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Taking the Hating Out of Dating

Khushnuma Daruwala's new book gives a glimpse of the woes and throes of finding Mr. Right.

Some take to fishing. Some don’t. It’s as simple as that.
Likewise, with arranged-dating (modern dating expressly for the purpose of finding a spouse). Some thrive on the anticipation of a good catch, while for some (my personal guess is for many) the uncertainty, the awkwardness of a ‘catch and release’ and of course returning empty-handed (again), can be nothing short of a mild coronary.
While my friends and acquaintances invariably fell in the latter anxiety-stricken category they often spoke with wistful resentment of a creature I dubbed as the Overly Enthusiastic Dater [OED].
An effervescent giant ball of sunshine and an energy drink, OEDs apparently don’t exhibit the slightest tremor. In fact they are enthused at the prospect of sharing their hobbies, family composition, occupation, job history and of course the much contentious dietary habits (Veg? Non-veg? Egg? Fish? Wine? Whisky? Smoke?!?) with strangers…  again and again and again.
Nerves of steel? Adrenalin junkies? Extreme Extroverts? How do OEDs survive this minefield, not only unscathed but also brimming with enthusiasm?
A few leisurely cuppas and they were spilling the beans. I’m not sure if these ‘skills’ were innate or evolved to protect their tickers, but they do explain the OED’s joie de vivre.

  • Date Martyr

Competition is fierce when it comes to far-out dating stories and every girl wants her slice of sympathy as she narrates the cuckoo-capades to a bunch of wide-eyed happily-married couples. Which is why this OED no longer cringes and prays for Potter’s invisibility cloak but rubs her hands in glee (mentally of course) when she encounters a delusional dude.
Delusional Dude 1: “Hi there, Prepare to be amazed and astounded by me”
OED: Beams like a cat that got the cream
Delusional Dude 2: “I’m into crystal gazing which is why I know there are limited fate portals in the next few years. Yes, yes, we just met but we must marry before the portal shuts”
OED: Beams like a cat that got more cream

  •  Truffle Hunter

This OED won’t waste time researching her date. Instead she scours through a dozen food guides and reviews before she selects the date venue. Tried the Burmese café last time, what next? Isn’t there a new Caramelised Melon Cappuccino in town? How about an experiment in non-judgement at the new ‘dine-in–the-dark’ cafe? Don’t see chappie, don’t judge chappie.  He’s not roasted and her taste buds are singing. It’s a win-win.
Dating in the dark doesn’t scare this OED, running out of new eateries does.

  • Errand-dater

This OED is an efficiency machine. She lives by the phrase ‘Location, location, location’. She first browses through her pantry, then through her closet, then her medicine cabinet and finally through the now yellowed piece of paper that was once her to-do list. Flour will run out by Monday? Lycra tops have inexplicably shrunk? Great. Now she plans a weekend date at a café in the mall where she can shop for these.
Some say bumping into your date in the hosiery check-out line right before the date is embarrassing, but she says it’s a chance to practise your poker face and strengthen your peripheral vision (as you surreptitiously glance into his shopping basket).

  • Date Mate:

The last and final OED (that I know of) is nothing but a social butterfly and a chatterbox at heart. Despite the obvious incompatibility she can’t resist buddying up with her fellow date.
“Maybe the problem is you are address women as ‘yo! hot mamma’. If you don’t mind my asking what’s your relationship with your mum like?”
“I must fix you up with Vina. She too adoooores Justin Bieber.”
“….and that’s why I decided to walk away. What’s your perspective as a guy?”
“Where did you buy this black lace shirt? Stitched? Really? What was the cost per metre?”
Having met OEDs in person was quite revealing. They weren’t super women or the other extreme – oddballs. They were simply women who saw beyond ‘Mission Groom’.
Every coffee date wasn’t a do or die situation, a sword hanging over their heads; in fact there was always an upside – be it a good meal, scratching errands off a list or finding a new buddy.

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