Quantity is underrated…

Conventional wisdom suggests that quality trumps quantity. I imagine it is an MO that ‘makes sense’: identify a few high value targets, focus the scare resource of time and energy on them and (hopefully) maximize the potential reward.

Louisa May Alcott probably spoke for everyone when she had Amy say in ‘Little Women’

You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one… if he’s the right one

The only snag in that little argument is that this is based on the implicit assumption that one knows in quite precise terms what/who the One is; and that this definition is pretty much static. In real life, I suspect that the who/ what is continuously evolving, such that truly knowing what that entails is an iterative process. One then, must of necessity, date in quantity to gain a better understanding of the ‘market’.

Update: If the ‘Science’ is to be believed, twelve is the number… Clearly I have a lot of catching up to do.

First there was MG

My earliest memories of growing up are inextricably bound up with the dirty brown house on 4th street, brick red sand and Di, or MG as we would grow to know her in our adult years. It was the summer rainy season of 1988 and the sun in all its gory beastliness was baking us all, turning our days into long drawn out battles with boredom, exacerbated by excruciatingly boring teachers. Us boys lived for the bell, the harbinger of our short and long breaks, an all too brief salvation from studying. I was barely eight years old, but I was fast making a name for myself as a nerd; complete with very thick lenses, a voracious appetite for non-academic reading and an extreme love for solitude. The only physical activity I engaged in was the odd football kick abut where I was about as useful as a goal post. I often got sentenced to playing the goal keeper, where I was as much likely to play a wanton pass as concede a daft goal. It was an age where competition hadn’t become second nature to us though, so it wasn’t often that a gaffe was punished beyond the pitch.

Amidst the boredom, the quotidian joys of growing up and doing the things little boys do, MG stepped into the picture. After one more religious riot than her father could stomach, her Professor father decided  to call it quits and head back home to our little University town to relaunch his career. We were the beneficiaries.

At first it was a shared love for books – Enid Blytons from the Famous Fives to the St Clare books  – and then it was all the other stuff; Maths, Sunday School, the school’s debating society, quizzes and the like. She ended up being a big-sister figure. She had the calm head to take charge on more than one occasion when things might have gotten out of hand between us lads.

Somehow down the years she and I stayed in touch – even though at some stage it was across an ocean.True to the anecdote about girls maturing faster, she ended up wanting more at a time I was scared to commit.

The rest as they say is history – she fell in love with a bloke, married him and are living their happily ever after.. … In retrospect, she was the one I met too early.

In which I (vaguely) remember the Girls I Never Kissed

There is no better incentive to reassess the landscape of one’s failed loves than watching re-runs of NCIS on TV on a Friday night. Something about being slouched in a lazy boy chair, empty bottles of beer to one side and the TV remote on the other, stands in marked contrast to what typical Friday nights are meant to be – maelstroms of revelry, getting hammered and possibly getting laid.

It might be the beer, or the strange attractiveness that the geeky goth Abby exudes, or a certain feeling of kinship with the stereotypically potrayed super geek McGee, but I seem to remember a lot less women than I expect. From teenage love interests, through cousins I almost dated to the slightly zany types – and a couple of Friend With Benefits, I suspect that my history with them would make interesting reading….

Maybe one of these days, when I am in a better frame of mind, I’ll debrief myself.. And download whatever details I still can remember.

Web Reads… 27Feb2011

  1. The Queen advertises for a dish washer to come on staff… My local MSP wonders if they’ve not heard of a dish washing machine.
  2. The WHO drills down into the alcohol stats.. Apparently alcohol killed more people than AIDS or TB in 2010.. Sobering..
  3. Understanding the story.. Thirteen perspectives….
  4. Brain chemicals and dating.. A primer.
  5. Teju Cole’s ‘Open City’ hits the shelves… The New YorkerThe Daily Beast and The Apostrophe weigh in with reviews.
  6. The kid named Facebook..Ostensibly its a testament to the impact FB had on the Egypt Revolution.. Hopefully, the kid doesn’t get a lot of stick for the name though..
  7. There’s an app for that… Tracking relationship changes on Facebook gets the Web2.0 makeover….. SMH..
  8. Web mourning?
  9. Help for the blokes – wristbands that warn of potentially PMSing partners.
  10. Bringing faiths together by cuisine.. The Faith and The Hot Dog show..

Stuff About Some Women I still Don’t Understand..

Things about some women I still don’t understand…..

  • How they manage to go from hag to wag in twenty short minutes on bus 23: Each day I get on the bus, I am treated to a minor miracle. The ladies – and they are the same ‘offenders’ in the main – unfailingly whip out their boxes and mirrors and get to work. Within the space of a short bus ride, the transformation is complete. Several brushes, colours and peeks in the mirror later, they are virtually unrecognizable. Just why that couldn’t be achieved at home before hopping on the bus beats me hollow though.
  • Why odd coloured shoes make it into the aso-ebi list: Last April, I was hounded well nigh to death by purple shoes. Thing was a good friend of mine had to keep up appearances attend some function  – the specifics of which escape me. The clothes were done and dusted – only problem was that purple shoes were required. It just so happened that purple shoes were out of stock in all the shops she knew to check, and yours truly was called upon to devise a solution. Needless to say I failed woefully – not through lack of effort  as I even went the distance of setting up a conference call just for them shoes – but due to the sheer absurdity of the choice of colour. My theory is that the first women who had aso-ebi’s had major shares in a shoe manufacturer and chose odd colours so that the shoes could not be re-used thereby guaranteeing increased revenues!
  • Why some people think lime-green eyeliner works on their ebony-black face: Whilst quickly looking through lounging on   amebobook the other day, I stumbled on a picture of some random chic with lime-green eyeliner. You know how a friend of a friend comments on a picture and amebobook somehow manages to put them onto your news feed in all their gory glory – that was it. Granted it was in the spirit of the Nigerian Independence celebrations, and people had to pretend to be patriotic by wearing green-ish stuff, but surely there were mirrors at home… and in the rare event of there not being mirrors, friends and family could have alerted said chic to the incongruity of the eye-liner?
  • How they manage to still feign surprise over stuff they knew would happen anyways: The ladies at MO Corp have banded themselves into some sort of fraternity. Ladies-only lunches, baby club discussions (at my desk no less), and the ‘official’ baby shower for the pregged ladies on their last day of work. Its all well and good to have baby showers – great pizza, us blokes get to leave a wee bit early on a Friday and all, but I never can quite get over the false sense of surprise them ladies seem to muster. I mean, its standard practice that you’ll get a baby shower. Expect it, and spare us the excessive oohs ahhhs, and the drama! arghhh…
  • Why you wear ‘six’ inch heels to church and then take them off midway through the service: I am an ‘apostle’ of functionality which is why them ladies who wear six inch heels and then take them off midway leave me worried. Surely, the shoes can’t be so uncomfortable that they can’t stay on for two and a half hours only?
  • Why you manage to tear up ever so freely in church: Every time I get the misfortune of being sat next to a particular young lady in church, I groan inwardly. Problem is not that she’s got a massive dose of BO, but that she manages to contort her face in so many twists and turns that I’m left wondering if I am safe. 90% of the time, she’ll cry during the worship – often times that is the precise moment I am discreetly reviewing my twitter timeline, an indicator of just how bored with the whole experience I am. It really is just the worship right?I have a sneaky feeling, that it might be more than just the worship, perhaps she is remembering what Bro Okon did the night before…

Sigh…

PS: No hard feelings.. To the friends I have called out.. I owe each of you a purple shoe…. In the year 2150.. 🙂

Right Girl, Right Time, Wrong Context… Or Not?

The following is an attempt to be coherent at 3.45am. If the logic is fuzzy, the imagery abstruse and the conclusions bother on the insane, blame it on reading Malcolm Gladwell into the wee hours of the morning!

In response to my rant/ sobfest in March about losing my friend Di, LoloBloggs pointed me to a post in which she argued that the right girl, wrong time argument was merely an excuse to prime women up for the inevitable future break up. Whilst that may be true in some situations, in one of those not-so random brain waves, it crossed my mind that the rightness or wrongness of the argument was peripheral to the fact that it fit the observed data for a reason – it is pragmatic!  A further thought was a what-if, what if there exists a third dimension that when coupled with the right person and the right time serves as a useful predictor of how likely a person-connection is likely to proceed beyond the realms of casual acquaintance-ship? I would like to suggest that that third dimension is that of context.

Consider context as the sum total of the extraneous – if sometimes subtle – influences of the where and the how of the first meet-up on how we relate to the people in our social network in the future. This sounds like a fuzzy definition, but unfortunately the real world isn’t quite as pristine as that of Newtonian physics; as such we will have to make do with that definition for context.

In general people associate certain places with certain things and these perceptions colour how seriously we consider the people we meet there.  For instance, brothels are associated with quick and easy no explanations transactions, places of worship with ‘seriously’ religious people,  libraries –  and to a lesser extent these days classrooms with people of significant academic interests, the person who regularly listens to Opera and stage plays as possessing a certain refinement, the workplace with career focused people and the like.  The how of a meet-up is also of importance – I for one would be less likely to trust someone I know routinely fails to deliver on project deliverables than one who does – even if it has no bearing whatsoever on their personal lives. Thus I think context is critical.

There is a problem though with context and the associations that feed it. These associations are typically person specific – some blokes might be more likely to be close friends with someone they meet at a weed selling joint than one they met at church, fluid and ultimately subjective, and I doubt it is possible to accurately characterize these associations for the general population. Context whilst thus critical is thus coloured by our perceptions, which are in turn largely an acquired taste.

Perhaps, people connections are designed to be fuzzy and mysterious. After all the question of what constitutes the right girl or man is open to a myriad of definitions and counter definitions. Some would even argue that is an abstraction, spawned by the endless bombardment of our hearts and minds from childhood with the drivel served up by the likes of Hans Christian Anderson, Enid Blyton, the Brothers Grimm, the Pacesetters for our African children and in our latter years by the wide range of chic flicks portending to convince us that there is The ONE out there. Thankfully, the question of the right timing is a little less convoluted, but that does not in any way make the entire problem less of a probabilistic nightmare.

Context then is of utmost criticality and is subjective – neither right nor wrong- just different. The critical question then would be could we as individuals know our own ideal context, or is it locked in the deep recesses of our subconscious minds? Gladwell quotes various experiments in Blink that seem to suggest that there is both a conscious and a subconscious dimension to the dilemma. The most poignant one would be the speed-dating example.  Bottom line is when we meet people, we thin slice them and ‘what speed-daters say they want and what they are actually attracted to in a moment don’t match’. Perhaps there is a reason I patently distrust  e-harmony after all and why I junked my spreadsheet after all those years.

In conclusion, Context is critical, but subjective and part concious, part unconscious! My advice? Get your love on anyway!

Twiddling Thumbs…

She popped up on my IM window today – the first time in months that she has. In an oddly unsettling way, it seems odd that she appeared. Odd becuase a mere few months ago, we were seemingly inseparable. I was caught in two minds – to buzz her or not… Truth is there was never any closure. All we had was a slow drifting apart as we each sought to focus more on our own things…. In theory, we are still normal – still friends, still confidants – the only difference from the days of a somewhat burgeoning friendship being the fact that life has happened, and squeezed the ‘thing’ I thought could grow into a dry lifeless crust.

It’s life though… As the French say C’est La Vie…

Not pining.. Just saying…

Moments like these, when insomnia induced by deep thought strikes, are when the harsh reality of the things we try to suppress often come to the fore. The overwhelming desire of my heart and my hand is to pick up my phone and call long distance. But my head – ever pragmatic – intervenes, short circuiting the commands and forcing me to think.

I wonder if she remembers me, or if indeed there is someone else making her laugh, hearing all her foibles and making her giggle at pointless jokes and wise cracks into the wee hours of the morning.

Drifting apart..

BG called me today. There is clearly a drifting apart here. The bulk of her talk was based on the rash of people who’ve ended relationships in the last few weeks, including a number of close mutual friends.  My cousin Ella thinks there are self esteem issues involved here and that I needed to reassure her of my 100% commitment.
She and I are drifting apart… I just know.. Sigh.. 😦