My 27-year-old colleague was complaining that she had nine weddings to attend during the remaining 5 months. She is married, for those of you who are wondering. I am not, for those who are still wondering. I told her it was funny how I had to face this very ordeal when I was her age, except I was single was a fitting candidate for the Angoda ward for the mentally handicapped.
You know how the popular adage goes, ‘single and available’? Well, I was a little over the top. I was like dingy clothes store in Thimbirigasyaya that offered a 70% sale all year through and still did have a soul that dared to venture in. Later this became an ‘all items must go sale’ and that also the point I bade my sanity farewell. Now, at 32, I feel sorry for couples getting married; do they know that electricity bills are a monthly thing? Do they know the food doesn't magically appear? Don't dishes clean themselves?
1. When Lonely is Lovely
A decade ago, you would be bellowing because of the lack of a date. Weeping into a pillow, stifling sobs (or not) with a look of glazed mourning for weeks sometimes – but, when you're in your 30s, you are in throws despair because you succumbed into pressure and agreed to a date, but would rather stay at home streaming Modern Family gorging on Tipi Tip. The thought of being in public later than 9.00 pm on a weekend is enough to make you weepy.
2. Location, Location, Location
A decade ago, I wouldn't have settled for anything less than a swanky restaurant – I would Google enunciating words like Formaggio, escargot, and bisque because I wanted to sound worldly. Nothing would be nicer now that enjoy a single pot of biriyani from Rahumaniya and an all-too-red halved chicken washed down with a sweet lassi.
3. The Preps and The Props
When do we start preparing for our Date in our twenties? It's quite possible that it's 3 days before the said date. From detox diets to 72-hour fasts, and all the face masks we can pile on like putty before our skin starts dissolving, our preparations are quite something like a local Miss World pageant. Since we were relatively broke then, we didn't have the luxury of Fenty or Huda Beauty, and your prized cosmetics will be procured at Srina Palace and in a brown paper bag. Heels so high that the Nawam Maha perahara officials would have employed you as a stilt walker.
In your 30s, you look at your Ruby Woo in woe and sigh. You really ask if he is worth it. With a heavy heart, you apply an equivalent of Rs. 7,000 worth make up. You even ditch the heels and stick to the good old flats.
4. Men – New, Menu!
When asked what my biggest dating fail was, I remember being 21 and ordering a garden salad. I consumed it with all my bovine splendour because I didn't know that it was what an Ambewela cow on diet would eat. 45 minutes into the date, I was starving. Even he knew something was wrong, judging by the contents on my plate and the shot look in my eye because of low sugar levels. Now, I just ask for a large pizza and assure him that I am not sharing. I might even eat half of his kottu, while I am at it.
5. Sister Sleuth
Because of the lack of spyware – I mean, technology, I couldn't access his Facebook profile to know what he was like IRL. I wouldn't know that he took pride in posing with Johnny Walker. I wouldn’t have known that the only photos he ever double tapped were near nudes of Brazillian gym ‘babes’. It was like walking into Odel during a 50% discount – misled, touched inappropriately, and a total waste of time. Thanks to LinkedIn, I would know if we are professional ‘fit’. Facebook lets me know everything else. It’s important to know how close he is to your social circles, just in case things go south.
6. The Buzz
A decade ago, I would fret wondering if I will be interesting enough. Will he be bored? Will we have anything to talk about? Will there be awkward silences? It seems like all I did was magnify all my esteem issues in my 20s. Now, it seems like I’m the one who is perpetually bored. Don’t they read anything after their A Levels, you wonder? Will it be rude to give him a free annual subscription to LMD?
7. Mobility Matters
Sometimes, 20 minutes into your date you realise he is an utter sevaladasa – at 20 you panic. You had to depend on him for transport back home. You pray with stealth hoping he will not ‘accidentally' graze your knee because you’re too broke for a Kangaroo cab. Thankfully, at this age, if you're driving you have a vast range of fast and economical vehicles you can hire for your hastened getaway.
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