The Set-Up Debacle

The set-up: it is the manacle around the necks of single people everywhere. It seems like every married, engaged, or seriously dating person out there has a friend, brother, son, or 2nd cousin seven times removed that they know and he is just perfect for me. Invariably, I let myself be talked into going out with this “perfect for me” guy because, well, I’m a single woman and single women don’t generally like to be boy-less. Society, my ovaries, and my mother keep screaming “single is bad” and so I find myself willingly agreeing to be set-up. Yet, I should know better. Generally, when I go out with the “perfect for me” guy, I find myself wondering what my friend must think of me if the sorry excuse for humanity I am trying to be polite to is my friend’s deluded view of who I should swap spit with, let alone have children with.

After having been on the receiving end of five tortuous set-ups (and one where I thought we mutually had a good time, he left a message, I left a message back, and I guess he tragically got leprosy and could no longer pick up the phone to call me again because they don’t have phones or fingers in the leper colony and that’s the only possible explaination), I had no desire to ever inflict a set-up on another human being. In fact, being mean enough to set-up a friend never occurred to me until a few weeks ago, when I temporarily lost my mind. I must have been drunk or maybe I had an out of body experience, but regardless, in a moment of sheer stupidity, I initiated a set-up. It was a rather disturbing moment in my life: my eyes looked across the table at a guy friend of mine, my “down with singledom” biological instincts kicked in, and my mouth went, “so I have this friend…” All the while, my brain screamed “NOOOOOOO! CLOSE MOUTH!!! STUPID, STUPID MORON! STOP OR IT WILL BE TOO LATE!!!!” Before the message registered, the deed had been done. Male Friend had heard about Female Friend, and he was interested.

I swear all I said was that I thought they would have fun together. But, obviously Male Friend has never been on a set-up (or has blocked out the tragic experience). He immediately started into Phase II of the Set-Up Routine: The Questions. (Phase I being the part where the imbecile friend, meaning me, opens her mouth)

Q: What does she look like?
A: Um. I don’t know. She’s cute.
Q: That doesn’t help. You all say “she’s cute” and that’s code for “I’m not giving details.” How skinny is she?
A: Um, she’s not fat. (All the while thinking the F*ing bloody bastard should die for even asking that…but then again, he’s a boy who thinks with his “little brain” so butts and boobies are important while wit and child rearing instincts mean nothing to the F*ing, F*tard scumbags that are Males in Heat)
Q: Is she her size (pointing to the severely anorexic waif woman) or her size (the 350 pound woman in the room)
A: Ugh. (beating my head on the table)
And so on…

I am now embroiled in Phase III of the Set-Up Routine: The Negotiation. For the imbecile friend, this is the hardest part of the set-up. I have the consent of Male Friend, but getting Female Friend to go for the set-up is an endeavor that is on par with walking across a mine field. Males generally don’t care about set-ups. Worst case, they figure it is a woman whose knockers they can legitimately stare at for an hour. Best case, they figure it is a woman who might get drunk enough to sleep with them. For them, it’s a win-win. For females, however, there’s the agony of what to wear, should I shave my legs, will he call, will I like him, will he think I’m fat, will his DNA pass the 93 point Acceptability for Breeding Checklist, etc. Consequently, before approaching the Female Friend, I brought in reinforcements.

I rang Mutual Gal Pal and asked her opinion on strategy and how to proceed. But she threw some previously unknown obstacles into the mix: Female Friend has been in an anti-social funk lately, and she’s got house guests coming each weekend until kingdom come, and masters degree classes, and a job and…Then came the real obstacle. Female Friend has a crush on a Third Party. And not just any crush, but The Whopper: the unfrequented but still all consuming, running-me-over-with-your-car-and-then-kicking-me-is-all-right-because-I-love-you type of crush. MGP and I decided the best way to approach Female Friend about the set-up would be to not even mention it, just to have her come out with a group of people, and to casually introduce her to Male Friend (aka the stealthy This is Not Really A Set-Up Set-Up). Male Friend was down with this, so I called Female Friend. No dice. She was onto me.

Women everywhere have a sixth sense which detects and warns of all possible set-up situations. While singledom is bad, embarrassment and pity for the single state (which, let’s be honest, is at the heart of every set-up) are worse. Female Friend didn’t want to go out in a group setting because she knew what was up, Male Friend was firing on all hormonal cylinders, and I was stuck in the middle. This impasse has remained for almost a month now. In the meantime, I’ve gotten to know Male Friend much better (he’s moved from casual friend to good drinking buddy, a significant step on the Male Friend Food Chain). MGP and I have discussed The Situation at length, taken into account my new knowledge of Male Friend, and have concluded that Male Friend and Female Friend will probably hate each other. Wait, let me rephrase that. Female Friend won’t like Male Friend because of her Third Party Crush and because Male Friend is, at heart, too nice to be her type. Male Friend will like Female Friend because she’s single and in Boy Land all single female interaction has the possibility of leading to sex. Sadly, this does not constitute compatibility…In the interest of peace and harmony, I am developing a new game plan:

1. Send Third Party Crush some condoms with a card stating they are from Female Friend.
2. Send Female Friend flowers with a mushy card signed with Third Party Crush’s name.
3. Stand back and let Third Party Crush and Female Friend do the horizontal tango, generate massive profits for Trojan, and realize they hate each other, but not enough to give up the scorching hot sex.
4. Buy Male Friend beer. A lot of beer. Point him in the direction of any available woman in the bar. Pray he gets laid.
5. Get out of the set-up business. FOREVER.

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