Save the date

Sunday, November 17, 2019

On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think:
This is nothing. you’re high on the charm and the drink.
But the juke-box inside me is playing a song
That says something different. And when was it wrong?
- Wendy Cope

In the last 24 hours, I found myself be at two whole, different dates, both of which were unplanned and completely effortless for both the parties involved.

The only surprising thing in the aforementioned statement is the usage of the word 'date'; which is no longer in circulation in day to day business.

Which is to say, while I've been out quite a few times this year, and didn't think anything about it. In most circumstances, it didn't qualify to be labelled anything at all. Nobody wants to be weighed down heavy with the burden of seeking answers to banal questions and putting labels. Is this a date? Are we on a date?

Then something changed. I'd be lying if I said I know what, but I found myself on the first date of the year last weekend. Followed by the second date of the year (this morning) and the third (this evening).

Incase you're curious, they're all with different people. Yes, I worry about it, about myself.

The date itself should be a regimented activity. M's friend, J in the UK explained her idea to me,
"It should be no longer than 90 minutes if that's your first date and he should definitely get the cheque. He took 90 minutes of your life and nothing will ever get that back."

The clairvoyance she has is worth writing about; clearly, the 90-minute strategy allows you to understand if the date is worth seeing again. J's philosophy is the reason I loosened up slightly about the whole clearing the tab situations on a 'date'. As a rule of thumb, I don't offer to split or take the tab now especially if I sense the other person's wasted my time. You only gain such wisdom after you spend an hour in a queue with friends of friends to get inside a pub in London on a Friday night.

Coming to my three dates, I found one worth writing multiple hate posts about, while others totally forgettable and then some, the kind who wraps a 3:50 am date with a 4:45 am text 'I had fun'.


I think my only real contribution in this decade insofar as growth is concerned has been going label-less and being okay with it and finally coming back to realizing no, I'm not.

I used to compartmentalize 'dating' vs 'hanging out' vs 'going out' vs 'platonic hanging' vs 'chilling' quite anally until I decided to fuck that shit since everyone was uncomfortable with the usage of the term 'dating'. Where do you start and where do you end?

That is exactly where I stopped labelling this act as going on a 'date'. I dropped 'date' a little over a year ago and it just became the verb, 'I'm going to meet...'

This duration was marred with people questioning me about my previous 'dates' a lot more than ever.
I recall some months ago, I was questioned by the Ice Prince on account of whether I had a scene with a friend, often listed on this page. The scene is another clusterfuck term that weighs heavy but is a close synonym to the dating term. Again, it involves a spectrum from going out innocently a few times to cardio in bed. One doesn't know but at the same time does know that the people involved in such a scene have a mutual understanding of what they want and how they are getting that from one another.

I found it odd that he framed the question that way. I explained that we did go out on dates, but there was no scene at all. If anything, it was a blink-and-you-miss appearance for a hot minute. We had indulged in the physical act of going out for a film, a gig, coffee, drives, etc but that was about the extent of our 'scene'.
I don't know to what extent the Ice Prince was convinced but we can fuck him and his curiosity for the time being.

At this point in my life, my standard response or understanding of courting people (a clinical term that encompasses these wretched labels) was all expressed under one term, 'going out'. It could be long term going or literally an evening long going out. The innocence and the versatility of the statement resonated with me and it became a regular thing. Sure, I use the term 'my date' loosely but it doesn't describe the act of 'dating' them. Dating and date are not mutually exclusive. You can't call someone your partner if you're casually seeing someone but you can call them your date. Confusing for one and all but simple for those who deal with more situationships than 10 seasons of Keeping up with the Kardashians has seen.

Until last night, outside Kumon building, my 'date' had parked his car and we exchanged notes on what brought the two of us to make the 'date' happen.

For him, he found my effort of throwing out of the blue 'do you ever plan to meet me?' endearing. I proceeded to tell him about the circumstances that lead me to take that brash step. I won't get into the details here, but for the most part, it involved day drinking. For the rest, some tales are best unwritten.

"No wonder you just took that initiative. That's why you set this date up!"

I'm certain my ears went red. Nobody, in a long, long time has used the dreaded dating term around me for anything.

The thing is, I should have seen it coming but I did not.
Earlier in the course of the drive, we had talked about his old 'dates' and he told me all about them, some with fondness and some just nonchalantly. I have been discounting myself from the label to make myself believe, I'm not dating and naturally, I did not imagine anyone being the next in line in terms of talking about 'us'.

Again, my double standards have no limit and this is a great example- we went on a drive, stopped for a snack and a cloud of smoke- all of it is a date-ish but years ago when I another person- who chilled with me in his car and we bonded over a warm beverage- was not a date. I think that has to do with how much fun I had with the person, but it doesn't solve my problem.

I think I was a bit queasy with the usage because I wanted to go out as long as I could without using the word, 'on a date' and making things real.

You can always move on faster, than your ex who you're still in love with, if you don't make things real. Everything in life fucks up the minute you make things real and talk about it. I'd much rather keep it bottled than to tell someone, 'hey, I think you're hot and we should go out.'

Instead, I limit my suggestive statement to, "Do you ever idk like want to meet?"

Using the term 'dating' is making things real and if this decade has truly taught us anything it is that we're all always seeking someone/something better than what we have. This is my one true outtake for specimens across Indian males and females seeking one another. You guys might be with your soulmate but are always in a sense of what's better and how far is it. The only people I'm willing to discount from this theory are all Marie Kondo worshippers. Bloody minimalists is the "Dude they're nihilists" of 2019.

I think it's a good space to be when you can loosely use these terms as per your convenience, much like how my double standards and I have been doing. Earlier today, the act of 'going out' ended in a handshake and suffice to say, it didn't qualify as 'date' cause there was nothing date-like about someone who called himself a 'boring kind of person' (yawn) to my face out loud for Pete's sake.

Can we all ban handshakes when we all go out? Please?
We're a month short of 2020 and even clients hug you if you've done semi-decent job. Contrary to what the Beatles said, nobody wants to hold your hand. Not unless it's caressing you while you're making out. Which is something you don't do when you're on a date? I mean, isn't the whole point of distinguishing a date from the act of 'going out' the very essence of these two sides of the same coin?

You do what people on dates do, you grab a fucking drink or two, have a meal and look exceptionally nice and if you're lucky the guy/girl on the other side has some put some effort, enough to resemble a blind Sunday school teacher and that is worth working around that label.

I'm going to hell, aren't I?

On a side note, I accidentally gave a 2:38 am missed call to the 'date' from last night while trying to see the exact message I sent out to type on this post so now you'll find me moving cities and changing identities as a whole. 

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