How and Why
The problem: Washington, DC is a brutal landscape of men puffed up by power – or the tangential proximity to it – who are rewarded for their abominable behavior by a testosterone heavy male to female ratio that would make Russian men jealous. A single, straight girl has little chance of stumbling upon love on her own in such an environment.
The question: Can I find love (or lust) within six degrees of separation? I have asked my global network of friends to aide me in my quest to find an answer in the form of a suitably straight and single man.
How: Go on 50 dates by June 2010. Results to be chronicled here for your eyes to see and bellies to ache with laughter.
Why: Why the hell not? Or, more to the point, because I have love to give and lips worthy of kisses.
The email that started it all:
If the subject of this email hasn’t intrigued you, then maybe my request will at least amuse. I am asking for your help in matters of the heart. I would like to go on 50 dates by June 2010. My general distaste (read: trepidation) for dating websites coupled with my belief that the spirit of Indian matchmaking is sound has led me to choose a more personal route. Indians are keen on making matches amongst known families. People they can verify, monitor, or ultimately terrorize and ostracize if things go badly. A kind of Googling meets the Godfather, if you will. This arranging of love has proven itself through many a happy match in my family. Yet the questions asked by my family matchmakers are ones that have found me nothing but misery. So I turn to my global network of friends in a quest to answer the question – can I find love within six degrees of separation? Maybe not, but a date and a drink would do nicely for a start.
Will you find me a date, well, 50 of them, by next June? This is a group effort and there are many of you, even if these days it does not feel as if there are many of ‘them’. The criteria: I’d like the man to be straight and single. That’s it. (A friend said recently, ‘Geeta, let him be handsome.’ Fair enough) In Washington, DC, ‘straight and single’ is already asking for a fantasy man. Seriously though, please don’t worry your pretty heads about mystery indicators of my compatibility with some guy. People routinely marry the man or woman least likely to have caught their eye initially. Furthermore, my primary goal is not love and babies. Rather, I just need to start spending time in the world of single men and see where that leads. Maybe one of these dates will know of a guy I’d like or I’ll introduce him to one of my single friends. At present much of my time is spent with couples and their babies, which is NOT the way to meet single, straight men.
As many of you know, I’ve travelled the world and my list of ex-boyfriends looks like the UN General Assembly. Some of you also know my recent spate of dreamy men who have wooed me but left me waiting by my iPhone hoping for an email from Buenos Aires or Bologna. A man on this continent is probably best, but I travel a lot so New York and the East Coast, Chicago, northern California, etc, are all options. Even if he lives abroad, if he travels through DC, great. If we can meet somewhere else on the planet, also great.
One clarification on the ‘straight and single’ point. If you think, for example, that a young Republican who does opposition research, never travels, speaks with an aggressive American accent and looks like he might suffer from scurvy is my ideal date, then maybe we need to discuss our friendship, and your judgment.
I thank you for reading this through and for any help you can offer to make my nights a little less cold.
The follow-up email:
Thank you for the plethora of encouraging responses to my request for 50 dates. If I can find a man half as fabulous as my friends, I will be living a fairy tale.
I’d like to offer a few points of clarification after receiving questions/comments from many of you.
1. What kind of guy? A wise and well-trained friend (she’s a shrink) astutely pointed out that the only guidance I provided was negative, i.e. what I didn’t want. Words like Republican and American were used. The result? My first date was both. He happens to be lovely and I’m pleased to have another prejudice proven false. I do love Jane Austen, after all.
Nonetheless, a few words about a suitable match. Though we needn’t match in expression (that might be explosive), I do need a man with a passion and sense of what he wants in his life. Sharing passions is great – travel, literature, languages, architecture, cooking, dancing, music, tennis – but having one is key. As for culture, I’m a mixed breed. A desire to understand this is welcome. Finally, at my core I believe that until you’re dead, things can change. (After that, just hope you get to be a queen, not a cockroach, next time around ;-)) I enjoy a witty cynic, but nothing is more depressing (and ultimately inaccurate) than a person convinced that the status quo is all there will ever be.
2. Some of you have forwarded my request to friends. Excellent. This is the point of digging six degrees deep. I’m open to meeting friends of friends of friends. I hope I inspire the single amongst you to attempt this experiment.
3. The website – About 10 minutes into my first date, it became clear that a blog would be unethical and tasteless, pseudonym or not. I have asked you to consider entrusting your friends with me. I cannot repay you or them by tattling. So, I will not be providing live reports of my impending liaisons. But, there are many aspects of this adventure that can be shared, and will still provide a laugh, I think. I’ll be updating frequently. Enjoy.