Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Old Age Benefits

Dating is so easy when you’re in your twenties. You go to a party. Meet someone cute. Ask them out for a coffee. Maybe a movie. Followed by dinner. Another meal and before you know it, you’re a couple. If you’re the girl, you get to cast pitying looks at your single girlfriends, and if you’re a guy, you get to carry your girlfriend’s handbag in public.

Of course, if it never gets to the movie or dinner stage because there’s just no chemistry or you find her laugh very annoying, it’s no big deal. You call up your friends and head out to the next party where you will probably find someone interesting. And the process starts all over again.

Then one day, you realise that you’re spending a lot more time at home on the weekends. And when you can muster the energy to drag your sorry ass off the sofa to go to a nightclub, you find that everyone who is even remotely interesting is chatting to someone else and not even looking in your direction.

And then you notice something else: everyone is younger than you are.

And you notice something else: you’re no longer in your twenties. But everyone else is. Which then makes you wonder if this is the reason why you’ve not been on a date since the first season of ‘Lost’.

See what a vicious downward spiral it is?

“God, imagine what’s going to happen when you hit 40!” Saffy said the other day while examining herself in her new dress in her bedroom.

On the bed, Amanda looked up from her latest copy of Vogue. Her eyes narrowed. “Why did you just use the word ‘you’?” You could feel the temperature in the room drop a few degrees.

“It’s a generic term!” Saffy said hurriedly. “‘You’ doesn’t mean ‘you’! It means ‘us’! Like ‘you’ and ‘me’ ‘us’! We’re nowhere near 40. Well, I know I’m not. But my point is,” she went on nervously, “when we hit 40, the dating pool will have literally dried up. And we’ll all die of dehydration!”

“So, you think I’m going to still be single when I’m 40?” Amanda asked, her eyes now the size of narrow slits.

“I’m going to shut up now,” Saffy murmured. “And try on this new dress.”

Amanda, never one to hold a grudge in the presence of a new outfit, instantly brightened. “When did you get that? It’s so pretty!”

“Oh, I got it at a Club 21 sale the other day. You think I can afford Armani on my salary? I thought I needed something nice to wear for my date but it’s so hard to find time to shop these days so I really had to rush over on the weekend and battle through all the aunties and this one I had to really fight hard for I’m babbling aren’t I why are you looking at me like that Amanda say something please you’re scaring me oh Jason help…”

The other thing about dating when you’re no longer in your twenties is that you now understand why people who get stuck up on an icy mountain, dying of starvation, eventually start eating one another. It’s a matter of survival: if the only thing standing between you and another night of going insane with hunger is your best friend’s forearm, you put aside your vegetarian scruples and start chewing.

“I have not been on a date for so long!” Amanda moaned much later when she’d had a moment to overcome her sudden fit of jealousy. “I don’t think I have it in me anymore to keep fighting for a date.”

“Didn’t you go for dinner last week with that lawyer?” I asked.

Amanda sighed. “Oh God, all he did was talk about his stock portfolio and SMS all night. If he’s like that on the first date, and mind you I was wearing vintage Versace so there was a lot of cleavage showing, what’s he going to be like two weeks into the marriage? Which leads me to think that maybe he was gay.”

Two days ago, we received a big fat glossy envelope in the post. It was a wedding invitation from our friend Jessie.

“What!” Saffy yelled.

“I thought she was still single!” Amanda shouted.

“Seriously? That four-eyed midget? How did that happen?” Saffy vented, really getting into the spirit of the occasion.

Things have calmed down a little since then, especially when Sharyn pointed out that there are always single eligible guys at weddings. “There’d better be,” Amanda threatened.

Saffy says Amanda’s mood swings are killing her.

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