Friday, May 23

The Butt Joke Test

It's tough meeting a potential rishta. On the one hand you're meant to be on your best behaviour (on order of certain other parental stakeholders). On the other you're also supposed to portray as accurate a picture of your true self as possible, and all within a limited amount of time.

But what of those of us whose true selves don't exactly have best behaviours? A rishtaview is hardly something in which it's a good idea to lie, especially if it's yourself you're lying about. I guess it's sometimes a good idea to go slow when introducing yourself, especially if you have, um, a unique personality, but I think you really should communicate that personality in whole at some point.

But I think behaving oneself isn't necessarily about hiding the more undesirable parts, but more about giving your opposite the chance to organically learn about who you are, just like any friends you happen to be close with did. Of course the difference here is that you don't have the time or opportunity to go through the same kind of generic experiences.

It's actually a problem I've been thinking about on a personal level recently. Apparently I'm a bit too honest (if such a thing is possible) during my own rishtaviews, and need to be selective about what I reveal about myself, especially in the first meeting. I have a problem with this, of course. It's not that I can't tone it down a bit; I've always claimed that it's easy enough to play the part if that's what you really want to do. It's just that I don't want to.

So what's the solution? Is it actually possible to be genuine and true to yourself and well-behaved? Well on discussing this issue with some friends last night, I came up with The Butt Joke Test. Hey wait - just hear me out.

The idea is to be decent and well behaved for most of the time you have with the potential, up to the point where you've established that you might actually have a chance of getting some kind of positive outcome. And that's when you make the butt joke. It can be about your butt, their butt (careful!), butts in general or anything similar but it has to be boundary crossing.

It's the reaction you're looking out for. If they chuck you out of their house then further analysis isn't really necessary. However them ignoring (or tolerating) you is something worth investigating further. Them laughing or even responding would be like hitting the jackpot. In this single small step you'll get to know how patient, easy-going, open-minded, sensitive and funny this potential rishta is. Or isn't, as the case may possibly be.

Ideally you should leave this till the end of your allotted time, partly so that you're already familiar but mainly so that you can give any mehram a chance to swallow at least one samosa, otherwise they may spit it out in surprise (if you're lucky) or disgust (if you're not). And, most importantly, you're only allowed to do it the one time, whatever the reaction actually was.

For those of you thinking I'm crazy and about to comment telling me how they would never consider a rishta who acted in such a way, well you're kinda validating the method. I mean don't get me wrong, I totally get why one shouldn't ordinarily make a butt joke during a rishtaview, but I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks here. And anyway, at least I'm not using The Butt Crack Test as was originally discussed last night. I do have some sense of proportion y'know.