Do us a favour
“I could really do with a DMC.” No other phrase in the English language has had me gritting my teeth and clenching my fists quite as much as this one. I’d never heard it before coming to university but found it perilously inescapable during Freshers’ Week.
DMCs are everywhere, they jump out at you wherever you look. It’s a nightmare, especially if people decide you’re the “approachable” type. Swathes of drunk, over-emotional, homesick teens line up to disguise their desperate want for genuine human connection with a shitty acronym. Give me strength.
Smoking areas: where conversation goes to die
The very worst kind of DMC can be found in the smoking area.This is the lesser-spotted DMC, a rare but vicious breed seen only once or twice a term. Boarding school educated girls and boys don their polo-necks and go down to the station in force.
They “drop”, dance for a bit to drum and bass they pretend they like, then head outside to sit in a puddle and, deep breath, vomit verbally (and sometimes literally) at whomever happens to be with them.
The topics of conversation are of no consequence, but they invariably open like this: “I know we’ve never really been friends but I’ve always really liked you loved you even we should be best friends I’ve always seen you and never talked to you and now I’m talking to you it’s like I know you, you know?”
Inevitably it ends with the mention of holidays – I like to call it Mandy’s law: “you know, my family would love you so much, oh my god, you should come on holiday with us, we’re going to Cyprus, oh my god, you should definitely come, lets talk about it in the morning, I’ll text you, what’s your number, let’s have brunch tomorrow, do you have any gum?” And scene.
But it’s a cheap trick and they know it. They daren’t ask for a “Deep Meaningful Conversation” in its entirety. Instead they hide behind a trio of initials befitting an underground rapper, wander nightclub smoking areas in the hopes that someone will wax lyrical with them about their relationship woes and incurable insecurities.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to express your feelings – there is nothing wrong with being a bit of a mess. We all have our problems and, God knows, it can be a hell of a lot easier to bring them up (alongside the day’s dinner) when you’ve had a bit to drink. But the linguistic principle behind this particular trend is diabolically self-parodying.
To commodify “deep meaningful conversations” into artificially drawn-out exchanges of inner turmoil undermines the point of any such talk entirely.
Turning your mates into late-night amateur therapists will not do anyone any good. (Even – nay, especially – if they study psychology. Seriously, do you actually want them to know how fucked up you are?)
It’s like sex. If you have to ask someone for it, the odds are it probably wasn’t going to happen in the first place.
Think of the conversations that have had any real impact on your life.
Maybe an elderly relative offered you some kind-hearted advice for the future ahead or perhaps you walked in on someone crying so you offered them a cup of tea and a hug. You might have struck up a spontaneous conversation with a complete randomer in the pub on a night out for no particular reason.
If you’ve been in a situation that sounds anything like these then, it has to be said, they would have been irrevocably shitter had the opening conversational gambit been: “Do you mind if we have a bit of a DMC? I could really do with a chat.” Everything that follows that horrific phrase runs along a neatly-determined pattern of ill-thought-out crying, considered pauses and hushed nods until everyone leaves the club feeling worse than when they arrived.
Please, let’s end the tyranny of the DMC. When you go out, be it a casual Sunday night Life or a termly trip to Junction, put a fucking sock in it, would you. There’s a University counselling service for a reason.