You ever look back at a situation and realize that one particular moment, one thing about that situation, was what should have clued you in to everything that happened afterward? I’m talking about a specific point where, when you reexamine everything, you should have picked up on it and used it to your advantage.

Last fall, my friend Finnigan threw a going away party—he was moving to Boston and wanted one last hurrah at his place before he went. While I was there, I met a girl who seemed interesting: cute, funny, a little bit of a stoner but I don’t have a problem with that. I managed somehow to gather up the stones to ask for her number and received it, so a few days later I called and we scheduled a date. We went out a few times—and to be fair, I had a pretty good time—but after a couple dates I didn’t really feel a vibe coming from her and I stopped calling. (This is something that Finnigan gave me much grief over, stating that a woman likes to be pursued and I should have kept at it a little longer.)

Well, fast-forward a bit to New Year’s Eve, when I did my yearly ritual of sending a text message to everybody in my phone book at midnight stating a simple wish for a happy new year. I got a response from this girl, asking “Who is this?” And it was at this point that I realized exactly when I should have seen that there wasn’t going to be a Love Connection between us: my memory flashed back to a point when I had called her to ask her on a date (third, I think?), and she didn’t know who I was when she answered.

Now, in this age of cellphones, not knowing who’s calling you can only mean one thing: that you see only a number come up on the Caller ID without a name to go with it. The reason for this was simple: she had never added my number to her phone’s phonebook. This explains why she didn’t know who the text message came from at New Year’s—I don’t know about anybody else, but my phonebook entries don’t get deleted unless I never ever expect to receive a call from them again, or if the number I have is out of service and I don’t have a new one—but it was also that seminal moment where I realized that I was right not to have called her again. After all, if she didn’t see the need to keep my number handy, even in those first few weeks when we were going on dates, then obviously she didn’t think she would be calling me much.

Needless to say, that was also the point I removed her from my own phonebook.