I decided to set two friends up on a blind date. It wasn't my fault really though in hindsight better sense should have prevailed. In hindsight I should have just stayed curled up in bed reading Twilight (yes, unfortunately I still qualify for young adult fiction) instead of picking up the phone and calling my friend Maya. Maya has been my partner in rhyme for a year now. We have graduated from having random conversations at common friends' houses to meeting at our own homes, writing dark poetry together and singing old country songs. So yes, we are good friends in that sense. She forgives me my poetry and I forgive her her awful howling that she passes off as singing.
For sometime now Maya has been moping about the lack of a love interest in her life. Her moping was of such high calibre that she actually managed to do the improbable - motivate me to do something drastic about it. Hence the phone call.
"Hey Maya, what you doing?" I ask.
"At eleven in the night, what do you think silly? Ofcourse I am indulging in my regular," she replies in her beautiful husky (like she's just smoked her 100th cigarette for the day) voice.
I am almost scared to ask what that might be. Maya is not the most predictable girl on the block. She is emotional beyond repair. She has also been known to talk to lizards, drink tea with flower petals floating in the cup and use beer to condition her hair. And this is just before 8 am. People at her office are convinced that she is a closet alcoholic thanks to the strong beer smell that lingers in her wake so early in the morning.
"I am connecting with my ancestors," she continues.
Ah ofcourse, why didn't I think of that!
I launch into a long commentary about this cute ad agency guy I know whom I think she will like.
She has only 3 questions:
1. Does he wear ultra tight shirts with his chest showing?
No, I say.
Pity, she says.
2. Does he use big words which require that a dictionary be the 3rd person at the table? Sometimes, I say.
Well, he'd better tone it down a notch because I have only 2 chairs at my table, she says.
3. Is he good at acrobatics?
Huh, I ask?
I like guys who bend over backwards trying to please me, she giggles.
This was ill fated from the start. But as with a really dumb person who refuses to see light, I march on like an ostrich in denial.
The next morning I call the potential man of Maya's dreams-Sam, and after an exchange of pleasantries (which generally entails me hearing about his sexy neighbour, his bowel movements and his latest priest-nun joke and all of this not necessarily in that order), I get down to the business at hand. I tell him about this interesting girl I know whom I think he would enjoy meeting.
He has only 2 questions:
1. Is she a Cameron Diaz look alike?
No, I say.
Pity, he says.
2. Would she be interested in investing in a home theatre system at my place?
And why would she want to do that, I sigh.
Because it could just be the thing she needs to start thinking outside the box, do something that is risky and wacky and fun, he says.
I can literally hear him grinning across the telephone lines. Yeah sure, a random girl investing in his entertainment system was all about how it would improve the quality of her life...I could see how he so easily made ads that sold stuff to all us suckers! Besides, if you ask me, speaking to her ancestors was wacky and risky enough.
Since I was the one point contact, all arrangements were being made through me. Where to meet? When to meet? What to wear? How would they recognise each other? Should he kiss her hello? Should she kiss him goodbye? Should she flirt? Can he eat her leftovers? I was doling out advice like a regular Agony Aunt. Yes he should peck her cheek at hello but only if he hasn't munched on some onion just before. Yes she should peck his cheek at goodbye but only if he has not indulged in any of his bowel movement stories. Yes she can flirt but with some decorum please. Yes he can eat her leftovers but only when she's not looking. Wow, I was really tripping on this advice business.
I have no idea how the date actually went. I only know what I heard from the two of them, all contradictory, all worry some. And apparently the restaurant staff are still not giving their tables out to couples even 3 days after the 'incident'.
I get a call at 12 30 that night on my cell phone.
"He's the one," wails Maya.
I hear the beep for another call coming in. It is Sam. I put Maya on hold.
"She's a psycho," yells Sam.
I go back to Maya. "He's my dream man. I think I'm in love," she's speaking in a combination of a wail and a gush (a wush, perhaps? Anyway, not to be tried at home).
I put her on hold again and go back to Sam.
"She's like a rottweiler on a bad hair day," he complains.
"Rottweiler's don't have hair," I remind him.
"This one does!" he says emphatically.
I go back to Maya. "I've been trying his surname out. It sounds great with my name," she sighs. "Maya, I think you should take this slowly," I try to caution her. But it was like I was speaking to myself. "I even got up on stage and sang him 2 love songs," she confesses. "And because he left to use the loo soon after I started, when he got back I sang them again!"
My head was beginning to pound. "So what else did you do?" I asked as casually as I could though my heart was pounding in the way that it does when I know I'm going to be hit by a truck (my imagination of a high stress situation, just for the record, I have never actually had a truck hit me).
"We talked a lot. I told him about how I speak to spirits, and that I'd teach him how to clean up his aura. We held hands and stared into each other's eyes. I think he really liked me because he got real quiet at that point and then said he needed to speak to you urgently. Oh and I took your advice and kissed him," she said gratefully.
"Oh no," I said weakly. No point in me getting all agitated now. I needed to conserve my energy for when I met her next so that I could wring her melodramatic neck.
I put her back on hold and switched to Sam.
"Okay I know you have some strange friends but this one, uh oh, she takes the cake," he sounded seriously pissed off. "For one, she held my hand tight and wouldn't let go even for me to use my napkin. I mean I ended up using both knife and fork with one bloody hand. Then she stared into my eyes for what must have been fifteen uninterrupted minutes. Sometime later I heard her mumble something under her breath and it appeared that she trying on my surname for size. What the hell."
But apparently the worst was yet to come. According to Maya they shared a kiss, it was nice though they both had their eyes open. According to Sam, she tripped over the table cloth while hurling herself at him, all the dinnerware crashed to the floor, the remnants of the roast chicken flew up in the air and the Bloody Marys splashed against the walls. Just as he put his hand out to steady her (or perhaps ward her off, he's not sure at this point) she grabbed him for dear life and engaged in a lip lock somewhere between his lip and his nose, while still staring at him with beady eyes. He stared back with eyes wide open in horror.
I don't know whom to believe and so I decide to call the restaurant the next day for - yes, they lost 2 cocktail glasses, 2 dinner plates, some serving dishes and the patrons at the adjacent table on whom the roast chicken deposited itself. Could I please pay for the bill plus damages because the couple in question made a quick getaway after this fiasco. I ofcourse hang up quickly.
The next few days pass in a blur. Maya cannot understand why he won't call. Sam cannot understand why has he has been getting blank calls late in the night, though realization does dawn on him when he hears faint chanting in the background. Maya calls me in tears two days later. "Why hasn't he called? I thought he liked me. Has he said anything to you?" Sam calls me a few hours later. "Don't you know me?" he demands, "Don't you know the kind of girl I like? You set me up with a stark raving lunatic, you idiot. Thanks for nothing"
I longed for the days when he would share with me his terrible priest-nun jokes.
And just like that, in one fell swoop, I lost two good friends.
A couple of days later, Maya calls me all excited, "I saw him outside his office. His aura is looking better already." How is it that I missed this strange part of her earlier? Or maybe my aura was just dandy and she hadn't seen any point in mentioning it. I asked her how come she was around where his office was? I didn't get an answer.
Then he calls me a few minutes later. (A totally unrelated observation - They may be unsuited for each other, but their calls to me were never more than two hours apart from each other.) "I've had to get a new phone number thanks to the endless blank calls that have been coming every hour on the hour. Infact last evening, one of those calls was late and I actually went to check if my phone was working fine! If you give her this new number, I will tell everyone that you have a crush on my boss" he threatens. And that is a serious threat. His boss is a 65 year old huge lecherous man who is generally avoided like the plague.
Very cool, Sam. Blackmail is definitely the way to go.
Things cooled down after that. Maya moped around and cried and cursed me in general for not getting Sam to call her. I did the best I could to contain her distress - I told her Sam had been transferred abroad! Meanwhile Sam grudgingly came over home for dinner with some other friends of mine and gave me the cold shoulder until, lo and behold, he spied another cute guest. Then it was only a matter of a few minutes before he was running circles around this awfully cute girlfriend of mine visiting from the U.S. To cut a long story short, I now hear that she gets daily updates on his bowel movements and he no longer notices his sexy neighbour. And most importantly, I have redeemed myself in his eyes. As for Maya, we never wrote poetry again (Well, it's only been ten days, but I can see this trend continuing). It is my educated guess that she is trying to refurbish her own aura.
This has been a lesson to me. While I have been able to read people perfectly when it comes to my relationships with them, my super powers of judgement fly out of the window when I need to pair other people up. Maybe he will like her gardening skills and nasal voice. Maybe she will like his bike fetish and vegan diet . I always imagine that people will like what I don't. And they never do. Lesson learned!!