The Seven Components of Dating - Monday, 6th October - 2003

Hey Gang.

I went on a date two weeks ago. (That’s right! A date!) Or at least I think it was, I still don’t know. I broke it down into seven components, which will hopefully bring new understanding to the mind of a single guy, and aid relationships around the world. 


I perform at Netip, a huge southasian event. Good set all around. The plus side is they give me passes to all the after parties. I’ve got nothing else to do. I figure why not.

I go to the party only to realize I know absolutely no one, and everyone appears to be five drinks ahead of me. People making out on the dance floor. Girls look thrashed. I’m about to leave when I recognize a girl who was at the show earlier. Normally I’m pretty shy. However, I’ve been drinking, and because I just started drinking like a year ago, I have this abnormally low tolerance level and act ridiculously foolish. I approach. We talk for two minutes when her friend almost collapses. She’s about to make a hasty exit. Alarm bells go off. GO! GO! GO! I whip out “the card,” man’s true best friend.


A week later I get a voicemail on my cell phone. It’s her. Bang. The message is cryptic. She reminds me of our meeting, but adds the line, “I’m just calling because I think you’re a good contact to have.” What does this mean? She’s in dental school. I’m a comic. How am I going to be a good contact? Do you need me to tell jokes when you drill into a patient’s teeth. Like any good detective I bring the message to my female friends for analysis. One of them tells me, “She thinks you’re going to be famous. She wants to have you in her repertoire of friends.” The others say “She’s into you but she’s doesn’t want to say it outright.” Which one to believe. Only one way to find out. I make the call. “I’m coming back to Philadelphia in two weeks. I have to visit family but will be free for dinner.” She answers, “yes.” There is no family. Who cares. I’ve got a date.


I’m on a train back to Philly. Two weeks before this “meeting,” I put myself through the most rigorous exercise regime ever experienced by the human body. I run five miles a day, lift weights, and endure a macrobiotic diet. I also buy a $60 shirt at Kenneth Cole. I look at myself in the window reflection. ”I am a dating machine.”

Enter God. My train breaks down, and I lose two critical hours. I leave her a voicemail but the damage is done. “My uncle’s 60th birthday is running long.” (lame excuse) I call her when I reach. Big moment. No answer. I wait a half-hour and call again. NO ANSWER. I have just spent four hours traveling to hang out in some strange city by myself. I don’t know anybody. It’s Sunday so everything is closed. I’m walking down the street with forty-bucks in my wallet. I experience a self-realization moment that I’m living out a Billy Joel song.


I end up at the Hard Rock Café. I order a banana split, a chocolate cookie dough pie, and a piece of chocolate cake. The waiter is disgusted by my order. I overeat and there is chocolate all over my face. My phone rings. “Hi, it’s me. I was waiting for you and fell asleep. Are you with your friends?” Let her have it. Dig into her. “They just left. Weeeeell... sure why not!” I suck.


We go to Dave and Busters video arcade. I’m hoping for a miserable time so I never have to come back here. It’s turns out to be great. She laughs at all my stupid jokes, but most importantly she is an extremely fun person to be around. The whole time I’m thinking “How the hell did I pull this off?” We play a lot of video games and over the course of the evening we save 251 coupons, which you can redeem at the prize counter. (Just 100,000 coupons short from buying the digital TV.) We buy two miniature decks of cards, and she lets me win a game of Rummy.


I call her once, telling her I had a good time, but she doesn’t call back. Not going to be the aggressor although I wonder what is going through her mind. Does she have a boyfriend? I look for her in Google, thinking that perhaps she too has a website, and a journal entry I can read.


I pick up the phone many times but do not have the courage to dial. I write a letter. I don’t have her address. I consider calling her, and reading it out loud on her voicemail.

Philadelphia Girl,

Sorry that it has come to this. Either you are completely swept by my charm, lost my #, e-mail and website address or maybe we didn’t hit it off. It’s ok. I had a great time, and hopefully we can continue to be friends.

Your pal,


Please call/e-mail me if you need some jokes. 
Tarun ShettyComment