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When womanisers fall in love
Don Jawan

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July 13, 2007

Don Jawan is undeniably young and definitely single besides being what you might call a metrosexual.

And here's what he promises -- a fortnightly dose of exclusively male perspective. What do men really want? See if he can help with the answer.

I fell for a girl the other day.

Wipe that smirk off your face, this isn't a good thing. Especially in principle. Over the years, embittered by ridiculous relationships -- and watching close friends undergo unimaginably messy break-ups, or worse still, 'adjust' to painful 'better' halves -- I have willfully and cleverly chosen the single life, the carefree gait of a string-free, singularly well-dressed butterfly.

Sure, you could call meaningless romps lacking in long-term charm, but don't expect me to empathise. Women, those miraculous bundles of trouble usually accompanied by a fabulous pair of ankles or eyes, are each discoveries in themselves. Why cry 'Land ho' at all, when there are new continents on the ever-developing, miniskirt filled horizon?

Meet, converse, do more, rinse-repeat till pleasantly tired, and then sail on to the next -- well, so long as you make sure to not lead her on, not to hurt the discovery in question. For one, it's just not cricket to willfully cause someone pain, specifically one who cares about you. Secondly, there's that old adage about hell, fury and scorned continents.

That being the mantra, life's all about toppling off the wagon. Which brings us to line one in this piece, the confession that I was recently (Ahem!) smitten.

There, I said it. I met a fascinating, petite thing a few weeknights ago, and just couldn't get enough. We talked through the evening, common acquaintances dissolving conveniently into the background as our repartee occasionally spiked to Woody Allen-Diane Keaton levels. Which, of course, simply means we tried to be clever but, with matching silly grins, kept wishing our smashing banter came with Freudian subtitles. Still, footsie always rocks.

Anyway, the chick (with a nose to kill for, I kid you not) is tremendous fun. And halfway through drink five on date two, the dastardly suggestion slithers onto my unsuspecting head that I might actually want to try a relationship on for size, this time around. Hmm. Darn those distracting pheromones, I didn't instantly coil into a front-foot defence. She rocks, and this could just work. It's been a while, I said smilingly to myself, and this couldn't really be that bad, could it?

Oh yeah it could, that smug bastard Hindsight sniggers callously in my ear.

The man-woman thing is all about balance. With the precision of a racing driver, you have to instinctively find the perfect line (through her curves and her... ah, that's an analogy that deserves a whole different piece), and then play with its limits. Go aggressive, fall behind, keep things loose or tight as needed. Some girls want a knight, some a night. You have to play your cards with 007ian self-assurance, leaping from cad to cardinal in a heartbeat. Therein lies, young reader, the thrill of the chase.

The issue with being besotted, of course, is that you trip headlong over your own shoelaces. Suddenly, I cared -- about everything. Scanning text messages for subtext, wondering what she meant when she replied too quick, or too late, and then trying hard to decipher all the conversations -- why she mentions her love for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, gauging her level of laughter at what you consider a particularly witty routine, and whether she really cares that much about her pet tabby or is just being wonderfully, inappropriately euphemistic.

Smoothness, ha! A very distant cry indeed as the drone finds himself obsessing, fantasising, wistfully smiling to himself. And losing all control and coherence as the grin spreads lethally wider. Suddenly there are expectations, there are little moths in the stomach, and you're taking five times as long to get dressed for dinner -- where you're taking five times as long to... well, lets just say you're really taking your time.

When in a fix, your oracular abilities go for a toss. I was desperately seeking counsel from my closest lady friends (never, ever, take a man's advice when it comes to relationships) who all seemed to react in the same fashion. They sat back with a smug smile, sipped their lattes and told me, with their best the-hunter-becomes-the-game phrase, that the tables had turned. Damn.

That I had it bad, though, wasn't the worst part.

The absolute pits was the realisation that while I knew I was just setting myself up, I was, um, enjoying myself.

As I said, it'd been a while. Nervousness, like that on the precipice of a drunken bungee jump, brought forth a phenomenal adrenalin rush I'd all but forgotten. There was a heady excitement to the smallest bits of communication, with me smiling like a loon at the tiniest, most optimistic assumption of innuendo. I was anxious and eager and jumpy and all over the place, and I was loving every minute of the head rush.

Concerned male friends well in tune with the mantra nudged me hard, but it wasn't helping. Things seemed doomed to merrily delusional settle-down relationship mood, as I dialed her number yet again. The adventures were slated to end.

Thank heavens then, for the cool, all-seeing light of breakfast.

One mammoth, post-coital omelette down, and voila! Clarity! As I type this piece, pretending I'm working really hard on a financial report, she's pottering around in a tiny t-shirt, looking stunning. And while it's great and I dig her, sense and reason have briskly returned. All is well with the world, even if we don't meet next week. Phew.

Chat with Don Jawan on Wednesday, July 18 at 1 pm.


Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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