Anyone who’s been a date recently will know that it’s a cruel, vicious world out there. If you thought the slave gladiators fighting the lions in the Coliseum had it rough, you’ve not had to deal with the pain, humiliation and sheer nervous stress that come from spending a few hours with someone you like. And might possibly like a lot more if he/she would only agree to go on a second date with you.
It’s especially worse for women. For some reason, bum dates just seem to wash off men. It must be a superior genetic code encoded in our DNA that was left over from our cave days. “Bad day hunting for a mate? Not to worry, just go across the valley and club one over the head and drag her back by the matted hair. Oh, and while you’re at it, can you bring back another mammoth? We’re running low for winter. Cheers, darling!”
But give a girl a bad date and she falls to pieces.
“Why hasn’t he called?” Saffy screamed the other night. It was a full 48 hours after her first date with the delightfully named Bip Lim. Which, as Amanda pointed out, was not unexpected. “You can never trust someone whose name sounds like a Korean appetizer,” she said firmly.
Apparently, Saffy’s trolley had crashed into Bip’s in the spice section of Cold Storage. She took the location of the first meeting as a good sign. He was, according to Saffy’s breathless description, tall, well built and impossibly handsome.
“He’s an ABC!” Saffy said, her eyes shining. “Do you know how rare it is to find an unattached ABC in this town?”
“Sorry, is that Australian or American?” Amanda asked.
“American! He’s incredibly sexy. Have I said that already?” she Skyped Barney Chen who immediately asked if she was sure Bip didn’t bat for the other team: “Because in my considerable experience, ABC men who are tall, well built and impossibly handsome are…well, me!”
Saffy replied that the entire time they were chatting in the supermarket, his eyes were glued to her breasts. Amanda pointed out that meant nothing, adding, “Arthritic dogs can’t take their eyes off your breasts. I sometimes can’t take my eyes off your breasts!”
I really don’t need to tell you the rest of the story. If you’ve ever been on a date, you’ll know the scenario by heart. But for those of you innocents out there who still believe in fairy tale romances, sit up and pay attention to these cheat notes because you’re going to need them one day.
Bip asked Saffy out on a date. She spent the next week in a state of extreme sexual tension. She bought a new dress and borrowed Amanda’s Jimmy Choos and Bottega handbag. She had a facial, manicure, pedicure and a head to toe Dead Sea mud body exfoliation. Four days before the date, she stopped eating any solids and by the evening of the date, she was exhausted, malnourished but thin.
The instant she got back from the date, she disappeared into Amanda’s room where they went over every single second of the evening, covering everything from what Bip wore, to word for word recitations of what he said and what his facial expressions were as he was saying them.
The next day, Saffy kept her handphone glued to her side and checked it every two seconds for a missed call or a message from Bip. By lunchtime, she was a complete mess.
“He’s probably busy in meetings,” she told Sharyn.
“He’s got a very stressful job,” she Facebooked all 345 of her friends.
“Maybe he lost my number?” she asked Ah Chuan, our cleaning lady.
“You don’t think he’s been in an accident, do you?” she asked me.
“I have a really bad feeling about this Bip Bam Bong,” Amanda muttered after the first 36 hours had come and gone without a squeak from Saffy’s date. “You’d think though that she’d recognise the signs by now. This isn’t her first date!”
But here’s the thing: dating is a bit like giving birth. It can be so freaking painful. But once it’s over, and you’ve recovered, you kind of forget how icky it was the first time round. So you go again. And again. It’s not that you never learn, but I figure it’s nature’s way of making sure you keep dating, when the natural instinct is just to stay home for the rest of your life. Otherwise: hasta la vista to the human race.
Saffy says she doesn’t care. She’s decided to grocery shop online.
She’s also been crying a lot.