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That's Life

Dating rules are not cast on stone, it's every girl for herself

Mapula Nkosi That's Life
Young couple hugging.
Young couple hugging.
Image: 123RF/Mark Adams

I love lazy summer days - you get to visit all the old friends you have been too busy to check on during the year.

So, this one special day during the festive season we were having a get-together with a few friends from my first workplace.

This is a group of ladies with whom we became more than just colleagues over the years as we have shared flats, survived going on holiday, even opened stokvels that rose and fell without letting money break the bonds between us. We became more like family.

After ticking off the important boxes of asking after our families and career developments, the topic soon veered towards the men in our lives and we had quite a good chuckle when we discussed the useless rule of first dips that can bring about havoc in friendships.

As a group of ladies always going out together, the rules of nature dictate that one day we would all flock to one club or party and inadvertently have two or more of us attracted to the same alpha male in the room.

The rule of first dips between friends stipulates that the first one who zones in on the talent that she likes declares it to the group so that the rest of us should dare to show even remote interest in the guy. Her declaration of intent means the guy is off the limits to those of us she beat to the draw.

Murphy's Law being what it is, more often than not, the brothers would usually go for the ones who did not declare first dips on them, unwittingly putting friendships to the test.

For years two of my friends were not on speaking terms and only reconciled years after my tall curvy friend declared first dips on a handsome poet who kept on glancing at our table at an open-mike session.

To be fair it was clear to all five of us girls that the poet was locking eyes with one of us who had declared him a no-go area to the rest of the troupe, and we all thought this little love thing would work itself out as the night wore on. That was not to be!

The trouble started when one friend, emboldened by a few ales, declared to the two of us that she too fancied the brother and she was going to break the golden rule.

She declared her own deep connection with the poet.

"She is not my mother's child, so why should I spare her feelings?" she said, as we powdered our noses in the ladies' room.

Indeed, as the most outgoing of the group, by 2am she was in deep conversation at the bar with the poet after she had befriended him in the smoking corner earlier.

Then it was left to the rest of the group to sort out the mess as our other friend felt betrayed that "a sister" could so brazenly break the first dips rule.

Years later, it was all water under the bridge and the two 'love' rivals reconnected.

Now we all agree the rule was childish in the first place and not even remotely realistic and, through our more mature haze, we are able to laugh at ourselves for taking the rule seriously back in the day.

Then another friend confessed to another first dip disaster: "You haven't lived until you meet the object of your crush doing the walk of shame from your flat the next morning as he sneaks out of your best friend's room.

"The same hunk you declared first dips and your 'dear friend' was giving you tips on how to sink your nails into him."

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