The dating series: Hazards of wooing a journalist!
In the first of a light-hearted series, we bring you the lowdown on love in a truly unique fashion.
What should you keep in mind when you're going steady with a doctor? Or a lawyer? Or for that matter, a model?
Sure, you may scoff at the idea of 'dating rules' when it comes to your partner's vocation -- until, that is, the lawyer slaps a case on you, or the model decides to show up at a party wearing a dress that could fit into a pill dispenser.
Kidding, kidding! Those are extreme scenarios, of course (hmmm? maybe not), but keeping in mind just how your partner's occupation can bite you in the butt may serve you well.
So in a weekly series on dating that kicks off today, we're going to be bringing you the dos and don'ts of the love game broken up into different career choices. And self-deprecating that we are, we decided to start with our own line of work (insert modest bow), so rediff proudly presents: The Hazards of Dating a Journalist.
1. We're not exactly known for our sense of style
Sure, we may cover fashion week, but when it comes to individual dress sense? Hmmm.
Admit it -- when you think journalist, you think kurta, jeans, jhola and Kolhapuri chappals. And maybe a pair of thick-rimmed glasses thrown in for good measure. And you know what, you're not far wrong. In fact, we may just show up like that straight off the job for your cousin's wedding. A kurta is ethnicwear, isn't it?
Look, this isn't a glamorous profession, even if we're serving up glamour left, right and center. We're here to interview and write about the next big Bollywood bombshell, not have her burly bouncers evict us on account of our eyebrows have been shaped more perfectly than hers.
And outside of glamour, well, you can't exactly sashay into a hospital to interview a rioting victim wearing the latest pair of towering Christian Louboutins. Sure, we may know how to spell 'Louboutins' better than a few of the fashionistas we see wearing them, but that's another story.
You want to have us looking spiffy? Take us shopping and pick out everything. Then make sure we wear what you bought. And then make sure we don't run off to cover a breaking story about a fire wearing that three-piece suit with coat tails, because everyone else in our fraternity will either think we're a species of penguin or the chief editor will fire us for wearing better clothes than he does.
Just look on the brighter side of things -- at least our outfits won't fit into the aforementioned pill dispenser!
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh
2. The skeletons in that closet are gonna come tumbling right out!
Okay, we're not ashamed to admit it. We're snoops and we'll go to any lengths to dig out the truth. How else do you think you're delivered news about underground drug cartels and get to read interviews with terrorists?
In comparison, finding out just how many ex-boyfriends you have or running a background check on the future ma-in-law is a breeze. So if you're dating a journalist, you better let those dancing Skeletors out of the closet and quickly, before we end up dealing with them He-Man style.
And absolutely no faking your prospects! If you claim to have studied in Oxford, you better know where on campus the vice-chancellor's office is located, because someone we know has inevitably studied there. If you tell us you're a great singer, we may just surprise you on karaoke night at a local nightclub by announcing a solo performance.
Remember -- we have our sources!
3. The job can be a tad dangerous
We're not claiming to be as brave and self-sacrificing as the police or fire-fighters, but who do you think captures the images of them at shoot-outs and in burning buildings?
Yup, that would be us. So if you're of a weak constitution, you may not be prepared for 'Honey, I'm flying to Afghanistan tomorrow on an undercover mission to interview the head of the Al-Quaeda operating there.'
If you haven't fainted yet, you may want to reconsider a relationship with anyone in the field, unless of course, it's the movie reviewer with the local daily. And even s/he may end up planning to watch a movie that's controversial enough for local political heavyweights to stage a protest and throw their weight around with theatre-goers.
It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!
4. We're always on the look-out for a scoop
Ever been to dinner with your journo girlfriend where she's spent the entire evening interviewing someone who happens to be sitting at the next table? Or jotting down notes for a restaurant review? In the meantime, you're down three plates of chicken wings solo, waiting for her to wrap up and get back to your meal together.
What can we say? It happens.
The true journalist never passes up a good story -- not in favour of anything, not even you. If you're going to be dating one, that goes with the territory. And even a crack in the footpath is a story about the negligence of the BMC. We can sniff out stories from a mile away. If we were as effective with narcotics, they'd use us instead of the dog squad.
So you can run as far as you want from a prospective story, but you can't hide!
5. You may well be the next scoop yourself!
This is, by far, the most crucial aspect of dating a journo that you have to keep in mind. And if you've ever broken up with one, you're probably nodding your head wisely along in assent.
Because you've probably already featured on your ex's blog as Miss Two-Timer or Mr Serial Flirt.
Worse, s/he may just have deliberately given away your real identity completely -- consider just such a blog entry:
'It reminded me of the time Pooja Kamladi, my ex who resides in a posh sea-facing flat at Cuffe Parade and fibbed to me about studying at Oxford when she can't even spell 'Louboutin', even though she wears them...'
Get the picture? How many Pooja Kamladis who happen to be fashionistas reside in Cuffe Parade and suffer from dyslexia? And dated a journalist?
Or your ex may spit venom about the opposite sex in his/her next column, leading everyone the two of you know to call and ask what the hell happened.
If you're lucky, maybe you'll only feature in a sappy Valentine's Day write-up from your doting other half. But feature you will -- have no doubts about that!