The Get-Out Clause

I am an unmarried woman who is yet to loan her womb for the advancement of the world. Whilst I can’t give expert commentary on holy or civil matrimony nor on making one’s womb habitable for other beings to survive within it however, I believe that I am well placed to share few personal opines on dating doldrums and other paraphernalia. I am not a paragon of familial union or maybe I am but let’s not digress because this is not what this post is intended to be.

I have given the dating charade a passing chance here and there. In 99.99% reoccurring of the cases, friendship was both the get-in and get-out clause. I have only partaken in such exercises once or twice, maybe thrice at a push if we widen the criterion and add the hot guy from my college days who at a closer inspection and one date night at Pizza Hut later turned out to be what our cousins across the pond would call a douche.

Of course this process isn’t representative of all. But there is no reason why my own ethnographic study couldn’t be replicated.

I am a very guarded individual and thus it is hard to let those sentries down for any man, or women may I add. Unsurprisingly when it comes to dating it is the same. I say dating, it is anything but. I equate “dating” (ok we’ll stick with the word for now because I can’t think of a suitable synonym) to a phone contract.

No reputable phone company will allow you to just walk away with a brand new off the shelf state of the art mobile device and entrust you to keep up with monthly payments for 36 months without doing some rigorous examination. I too follow suit minus the credit check because how much a man makes or doesn’t is none of my business (damn you feminist ideologies for leading me astray from the much desired and lucrative path of gold digging. I once scolded an affiliate for showering me with gifts, would you believe it; on the basis that I am more than capable of buying my own gifts).

I subject my potential affiliates to meticulous and painstaking examinations that would last anything from 2 years to a lifetime. Some people just ooze suspicion so they are put under permanent surveillance. Such examination ranges from, but are not limited to: surveillance in the form of internet trawling, cross examination (usually with fellow female companions), character reference, covert participant observation (to the man in question this usually translates as: she is digging me but playing hard to get so let me up my game), overt participant observation (to the man in question this usually translates as: she is a flirt and probably equates to numerous other things in his head that I fortunately aren’t privy to).

With each test that is passed the male in question moves up a rank. Accepting a friend request on whatever social medium I feel most comfortable with adding him to, to exchanging email accounts (I must admit to begin with their emails are delivered to the junk inbox and are treated as suspicious sender), to adding them to my mobile phone’s contacts list once I am satisfied with their writing skills. If he can manage to write/send an email with most linguistic rules intact with the odd LOL thrown in for good measure, he can proceed.. it is all in the writing my friends, it is all in the writing.

If a man can conjure up a simple declarative sentence other than ‘I want you tonight’ it is a good indicative, as any, that his dealings are that of elevated social groups, not the one-night-stand types. I must admit that I suffer from an innate subconscious ability to read between the lines. Ambiguous grammar punctuation is a turn off. Am I alone in thinking so?

Of course I make an exemption for hipsters, no need for tests where they are concerned. I say let us go on few tree hugging sprees and dabble in some bohemian sensibilities whilst enjoying the sweet sound of alternative music. I’ll happily gift you my favourite black skinny jeans for you to titivate, when yours has come off at the seams.

Hipsters aside, once a potential affiliate has passed all the required competency tests they enter the coveted stage of ‘getting to know one another’. This stage is more organic and more often than not lasting friendships emerge from it that transcends distance, language, religion and culture. What can I say I am an international lover!

Google translate and my listening skills come in very handy when the person in question doesn’t speak any of the Lingua Francas I am versed in. I just listen to them and pick up the odd word and depending on what translation Google feels like giving me that day (because that thing is a fickle) I make up the rest of the conversation based around that word/phrase.

Similarly when the romantic endeavours of both parties come to an abrupt cul-de-sac, the sustained friendship refrains both parties to the contract to cancel it altogether and return to the perfect strangers we were. Bit like you fulfilling your contractual obligations to the phone company, and once the company is satisfied that you aren’t a dodgy person they offer you more lucrative deals in the hope that you will stay with them longer. Friendship is thus the get-out clause. See, there is a point to all those tests after all.

And on that note…Happy Thursday lovers! Believe it or not, Thursday is the start of the weekend for many. The rest of us mere mortals such exoneration shall await till 5pm Friday.

Here is my Facebook, so add me maybe, baby!

No thank you, I don’t wish to add random people on my Facebook. Actually, hold that thought; yes I might add you just to see what you really are like beneath all that sleaze, ahem I mean charm. Too many selfies warrants some sort of an arrest, because 436 selfies later surely there is someone in your delusional universe that could be coerced into making a guest appearance into one of those 436 Lone Ranger-esque pictures. Where is Tonto?

Precise number, I know. What can I say I painstakingly analyse each one of those pictures for no other reason than for the greater good of humanity. You can thank me later, presumably when they catch the sociopath in question. And yes, once such social analysis is over, I delete the sociopath(s) and block them too. Depending on my disposition at the time they might even be reported; don’t ask me what I’m reporting them for though. The mind is a fickle!!

For all the ills people proclaim that Facebook bestowed on humanity, one thing is for sure that the dating charade is never quite going to be the same, thanks to Zuckerberg and Co. Like the saying goes it is how you utilise things that can either make it a bad or good thing. I am of the camp that Facebook is a positive addition to our otherwise mundane lives. Of course there is always going to be few culprits out there that abuse this social medium and ruin it for the rest of us nosey folks.

Prior to Facebook, you were unable to pre-empt any potential dating disasters. You weren’t able to suss out sleaze bags lurking in the periphery waiting for that opportune moment to strike and before you know it you are coerced into thinking that you are dating an Adonis of sorts, and you go through the traditional method of wasting time and energy dating this person only to find out 18months down the line that he is anything but. Thankfully Facebook has put an end to such callous bureaucracy.  With few clicks you can ascertain everything about your potential date.

Going out on a first date with someone isn’t a pre-requisite these days. Hearing people utter words like “oh how about I take you out for dinner at 8pm to my favourite restaurant and we can get to know each other” is far and few in between and sure as hell you won’t be hearing a potential date say to you “oh where do you live so I can come and pick you up”.  I blame part Facebook part Google Earth for the latter. Curiosity is dead, buried in chambers embellished with conveyor belts of selfies and second by second status updates.

Side note: a friend of mine once stumbled on her boyfriend’s ex girlfriend’s Facebook page (bit of a mouthful). Somehow after scouring few of the femme fatale’s illustrious pictures she felt so threatened by this entity that no longer existed but in her mind.  Needless to say the boyfriend wasn’t aware of how Facebook turned his girlfriend into a nocturnal detective. In fact he even instructed her from the onset of their relationship that they are not to add each other on Facebook as this will ruin their relationship.

An eyebrow raiser of a statement I know… but amidst all the narcissism that reeks out of that last sentence, perhaps there might have been a point to his instructions that my friend so carelessly ignored. In the months that followed my friend’s discovery, she lived in an irrational fear of not being good enough for her boyfriend based on his ex-girlfriend’s pictures (nothing kinky by way of clarification just aesthetics we are dealing with here folks).

Armoured with her newly discovered inferiority complex, my friend ended the relationship to her boyfriend’s dismay. The guilt of dating whom she thought was above her station was too much to take in. This set precedent for many more break ups and make ups that followed over the course of the years. Even when they were back together, she was of the realisation that her boyfriend was an unscrupulous seducer; who was destined to run away with anything with a pulse that wasn’t her because to quote her “he was easy on the eye”. I couldn’t help but think in that moment that perhaps my friend could do with having a cataract operation thirty years too soon! But let’s not get into that now. That is a side note for anther blog post(s).

Facebook allows us to eliminate the weak from the absolute. The dating game is a cut-throat business. There are no leeway’s to be given. Survival of the fittest and what have you (who makes these rules anyways…). Some people love to air out their dirty (always unpressed, sometimes wet, occasionally clean) laundry on social networking sites for all and Sundry to see. Men in particular have a thing for still keeping incriminating evidence from their past. There is no sane reason as to why you would have less than decent snap shots of  you and your ex still plastered on your Facebook wall when that relationship has dissolved; often captioned with soppy  commentary. Is it an emblem of your acquisitions, hmm?

Word of advice for men; you might want to keep your Facebook on private so poor unsuspecting feeble women such as the antagonist of my side note don’t have to contend with the likes of your ex-girlfriends. Women are complex creatures, even if I say so myself. Actually on a second thought DON’T, I quite enjoy scouring your pages, all in the name of research of course.

At The Touch Of Commercialism, Everyone Becomes A Lover!

Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?

Before the Christmas decorations have gone down to gather dust until they are called upon for another year and before the festive cheer had a chance to pave way for January blues, the shop windows and displays had us reminded that Valentine’s Day was fast approaching.

The roboticism of it all renders the very act it is denoting unromantic. Not long ago I was engaged in a conversation with a friend in an attempt to get a male perspective on the issue. To paraphrase, he didn’t like partaking in the whole Valentine’s Day shenanigans because he didn’t believe in celebrating what was essentially another man’s day for declaring his love. Male ego aside, how apt I thought. I am sure that wasn’t what poor old St. Valentine had in mind but I too don’t like being dictated to or told what to do. I don’t want to be part of a commercial construction of love and romance.

As a recovering chocoholic, I am sympathetic to a bit of chocolate 365 days of the year with the sprinkling of love and romance on top. Flowers..? Yes please, any day. Lilies are a favourite of mine, if you are taking note. Why limit all that goodness to just one day! Don’t be so cruel to yourself.

At the very least Valentine’s Day stifles individualism. Some confectionery, a card, a bouquet of sorts and a pair of kinky lingerie should win your loved one over! Hooray! And if you really want to push the boat out why not cook her/him a three course meal. And hey presto you are one heck of a lover.

For those of us who still regard love as a private conduct between two consenting adults (and I am not implying extracurricular conduct) and don’t see the need to showcase personal displays of affection, the whole day is somewhat gimmicky and full of sap. So is this reality or parody one may ask? Whilst the act may be a noble one however, Valentine’s Day musings depict a romantic ideal of being swept off your feet, so to speak. It is an ideal nonetheless that each one of us should be striving for all year round come rain or shine.

Personally I think many dire relationships would have had shorter course of life had it not been for the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day. With a little help from clever marketing from shops and restaurants in order to boost their profit, Valentine’s Day quickly puts out any burning flames of wanting to quit a relationship and turns such desires into ashes for another year; the illusion of romance successfully instilled in all party concerned.

The singletons aren’t safe from this romantic PR stunt either. They too get struck with the dread disease of being alone on the day. So to avoid such calamity they go out on the hunt for a culprit that could be coerced into a dating parody. It embeds a positive illusion of romance, consequently seeing imperfect partners in a new idealised form.

We truly live in a nanny state. As it is in all the other areas of life why not have this little old thing called love dictated to us too; why not let commercialism baby the populace in how to conduct itself in all things love and romance? Now that the logistics of love has been taken care of; the how when and why of it all sketched, what is left is for us to take centre stage in this puppetry dubbed Valentine’s Day and feign love!


Don’t mind my cynicism, Happy Valentine’s Day!