Monday, April 15, 2019

The Listicle menace

"Tell me, what are the top ten things you like about me?"

Ye Gods! Here I am, wondering about how I ever managed to get a girl to be interested in me. Where was the time to think about what I liked in her when I was spending all the time bemused about what she could have found to like in me?

Telling that to her, I have discovered, is a sure recipe for disaster. You think you will be patted on your back for your self deprecation or, at least, earn brownie points for humility and...

"So, you think I cannot get a better boyfriend than a wuss like you?"

Well, after THAT finished off one relationship, I did manage to take the time to list 'all the things I loved' in the next one. Didn't work either. I had either left out what I should have said ('So, you don't appreciate my sense of humor' when that sort of got left out in the top 10) and said what I should have left out ('You men! There is only one thing that you are interested in', all because five of those 10 had been about how she looked).

But I really don't get it. When I was at school, I used to hate these 'Top eight things...', 'Six important differences...' and things like that. I mean, you could write pages of answers for general questions and come out feeling you had done the exam well. Keeps you happy...till the results come out, that is. But with these lists, as with mathematics, you are stressed out all the way. Like, if you could only think of three where the examiner will not be satisfied with less than ten, it is tough to fool yourself that you have done a great job of the exam.

So, I developed a pathological hatred of lists of any sort, broke out into a cold sweat every time I was faced with one, and thought that the rest of the world reacted the same way. Till Social Media upped and proved me wrong. Now it is all 'Top ten reasons why you should not eat rice', 'Six important reasons why Dhoni is a great captain' and so on and so on. (WHAT? You mean that lists are not as intimidating when you know that you will not have to write an exam on the subject? Maybe, but why should it turn into such an attraction?)

Though, yeah, when someone puts a number to it, it sort of gives an impression that the chappie has put in thought into it, collected a vast amount of knowledge on the subject and culled out the most important things for you to be enlightened by. Yes, when you get to the sixth reason for Dhoni being a great captain and have '6. Dimples! Because...DIMPLES', you have sleepless nights wondering what the rest of the world finds so obvious as to require no explanation about how dimples contribute to cricketing success.  Of course, it could just have been bunged in to make up six. (Not that I even know if the chap HAS dimples, you know, but...)

True, it was tough to find that the rest of the world was so different from you as to be mad after listicles, but I could have lived with, indeed, I have learned to live with the fact that people seem to think it necessary to have brains when I have pulled along for so long happily unaware of the need. But, then, that was when these listicles STAYED in social media and did not enter my so-called real life with all this 'top ten things you like about me' business.

At that, I am happy that I was not asked the three things I disliked about her. Now THAT would have been the path to perdition without an escape. You say 'Nothing', then you do not take her seriously. You start citing things, you will get scorched with the top 100 things that she never liked about you and, mind, it is only the TOP 100, so there is a lot more that has just not made the cut. Who was it who said, 'Marriage: A process of finding out what sort of person your spouse would have preferred to marry'? Rem acu tetigisti, old chap, you hit the bally nail on its bally head! And it applies to girl-friends too.

Maybe I could say, "Just the fact that you are not always with me" and get away with it. The problem is that the right things never strike me at the right time. (AND, of course, THAT could well lead to a listing of all the times when YOU were not around her, so it is not like it is a panacea.)

Perhaps it is time to look up that 'Top 21 things women like men to tell them'! May help, provided I can remember them all.

Alas, I never managed to remember them even in exams, when I had all 3 hours to try and recollect AND without someone glaring at me all the while.

These listicles...they are still a menace, I tell you.


  1. Lists are only acceptable after you've been together a long time. There has to be deep trust and lotta love before anyone says " yeah I'll take that..... be it good or bad. It's not about lists it's about connection in fact relationships are the only place where " the moneys not in the list!