I made the first move
I made the first move.
A few things happened in the lead up to this decision. The first was dinner at Jenny’s house. It was a Saturday night and we were gathered around the table lamenting life. This never happens, kidding- this always happens. There we sat- 3 beautiful women, a half drunk bottle of wine nestled next to the salt and pepper, a soft breeze blowed through the wide glass windows and Cape Town night life ran amock below us, when Jenny asked Theresa this question:
“So, how many carrots did you throw this week?”
Wait, what? The question confused me. One moment we were having a pleasant dinner, the next we were throwing things.
Apparently, my friends updated me, throwing a carrot meant showing a boy you were interested and providing them with something to work with. They had challenged each other to a carrot throwing contest- minimum 3 a week. This is what had come of our lives. “Join us Fran!” they said. Because I love being single (I really don’t) I agreed- blame the wine.
The second thing that was brought on my big move was a stupid Hollywood movie. I know, I too, thought I was to wise and savy to fall for those emotional tricks- clearly not. I was sick, you see. When I’m sick I swing between two emotions: depressed and suicidal. As I lay in my bed, the perfect candidate for Hollywood emotional gumph, I contemplated who I should betroth my one asset (my car) to? It was a tough choice, after all my Dad bought it for me so if I was entirely correct he should get it back.
I gave up and decided to ease the pain of being alive by watching a movie. I had one movie option on my (work’s) computer- it was Good Will Hunting. Seemed safe; it wasn’t. It’s not even sad, but I cried. Why, you ask? Here’s the thing: Sean Maguire, Robin Williams, found someone who challenged him and touched his soul. How he describes his wife is precious. How did he meet her? He walked up to her in a bar. This struck a nerve. In my flu riddled state I felt alone. I felt convinced I would never ever recover or if I did I would end up a crazy cat lady passionate about crochet.
Despite the odds, I actually did recover from my illness. I went back to work, but the memory of Robin Williams in the bar lingered in my mind. Come Friday Jenny sent the follow up message: “Hey girl, how many carrots?”
None. Gulp. Embarrassed. I didn’t want to throw any carrots. But I also really, really desired a back massage, home cooked meal and a lot of pillow talk. Especially at that moment.
It was time to get serious about this carrot throwing thing. The next day I made my move.
It was legs day. I was at the gym stretching in Studio 2. I looked like a sweat drenched troll, but let’s leave that out for the sake of the story. In walked a guy (Andrew), soccer player body type, blue eyes, white head phones and a big smile. I looked up- I could wrap myself around that like a clip on koala bear I thought. This was my chance. I walked up to Andrew and introduced myself. “Hey, want to do a plank off?” Andrew removed his headphones.
“What did you say?”
“I’m challenging you to a plank off.” This was possibly the most interesting and terrifying thing that had happened to Andrew that week. His eyes grew big. He wiped the sweat from his brow.
“Uh, you mean we both plank…” “And see who lasts the longest- yes!”
I should have known better than to challenge a boy who looked like he spent more time chiselling his abs in a week than I do in the kitchen in a month. Andrew won. Marginally, I like to think.
Before you get all excited, I don’t know if I found someone who challenged me and touched my soul. I (marginally) lost a plank off and some ego, but I felt good about it because I was brave. Also, I did my part to challenge gender stereotypes.
In society today we’ve go to a point where women are leading international corporations and demanding equal pay. They are leading the world’s most influential nations, but afraid to ask a guy out? I sat and thought about this for a bit. Are we holding onto old gender roles because we are afraid of emasculating guys? I asked around- all my guy friends said they were into girls asking them out. Apparently, it’s hot.
I’ve decided I like the idea of both genders initiating things and asking each other out. Before you raise defence consider this: our generation is creating the norm for our children. Why would we want to perpetuate something which places women in a position of less power? How often have you heard women complain about being single and men who won’t take action? Wouldn’t it be great to change things so it's OK for women to ask men out and give women more choice when it comes to love and relationships? I say yes.
Basic Maths, here are the potential situations:
Option 1: Male likes female, Male asks female out. Female likes male back- Match. (WIN!)
Option 2: Male likes female. Male asks female out. Female doesn’t like male back. (LOSS).
Option 3: Female likes male. Female can’t do anything. Female hopes male likes back. Female over analyzes signs for 3 years while she waits for male to notice her, gets depressed and loses hope. (MAJOR LOSS!)
Or Option 4: Female likes male. Female asks male out. Male notices female. Likes female back- Match (MAJOR WIN!)
Option 5: Female likes male. Female asks male out. Male isn’t into it. Female is sad for a bit and moves on. (LOSS, but not MAJOR LOSS!)
Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of good ol’ fashioned chivalry, but it doesn’t have to be a rule. Our world is changing and its time to let go of ideas which aren’t taking people’s lives forward. What came of my big carrot throwing move? Well, I think Andrew has a girlfriend, but we talk in-between push ups and occasionally I wave at him from across the gym with a cheeky smile because he was my first victim and I’m proud.