I’ve been talking to my good friend Kendi and coaxing her for a while now to start her own blog*. I’ve always insisted that I refuse to let all her flowery English and superb storytelling skills go down the drain. I then thought it’d be cool for her to do a guest article here on Ian Tells’em and I’m glad she agreed. Without further a do, check out her piece…
Over and over again, my best pal and I discuss how difficult it is to be a single woman looking for love these days, especially after jumping over the quarter life threshold. The good men are taken and the great men are latched so tightly in the friendzone that it is practically incest to even fathom any romantic involvement with them. I won’t justify it, but it is what it is. One is often led to ask, why won’t you just give that great guy a chance? Well the heart wants what it wants and the reverse is also painfully true.
Either way, we’ve all been on someone’s hook haven’t we? This is a term from the show How I met your mother that basically means being strung along by someone who knows you’re into them but inwardly knows there is no way on earth (or the seven kingdoms) that you stand a chance of actually being together. However; because this individual either enjoys the attention you shower them with, whatever little favors they may gain from you or actually just can’t quite bring themselves to break your heart, they hit you with the “We can’t be together…….right now” line leaving you with a sense of hope instead of shutting you down completely. You continue to swoon over them like the lovesick puppy you truly are. Yes, many if not all of us have been there and are just as ruthless keeping others suspended by our relentless hooks.
Nonetheless, we’re living in interesting times. We are in a world where almost anything you need can be sought after or purchased (all together now) ONLINE. The shoes on your feet, hair on your head, spare parts for your car, medical advice, how to assemble and disassemble a gadget, your one true love? Look no further; just create an account, carry out a quick search and, voila! You have 10 matches!
There are numerous online dating sites out there, some I know of and some I do not and trust me, I’ve been prompted a number of times to join. “Perhaps your destiny is just a click away? What is there to lose?” Still, I am not convinced. A great deal of sites have basically just changed to simpler forums for people trying their luck for a quick smash or a ‘sponsorship’ deal and let’s not forget the weirdos. I’m not interested in finding myself roofied in the basement of some guy with an armpit-hair fetish or something. Most of all however, I’ve done the blind date thing and it was pretty memorable. Definitely makes it to my top 5 worst dates ever (more stories to come). I remember it like it was yesterday…
A well-meaning friend of mine once hit me up concerned about my long overdue lack of a main squeeze. I laughed a little but she was serious and wanted to hook me up with her other single friend. “He’s a nice guy… I think you’ll really hit it off…. I think he’ll dig your personality…. He’s a pointy (mixed race)…” She was selling, selling and upselling this guy to the point that I had no choice but to agree. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to try, would it? So she gave this ninja my number and I his ‘ndio tujipange’. She had done her part.
So, we set our date. It was a Wednesday afternoon and we were meeting at T-Mall, Lang’ata Road. It was convenient for him because it was near where he lived, and convenient for me because I used to work at the food court there so I knew the price list was well within my budget (You can never be too sure who will end up paying, plus HELB had not checked in). I sent my friend a quick message like “Yo! I’m meeting up with your boy…” And she was all supportive wishing me luck and sending all these positive vibes and emojis. She was excited. We agreed to dissect the events of this date later that evening.
Anyway, I called this guy when I got to the meeting point and our date initially kicked off with a painful dance of “Which entrance are you at?”. Somehow we kept missing each other. Two people can never lead a dance and I guess that’s why our rhythm so to speak was so out of sync. When finally I convinced myself to play damsel and actually stand at one spot waiting for him to seek me out, he found me. I was a tad bit nervous, and opened with a slight chuckle followed by “Guess your bearings are as bad as mine” *chuckle chuckle*. I thought I was being charming but he just swooped over that joke and moved straight to saying hello and introducing himself. Ouch. I courteously did the same and in response he said, “You’re not quite what I expected.” Now, I’m aware that depending on the tone in which you read that line, it could either be a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll have you know that it certainly was not the former and my, oh my was it a slap to the face! Pretending to be oblivious to that statement, I engaged him in a conversation on how he knew our mutual friend which lasted no more than a minute and asked him what his plan for the date was. Being early afternoon, he suggested that we go get boerewors hotdogs from Tuskys supermarket, stroll around for a little while and perhaps go gaming with his friends.
As we strolled through to the main supermarket, I morbidly tanked at getting this guy to contribute more than two words to each subject topic I raised. I had no choice but to concede to an awkward silent walk to the cashier. When asked for his order, to my slight bafflement this guy ordered only one portion instead of two and I asked him why he wasn’t eating. “I’m not hungry, I ate before we met up.” Let me point out that this was one of the longest sentences he had said to me from the time we met. I shrugged. So be it. Subconsciously I thought If I’m not here for the conversation, I might as well be here for the food (A familiar thought shared among women) Anyhoo, this dude handed me the receipt and said, “Just go grab your meal as I step out to make a quick phone call.” Perhaps I obliged all to quickly but in my defense, I was still calculating on whether this date could be salvaged or not.
It was a busy day in the supermarket and the hotdog queue was hella-long. So I move slowly, waiting my turn saying hello to anyone that may recognize me, you know, filling my moments with anything that would take my mind off how much the date S-U-C-K-E-D, SUCKED! It was a tedious and annoyingly slow process and half the time I was wondering why this guy didn’t find his way back in to see what was taking so long. Truth be told I didn’t really mind as the reverse would just be an opening for more awkwardness. Finally though, I grabbed my grub and sought out to find my date but lo and behold! He was nowhere to be found.
Well, ain’t this some Nemo shit! (Pardon my French) I looked around the spot where I had last seen him. Nothing. I excavated the whole ground level. Nothing. So I whipped out my phone and tried to call the guy who quite to no surprise by now did not pick up and by my second attempt had ‘mysteriously’ gone offline.
Now, back to basics. My first and only attempt at a blind date was a horrid experience. We laughed about it, we still do, but I was young and just getting the hang of the concept of confidence, and as much as no one around us knew what was had occurred, it was still belittling, it was still humiliating. I didn’t batter myself too badly since clearly he was not worth the trouble but somewhere in the shadows of my mind, I would wonder what “You’re not quite what I expected” was all about. It came down to me as the presentation of false promise that leads to unfulfillable expectations. My friend *bless her heart* having upsold both of us to each other did nothing but build a facade of what we were to expect. I mean, he wasn’t what I expected either, but unless it was positively directed, I would suffer through that date before I’d bluntly let him know that.
Nonetheless, I’m aware that it is unfair to judge the success level of an activity based on one experiment. Perhaps we were too different. Perhaps he’s just generally ill-mannered. Perhaps I am. Et cetera et cetera… There are many underlying factors. Still, regardless of the sociologist within me deciphering all these aspects I am still totally and completely against going on a blind date ever again. PTSD perhaps. Maybe one day I’ll try it out, but in all truth I’ll probably only do it to chase a good story. Until then, let’s meet outdoors, meet by accident, meet through devious friends secretly concocting a matchmaking plan, but this “my friend is looking to be in a relationship, you should meet”; “this person is looking for love too” –Swipe right, swipe left– stuff…. Miss me with that, I can do bad all by myself.