Monday, June 4, 2007

Do I look like a Dating Service?

There used to be a time when i would look forward to having everyone i care about - friends, family, etc - in one location as i truly believed that people important to me should know each other. This was a dream that had its basis in movies revolving around Thankgiving, where dysfunctional families got together for a whole day of torture. But i always thought they were hilarious. The dysfunctional family i could provide, the 'weird' friends would show up, and atleast for that one day/week/month, i won't have to miss anyone because everyone important would be there - though probably in different rooms.

Needless to say, the stars haven't yet aligned for that to happen. With family and friends scattered all over the world, with different schedules and different life cycles, it's understandable. But, at my end, i continue to try and stay in touch. Practically everyday, i'm out with someone for a drink or dinner. When that doesn't happen, phonecalls and emails rule. And as far as possible, i manipulate occasions where different groups of friends can meet and interact, and preferably form bonds that are independent of me. After all, that's how true families are formed.

Until, lately, i find a lot of my friends come up with a very annoying line of conversation. It goes something like this:

Friend: Yo! What plans tonight?
Me: Nothing major. Have a birthday party to go to. Wanna come?
Friend: Are there gonna be any cute/hot chicks/guys there?
Me: No idea.. i'm sure there will be some fairly interesting people.
Friend: Who?
Me: Well.. Name1, Name2, Name3...
Friend: they're not hot/cute/ oh lord, them again??
Me: They're friends. That's why i'm meeting them.
Friend: DO they have hot friends..?
Me: why?
Friend: Otherwise there's no point.

No point??? Almost everyone i count as a friend is attractive, funny, charming, mildly eccentric and interesting (including the irritant). I don't categorise them as shaggable or not, although i'm sure they would be considered so by someone. But what really gets my goat is the attitude that dismisses what an evening can potentially be by simply shutting your mind to the idea of the unexpected.

"If i'm not getting laid, then i'm not interested." Well, honey, if you aren't interested, you aren't getting laid.

Maybe people are getting more impatient about discovering each other. The speed-dating syndrome and the Sitcom/Movie world {where every half hour episode has so many beautiful (thanks to make-up and lighting), funny (thanks to a good script probably written by someone who isn't as hot as the people saying the lines) people} has leaked into our real world expectations, that we now have no time to read beyond the superficial.

Snap judgements are made on the basis of boob-size, butt-shape, hair-length, complexion, etc, before even bothering to actually 'see' a person. They don't notice that under the not-so-perfect boob-shape is someone who's tone-deaf and loves dancing, that the guy with the not-so-perfect weight category is someone who loves to race cars, that the obnoxious guy sitting in one corner of the room sullenly smoking cigarettes is a guy who's rather shy about big groups of people and hopes that someone will just talk nicely to him instead of being sarcastic.

I'm not saying it's easy. It just takes a temporary suspension of paranoia so that we can actually listen to what someone is saying without being convinced that he/she is malicious. It implies taking a break from being yourself, and giving that other person the same chance.

And if they can't do that, i just hope that they can stop pestering me to introduce them to my single, cute friends. Because whatever i may be, i'm not a dating service. And if that doesn't work, i really hope that the day when i'll have everyone under one roof isn't that far - that way, everyone will meet everyone i know and then they'll stop making "new hot friends" a pre-requisite for just hanging out.

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