Meet: The A-Team
By: Travis J. Hawke
...To most of us, when it comes to ‘reading’ a prospective girlfriend throughout the dating process and ensuing courtship, it is not just an uphill battle, but an up-Mount-Everest-while-blindfolded battle. This is especially true when you consider the fact that all we have at our disposal to guide us are (a) our gut instincts (usually wrong), (b) our past experiences (mostly failures since we are still single), and (c) the tales our mates tell us from their own dating lives (all of which are most likely embellished with their individual roles either enhanced or diminished to protect their reputation)... 'The Bachelor Life' . Dating Chapter. Page 105.
For ‘The Bachelor Life’ to be entertaining, informative, and factual (the latter I deemed to be of pretty high importance - although the Bible has managed to sell fairly well over the years, despite Jonah expecting us to believe that he lived inside a whale’s stomach for three days), I recognised at an early stage that some feminine perspective would be required. For this, I gathered my closest group of female friends, provided them with a relaxed setting, alcohol, biscuits, cheeses, dips, and a multitude of questions and talking points - and thus, ‘The Bachelor Life’ A-Team was formed.
In regards to the individuals who make up the affectionately named A-Team, I have known each of them for many years and count them all as true friends. The friendship continues to this day and has been allowed to develop and mature over the course of the last decade. While they were once the group of teeny-bopper girls linked to our group of guys, who we routinely went out with on a weekend and called our own, they are now what I guess you would call ‘responsible adults’ (in that they now all have career jobs instead of studying at uni, and are a little less wild - and a little less obviously flirtatious when venturing out on the town). It was this friendship that allowed me to gather them at my place in the summer of 2012 and assail them with questions relating to everything a bachelor would wish to know. It allowed them to speak freely, be true with their answers, and know that I wasn’t secretly recording the events of the evening to later play back to the rest of my mates for a laugh. (Sidenote: I think the amount of alcohol that was consumed on the night also contributed to this freedom of speech.)
On that fateful evening in my one-bedroom apartment, I presented nine pages of questions, ideas, hypothetical conundrums, and theories relating to what they would expect of a bachelor under a range of circumstances. All were answered in full with unfiltered discourse and sometimes hostile disagreements*, and many a tangent was taken to reveal previously un-imagined topics that were dissected and thoroughly examined. Overall, I deemed the night (and our future communications) a resounding (and revealing) success, and thanks to them all, a vivid picture was painted of their individual expectations of the world a bachelor must enter to deal with the so-called ‘fairer sex’.
(*My personal favourite of these hostile disagreements was when two of the girls [who will go unnamed] were arguing over who could give the best... ahhh... [how to keep this relatively PG13...] form of oral sex. To settle the debate [and stop what could have potentially degenerated into the starting point of World War III], my response was to stand up, clap my hands together, and say, ‘well, ladies... there’s only one way to settle this’. The remark got a resounding laugh from the group, which I guess was the second best outcome I could have hoped for - as opposed to the best outcome [obvious as to what that would have involved] or the worst [where they get offended, empty a bottle of red wine on my carpet, storm out, engrave something nasty in the side-panel of my car, and tell my neighbours that I’m a paedophile - which I’m not, by the way].)
All jokes aside, without the A-Team, ‘The Bachelor Life’ would not be the book and success it has proven to be. More importantly, however, without their friendship, I would not be the person I am today, and would not have had nearly as much fun over the last decade of my life. For those reasons and many more, they have my love, everlasting friendship, and gracious thanks.
Travis J. Hawke
Above: The A-Team's 2013 Girls' Christmas Group Photo.*
Above: The A-Team's 2013 Girls' (slightly-more-intoxicated-and-festive) Christmas Group Photo.*
*Note: Not all of the above-pictured girls were a part of the A-Team. The photos were taken as a part of their extended Girls' Christmas Party.