How I’m Lousy With The Ladies

Previously, I shared experiences from my return to the dating game. To briefly recap, I wrote it around the three different times a single working lady would have; namely, work time, free time and spare time. As much as I stated how admirable is their tenacity within each of their time segment, I did express a personal regret over how they use up their spare time especially for certain extra curricular activities, namely dating. They choose to spend date time by lamenting how hectic are the other two time slots, especially work time. And I should reiterate that my regret is borne primarily out of despair for lost opportunities in getting-to-know-you conversations. They instead make you experience vicariously how phenomenally full their work time and free time are. So if you want to get to know the person that they are, you’d have to infer it from the phenomena they describe to you. And in the fervor of the soliloquy on their oh-so-full daily lives, you’d not have much chance introducing the person that you are simply because you wouldn’t have had a chance to.

But if you’re cordial enough to let it pass without complain, you’d be entitled for second and further dates simply because you’re a good listener. So after all has been said before, it’s safe to assume that it would be much better on the second date or even subsequent dates, right? Well, if you can bear the first one, then you’ll be unaffected when they start the second or other dates by informing you on the chaos they had to endure between each date. The duration of updating you on how hectic they have been is directly proportional to the duration lapsed between each date. The average units would be 3.3 minutes of lament for every day that passes. Therefore, if you keep your dates weekly with the same person, you should not have to listen to more than 23 minutes of how busy they’ve been between rendezvous. As long as the time lapse between the two dates is not too long, the updates will be relatively short.

"You can never imagine the kind of morning I had, just before 10am."

Eventually the stage will come for getting to know each other by actually exchanging experiences, thoughts, ideas, rather than by mere phenomenological inference. Here is when the real getting to know each other happens. Apart from knowing about each other you could also assess the rapport you have with each other by your responses and reaction to one another. And here is where I found out, I can be disastrously wrong.

One of the trademarks of a stalwart single working lady is that they’re never hesitant to speak out their minds and their determination to always be themselves. You needn’t have to use your deductive powers to know that, Sherlock. More often than not, they would have proclaimed those two traits out loud. Especially to ensure that you would not miss that about them.

So there you are baring your souls out to one another. She expresses observations and opinions as do you. If you are not wont to be part of the sheeple or associated with a herd mentality, you would have thoughts of your own. Alternative opinions. Different observations. Another point of view. I do. And much like the lady whom speaks her mind out and stays true to herself, I too speak my mind out and stay true to myself and share my alternative take on things. Surely that’s part of a fair and mutual exchange of ideas, right?

Well, in my case, apparently not. There seems to be a choking pause from the lady after I’ve had my say, and a strong show of consternation on her countenance. I seem to have drawn out the lady’s displeasure. And all because what I had to say was not in agreement with what she said. What gives?

"What do you mean tomatoes aren't vegetables?"

But if the lady’s cool, she would allow me to explain my diverse points of view. And I’d be more than glad to, because after all, we’re sharing, right? Well, it seems not. The lady’s not so cool after all. She actually turns icy cold after I make my stand a few times. And she’ll call me out for being condescending, argumentative or just plain difficult. Or even wanting to be different for the the sake of being different. This despite me waxing lyrically the reasons why I have a different stance.

I have regularly been told that I can be passionate in conversation, especially on things I strongly hold on to or believe in. That’s the passion of my convictions. And I am asked to tone it down a few notches because some say that it makes me sound like I’m debating or arguing. But that seems terribly unfair. I can’t be myself then.

However, inversely, if the ladies express views different from mine, I’m always eager to know their thoughts behind it and would request for them. And they seem more than glad to tell all that they have to tell. And the more impassioned they are in the process, the more keen I would be to know more. After all, this is someone sharing something close to them that they really believe in. And it’s exciting. I’m intrigued. In my eagerness, I am prone to inundate them with queries or try to draw further out of them what they hold true to themselves. But after awhile, much to my chagrin, I find that I have crossed some line and stepped into something I was not aware of.

You see, at some point in such exchanges, the lady gets exasperated and really annoyed that I’m not stopping with the questions. She’s really cheesed off that I’m just not accepting what she’s saying after two or three explanations by her. Careless me. Now I am said to over-think things and unnecessarily getting too deep into them. And that makes her head ache.

"Oh please, enough already! I really don't care why the chicken crossed the road."

Now, if the opposite of deep is shallow, then I find it incredulous that a person would censure you for wanting to be deep and would insist on remaining shallow. Trés bizarre!

I do not know where does the balance come in. Where is the line between just speaking out your mind and being yourself, before you’re called out and made to feel like a presumptuous dick? While they go on indefinitely speaking out their mind and being themselves, and they are perceived as being an independent, strong-minded lady. And when do you have to stop being genuinely interested in what they have to say, before you find yourself a threat to their mental health? Where are the lines to those limits?

I should point out here that this is not by any means my general impression of all ladies. Nor does it depress me because they do not encapsulate the entire lady population of my world. And before anyone brands me a natural born creep who is not conscious of his own faults, I will say that there are more in the circles of my life that do not respond to me in that way. That is to say, there are ladies in my life that do manifest actual pleasure with my company as I speak my mind out and be myself. There’s my daughters, students, a lady down in Brighton, and the ladies in majority whose paths I have crossed whom have graciously never dampened my spirits when I’m being myself. Bless ’em. And as I look around this delightful circle of my life, I realize that those who allow me to be myself have a common demographic factor.  They’re below 40.

My inference? Well, seems to me that when single ladies below the age of 40 like you, there’s a stronger chance that they like you for who you are. Whereas, single ladies above 40 will like you if you are more like them.

In a way, that does make neurological sense. But laters on that.

C’est ma vie, baby!

My Return To The Dating Game.

Anybody who knows me well enough know that I’m a single father who is getting exponentially more singular as the kids move on to greener pastures. My son, The Last Of The More-He-Can’s, is now cramming in a state of panic to make sure his passage to similar pastures is smooth.  Family, for reasons based on elusive rationale shared amongst themselves have chosen to be less than friendly; and my usual motley social circle of students have ceased to expand as I’ve stopped tutoring.  And the sweetest smile that used to fill up the gaps in my days is no longer topographically accessible.  So in order to satisfy my neurological need for company, I’ve actually taken to start dating again.

I should declare outright that I only sought to date single working ladies.  No single mothers in order to avoid ungainly Brady Bunch situations.

However, I will be there if they need more than just a pole for support.

No divorcees and definitely no separatees; don’t want to have to keep looking over my shoulder for homicidal exes.  And of course, no homebodies simply because they’re, well, homebodies.

First thing I came to realize out in the field this time is that single working ladies do not have much liberty over their time.  They seem to run on clockwork more diligently than men do; especially men with a more leisurely attitude towards time like me.  Don’t get me wrong – I despise the whole culture of so-called Malaysian/Asian time that run on circadian clocks rather than GMT, and find absolutely no charm in such quirks.  What I mean is that the ladies so adhere to their working time slots that nothing will be allowed to slip in between them. No casual calls, chats, text, winks or waves.

Out of their work time, is their free time.  But this is time necessary for them to catch up on what they couldn’t do because of their work time; and that includes wash & blow [for hair and car], waxing [body and car], shopping [self and car], facial, spa, gym, household chores, etc.

One of these has not been waxed.

Between their work time and free time is spare time, and this is the time when you can meet up with them for a date.  But you might as well call it sparse time because there really isn’t much of it.  If you are to meet them in their spare time on a working day, they would need some free time to prepare for that spare time.  And if they spare you some of their free time, they would need further free time to prepare for that as well.

Yawn? No-lah! Just checking my breath if it's me or you.

The outcome of that is that, by the 44th minute of your date, comes their first yawn.  By the 55th minute they’ll be reassuring you that you are not the cause of their yawning and by the 66th minute, you’ll be saying your goodbyes and promising that the next time you will be meeting with much higher energy levels because seriously dudes, the lady must be worn out after what she had to go through to meet you.

And I do feel for them.  Such is their loyalty and dedication to their chosen lifestyle that you cannot but appreciate and empathize.  So no complaints from me there.  However, there is something within it that I sincerely wish could be better.

You see, as sparse as their spare time is, it seems incredulous to me that single working ladies prefer to spend it by talking about how busy they are in their work time and how hectic are their free time.  And this is not some mild sharing of the rigors of the day.  It seems as if they will not be satisfied until they have convinced you that they are busy and hectic like no other person could possibly be or know true busy or hectic like they do. Ever! And that includes you, buckaroo!   They will spew it out as if you too would not have a clue what busy or hectic is until you have spent a day in their 3 inch heels – and you will not last even 3 minutes in them.  And don’t you even begin to talk about your day lest they take it as if you are throwing down the gauntlet for a challenge.  It can only end in a duel – one that can leave a man with so much guilt that he be applying to take over their next menstrual cycle.

It reminds me of days of yore when I was an active single father and how active mothers insist on sharing how hectic are their days what with looking after their kids, their career, the household, the maid and the husband.  I would not even dare to begin talking about my days because my spidey-sense would tingle warning me that if I began to do so, it would end in a ludicrous debate as to who has it worse or harder.  C’est bizarre!  Parenthood is challenging enough as it is without having to dwell in a duel with other parents about it.

"How dare you say my wife changes less nappies per working day than you!"

But I digress.  Even though this happens enough times to qualify for crude generalization, it doesn’t take up the whole duration of a date.  Probably about 2/5ths of it.  They do talk to you much about themselves the rest of the 3/5ths.  You’d get to know of their childhood, places where they grew up, schools they went to, friends they had, their place in the family, their family members, their apartment, their place of work, their job, their boss, their colleagues, their best friend, where they shop, their haunts and hang outs, their gym, where-when they treat their hair, where-when-what they wax, their hairdresser, their waxer, their spa, their masseuse, the guy who cleans their car, their car, their celebrities, their meals, their diet, their snacks, their indulgences, their guilt, their resolution, you see their pictures, their poses, places, what they ate – essentially, you would be well acquainted of her world, and would know enough of the phenomena that surrounds her to infer the person she is beyond what she tells you.

Now, next time you have a chat with her, see if you can surreptitiously tell what about you that she has come to know.  If your luck is anything like mine, probably not much.  I’d discover that the lady knows less than an eighth of what I’d already known about her.  She’d have no clue about my background, my work, my home, my habits, hobbies, hats, hates, haves or have-nots.  And how can I be so sure?  Well, for one thing, I hadn’t told her any of those.  And it wasn’t because I was taciturn, reluctant to share.  Nope, not at all. I would have been just as eager for her to get to know me as much as I wanted to get to know her.  So what gives?  Well, the reason she knows so little of me is simply because I never got the chance to tell her.  She was so preoccupied waxing lyrically about herself that I couldn’t get a complete sentence in edgewise.  Hence, the severe imbalance.

In certain sub-cultures, conversation on this alone compensates for dysfunctional erectile hydraulics amongst the machismo.

But what of the ladies’ perspective?  I do wonder what of guys on dates – what would they be talking about if they were given the chance to. Of course being a devout practicing heterosexual I wouldn’t know, but from my experiences with my fellow men in general conversation, they don’t fare much different. Single working ladies may want to talk about the labors of their working life while men on the other hand, want to talk about the fruits of their labors – their cars, their golfing, their paraphernalia, their gadgets and gizmos, their bimbo and hoes, etc.

Unless they’re gay. Then they talk about the fruitiness and labors of being gay.

So, what of all this?  Well, for one thing it has left me alone on a Saturday night, writing out how farcical and futile my return to the turf has been.  And of course, if any of those ladies were to come across this I’d definitely be defriended and deleted off a few more social networks.  But my faith will not wane, nor my fortitude waver.  Because good dates do happen.  They’ve happened before.  And when they do, they last for years.

Thanks to H and WZ for their objective retort online.