Every single man, woman and teenager I know has had one of these. The flight of fancy you embark upon after meeting someone you know you could really really like. The Grip.


You crush on someone. If you’re anything like me, it’s hideous. If there was a video camera inside your head, your dreams, your libido, it’d put you to shame. If that video was leaked to YouTube, you wouldn’t be able to live a normal life. I’d have to change my name and get a face implant.


To be fair, it doesn’t happen often, thank God.


It’s precarious. For a short fraction of time, after a few dates, there’s that tentative, awkward ‘iffy’ stage. Like, if you were two dogs, you’d be butt-sniffing, trying to be all ‘inconspicuous-like’.

So funny. It’s sometimes sad that we depend on the reflection to know how we feel about someone. Why can’t we just dig someone, despite what they think of us, detached of an outcome?

But how could we risk making fools of ourselves? So instead, we waste time, money, energy and red plumpifying lip gloss on making the other person like us as much as they possibly can, so we can make up our minds if *we* like them.




We are the generation of Instant Gratification, after all. We strum our fingers upon the stainless steel counter top if our Big Mac has taken longer than 3 minutes to be slapped on a tray, ready for our consumption.


Why should courting be any different?!


You’re hot, they’re hot, you seem to be somewhat nice to one another. So dammit why don’t they want to spend 25 hours a day in your company, gazing into your eyes and professing their undying adulation?!


I wish it was always as easy as saying “Hmm. Just not that into each other, sorry. Next!”. 80% of the time, it’s damn easy to say that. When both of you just aren’t feeling the urge to propagate dating. Then there are times when one of the two of you has already started propagating and decorating the goddamn tree. There are times when you’ve got yourself in The Grip.


The Grip is that moronic phase, post-unrequited-crushing where you’ve actually got *fodder*. The person’s already acknowledged your existence and doesn’t seem to be allergic to it. There’s a bit of cat and mouse. It could be amazing, it could be atrocious. You just don’t know. But you’re bored, so you choose to think about the ‘amazing’. The Grip is where you literally have started to join the dots and draw a picture of someone who really just doesn’t exist. Yet. You just.don’t.know.


You start fantasising about all sorts of ridiculousness with this person you’ve literally interacted with just a few times. You know, long walks on the beach, washing each other’s hair in the running streams, uhhh, grocery shopping in quaint cobblestone markets, pillow fights…


You specifically choose to ignore that in these few exchanges/dates/whatever there was alcohol, loud music and nerves involved. You barely know what they do for a living. You still don’t know if they have a room in their cellar with a solitary lightbulb that’s wallpapered with pictures of Jean Claude van Damme.


The Grip is like Frodo’s ring and should be avoided at all costs. It mesmerises you and won’t let go without some discomfort (and demonic behaviour). Either way, you look like a loser, best accept it as soon as possible. Secondly, it should be kept very, very, very secret. Don’t even mention to another human being, living or not, that you have got yourself caught in The Grip. Best you treat it like a highly contagious virus that you caught from a public loo somewhere in Tableview (Perth readers: Booragoon; Melburnians: Moonee Ponds). Never say a word.


It’s like a stupefying trance. Some lesser individuals, having grown bored of muscle relaxants/opiates/car accidents, may indeed become addicted. If you’re anything like me, however, the thought of being a mouth-breathing halfwit in idolisation of someone who may be making out with someone else this *very minute* is tantamount to public stoning. So, I have a quick go-to reference for such necessary emergencies. If I have smiled at him and engaged in a conversation, being of the species “male”, he thinks he’s in with a chance. And, being of such species “male” the very thought of sending “female” (me) into the fray (ie: out in the human social public) unattached (ie: without him) when he really really really wants to be be, uh, attached, quite simply means, he's just not that into me. End of story.


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