Q. I’ve been trying to find friends on Tinder, but everyone I talk to seems to think that I only want to sleep with them. Help me out?
– K. Das
A. Most people like to think of Tinder as the supermarket for singles. You go up and down aisles, picking up the ones you look and swiping off the ones you don’t. Assume you are going to the market to buy avocadoes – you’d buy some, but then you would also end up buying cilantro. And maybe, even some jalapeños. (Side note: hey, maybe you are making some guacamole. In that case, call me over for dinner?) At the same time, some people come to only buy jalapenos. Or Oranges. Or Apples. Or even toilet paper (well, you get the gist.) Finding a friend is like buying jalapenos when you want to buy avocadoes at the supermarket – you don’t decide to, it just happens – unless you end up buying half the hypothetical supermarket, in which case you might need a therapist or just a break from Tinder. Different people want different things, and there’s always a high chance you’d find someone who wants to buy the same thing you do (to make guacamole). All this supermarket analogy aside, here are a couple of questions you have to ask yourself.
Do you have a half-naked picture of yourself up as your display picture?
Are you flexing your biceps in said picture?
Have you ever asked anyone to come over for some ‘Netflix and chill’ without even knowing what Netflix (and chill) is?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are finding a friend on Tinder is going to be more difficult than trying to read the news without having a snippet about Kim Kardashian in it. You just can’t help it. Continue reading Love And Other Drugs: Volume II→
Have a pair of printed pants lying in your closet deeper than that homophobic second cousin of yours? Never know which way to wear the prints? Do you think that wearing the pants is a sure way to commit fashion faux pas? Think I ask too many questions?
The GuyStyler tells us exactly why printed pants are the ‘in-thing’, making sure that he gets all the fine print while he’s at it. (And I, on the other hand, give my wisdomous (if that is such a word) insight alongside, because hey, that’s what I do.)
“Printed pants have always been that one crucial piece of clothing that scares every man, second only to the form-fitting white t-shirt (The Guysexual’s side note about printed pants: we would like to put a disclaimer that this also includes gay men (or just me). ‘Those pants and that shirt? What were you thinking?’ – that’s the story of my life. Back to you, fashion expert!)
I mean I can’t tell you the number of times, I’ve been given “the look” when I’ve gone to a gay night out wearing printed pants. It’s funny but true – just like the fact that I have more shoes than I can wear, or worse, accommodate.
We’ll let you in on a secret. The trust is that a pair of printed pants just helps elevate your party look and takes it to a whole new level. Imagine a pair of beige linen pants with black Aztec prints all over them. Now team it up with a black shirt and a black blazer. That’s super hot and gives you that right amount of edge, without the need for any fairy godmothers, hypothetical or otherwise. (Goodbye Disney, we’ve got our own show running, thank you very much.)
While we are on the topic, here’s another fashion hack, just cause we like you so much. Tartan print is something that never goes out of season. The best way to wear tartan is to go for the same print combination for the blazer and the trouser so that you get a classic print-on-print look. (Disclaimer number 2: Sometimes this might be too much for a straight man to handle, even a gay one at times. So team it up with a white shirt, brown suspenders, a navy double-breasted jacket and brown brogues.)
If you are feeling slightly adventurous, you can experiment a bit more by going for polka dots, houndstooth or even paisley prints – like we say, it’s not fashion if you don’t dare to do it. (Okay, I said it.) In the end, the key is to make sure that the trousers are well fitted and made from a heavier fabric so that they don’t come across as pajamas.
Still confused? Here are a few lookbook references for you to take cues from. Go crazy!
It’s a blind date, but I can recognize him anywhere. I’ve been told we look alike, but Thirteen, a writer with twinkling eyes is younger, brighter and happier. How do I know?
He’s waving at me across the station – dopey grin with a cornucopia of curls – and also I’ve only spent the last two days guiltlessly stalking him on Facebook. I laughed out loud with his status updates, sighed at his vacation pictures, pondered over his notes, judged his check-ins, scrutinized every freckle on his face, every friend on his list – well, you know the gist. His life is an open book. I am surprised by how minimal his privacy settings are. Do you know that one quirk we all adhere to?
We keep our friends close, our enemies closer, and our Facebook friends closest. Do I want other gay men to know who else I am flirting with? Our friend lists are like our little black books: full of old conquests, exes, one-night stands and those standalones whom you occasionally flirt with on messenger but have no intentions of meeting. Would I share my address book, lay it out bare? Not at all. It’s an unspoken rule: Hide your friends like you hide your prescription meds.
‘Hi!’ says the boy, he sounds breathless. How long was I breaking the fourth wall?
‘Hi!’ I grin back, full of hope. He was in the neighborhood, I was in the neighborhood – we decided to make the most of it – plus it makes a great story to tell. The greatest love stories begin at train stations.
‘Do you want to take this one?’ he asks, pointing at the train that’s just pulled in. Waves of people rush past, but we don’t lose each other. At least not yet.
‘Lead the way,’ I say.
His work as an intern with a reputed tabloid – writes blurbs and whatnots – helps him earn a byline every now and then. There is a lot of ‘go get-me-some-coffee’ and ‘did-you-call-that-celebrity?’ or some ‘have-you-written-the-review-I-asked-you-to-write?’ if he’s lucky, but he’s always wanted to be a writer and he knows that’s how writers start. I cough involuntarily. Is that what he really wants to do?
He wants to write stories about food – talk about it the way people talk about love – all-consumingly. Taste is an emotion – can a bit of chocolate tart give you butterflies in your stomach? Do you whimper with pleasure when you dig into a portion of freshly made Eggs Benedict? If your answer is yes, He is the right question.
Wait. Has he seen Ratatouille?
‘Everyone asks me that,’ he sighs. He loves food and even though he’s only a home baker, it is – hello,when do we get married?
He laughs aloud, and tells me I am funny.
He’s telling me the perfect way to bake brownies (Let your eggs sit out of the fridge for a half hour before baking. They ensure that the brownies are gooey, and have a delicious crust) when –
‘You should come over for dinner sometime, I cook really well.’
Would there be brownies? I ask. We both giggle. A horde of travellers gets off the emptying train, but we don’t move apart.
It’s difficult to discern whether you’ve made an impression on someone when you are being closely watched by everyone around you. A hundred pair of eyes. His are large and expressive, full of hope that I am too scared to crush.
‘Can I tell you something, you promise you won’t tell anyone?’
Uh-oh. I don’t like secrets that I can’t share.
‘The last time I went out on a date, I almost got mauled in an auto rickshaw,’ he blushes. I laugh loudly. The men around us are not amused. What did he do then?
He pushed him away (The him-in-question being a feisty television producer quite like number Eleven), jumped out of the rickshaw and never looked back once. Every gay man is a collection of short stories. Snippets shared over unlimited sangria and cigarette breaks or discussed behind dinner plates and closed bedroom doors. He is an anthology.
The train ride ahead is full of them – an S&M loving architect who designs celebrity homes. A thirty-something media mogul who has a weakness for twenty two year olds. A young fresh-faced doctor who had his first kiss at the age of twenty-one. If I weren’t in a northbound local back home, I would have thought I was auditioning for an episode of Gossip Girl. I take my chances and tell him so. He scrunches his eyebrows. Did I say something wrong? Did I lose my chance?
‘Are you team Blair Waldorf or team Serena van der Woodsen?’ he asks. I sigh. I think I should just go buy him a ring.
He’s heading off to London in two months. Is he now?
Yes, for a writing program – and then he can kiss the internship goodbye. It’s going to be so exciting- the pubs, the food, the clothes, the English life, the aww’s instead of the aah’s – can you believe all the tea and scones I will have?
‘You should come visit if you are in that part of the world,’ he says to me. The train screeches to a halt in unison. I’ve never appreciated a signal so much.
It might be too soon to tell him that I am broke, but I know that he’s going to go places. Over the next couple of years, he will finish his Masters degree, work with a popular food magazine, start his own blog and get his heart broken multiple times. But where do we start?
On cue, a disembodied voice tells us that Bandra is next. Are we there yet already?
It’s time. One of us has to go. ‘Do I see you again?’ one of us asks. It’s a pity that the two of us have different destinations to head to. The other one nods.
He beams as he gets off the train, and waves at me through the sea of faces that separate us. I wave past the faceless men and women, as the train pulls at my heartstrings. The others fade away, he doesn’t.
He texts me later, saying that I had him at hello. So did he, I almost tell him.
I never hit ‘Send‘.
The Date-o-meter: 8/10
Does this have a sequel? : Yes.
If this date were a song, it would be: ‘Wonderwall’ By Oasis.
Where: The White Owl Brewery and Bistro, Lower Parel
When: 9:30 pm onwards, Saturday, 21st November 2015.
Why: Cute boys, great music, and these beautiful cocktail deals that make us weep with joy and break into Broadway performances of ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’. What else can one ask for on a Saturday night?