Renaissance Man

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CC Image courtesy of ♥braker on Flickr

Perky looks thoughtful. ‘Remind me again what your type is?’

I glance over in the direction of her best friend’s boyfriend.


Two hours earlier…

I enter the room and immediately fall into conversation with a charming Frenchman. Ten minutes later, a girl I recognise appears at his elbow. We exchange festive greetings then, gesturing towards Charming Frenchman, I say:

‘Have you met?’

She smiles, not unkindly. ‘Yes, we’re together.’

I resist the urge to grab the nearest bag of Kettle Chips and walk away.


Three glasses of mulled wine later, I’m standing opposite Perky asking if there’s anyone – anyone – she could set me up with.

‘Remind me again what your type is?’ she says.

‘Umm… the thing is, if I describe my type, I’ll just be describing the last guy I dated.’

But one.

‘That’s fine. Obviously that’s your type.’

Yes, but as my beloved mother has pointed out on numerous occasions, it’s probably not very realistic.

‘Hmm OK,’ I say, ‘well, the most important thing is that they’re very clever. And funny – we need to have the same sense of humour.’

‘OK, what about height?’

‘Not that bothered.’

‘But you wouldn’t want someone shorter than you?’

‘I don’t really mind. The last few guys I’ve dated have been the same height as me and that’s been fine.’

‘OK but you’re quite tall.’

‘Yeah I guess.’ I think for a moment. ‘Also… I’ve got a weakness for scientists who are also interested in the arts. So, a polymath. Basically,’ I laugh, ‘I want Leonardo Da Vinci, but alive.’

And straight. And fractionally taller.

CC Image courtesy of Jeffrey Beall on Flickr

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CC Image courtesy of dylans mom on Flickr‘What do you reckon?’

My mother reckons go for it.  Of course she does; my mother would have replied to Daniel’s text – she said as much.

‘But… I dunno.  It’s just – I know loads of people do it, but, it just seems… a bit desperate.’

‘But if you think you’ve met everyone you’re going to meet through the usual channels…’

Reeling and, well, reeling.  And now tango classes, which I’m doing with Milonga, of all people.

‘… then why not?  You might meet someone.’

That’s what I’m afraid of.


I am negativity central today.

‘… I’d only be doing it because I was being paid, so I’d feel like a bit of a fraud.’

‘Better to do it because you’re being paid and then writing about it, than doing it because you’re desperate!’

Can we stop saying desperate?!

‘But… I can’t be bothered with it!  I have a life, y’know?!  I have things in my diary.’

I’ve surpassed myself on the lame excuses front.  My mother doesn’t bother replying.


The ace up my sleeve.

‘… I do meet people I like, it’s just, it’s not mutual!  I don’t need to meet more people I like who don’t like me back!’

Viable Prospect springs to mind, though I haven’t actually met him…

‘But you might meet someone who does like you back!’

… and Matthew.

There it is: the Big, as Carrie Bradshaw might say, reason for doing online dating.  Today’s the first day I haven’t listened to the songs we danced to, or edited posts about him which are clearly never going to work because they hang on something pathetic, like a Facebook add.


I weave through the crowd, processing faces.

No, no, no…

It’s like Tinder.

… no, no… 

Or online dating.

… not a patch on Ma–

I dismiss the thought.

‘… I might do it.’

CC Image courtesy of quicheisinsane on Flickr

Say When

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‘It’s annoying because – all my friends who’ve really liked one of their guy friends…’

Clare, Lucy, others whose names don’t immediately spring to mind.

‘… they all ended up with them eventually!’

Beatrice shrugs.  ‘Maybe it’s not eventually yet.’


That’s nice.

When’s eventually?




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