Shelf Life

So recently I did something that I have rarely done. I agreed to go on an outdoor date in the daytime. I don’t know whether it was the spontaneity of the plan or the comfort of her picking me up and dropping me back. In fact, I was wearing a quoted black tee and slippers on the date. She, on the other hand, was impeccably dressed. Everything about her, from her cool wayfarers, to the round, chandelier earrings and finger ring, to the floral skirt and chappals, to even a matching facemask, emitted an exquisite artistic vibe. That makes sense as she is a phenomenal painter and art teacher by profession. I could somehow feel that from the touch of her thin, soft fingers.

One of her paintings

The entire ride was filled with endless banter and laughter. She had suggested a place before the meeting, but one look at her and I knew where we needed to go. The quaint, artistic lanes of Champa Gali in south Delhi is a place not known by many including her, despite staying in Delhi all her life. While we were endlessly gazing into each others’ faces, she pointed out I have beautiful eyes. I mean out of all my facial features, she only found my eyes appealing? I, on the other hand, was mesmerized by her entire look and feel. Anyway, she sketches on a daily basis so I trust her judgement, but with a pinch of salt.

Anyway, coming to the MBA concept of ‘Shelf Life’. It is quite commonly used even in daily parlance. Shelf life is the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use. It applies to cosmetics, foods and beverages, medical devices, medicines, explosives, pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, tyres, batteries, and many other perishable items. Product teams aim for high shelf lives to increase the lifetime value(LTV) that can be derived out of potential sales.

Insightful analogies can be drawn in the context of modern-day dating from the concept of shelf life. Though, it is more relevant in the case of casual encounters with higher percentages of dopamine. It is the probable number of dates the other person will end going on with you. The aim has to maximize your NPV from those dates. It is different from lead time, and that is a precursor to shelf life. Your shelf life in casual dating starts once the product is opened aka you have gone on the first date.

It is basically the time taken before the other person calls it quits to the casual dating space, and in most cases, also to your escapade with them. My shelf life across over a decade of casual dating has mostly been one date. Another reason why having my own landing page is quite essential for me. It means that the girl meets me just once, and whatever sparks have to fly happen in that meeting. Post that, once she goes back home, she retrospects and regrets; never sees me again.

My Tee

That brings me to the surreal painter. Is this it? Has my life’s sketch finally found its blank canvas and artist? Is she the palette of colours in my dull and grey life? Well, she married her crush at the age of 20 and had come out of a stressful, long marriage sometime back. She had just dated a handful of men post that, but not even shook hands or touched on the first date. Then my date happened, I earlier mentioned that my tee was quoted; it had the slogan of Nike in extra-large font, ‘Just Do It’. The to and fro drive was over an hour long. In broad daylight, at almost every traffic signal, multiple stoppages on the way, in the desolate lanes of Champa Gali and at the parking lot, the most critical component, the physical chemistry of the triangular model was off the charts for us. Then she went back home, retrospected, found nothing else in common between us and me as arrogant. Also, she is still not over a guy she dated before me. It ended in me being blocked by her on all channels of communication.

Her Painting



2 thoughts on “Shelf Life”

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