04 May 2010

Games People Play

If there’s one thing single guys hate more than having unsolicited baby seats installed in their cars, it’s having people ask whether or not we have our eyes on any particular young lady. I mean, it’s alright when it’s someone you haven’t spoken to for years, and they’re legitimately updating all the information they have about you. But when it’s people you catch up with all the time, either in three dimensions or in cyber space, such as family or close friends, it just seems like such a stupid query to have to respond to, mainly because there are only a few possible responses, each as dumb as the last.

1) No. I’m still all alone. Thanks for asking.
2) Yes. I’ve been engaged for six weeks now. You just didn’t notice, you useless unobservant jerk.
3) Yes. Target acquired, and I’m figuring out the best angle of approach (this objectifies women far less than it seems. Guys just like to use military or sporting terms of reference because they are more familiar, precise and less terrifying than emotional ones) and what I really need is for you to try to help me, spread the information around and generally make things more difficult.

Obviously none of those answers ever result in anything other than an awkward silence. As a counter measure, experienced single guys such as myself have developed cunning if unsophisticated ways of responding to the query without actually answering it. It involves answering questions far more literally than is usually a good idea in a social setting, but it can be a great experiment to see how far you get before your friend swears at you and gives up.

Mate: So… any girls on the radar?
Gw2Rs: The radar?
Mate: You know what I mean.
Gw2Rs: I don’t have a radar.
Mate: I mean are there any girls on the horizon?
Gw2Rs: How would I know?
Mate: No, I mean, are there any special ladies in your life?
Gw2Rs: There are lots of special ladies in my life.
Mate: Yeah, but any really special?
Gw2Rs: Everyone is special. I don’t go around assigning people a specialness quotient to record in some book somewhere. What kind of sociopath do you take me for?
Mate: Are you currently interested in someone?
Gw2Rs: I’m interested in a lot of things; cricket, music, quantum physics, linguistics, ending world poverty, chess, relig…
Mate: God damn it, Garry, you’re impossible.

Yes, yes I am. My married and pregnant friends are constantly looking at me sideways, trying to figure out why I’m so stubbornly opposed to the whole romance phenomenon.

Actually I’m not opposed to it at all. Up until now I’ve just I’ve made a habit of never staying in any one place long enough. And I’ve coupled this with a complete disinclination towards the stupid games people expect single men to play. First dates, appropriate phone call etiquette, the ability to retain an air of masculinity whilst dressing like a freaking fairy; it’s complete rubbish. I am firmly of the opinion that ‘dating’ in the sense in which we interpret it through American sitcoms and blogs written by empowered and modern (yet still, notably, single) women is a stupid idea, and I have a fairly low opinion of the media through which society (not to mention well intentioned Christian pop-literature) tells me I’m supposed to communicate affection.

But to Hell with it. If playing Hollywood style games is what it takes to keep my dearest and best satisfied, then bring it on. I quite like games. I have an international chess rating of 1305 and I can kick my friends’ butts at Risk. But don’t go thinking I’m going to just start playing fleeting-yet-knowing glance chicken with the woman across from me on the train. If I’m going to play, I’m joining the premier league (Palmerston Cricket club can shove it). No soft targets for me. Here goes…

1: d4
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I, Garry with 2 Rs, address the universal and sub-spatial powers of Ironic Karma under the terms of the Shadow Proclamation. In the presence of God and this… internet and being of sound mind and body (well…) I do hereby affront you with the following assertions.

1) There is no such thing as romantic love – it’s all just a bunch of emotional nonsense and

2) There’s no way it could happen to me.

3) What could possibly go wrong?

4) You won’t get me, because you can’t, because

5) I’m too smart and too tough.

Love from Garry
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Your move, Universe.

I’ll keep you posted on the results, so please don’t feel like you need to come and ask me about it. And yes, on reflection that was more BBC than Hollywood, but the point still stands.

So until next week, and then again too, I imagine, this is me, David McGahn, reminding you that the world really is a David McGahn’s world. Sort of.




Garry with 2 Rs
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