Tuesday, April 11, 2006



How to date the perfect match.com ...

I went briefly back to Pedraza for the milk sucking lamb dégustation with some of the usual suspects (this time Persepolis, Honorary Caliph, Malinka, and Honorabile) plus a young visitor from Little Cuba, Miami, US of A.

The conversation was in cruise speed after the morcilla plates had been left empty and when the time had finally come for the crispy blonde skin of the cordero lechal to be spoilt by the cracking fork. (Hereby producing a neat sound akin to the almost metallic echo of the crème brulée flat crust being smashed by an inquiring spoon).

Almost inevitably there is a moment when the subject discussed could be loosely labelled “relationships”, to use the Industry term. How boy meets girl; how a recently acquired bachelorhood (in a mature man) is such an aphrodisiac commodity in the world of ladies of a certain âge; how a recently acquired divorce (in a woman) is such a high mountain to climb before attaining again the plateau of matrimonial bliss; how girl meets boy. That prompted our Cuban-American co-guest, Aguillera, a major in Sociology from UCLA, to talk about the latest craze, even among teenagers, of “profiling” oneself for the Matchdotcom sites where you can date electronically.

We agreed that apart from technology there is nothing radically new here. The preliminary profile is the modern equivalent of the brief description of a prospective dating friend one makes to the benefit “of the other side”. The chatting on the net is very much like the draft self-CVs one does when engaging dialogue for the first time. And then there is the actual moment of truth when your e-mail or Match-dot-something correspondent suggests a non-virtual real life encounter (still pre-dating, to use American terminology).

Does it take a lot of or any courage at all to suggest the fundamental shift from a virtual to a real life relationship. I defended that when one was an adolescent-to-young-male it took a hell of nerve and guts to probe the dancing/dating availability of that girl on the other side of the room. Always ready to find fancy pseudo-Sociological terms I called it the “Crossing the Ball Room Ability” (COBRA). A guy has to have some COBRA in him or he will never get there on time to snap the multi-propositioned girl. In those yesteryears of Alfa males prowling for females you really were putting yourself on the line each time that you would, so to speak, cross the ballroom.

The Caliph said he was good-looking enough in his youth to snake himself into really beautiful, grade AA+ girls, and even boasted of award winning beauties, no doubt an indirect tribute to the excellence of the lamb and accompanying wine…

Persepolis told us of a charming, rich and boarding school-educated young fellow who went all the way, in Internet first, from chatting to a possible marriage in S.Petersburg. The chemistry of the words exchanged for months in a row was not enough though to overcome the disappointing reality (the photo was very flattering indeed and there was a little son on the ground, who had never been e-mail- mentioned before).

Malinka was not convinced about the supposedly exceptional merits of the direct physical approach and insisted that the courage to turn a virtual relationship into a fixed meeting with a time and a place was in fact a form of COBRA itself.

To summarize the argument, there was in the end a consensus that one has to overcome the fear of rejection if one wants to achieve anything. Too much worrying about face saving will never get you near the peaks. One has to be daring and self-confident when engaging the “Enemy”. Some falls might be ridiculous and real ego-bruisers but in the end Audaces Fortuna Iuvat.

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