Sunday, March 15, 2015

Conversing with a Woman

FD recently moved in to a flat with two women. FD is the only guy I know who can manage such feats and be absolutely nonchalant about it.

I confided to him my interest in “both” his flat mates. And the good man that he is he agreed to ‘wing’ for me. We just had to wait for the opportune moment.

And so suddenly a few days back I get a message from FD. It read- “Man if I wing for you any more I’ll probably start flying!”

Turns out that I came up in a conversation with one of his flat mates. Something to do with books. FD casually mentioned that I was one of those guys who read a book a week and that immediately caught her interest. “He’s kinda cute and also looks like he’s read a lot. You should call him over sometime.”


That chance happened yesterday. FD called me over for lunch. It was already 12PM and I was planning lunch with colleagues when I got the message. He said that he’d give me a 30 minutes heads up. Okay, cool, so I got to wait. “Patience” is my virtue.

About 2:15 I get the next message saying that I’d better eat something light as lunch would be really late. Great! So I ‘lightly’ gobbled up two biryanis. During lunch I get a message saying come over anyway and that he’d organize something. So another lunch now? No problem- I’m Mr. Flexible.

It was about 4PM when I got there. I walk in to this lovely scene- the sunlight coming in through the balcony and this very pretty lady sitting on a couch reading a book. FD has his camera hanging around his shoulders and he’s shooting her.

Now how cool is that? How I wished I was the photographer. Every girl loves to be photographed. And if you’re a pro like FD is then it just scores you so many more brownie points.

And this guy FD has a way with women. A true gentleman, he’s always soft-spoken and well behaved. He also takes great care of himself and is always on the top of his game when it comes to looks and style. He’s charming, mature, amiable and has a great witty sense of humor. He knows how to make conversation (especially with women- something that I have perennially struggled with!). And this guy is “winging” for me!

So I sat there opposite her. I could have sat there the whole evening just looking at her. But that would have looked odd it would. I get a message on my phone. It’s FD telling me to talk about books. Oh yes! That was my key!

So I asked her what book she was reading. Sheryl Sandberg’s- ‘Lean In’, she replied.  So to carry on the small talk I asked her what it was about. And then the dam burst! She explained that it was about the feminist movement and how women need to take on more responsibility and how there aren’t enough women at the top in the corporate world and how women don’t get equal pay as men and why is it the women’s responsibility to raise children and you know blah blah blah. She went on and on. Man- this chick was really passionate about this stuff!

Now I know that chicks dig humor. So I was looking for an opening to say something funny. But how do you say something funny about the feminist movement without sounding offensive?  So I carried on a serious conversation. I must have come across as a bore.

She must have got bored because after a while she broke off conversation and moved in to her room. FD and I had some work to catch up on and so we went about that. A little later she came back out and was observing us working.  I hope that at least came across as cool!

She suggested we go boating. FD asked me if I wanted to go and I nodded my head with an obvious expression on my face (don’t worry- she wasn’t looking).

So we went to the lake where we could hire peddle boats. We had to wait a bit for the boat. While waiting we saw some guys fishing in the lake. They were pulling a fish out and almost immediately throwing it back in. It was ridiculous! She enquired as to what they were doing and of course I had to act.

Now these fishing boys were Tamil boys. So I enquired what they were up to. “Oh nothing, just having fun.” Armed with this information I hoped to dazzle my lady. As I revealed it she just said- “Oh!” and went back to staring at the horizon.

The peddle boat came and I shoved FD to the back. “You have to take photos”- I told him.

So the pretty lady and I began peddling the boat. I let her steer the boat. She was peddling too fast and I was using up all my reserves just to keep up. We settled in to a rhythm soon thankfully and from there on I could shift my focus from the peddling.   

 And now my thoughts turned to striking a conversation with the chick. I said the obvious things. “Wow- this is beautiful!”, “I didn’t know this could be so much fun”, “Oh- the breeze” and stuff like that. My mind was searching for something to make this interesting for us but she just kept mum.

And then suddenly she opened up. “FD look at that bird!” I wanted to scream and say- “Hello! I’m here too! What the hell?”

And FD looks at the bird and says- “Ya, that’s nice. I used to do bird watching long before. Note down the different species and stuff like that.” To which she enthusiastically replied- “Oh ya? That’s so cool! I used to do it back home too!”

Now the only kind of bird watching I’m used to doing is a very different kind of bird watching. I don’t think that would have scored me any brownie points.

Oh well okay- so this chick likes birds. And so after that every time I saw a bird I would go- “Wow guys look at that!”  And they would just look up and say something like “Oh!”

Finally the tortuous boat ride was over. We got back home. She said she had to catch up on some stuff and went back to her room. And FD gave me a ‘what do I do with this guy’ look.  

Anyway FD and I went back to finishing off our work. As I took leave she was back in the living room. I told her I was leaving and she smiled.

I came out thinking nice- I at least got her to smile!