Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Love and Comedy...

There’s been much discussion on Twitter about dating, by people responding to my tweets about the same. I’ve mentioned Savage Hearts a few time, mentioned previously on this blog, because I’ve been toying with the idea of subscribing for a little while just so I can read what messages have been sent to me, and maybe bounce some back. It seems to me that if I want to find someone with similar interests I should seek people within those circles rather than hoping to cross paths with them elsewhere. At least I’d feel a bit more as if I was on familiar soil. Better the devil you know and all that.

The thing is we all sit in the centre of a Venn Diagram with multiple circles intersecting over the top of us. Like Google + circles, we can be part of all manner of groups that don’t immediately have any connection aside from your own presence. So, for example, I’m part of the Geek circle, specifically circles dedicated to certain comic books, to board games, to a handful of role playing games. I’m also part of the Rock Music circle. I’m a part of the Goth circle (admittedly, right at the edge - my musical tastes are all muddied so that’s true of a lot of circles). I’m part of the Tarot Card Collector circle. I’m part of the Graphic Design circle. I’m part of the Writing circle. I’m part of the Drawing circle. I’m part of the I’ve Got Kids circle. I’m also now part of the Comedy circle.

Where do you begin finding someone who has ‘the same interests’? You can’t expect a perfect overlap, can you? Some common ground and some differences to keep it all fresh then. But where? How?

Let’s touch on comedy again. I was at an Edinburgh preview last night, and saw two acts (and, as a result of joining the ‘Comedy circle’ spent the evening sitting and drinking with Mr Nick Doody - @NickDoody on Twitter - who is a mostly behind the scenes comedy writer). The two acts were two lovely ladies who, in their own way, brought my single simple life to attention.

First up was Tiffany Stevenson, a regular at The Phoenix and currently on ITV’s ‘Show Me The Funny’. I’ve seen her quite a few times, and am quite familiar with her act, so when she was looking around the room for stereotypical geeks I knew what would come next. I wasn’t expecting her to pick me, and she even acknowledged I didn’t look like a typical geek (probably because I didn’t have glasses on). “What do you do” she asked. “I’m a graphic designer,” I said. “Are you single?” she asked. “Yes,” I said. “Good!” she said “Because I don’t want you to get distracted by being in a relationship. I need people like you to deal with my IT problems, to sort things out when they go wrong.” She phrases it better. She’s had longer to work on her act. What I’m saying is she’s a professional (sorry, that’s an in-joke in itself. It may be only me that sees this blog post and gets that).

There was also a bit about the ticking biological clock and the need to have kids. Her show ‘Cavewoman’ is all about how mankind has evolved, if indeed it has at all. I suppose now that I’ve got two sons it’s perfectly acceptable for me to no longer get involved in messy relationships. My clock is no longer ticking. In fact as a geek I can now devote my time to fixing clocks, or the many other things I’m able to do to ensure society doesn’t crumble around us.

You can find Tiffany on Twitter - @tiffstevenson – but try to catch her on TV too. The show is an interesting study in how comedians handle crowds and find material to work with. And Tiffany is one of the better acts. I may be slightly biased as I slightly know her, but there you go.

The second act was Roisin Conaty (@Roisinconaty on Twitter). Her act was a little less prepared, and as I’ve not heard it before it hasn’t stuck in my Peroni lubricated brain quite so well. But she spoke about being single. It’s weird, I can’t really quote any of her act, but I remember her words making me smile because of the scenarios I recognised, then gradually feel a bit more melancholic and reflective, the smile sort of slipping slowly from my face. I think that means her observations were pretty much dead on target. Sometimes it’s not always so great to hear, although it’s nice to know there are people going through the same sorts of thing.

There have been a few female acts I’ve seen at The Phoenix recently talking about being single. I suppose hearing a woman, particularly a funny intelligent woman, talking about being single causes a knee jerk reaction somewhere in me, first thinking “Aw, that’s sad…” then “Hey! I’m free!” Hah! I’ve never acted on those sorts of things. Or, you know, that could just be me and any woman. Heh.

It reminds me a little of an advert I saw in the cinema yesterday, for an Anne Hathoway film (‘One Day’?) in which the guy is saying how he was secretly in love with Anne’s character when they were younger and at school together, but then he acknowledges that he was secretly in love with most of the girls at the time. I think that’s kind of accurate in a lot of people’s realities. It’s possible to fall in love every day. There are lots of intelligent, funny, attractive people out there. But ultimately you’ve got to find the one special one who does something the others don’t, who feels the same about you, who you can live with, who you’re not going to be tempted to kill somewhere down the line. The other intelligent, funny, attractive people you get to keep as friends. That’s the deal.

I’m a sucker for a romance story, as long as it’s not too cheesy. I was in the cinema yesterday to watch Beginners before the comedy night out. It features Ewan McGregor as a graphic designer in his late 30s, stumbling into a new relationship. “Falling in love with a girl again,” he explains to his friend, expressing his confusion at how these things all work out. It’s a cool film, and I kind of wish that reality reflected art and that a graphic designer in his late 30s could randomly meet a quirky girl at a party. Although if I wanted to play it exactly by the rules set out in the film I’d have to wait til I was 38, both parents had died, and I was dressed as Sigmund Freud and carrying a dog.

That might be a little excessive, even for me.

(sorry, weird font and spacing issues here - I'll try to sort it out later)