I got an email the other day from a German dating website asking me to contribute to their online magazine, and metaphorically punched the air. This is it, I thought, mentally drafting my resignation letter: the dawn of a glittering writing career.
I tell Flatmate the good news.
‘How much are they paying you?’ he says.
I must be a writer; the thought hasn’t occurred to me.
‘I don’t know! I’ll have to ask…’
Payment? No, no payment, they say, in response to my email.
Now I feel like a writer.
But we will give you three months’ free membership to the London site, and display your profile alongside the piece.
So much for anonymity. It gets worse.
Oh, and we’ll write the piece. If you could just tell us why you think London is a good/bad place for dating, and recommend a few places for a first date…
Population density, that’s what London’s got going for it, I think to myself, as I travel home, wedged into the corner of a tube carriage.
I get back to find my parents at the flat.
‘I thought we could go out for supper?’ my mum says.
‘That’d be nice.’
I suggest a French place.
‘A friend recommended it. Apparently the food’s really good.’
I also remember Freddie saying he took a girl there on a first date.
I survey my surroundings. Relaxed ambience: tick. Varied, affordable menu: tick. Cute waiters… hmm that’s probably not relevant.