Social ranking (or socially rank?)

In order to mix it up a bit and keep this gig fresh-out-da-kitchen, Ben got first dibs at this latest instalment (to be honest, he’d been getting a tad crabby at always playing second fiddle to me, always having to take on the bad cop role to my initial good, always being the bridesmaid, etc; and I thought it was safer to just let him have pole position before he really started kicking off and, y’know, going off and answering questions about porn under his own steam…).

Anyway, the problem we have here may be anonymous, but I can assure you all that it was totally authentically genuinely sent in to askbenandclare@gmail.com (God, what do you take us for? This isn’t Just Seventeen…). And it’s quite an appropriate conundrum as the party season rumbles ever onwards. Enjoy.

Anonymous asks…

When making decisions about attendance at conflicting social gatherings (and yes, yes – would that we all had the luxury of such decisions; I’m not taking it for granted), how do you determine priority between:

– Lovely wonderful old friends?
– Exciting new friends?
– Person whose brain you’d potentially like to shag out?

Ben answers…

Shall I assume that you have decided against combining all three by joining the exciting (if a bit scary) world of swinging? I have no knowledge in this area to advise you but I did recently look for the website of a bespoke jelly mould manufacturers while visiting my mom and I accidently typed in jellymongers.com instead of jellymongers.co.uk. Well. Let’s just say that my mother’s days of boasting about how she never receives any spam emails of a sexual bent may be drawing to an end. If you are tempted by the idea of sex with strangers in the Mid Western states of the US – look no further! However, if you are slightly more picky about where you put your bits, read on.

It is a difficult question that you ask, but one easily circumnavigated by the asking of another question. A question which is perhaps more important than any other. A kind of Is There a God? to the power of What Is The Meaning of Life? multiplied by How Can I Shed Six Stone in a Fortnight? It is a question that will guarantee you making the right decision every time. It is a question that I am prepared to pass on to you. The question is this:

Will there be food, and, if so, what?

It is all very well saying that old friends will always be there for you, that they have seen you at your worst and your best and still love you and all that malarkey, but if your exciting new friends are meeting in a place that does edamame splashed with glistening crystals of the finest sea salt* you should be embracing the new. Equally, if the best a hot young thing can offer is a Burger King, and your oldest friends are offering a simple, but perfectly prepared, supper of Janssen’s Temptation with cold ham, then perhaps you should leave the Whopper for another time.

(That was a frightfully clever reference to big penises by the way. In case anyone missed it. Don’t panic if you did miss it. It was very subtle.)

So there you are. Think with your stomach. You will end up with old friends who can cook, new friends who meet at cool bars and restaurants, and a boyfriend who does both.

Problem solved. You are very welcome.

(*Maldon. Just in case they are reading and would like to send me any free salt.)

Clare answers…

Right, at first glance, this looks complicated, but really all it demands is a GCSE in math and the production of a simple Venn Diagram*. What you’ve got here are three sub-sets with a bit of crossover. On the one hand, you have “Lovely wonderful old friends” (Set A). On t’other, there’s “Exciting new friends” (consider them as Set B; I’m sure they won’t mind, they’re new round here).

Set A will be sympathetic to you blowing them out in favour of hooking up with a potential playmate (how long is it now that they’ve been having to put up with all that crying into your pint and sobbing “woe is me, everyone’s getting hitched and I’m still on the shelf and I haven’t had any downstairs action for so long, I doubt things even work any more or I’ll remember what to do”). They also haven’t presented you with a suitably compatible companion yet, so they owe it to you to cut you some slack. It’s the least they can do.

Set B presumably includes “Person whose brain you’d potentially like to shag out”, hereafter known as PWBYPLTSO, as presumably PWBYPLTSO is also an exciting new friend, and I can only assume you met the whole lot of them together or they somehow share a common link. Set B will therefore also be sympathetic to your, er, womanly/manly needs (sorry – you weren’t specific in your anonymity), as they will equally be sympathetic to the natural urges of PWBYPLTSO. They also therefore won’t mind if you successfully manage to engineer going off with PWBYPLTSO to get in his/her pants.

Hence, this is the point where Set B crosses over with Set A. This, ergo, is Set Both A & B.

See here: When Set A is “Lovely wonderful old friends” and Set B is “Exciting new Friends”, Set Both A & B is “Person whose brain you’d potentially like to shag out”.

Easy. Now what I don’t actually get is: “Person whose brain you’d potentially like to shag out”. Potentially? POTENTIALLY? Either you do or you don’t want to shag their brains out. It’s not a wording that’s a bit wishy-washy; a bit take-it-or-leave-it, now is it? Happen you want to be thinking on that point before you put those arrangements in your diary in pen.

(*I nicked this one off the interweb. It’s by Natalie Dee: http://www.nataliedee.com. She and her mate Drew make comics and tees and stuff what you can buy. Check em out at Sharing Machine: http://www.sharingmachine.com; they will make fine gifts for Xmas, and I’m sure your father – or indeed, your mother – like myself, would be quite partial to the hipflask adorned with the edict: “It’s mother-fucking booze time”. Incidentally, I hope Natalie lets me off nicking her picture because I gave her all these ace plugs.)

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2 Responses to Social ranking (or socially rank?)

  1. Fat Roland says:

    Below the post:

    Ads by Google! …
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    http://www.muchloved.com

    Not sure which part of the Venn diagram she is. Hopefully not the middle.

  2. Helen says:

    Well solved, solving solvers!

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