Monday, March 27, 2006

Friends of a friend of a friend...

(and other round about ways to meet people)

The other night my girlfriend, Chi, was joking about what invisible sign she must have on her head that tells other people to set her up. It would seem like each time she goes to a friend's party someone inevitably suggests and invites her to another party where she can meet a specific, single guy. I can understand her feelings of annoyance. For the next one, she wants me to come with her. At this age, (though hesitant) I'm game because I figure I have nothing to lose. We just have to make sure to set up some signals to bail each other out if things get weird.

I may return the "favor" and ask her to come with me if and when the opportunity presents itself. A colleague of mine came up with the idea of me making friends with a colleague of hers. He's married but she seemed to think he could help me out. That was a couple of weeks ago, so I wasn't sure if she was serious about following through. Then today, I received this e-mail:

"I talked to my friend Dac about you. He has some apparently quite eligible Chinese-American friends. How should we proceed? I told him simply to put you on the invite list next time he has a party, and he says he's not having one anytime soon! Let's talk about this. I told him you were somewhat shy and I didn't want this to be a weird thing, but there must be some social event coming up soon where you could meet his friends."

So maybe I should explain all the reasons this is weird which may not be obvious. Friends many times removed is awkward enough because you don't know what they're like and what they're friends are like. I'm kind of geeky, what if they're all "bananas" who drink and play golf? Secondly, my colleague lives on the East Coast. It's not like she can accompany me and help make the transition to introduce me to these folks. (Yes, I know I'm a big girl and should be able to take care of myself.) It's just scary to go to a place or event where you know absolutely no one. And lastly, how are they going to introduce me to people when they know nothing about me? This is where all my lack of socialization as a child really pains me. (Lately the news has been talking about this newly discovered condition among children called 'selective mutism'... well that's going to be me.)

I know my colleague, Lips, only means well. On business trips I've shared my frustrations and disappointments over dating and relationships. All my co-workers think well of me and want to see me happy. It's difficult for me because virtually all my co-worker are either older and married or around my age and just getting/gotten married. It's sad at times to feel "alone" when we're out dining. Lip herself didn't meet her husband until she was 35. She's had a good life. She's incredibly sharp and has a quirky side to her personality that you can see in her choice of accessories. She understands where I'm at right now and wants to help.

So, I wrote her back and said we should chat by phone about this. It can't hurt... I suppose that's my mantra these days. I'm sure Dac and his wife are good people.

When it comes to dating, it's hard to accept "help" sometimes because it feel like pity. As an independent and self-sufficient person, it's annoying to feel helpless.

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