8 pm. Starving. Sitting on a comfortable couch at the favorite dinner place, I go through the menu.
Mozzarella, tomatoes, bacon, smoked chicken & mushrooms
That sounds perfect bacon AND smoked chicken, but not really a fan of mushrooms; so maybe something else.
Tomato puree, capers, kalamata olives, garlic crumb, bell pepper, fresh red chilli & fried sprats
I know olives, but what in the world are “kalamata olives”?! Too bored, too lazy to actually google for that. Anyway, one shouldn’t have to google the ingredients, should they? That’s just cruel.
Served with yoghurt & saffron gravy on a bed of steamed rice & stir fry vegetable
I have read that curd and rice, with a generous helping of honey’s bee was (is?) pretty popular in the ancient Sri Lanka; or so R.L Spittle has had me believe. I am not too sure if I can stomach it though. Why should I go for that when I have so many other options here!
Scouring the pages until the stomach groans and grumbles in protest, I decide on one dish that ticks off all my requirements. Mac & Cheese: gooey, filling and comforting. Something that I know.
In the wake of all the dating apps that has Colombo being swept off in waves, I can’t help but wonder where this is going to lead us. I know for a fact that if I were to look for someone through an app, I would have a checklist in hand, and then go through each profile ticking off one or the other, looking for that person who ticks the entire list; which, frankly, would end up with me having zero people I actually like.
For me, finding that special someone had always been an experience. Where you happen across a random person, you see them walk and talk and be themselves – and then one day, they have grown on you. And you didn’t even know. I wonder how this could happen with an app where I go out with the intention of looking for someone; where I consciously evaluate the people I come across as “potential partner material”; where I, consciously or subconsciously, would formulate a preconceived opinion of each individual and build expectations on them before even laying my eyes on them.
So I meet this person I am “matched” with. Both of us come to the table knowing this is not a friendly chat – this is an evaluation for potential partners. So we pretend. We make a sales pitch, we try to convince the other that we are top commodity while evaluating their worth in the process. And in the back of your mind is that long list of “matches” that you have; an insurance that allows you to bolt the instance something doesn’t tally up with your checklist, without trying to talk and resolve the issue – or even figure out if it is a deal breaker.
It’s not that I am unaware of its advantages. It gives an opportunity for like-minded people to meet. I suppose this would be the perfect ground for looking for singles – but therein lays my problem. I have discovered that I am rather bad at deciding what I want out of my partner – while I am aware of his traits as a whole in terms of open-mindedness and other such ideas that I think are generally preferred – if I were to look for a partner on a dating app, it is more likely than not that I would completely ignore my now-partner. See, the way he would describe himself, while true, does not include the little traits he has that makes me love him. If I were to write my profile, it would be a lot like “Reader. Avid Potterhead. Obsessed with kids. Hoping to help at least one fallen bird unto its nest”. I am pretty sure my now-partner would have shaken his head and passed right over me. Because, according to him, he has fallen for me for things I didn’t realize I do or am; for the compassion that makes me tear up at the slightest thing, for the opinionated woman that stands her ground in face of adversity, for the excited squeals over candy floss and for the hands that are open whenever he wants to be held.
It endlessly fascinates me that this process of dating apps has us labeling ourselves and objectifying each other that we would dismiss people based on a few words. It is both scary and entrancing for me.
This is really not about bashing dating apps. I am sure it would work for some, just like it wouldn’t work for some; just like in any form of courting and attempted relationships. All I know is, it is definitely not for me. Being the self-proclaimed perfectionist that I am, I would not swipe right (is that what you do?) unless I found the textbook/checklist guy – who I am pretty sure, in hindsight, neither exists nor is the one for me.
I am not a very adventurous person when it comes to food. I tend to have a few favorites which I will frequent day in and day out. I don’t want my relationships to be like going through a menu. Because I have come to realize – when someone else orders something I have dismissed as “not my piece of cake” – that I am rather bad at judging something based on limited information.