Kgomotso Matsunyane

Have you met my friend...?

2008-03-27 08:48

Kgomotso Matsunyane

I've recently been quite the cupid. One set of friends I introduced at an art fair, and the "hook up" was completely unexpected as I really did go there for the art. I can only claim 50% for the second hook up, which was suggested by a friend who met my friend and thought she'd be great for his friend. A couple of e-mails later and we're all sitting in a restaurant and bonding, so to speak.

Without embarrassing either of the parties involved, all I can say is that the evening was a "success". I use the word cautiously because to say it is early days would be the understatement of the century. But while it seemed like a great idea at the time, I'm all of a sudden suffering a panic attack - what's going to happen when/if it goes pear shaped?

My friend will have to tell me all the gory details about him, who has now also become my friend, and then I'll have to manage two sets of friends who can't even breathe the same oxygen anymore.

You would think I should know better by now because I've been caught between feuding friend couples before, and it's never pretty. The first instance worked itself out okay because the female friend was much more communicative than her ex, and he was not the type to call and chat about painful things like divorce (especially knowing that I'm friends with his ex madam), so we eventually just organically grew apart.

Grey Areas

But just recently, I made it clear to another splitting couple that I was not going to take sides, as they are both my friends after all. I offered a shoulder, an ear and even a mouthful of advice, but I would not get involved further than that.

Some would argue that giving advice is tantamount to involvement, so what I mean is that I didn't want to have to offer derogatory opinions about the "offending" party, because the unfortunate truth is that some of my best friends really are dogs. The problem is this: the "offended" have an unfair expectation that you should automatically take their side.

Well, unless dude or dudette was beating you or having nookie with all your cousins, it's not quite that black and white. In my experience (and yes I'm generalising grossly here, but bear with me), in general, women love to be the victim - of men's callousness, cheating and general miscreant behaviour.

Are men really more badly behaved than women in relationships? Possibly, but my general rule of thumb is that there are three sides to every story; his, hers and the truth, as the saying goes. Not one person is all-good, and not one person is all-bad.

Admittedly, there are some people in Pretoria Maximum I wouldn't necessarily care to meet, but you get my drift.

Risky Business

My new policy on these matters is that once introductions have taken place and adults have made their decisions, I don't want to know about it.

It is very difficult because we women love to distribute a good romance story, and I've discovered too that men cannot help but to "share" (read "boast") about their sexual conquests. So, between friends, neither chommi is allowed to complain to me about the other.

And if they do, I reserve the right to remain neutral.

Bottom line, in the irrational, delicious, capricious, early stages of romance, when the endorphins are pumping so hard as to render one certifiable, and when habits that appear cute but will ultimately, inevitably decline to "MUST you breathe?" level of annoyances, playing the matchmaker between friends is seriously risky business.

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