Politics, Due Diligence and Protocol

Election fever is upon us! Don’t you just love this!

For those of us who are puzzled by the fervour over politics and the recent online vitriol surrounding some candidates, it’s time to brush up on your modern history of our tiny island nation!

Some of the flaming arose from incidents during reservist or army events. Clearly army buddies and army life can feature greatly in a guy’s life here! Ladies, take heed! But really, how much remote due diligence can we actually do on a person that we’ve never met? And how much of that really matters?

Personally, I sometimes wonder how often we actually get to meet our MPs, other than shaking hands (or fist bumps now) once every few years at our hawker centre. Maybe that’s a good thing? Yet, we continue to take such unbridled and vigilant interest in their personal lives and conduct as if marriage was on the cards…

Speaking of due diligence on partners, this week alone, we’ve had past event participants (non-members!) streaming through our doors seeking a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Some seeking an outlet after months in Circuit Breaker. But most spoke about being ghosted after subconsciously waiving away any form of common sense when it came to what appeared to them as knights in shining armour. With large swords maybe.

One in particular, described in between sobs how she was led on but finally ghosted. She accepted, but never understood why her knight’s noble steed (a muscular Mustang which she never saw) was perpetually either at his parents’ place (whom she never met) or in the workshop for months on end, and hence his strictly MRT-only policy for their dates. Neither did she once meet his golden retriever that sprints freely so far across the home garden that the barking “cannot be heard”.

Our advice to her for next time?

Spend less time extrapolating too far or imagining what life as a lady of leisure would be with a person, and spend more time just being in the moment, observing and exercising loads of common sense. A healthy dose of scepticism is sometimes warranted.

Why don’t we do any form of character checks on event participants who are non-members? We do on very rare occasion turn away those that behave badly (or run into their ex-s) at our events, but we don’t go around polling people for character judgments as ice breakers, I’m sure you’d understand why. It’s a completely different story with our members of course, but we’re not at liberty to say.

Another lady (non-member too!?) was also upset, albeit for amusing reasons. For those of you who are new to the post-first-date-to-wedding adventure, there is a 5 step process, key to which is protocol. When you’re visiting the guardian or parents for the first time and you’re not sure what to bring, just ask the lady. Better still, explain sheepishly why you’re clueless till she caves in and just buys for you what is needed exactly.

Prepare ahead, don’t improvise unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, in this case, when she casually mentioned “some fruits”, she wasn’t expecting him to literally bring oranges (in a grocery bag no less, maybe he was expecting divine intervention). Thumbs up for precision and abundance, but points deducted because it wasn’t the legendary fruit of immortality from the mythical tree on Everest which bears fruit once every century that parents expect.

There were a few more that dropped by this week, but that’s a story (or stories) for another day. If there’s anything the Circuit Breaker has taught us, is that no one wants to be stuck at home alone. And nobody wants to be stuck at home 24/7 with someone you can’t stand either. So stop fantasizing or extrapolating how you and your partner would look like on Tatler or Instagram, or even who you “deserve” in life. Just seriously ponder about who would be happy putting up with your quirks at home 24/7.