Monday 1st December
I've got no friends, so I can't make friends, so I've got no friends.
Well, it's not entirely true, I do have a lot of people to go for coffee with in the daytime and weekday evenings. But for Friday night in the city there isn't anyone yet who can come along every week.
I also still have the friends in the suburbs from before I started going out to the city, the ones who are engaged, settled down and so on. I can call any of them up and go round to their houses to watch Strictly Come Dancing and X-factor!
Tonight I'm gong to the Monday night social circle event in Didsbury.
I arrive and someone chats to me.
Him: "Hi, how's it going?"
Me: "Ok. Is it your first time here?"
Me: "Where are you from?"
Him: "I'm from Burnley, my parents live in Didsbury so that's why I'm here."
Another guy: "You're going to be repeating that line all night!"
Him: "Yes, I probably will!"
Me: "You came all the way from Burnley?"
Him: "Yes. It's bit of a way although I thought I'd have a look."
We chat for a while. They're ok guys.
I walk across the room, the lady who I got Phil 2 to chat up on the Monday 6th October looks at me and smiles. I'll speak to her another time.
I notice Visana who I spoke to here last time, she notices me too.
Visana: "What have you been doing?"
Me: "I've been sorting out some business deals today. Getting writers together for a publication I'm working on. It's going well. I'm meeting them tomorrow."
Visana: "That's good."
Me: "Have you been going out anywhere?"
Visana: "I'm thinking of going to the black tie event."
She means the Christmas Ball, these social groups organise events for the members which is nice.
Me: "No, I went to one 2 years ago and it was good. You'll enjoy it. This one is too far from where I live."
Visana: "It's in a city centre hotel."
Me: "I'd have to get a taxi, I'll go to one nearer to where I live."
Visana: "Yes, it's just near to where I live. Have you been going out?"
Me: "Yes. I've been going to some bars around King Street and to Tiger Tiger, it's becoming a regular thing."
Me: "Chaophraya, it's a good pre-club bar. Tiger Tiger is probably the best club in Manchester. The music, people make an effort, there's a good atmosphere."
Visana: "I'll have to go sometime."
We chat a while more about what we've been doing. Then I go over to near the balcony area of the room.
I chat to another lady.
Me: "Where are you from?"
Me: "Why did you come to this event?"
Her: "I've lived in Manchester for about a year but I don't really meet anyone at work."
Me: "You mean it's like, everyone goes straight home after work and even if you invite them out they never get round to coming."
Her: "Yes. That's what happens." she says this as if I suddenly totally understand her and we made such a connection.
Me: "You should come out with us. We've been going out to the city, it's a good night. We're going to get people along and have a big group."
Her: "Who have you got coming along?"
Me: "There's a lady, Vivien, who comes occasionally but she works some weekends. A guy who also works sometimes. My friend Alex K. People can't make it every week so it depends who is free."
Her: "Have you got anyone else?" she says losing that connection we just made.
Me: "We'll get more people in future. What's your number. I'll invite you along next time."
Her: "I've got to go speak to her over there." And she goes over to a few ladies she was speaking to a minute ago.
Then I speak to another guy. We're discussing why people come to these groups and so on.
Me: "It's like, if I haven't got a big group or say to them that I haven't got a big group, she doesn't want to know. They don't understand that we can go out and have a good time and find people. It's like I say stuff but the words aren't understood. I should have just pointed to my watch and said look, expensive watch and said I have loads of people coming out on Friday."
Him: "It's bad, but that's pretty accurate how women are!"
His friend: "Yes. It is!"
Me; "It's like, if you've got no friends you can't make friends, so you've got no friends."
They agree and we laugh
Me: "On a date it's different. If I invite them on a date they come out on their own."
They nod their heads in agreement.
We chat a while longer.
But then later I get it. Why is it Vivien and some other ladies will come out with me on my own, others only if I've got a big group? The reason is that some people are so lonely it's making them wild, they're losing their social skills and losing it generally. So they go onto autopilot as a last ditch attempt to find guys who have a big group just to surround themselves with people, just so they can understand people again. They don't even trust themselves to do anything else.
I've always had groups of friends at school, university and after university. It was easy until friends got houses, settled down, engaged, and that mixed in with online social networking, X-factor and so on. The world is a different place. If you went to Manchester in 1998 and then 2008 you would say it's a different planet.
It's why social groups, singles events, speed dating, none of it works. The people, especially women, want a guy with an instant big group. They're desperate. But since everyone goes to these groups because they've got no-one to go out with, they all ignore each other because they'll only accept friends who already have a big group! If they got together and went out they'd have a big group, but they won't do that!
This is groundbreaking stuff I'm coming up with here.
Anyway. There's too many geeks here so I start to leave. I say to the guy from Burnley and his friend.
Me: "I'm going to get going."
Him: "You're going already?" they say surprised. They give me a look as if they want to swap numbers and meet up again. But I'm like why can't they ask to swap numbers, why is it always me who has the initiative and takes action.
Me: "I've got some important business tomorrow. I'll see you later."
Him: "See you."
Other guy: "Bye."
I leave Casa Tapas, go to my car parked on the sidestreet, get in and start the engine.
I open the glove compartment, take out a box of cassettes and choose one from the selection. Simply Red's New Flame album. I put it on the cassette player which clunks and starts playing the tape. I drive out onto Wilmslow Road and out of Didsbury.
The song if you don't know me by now, you will never never never know me comes on.
I reflect how the event was only 5% people who could get on with each other, but that's probably representative of society anyway. 5% is a lot of people. 1 in 20. Then again if one of that 1 in 20 is from out of town and too far to meet up, it's 1 in 40.
If I'd swapped numbers with the guy from Burnley and his friend, they'd be coming out on Friday. So what. Then I realise how the people I got on most with were the people who I saw here last time. If I go somewhere regularly people get to know and like me. It doesn't happen in the city easily because you don't get regulars like I discussed with the lady outside Odder on the Friday 14th November.
By going somewhere regularly 5% becomes 10%, then 15% and 20%. Some people need to see people around before they can get on with them. That's it then. By going to places regularly it's easier to get a group.
Summary and venue reviews: Monday 1st December
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The Social Circle event meetup group has lots of different people. By going regularly it would be easy to find some people to go out with at the weekend.
Very busy. Clientele: smart casual. Dιcor: 7/10.
Notes: A well kept venue. The function room has a balcony that overlooks Wilmslow Road.
A group for people to make friends, go on trips and take part in activities.