinking of you — and you berated him for being childish. Mocked him, too, I imagine. That’d be enough to knock the wind of my sails. More than that, I’d think you were kind of bitchy. Especially if you called me out on my alleged “childishness” with others in earshot.

    At any rate, good thing you sure don’t like this guy. Because I’m quite sure he suddenly doesn’t like you very much either. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t blame him.

    Curiously, you seem bummed (and surprisingly shocked!) that he doesn’t seem to like you so much anymore. Newsflash! Why would he? You clearly not only don’t return his feelings, but openly made fun of him. Nice! How very Heather Chandler of you…

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    • Jiggs December 8, 2011, 4:18 pm

      I think this might be the first time I’m inclined to agree with you!

      Poking is doofy, yeah, but the LW stuck her foot in her mouth and now she just has to live with the consequences. Poor guy’s probably really embarrassed, especially if anyone else may have overheard. There are certain things that, no matter how playful or jokey you’re being, are really hurtful to hear. Like, say, getting shot down by your friend/crush for Facebook poking them. Ouch. Lighten up, LW.

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    • the other guy December 8, 2011, 9:55 pm

      agree with everything you said, this guy is most likely thinking he dodged a bullet

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  • Skyblossom December 8, 2011, 2:34 pm

    If I saw someone mocking a friend the way she did this guy I’d think she was the one being childish.

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    • lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 2:36 pm

      Oh snap!

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  • sobriquet December 8, 2011, 3:06 pm

    What moved you to bring up the poking incident? This is what I don’t understand. If you thought he poked you as a way of flirting with you, LW, why mention it if not to embarrass him? I get the feeling that you think you’re pretty cool (that’s fine, I thought I had it all figured out when I was a 20 year old, too), but just for future reference, talking about Facebook in real life reeks of immaturity. It seems like your only motive for doing so was to embarrass him.

    This reminds me of the days of MySpace 6 or 7 years ago. Every so often, I would fill out one of those annoying “surveys” that would get passed around. Why? Out of boredom and because every 18 year old likes to talk about themselves. While hanging out with friends one day, an acquaintance of mine made a jab at me about a stupid survey I filled out, jokingly rolling her eyes and asking me why I felt the need to do them? It was extremely rude and the comment was made with the sole intention to embarrass me. The acquaintance was one of those High and Mighty types who enjoyed belittling other women to feed her insecurities. Now I look back on it and think, god, why did I feel the need to fill out any of those stupid surveys? But at the time, it was completely bitchy to call me out on it.

    So, LW, think a little before you speak, next time.

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    • AKchic December 8, 2011, 3:26 pm


      To this day, my friends and I still pass those around livejournal with the soul purpose of coming up with the funniest answers. We make rules to each of them. The driest answer, can only come up with “blue” topics, must answer using song titles, etc. The number one rule is: They cannot be truthful. Ever. I’ve gotten plenty of character ideas from them.
      Of course, when someone tells you that their answers must be read in Iambic Pentameter in the universe-weary voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android – you know the rest of the “survey” is going to be EPIC.

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      • katie December 8, 2011, 8:54 pm

        that sounds SO fun!! well, i would probably get frustrated writing them… but i would love to read them!! lol

    • bethany December 8, 2011, 3:28 pm

      omg- I loved those surveys!! I’m glad I’m not the only one!

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    • katie December 8, 2011, 8:53 pm

      i used to do those surveys too!!! lol oh high school

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  • WatersEdge December 8, 2011, 8:38 pm

    Eh. I believe in the power of natural environmental consequences shaping our actions. I think that you teasing him about the poke was a natural consequence of a dorky friendly/flirty move. You weren’t going to date him anyway, so it’s lucky that he made that move on you and not on someone he actually had a shot with. Just be nice in the future and it’ll fade into the past.

    Speaking of natural consequences…I think it goes without saying that generally, if you want to stay on someone’s good side, then don’t make fun of them. So there’s always that to keep in mind.

    Looks like you both got what was coming to you!

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  • Painted_lady December 9, 2011, 12:06 am

    Oh dear. It’s late, and I’m grouchy, which is both why I’m answering this and why my answer is going to be bitchier than usual. First off, hopefully you haven’t given yourself so much credit as to assume you’ve shattered this guy’s world. Any perceived awkwardness might be just him staying away because you came off as a jerk. I’m just guessing, but if he’s without any crippling social handicaps he probably just realized you weren’t nearly as much fun as you seemed.

    Also, for future reference, essentially, whatever the exact comment you made, you were calling him out for being “uncool.” And nothing screams immaturity to someone who’s moved beyond the need for cool cred as someone who feels it’s their duty to school them in the art of being cool. Especially if it’s in a way that shames them. It screams high school clique. So probably when you made fun of him, all you did was remind him why he needs to date girls his own age.

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  • fast eddie December 9, 2011, 7:51 am

    A fried of mine poked me when we were new to fb. We were still young (in our 60s) and I thought it was silly so I didn’t poke her back. Nothing came of it, we’ve been friends for over 50 years and want to keep that friendship very close. Pick your battles and let it go.

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  • Christy December 9, 2011, 10:03 am

    I just want to second the “Facebook is real life” thing. I live 6 hours from my sister and 13 hours from the rest of my family. We don’t talk every day, so Facebook is a good way to see what everyone is up to on a daily basis. I also use Facebook to share newspaper articles or blog posts that I find interesting. Yes, email is an option, but posting to my wall is a lot easier than email.

    People are going to have drama whatever medium they use!

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    • Splash December 9, 2011, 10:28 am

      Hm, I think the discussion about Facebook being real life wasn’t explained well. I too use it to see what is going on with people. But, I think there is a difference in people who use it to supplement their lives as opposed to where nothing is real until it is posted on Facebook. Like the people who every second of their lives is a check-in or a status update or a post. You know? like Facebook has become their REAL life and walking around and face to face interactions are just interludes to online posts.

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  • mikee December 9, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Not one writer in this comment section keyed in on the most important factor in the description of the situation.

    This guy is a 26 year old grad student! In other words, he is a “Peter Pan” who has yet to grow up and behaves immaturely.

    Treat him like an adult, expect and if necessary demand he treat you like an adult, and ignore his otherwise juvenile behavior as long as it does not involve you.

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    • Rachel December 10, 2011, 4:31 pm

      Wait, I’m confused. Are you saying he needs to grow up because he poked her on facebook, or because he’s in grad school at age 26? Because if it’s the latter, that makes no sense whatsoever.

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  • ConantheContrarian December 9, 2011, 3:43 pm

    I like the Facebook-poker’s reaction to Miss Construed. She is no longer worth his time. He doesn’t want to be a Beta Orbiter. He has moved on, and should ignore her. What the Poker needs in Game. He needs to read Chateau Heartiste and Alpha Mail, needs to get Miss Construed’s hamster running at full speed.

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  • John December 9, 2011, 7:13 pm

    This reminds me of a painful memory from long ago. It is not exactly the same, but it’s related. My girlfriend at the time would sometimes playfully talk to me using baby talk. It was sweet and I liked it. One day, I made a little fun of it, and I could instantly see that she was hurt. She obviously trusted me not to mock her, and I did not live up to that trust. I hated myself for how I made her feel, and I never got that sweet baby talk again (despite my profuse apology). From that day forward, I have been very careful never to do anything like that again. I was probably about the same age as Miss Construed when I learned that life lesson.

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  • Mastro December 9, 2011, 9:40 pm

    Women rebuff geeky guys all the time.

    Geeky guys don’t like it- and might not be as friendly afterwards.

    Way of the world- move on.

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  • NAME REDACTED December 10, 2011, 6:33 am

    You quite clearly rejected him, then you expect everything to be the same?
    Don’t be silly.

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  • Michelle.Lea December 12, 2011, 6:11 pm

    umm… it’s facebook. it’s a poke. people really attach meaning to this? I poke everyone. everyone pokes me. it has no meaning?

    And maybe it’s not that you rejected him, but you commented on something, assumed a meaning, and he decided that maybe he should steer clear so you wouldnt assume anything else that you made up in your head.

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