Sunday, 28 August 2011

Caitlan Moran and the dream of young love.

I feel sick. Totally and utterly sick. Today I had my very first shift at my new part-time job (for those that are interested it is a second part-time job to compliment my first part-time job while being a care-free student) and seeing the married couple I work for interact with each other... Oh yuk! They were so very happy and loving in each others company after being married for over twenty whole years... I know my own parents are very happy together after thirty years but one can at least overlook it when it is one's own parents as one wants them to be happy but seeing another couple not all disgustingly over each other but merely interacting beautifully and complimenting each other so well... I left feeling happy in my new job but so lacking and empty. This feeling was not at all helped by downloading and starting to read Caitlin Moran's book 'How to be a Woman' for although she used to be wonderfully gauche and ugly (while but a mere teenager just as one used to be while a teenager) she founded love frightfully early and so married and copulated jolly early too and actually had her first child in her mid twenties... and so although enjoying her book very much I must agree with the dreadfully bad reviews in one point so far: she does sound so horribly smug.

I hate to say to say it for I adore her and her penmanship. But she does come across as smug. I put most of this down to finding Mr Right when she was so very young. And frankly who can deny her that? But by being pure chance the sort of women who identify with Caitlin, women like me who feel like we are different in whatever way, we lose her at that very point because we are incapable of appreciating or understanding her choices after meeting the right chap. Of course this is not her fault and yes she does make lots of wonderful points about why meeting the right one is not the end and about how there are many more mountains to conquer, but all the same to we women that are waiting it is neither heartening nor enlightening for it misses out such an interesting (and lets face it engrossing and all-consuming) period of womanhood, the search for the Right Man.

So through no fault of her own (indeed arguably to her great good fortune) she has happened to miss the courtship period of a woman's life. Now although I may be placed by some in the category of modern feminist I hesitate to grant myself such a title as I don't believe the term has been properly agreed upon. However, I do think that to call this book By Moran a modern feminist book in any sense it should not skip over and therefore null such a significant period of the modern woman's life. So for that, quite apart from all the frankly easily skimmed ranting portions of the book, I would much rather class it as an autobiography than any sort of feminist text as they are selling it.

The truth is that she has simply been very lucky in finding her true love at the tender age of nineteen and although wonderful for her it is not great for anyone else to read, even those who earlier empathised about being an outside with her. Oh that we all were so lucky. I wish I had also found the man I would adore and marry aged but nineteen... Yet poor old Moran for many like me, fans of her column, are criticising her for simply having that good fortune... But in at least one point we are right and her wrong... this does not make a book.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Clean living.

Had a totally lovely time with my new online chap. Both in looks and actions he reminds me very strongly of a children's television presenter on Blue Peter from a few years ago, Matt Baker. He is very tall and thin, has very dark short hair and is good looking in a clean cut sort of a way. He is a terribly nice chap, hard working and sensible and probably rather straight-laced. I do rather wonder if he wouldn't become just a tad boring with all his clean living and what I suspect to be a very strict moral code... but it would make a jolly enjoyable change I must admit. I like him very much indeed and am really hoping to see him again soon. We strolled in the sun to a cocktail bar after meeting then had a super chat over drinks before I headed off to work. Unfortunately because we were late in meeting up we didn't have over long to chat, but it was awfully pleasant and we left it that we might do dinner later this week. Oh I do hope so, my Blue Peter Chap is so frightfully decent and would I think treat me very well indeed!

Mr Blonde surprisingly got back in touch. I really didn't think I would ever hear from him again but he messaged to ask about my weekend and I replied... I don't see the point in random messaging like that, there was no hint whatsoever about asking me out again, he just did vague 'How is your weekending'. If he had any guts he would either stop messaging me or ask me out again properly like a real man.

However, it is all rather pointless as I have found my one true love: my Kindle! It is totally smashing and I am having such a fantastic time filling it up with books. Off to bed for an early night to read more of 'The American Senator'.

The Lady of Shalott?

I really must start getting used to dealing with my re-date nerves as with my luck I have years and years of first dates ahead of me over the years as I search valiantly for 'the one'. Today I have my first date with a chap found online. He is slightly younger than me which I am not keen on, but at least has finished uni and does something financial. Strangely almost all the men searching for love online seem to work with computers or in finance... perhaps there is a dearth of women in those fields? Anyway he seems jolly nice, looks cute in his pictures and reads books so we shall see how it goes. Meeting in a rather cool little cafe which also serves wine so depending on how nervous I turn out to be I might go for the yummy grape option rather than the coffee.

Lancelot has accepted my invitation to stay with him and I am going to visit a week tomorrow and spend the night at his flat. I do rather wonder what he intends to happen and perhaps should have found out if he actually does have a spare room? He is so handsome I feel jolly intimidated and so have started a punishing gym and healthy eating regime... or rather I was doing awfully well with it all this week until I woke up this morning sleepy and with a hangover so am relaxing it again until Monday! I feel so in awe of his beauty that I even considered doing that strange Beyonce diet whereby you eat nothing for a week except this strange concoction of lemon, cayenne pepper and something else all mixed together... Well let us see how I feel on Monday about my figure. I hate the idea of fasting and the health aspects of it but I do want to feel thin and pretty for Lancelot (I am quite aware of how pathetic that sounds!).

Mr Blonde claimed to be under the misapprehension that I was busy this week when I asked him out, he also claimed to be very busy himself and so unable to fit me in. I think he is not terribly interested and just didn't want to say he didn't want to see me again. I would have liked to see him again but feel no great loss.

Had a ghastly nightmare last night that Germanicus and I got back together and then got married... it was so vivid that I have been unable to shake off the horrible feelings it roused and feel most disturbed about it all. I have recently been feeling very sad about things with him, and I did unblock him on facebook (though have not added him as a friend). I know I should be very careful and not let myself get into contact with him again because I would only end up getting hurt and back where I was a year ago... But gosh I did love him and I do miss him still. Whenever I am walking about the city I do regularly wonder if I will bump into him or see him with another girl, but I never have.

I do hope my date goes well this afternoon but I am not overly fussed I must say. Plus I have another first date lined up for next week and three other men still on the go with the whole messaging thing so things are pretty rosy. Plus in huge news I have just bought a Kindle! I am ridiculously excited about it and have spent all morning stuffing it full of wonderful books. Older books are free to download so I m amassing quite a wonderful collection. The first book I intend to read on my darling new companion is Anthony Trollope's 'The American Senator'. I heard some of the first episode when it was serialised recently on Radio 4 and adored it. Very much looking forward to starting it later, the heroine reminded me very much of Becky Sharp from my favourite 'Vanity Fair.

Perhaps I will spend my whole life searching for love only to discover that it was right under my nose the whole time: my books. Or it could be that my life is the search for love and that once found the curse will come upon me like the lady of Shalott?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Gentlemen of differing sorts.

Well I am on a roll this evening - not only have I asked out Mr Blonde but I have also at long last accepted my handsome London friend Lancelot (he has always so some unknown reason reminded me of that brave knight) invitation to go and stay with him... Though calling Lancelot a friend is something of a stretch as we have only actually met once and that was years ago at a ball. He is very arrogant, jolly good looking and we have flirted in texts and on facebook a few times a year since then which would always end in his asking me to go and visit him in the great capital. And at long last I have accepted and practically invited myself...

Very scared of the whole thing for no apparent reason and that is why I have made myself say yes. I seem to be irrationally scared about disappointing him as he hasn't seen me for so very long and that he will meet me at the train station, take one look at me and groan inwardly as he realises he has no wish to sleep with me after all... Which now we are friends on facebook does seem unlikely even I must admit. Oh gosh he is so dishy (and nowadays not many men fit that delicious description, it being mostly reserved for old black and white movie stars).

Mr Blonde has not replied and so it does not look promising on that front, however, I have sent all my online admirers replies (well not all, only the ones I like the look of) and have accepted both offers of meetings involving beverages. Phd Boy has yet again been in touch and this time wants to meet up and have 'a hot beverage'... Jolly silly of him as I only agreed to be friends in order to be nice, and really what else could one say? Also had a spiffy and long chat on the phone to my darling friend who reminds me so strongly of Adrian Mole so on the whole it has been rather an active night on the gentleman front!

 Oh Mr Blonde, you don't realise how easily you are going to be supplanted!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Brave New World.

I am continuing to be proactive and have asked out Mr Blonde rather than waiting for him to ask me. Why on earth not, and I expect he will enjoy and hopefully be encouraged by the fact that I am indicating I like him. I suspect not appearing to be encouraging enough has been one of my problems. But like with my easy ability to apologise and say sorry to people I think if I cultivate an ease of asking men out on dates then it will benefit me. For I have always found that because most others refuse or find it hard to apologise because I am willing to do it (often without meaning it) that it impresses and has a very good reactions, and surely being prepared to look like I am taking the bullet by asking men out will be much the same?

Still waiting for him to reply... He texted me this morning just asking if I had had a good weekend etc, I replied and then nothing... hence the eventual ask out by me... Wish he would hurry up, but then if he is not interested then I will probably never hear from him again so it may well be a long wait.

One of the problems of dating someone you met on a dating website is that they are actively looking to date women and so while seeing you are probably still messaging and seeing other women they have also met online. But then I am still doing that myself so all is fair.

Out of the other five men I have been messaging I have now been asked on dates by two and the other three are imminent. Jolly nice, though must admit am not much excited by most of them... But one must try and after all I have nothing to lose so am just going to say yes to both. They have at least made it through my rigorous initial screening process!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Love is a losing game.

Watching Gavin Henson haplessly trying to flirt with a bunch of women on The Bachelor this evening was like watching a cattle market in full swing. It was rather sickening as the girls all vied for the affections of such a non-catch simply because he is good looking and famous and they are all single and seeking an eligible man... Reminded me of myself man hunting via the internet and so it has also occurred to me that I really should put more effort into the messages I am replying to. So far I must admit to have found them incredibly annoying to reply to as although it can be interesting to read what they have to say, for the most part they are pretty generic and I really do think it is so much easier and more effective to simply meet up after a couple of messages for it soon descends into a back and forth of short messages that don't really help one much in finding out about them.

I currently have about four on the go messaging back and forth and the favourite is a teacher in his early thirties. He is quite good looking, claims to be Oxbridge educated and reads books. He has also travelled and does seem interesting. One of my other front runners is a chap who does a lot of hill walking but he doesn't read as much. And a new find is one who loves Howl's Moving Castle. I found the latter myself by searching, where as usually I have been lazy on that front and rather waited for them to find me... Which is really stupid and of course this sort of course of action is exactly why I have not found men in real life either as I have always waited for them to find/approach/ask me out.

So new resolutions: spend more time and put more effort into my messages and do more searching of my own. But I do think that being very clear about loving books in my profile and messages is excellent as a way of whittling out the ones I am not going to find interesting in real life and also a good way to put off the ones who might not be interested in me. I value brains and education very highly and so there is really no point in pretending otherwise as I don't believe we would have enough in common, no matter how nice or good looking they turned out to be as if possible I would like to find a boyfriend rather than someone to go on three dates with.

The more time I spend looking for love and going on dates with disappointing me the more I realise how lovely Germanicus was and what a special chap he is. I am clearly hard to please and very picky, the pool of men out there is limited and there are so few who I find myself interested enough in to date, while finding those special men is horribly hard as well. Germanicus is very intelligent, interesting, kind, beautifully mannered, very traditional and properly courts a girl, we had a lot in common and he truly loved and cared about me. No he didn't prove to be the love of my love, but he was a splendid first boyfriend and the more time passes and the more my heart heals I am able to look back and see him as the wonderful person he is. I hope he feels the same way about me.

Now what of Mr Blonde? I have discussed what happened on our second date with several friends and they all agreed that the poor soul simply had to get up for work in the morning really early and so it was entirely acceptable that he said he had to leave, and that it didn't indicate any lack of attraction. He did actually text me the next day as well to say what a lovely time he had had with me the night before (and praised my choice of restaurant and bar – yet another boy who leaves me to chose where we go each time). I forced myself (I must admit to a mild cross feeling left from the totally lacklustre end to the night before) to send him a sweet little response in which I said how nice it would be to see him next week as I was going away until then. Not heard from him yet... so hoping that I do but I couldn't tell if he really liked me or not, and I spill some of my cocktail on him when I was trying to rearrange my dress while sitting on a high couch... he didn't seem to mind and was awfully nice about it... But really I think I am just clutching at straws now and trying to second guess what he thought. Besides do I even like him all that much? I think I would just like the ego boost of being asked for a third date, and since I have yet to find anyone else who is better I would be happy to stick with him while looking... But then being absolutely honest I say that sort of thing as a defence in case he turns out not to like me, so that I can turn around afterwards and claim I wasn't much fussed about him either. But really it would be so lovely to feel I had someone interested in me properly once again, it gives one such a jolly safe feeling to have a fond love interest and he does seem nice (oh lukewarm boring word - perhaps I am not so very keen on Mr Blonde and do just want the ego boost after all!).

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Bloody men.

What is it that I want exactly? I go on about wanting to find a nice chap who I quite enjoy spending time with and who will treat me to dinner and then when that is what I find I am still disatisfied... Mr Blonde and I had a yummy meal and wine, he paid then I suggested an excellent cocktail bar, we had delicious cocktails, eventually cuddling up in a little private nook at my suggestion then come 11.20pm he said he had to go due to work and having to get up at 6.30am...

Okay I knew he got up early but sometimes isn't it worth staying up late?! We hadn't even kissed and I thought it was imminent. We didn't meet up until 8pm and after all the finding him online, waiting all week for a second date and then all the date prep I was not a little put off by his wanting to end the date so very early. I hadn't thought much about when we would say goodnight but I guess probably 1pm or 2pm was the hour I had in mind. 11.20pm seemed bloody early to me.

I was obviously surprised but tried to keep upbeat although only allowed him to kiss goodnight to my cheek. Remaining cheerful does have its limits.

But surely this is ideal? I do want to be taken out and have dinner and drinks paid for by a jolly nice chap and not feel any obligation to sleep with him... and yet perhaps because of Germanicus and his general lack of interest in sex and because of Phd Boy and his lack of capability I now rather want some sort of physical interest in me... Oh Mr Blonde what a sap you are and this sort of treatment of girls is clearly why you have ended up dating online for although you are quite prepared to pay for dinner et al you then show no real interest in the girl although you probably feel it...

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Rather too lilac.

Bridget Jones used to spend all day, or even several days, doing the all important pre-date prep. I must admit admit to following a similar pattern. Today will be filled with a gym visit, nail painting, exfoliating, hair treatments, leg shaving, hair styling, powdering my face and applying my lucky lipstick. All that effort to achieve a look that seems natural yet styled and belies all the hours of effort.

While the rain pours down outside I sit here at my computer waiting for my nails to dry (brand new nail varnish not a great success... it looks a very exciting shade of pale lilac in the bottle but is rather too pale and thick in real life, in future will reserve it for painting stripes or dots onto other colour bases I think, or perhaps for using with 60s themes outfits for parties) watching endless episodes of things on iplayer (very much enjoying Celebrity Apprentice and have rather a crush on the ghastly and cheating Piers Morgan). I am actually rather nervous about tonight... waiting a whole week for a second date is not a winning plan as one forgets all the things they told you on the first date and so I always confuse the things they have said to me with those of other people, particularly since I am messaging about seven different men on, and then the men seem hurt I have forgotten what they told me previously. Gosh what do I remember about Mr Blonde? He likes skiing... and that is about the sum total...

Not meeting him until 8pm tonight which I do find ever so slightly trying. I am not a late eater, I like to eat at the proper hour of 7pm or half past at a push but having to be nervous all day and then not eat until 8pm at night... Oh well can't be helped, but on the plus side it is because of his working hours so if we do end up in a relationship then at least I won't have to spend long evenings with him but can do my own thing until 8pm every night! Still convinced that boyfriends take up rather an excessive amount of one's time and am planning to be jolly strict and limit access when I get on, or perhaps just enjoy them and them split up as soon as my uni exams start to loom to give myself amply procrastination/revision time.

Immersed in the wonderful world of P.G. Wodehouse once more. One of the things I am most thankful for is that he wrote so very many books as I am still discovering more I need to read after many years as a fan. 'Hot Water' is my current and I am having a tremendous time with it. Such jolly happy books, they always leave a smile on my face and often make my snigger while reading them. I would rather like to be a heroine in  Wodehouse book, the men are always so honest about their love for and admiration of the women they fall for that I think it would be blissful. Added to which most of the heros are lovely Lords so that would be awfully nice as well.

Out last night with a good friend and discussing dating as one does she revealed that when dating her ex she was never the least but nervous before dates, even the first one, and didn't go to great lengths about date prep or thinking of outfits etc. But we ended up agreeing that this was because she had not been terribly fussed about him in general, and it seems only really went out with him from a sense of why not since he has asked me. Sad but there we have it and not unlike the way I felt about Phd Boy. We now both have a similar problem which stems from this in that both her ex and Phd Boy are still getting in touch with us and wanting to meet up... We neither of us were much interested in them but it was nice to date someone and so we went along for the ride, were sweet and nice and pretended to share their interests etc, and then when we both ended things the boys seem to have been left thinking that all was going so well until suddenly it wasn't. In Phd Boy's case he obviously thinks his big screw up ended what was a very promising relationship and so keeps getting in touch and trying to patch things over. But really if I had liked him more what occured would not have mattered and wouldn't have led to a split. Alas the perils of putting on a dating face and only presenting one's best side for they are actually left not truly knowing one and so think one is so much nicer and better than one really is. But then does one truly get to know them as surely we all put on our best outward appearance? But this at least means my nerves are good as if like my friend I wasn't then it would show I wasn't terribly interested in Mr Blonde where as my nerves are shouting out that I am!

But the nerves are also there because meeting in this way means that both of you are actively looking to date and for a relationship, and are so desperate for one that you have gone through the normal ways of doing it and ended up online and paid for the priviledge. So it follows that if your date then doesn't want to see you again there can be no excuse along the lines of they are not ready for a relationship or are too busy etc, but that they just didn't like you... This certainly adds to the pressure, sadly deep down though a self-assured and confident girl I do want to be liked.

Meanwhile the boring chap never did get back in touch and I have several chaps messaging, winking etc online at me. It really is a very long process... I was jolly surprised at just how long it takes before one of them asks to meet you in person but the average seems to be at least eight messages. A wink or at least some profile viewing goes before this and all the while you are weeding out the ones you don't like the sound/look of... It does get tedious, especially as one can usually tell within the first message and profile view whether one is interested... Which does seem to imply it is mostly based on looks which is slightly sad...

Monday, 15 August 2011

Cute but Stupid.

Even though it is the summer holidays I haven't been reading nearly as much as I usually do. This morning I discovered why I have been so apathetic in my pursuit of literature... I had mixed up my contact lenses and for the past two months or so have been wearing the wrong prescription in each eye... My god for an intelligent girl I can be very stupid at times! In fact this trait of mine has been rather unhelpful where boys are concerned. When they first meet me they find a blonde and ditzy girl and they think brilliant, she is cute but stupid and get all eager. But the longer they spend talking to me the more they find out about my interests, opinions and passions and that first burst of excitement soon dies as they get all disappointed as they make the discovery that I have brains. A whole lot of men do not want or seek brains in a girlfriend, especially if they suspect she has more of them than they themselves do. As in the case of Phd Boy they find it intimidating and off-putting. Oh well we all have our burdens and being clever is rather a jolly one to possess!

Mr Blonde waited the usual two days then got in touch and we have our second date tomorrow night. We are going our for dinner and he asked me to pick the restaurant. A very tricky thing to decide as one never knows if the date is intending to pay or if the meal has to be at somewhere that is within the good old student budget. After some deliberation I plumped for a very nice but informal kind of place with an organic and cool vibe. The food and in particular the wine are frightfully good and so if we end up splitting it I won't be impressed but won't mind too much. Our second date is a whole week after our first which id really not ideal as one forgets all the things they have told you and feels nervous all over again. Also a nightmare trying to decide what to wear, and of course the only thing I really feel like wearing is the dress I wore on our first date which is the only outfit I can't wear... Why am I so nervous?! Actually nerves are probably a good thing as they show I like him.

On the other hand if it doesn't work out I have the consoling thought that I am proving rather a hit at the online dating lark and have had messages and winks galore in the last couple of days (I have found one gets most interest over the weekends as all the poor lonely hearts suddenly feel lonely as all their friends are cuddled up with their girlfriends).

So roll on tomorrow night and before then all I have to do is fit in a big gym session and paint my nails... Oh I do hope it goes well, I remember Mr Blonde as being awfully nice.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Introducing Mr Blonde?

So two dates in two days, not a bad start to the week! Monday night was date number one:

Was jolly nervous and surprisingly anxious about it, mostly I think simply due to the bad experience of the aborted date the day before. I had arranged to meet him in a rather nice (but not off-puttingly so or too expensive) cocktail bar. It was a beautiful summer evening as I strolled over, compulsively checking that my skirt was not in some way tucked into my tights or that I had managed to get lipstick on my teeth. I turned up on time to find him inside waiting for me. I was struck by how good looking he was at once. Sandy blonde hair and really very attractive, also clean shaven which I much prefer but which was new since his profile pictures were taken. We shook hands and he went to get me a glass of wine.

Things went well and I felt relaxed and at ease from the start. We chatted about books to begin with but soon moved on to discuss him... Sadly he turned out to be one of those boys who love to talk about themselves, and even worse who talked quite slowly. The worst possible combination! I would try and seem interested and so ask him a question and he would then consider it for a few moments before launching into a long winded answer that would take many minutes to be over. A pause would then fall as I would wait to see if he was going to ask me anything, but no of course he wouldn't so to fill in the conversation I would ask him something else and so on and on and on and on. Additionally he managed to make just one pint last two long hours and when he originally bought me a glass of wine I was rather amused to see that his cheapskint instinct had kicked in and he had only got me a small! Telling little detail!

After almost two hours I thought him perfectly nice but oh so very dull. He went to the loo and I decided that when he came back if instead of sitting down he asked me if I would like another drink then I would agree and stay, but that if he just came and sat back down I would make my excuses and leave. He returned and sat down. I left. Unimpressed. Interestingly he had been nothing like I imagined from both his profile and from his messages. He had come across as cocky and charming in his messaging and a bit ruffled and not so hot in his pictures. Where as in person he was well groomed and much more attractive but ponderously boring.

Date number two was last night and really I couldn't be bothered. I was so unexcited that I almost called it off several times. This was not helped by the fact that his profile was almost empty and he had only uploaded one picture so I knew very little about him apart from the fact that he has blonde hair. But in the end I thought it would be good for me and so I put on a pretty little dress and headed out. He was waiting for me by the door and I was immediately struck by how attractive and blonde he was, as well as how smartly he was dressed (which I always appreciate). His profile picture really hadn't done him justice.

He got us drinks (buying me a large glass of wine as all proper boys do!) and we sat down and chatted. He was lively, clever and articulate and I enjoyed talking to him very much indeed. He impressed me with his interests, had a lovely smile and was jolly to be with. He bought us a second round of drinks (I did offer but he insisted which I thought splendid) and I got the third. We had a splendid evening and he eventually dropped me off at my front door in a taxi on his way back. The only awkward moment was when he went to kiss me goodnight in the back of the taxi - I was not expecting this, it was very dark and it turned into a kind of peck on the cheek vaguely near the mouth, then when I leant over to kiss him back on the cheek that didn't quite work either... but at least it showed interest on both sides.

I am definitely the type of girl who likes to be wined and dined and rather expects men to do the whole mannerly thing of holding doors open, but also I must admit I expect them to pay for the majority of dates, certainly at the beginning of a relationship. I did not take to date number one anyway but I really didn't like his cheapskate attitude where as lovely date number two seemed to get the balance just right. He is older than me and has a good strong career while I am but a poor student, so he is of course well placed to be able to do this but I still appreciate the fact that he did. It was also jolly good as a sign that it was a proper date and that he was interested in me and perhaps trying to impress me.

There was vague but promising mention of meeting in the future and I have rather been watching my phone all day but so far nothing... Must play it cool though and will of course wait to see if Mr Blonde gets in touch. Oh gosh I do like him a lot and am very pleased indeed by how last night went. Still working away at the online dating, and it really is work. It takes so much effort and time it is unreal! You need to find men you like the look of and sound, then 'wink' at them or message them and then wait for replies. Then all the messaging back and forth takes a long time and that first message to them is a nightmare to write... got several chaps on the go and there are two in particular that I like the look of and I am hoping will ask to meet me soon. Then of course one finds that no-one is exactly how they seem online. Take me two recent dates: the first was slightly better looking but character wise totally different to the impression I had developed, while date two Mr Blonde had given away very little online and definitely hadn't done himself justice where as in real life he is splendid both to look at and to talk to (and such lovely arm muscles though he is a tad on the short side...).

Monday, 8 August 2011

Updike's men in skirts.

So another attempt to find a compatible, intelligent, attractive and above all well read man is tonight. To be honest I keep wavering between nerves and sickening indifference at the idea. I rather think the aborted attempt to meet the smoking loser for coffee yesterday has put me off. But I am not going to let my nerves and bad luck stop me, I am going to do all the usual pre-date prep and then saunter out bravely and hope for the best. At least this one claims to have read a lot of books so really how bad can it be?

I am going through a John Updike phase and have purchased not only 'The Witches of Eastwick' but also 'The Maples Stories' and 'Marry Me'. I am avoiding his Rabbit series as a long time ago I borrowed the first one from my ex but was unable to finish it as I had to return it when we split and rather soured to the poor book as a result. Besides it really wasn't anywhere near as good as some of his others. So far am a little disappointed by the witches... it just doesn't pack the punch I thought it would, and I don't feel he has properly written the three female leads. He is entirely capable of writing women well, but to my mind they never come across as real women and always remain, no matter how interestingly conceived, as women as seen through the eyes of a man. I don't think this is because he has written the women as the sort of strong and hard drinking, promiscuous characters he also writes his men as, for Richard Yates did the same with his women and yet they always seemed very female, as did the women in 'Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf' who of course were also penned by a man. But somehow Updike's women always come across as men posing as women or worse they are just a shade too shrill and nagging to be quite accurate.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Missed connections.

I should be sitting in a lovely cafe having an interesting and enjoyable date with a new chap I met online, but instead I am sitting in my flat drinking a rather good Merlot and with a delectable slice of chocolate cake sitting most temptingly beside me. Things never do seem to go to plan but I am becoming adept at turning them into positives. In this I am strongly reminded of a very well written children's book I loved when younger called 'Back Home' by Michelle Magorian in which the main character Rusty, when faced with a sea of unfriendly girls at her new boarding school (I always did adore boarding school books), faces them with great strength and for every one that ignores or snubs her she declares in her jolly American twang that that simply brought the next friendly person nearer for one must wade through no's to yet a yes.

I rather think she was right and today for me was another in what will no doubt turn into a whole series of no answers.

I arranged to meet a chap discovered online for coffee but though I sat there for a good twenty minutes (reading a wonderful new P.G. Wodehouse the time actually flew by) he didn't show. I was rather miffed but then suddenly got a text from him declaring that he was now leaving having waited outside for half an hour... When I entered I do vaguely remember seeing a sandy haired chap smoking outside and checking his phone, but really he didn't seem to resemble the profile picture of my date and so I carried on into the coffee shop. I don't think he noticed me and he obviously didn't bother going inside and looking for me or he would have spotted me. For unlike him I carefully decided to go for a profile picture in which I look jolly nice but also like I do in real life, rather than selecting one of those wonderful shots where I look incredible but really only through some magic combination of the lighting and the angle of the picture.

Of course I did reply to his text and tell him that actually I had been inside the whole time, but frankly by that point I wasn't all that interested in him and he had left anyway. So I had a very nice time with my book and am now home to partake of the Sunday Times. I wasn't much taken by what I remember about the boy outside the coffee shop and with meeting people this way the pool is so very large that I have decided that as soon as one red warning light or any difficulty arrises then it is much easier just to chuck them and move onto the next one... And I have another date lined up for tomorrow which is rather comfort making.

The Phd Boy after sending me that ghastly long bitter message last weekend actually messaged me again hat evening. He obviously regretted sending it and was trying to claw back some lost ground. Once again I didn't respond and then a few days ago he texted asking to meet up and apologise in person. I agreed solely so that I could get a book I loaned him back and we had a very awkward (or at least he seemed very awkward and I was quite indifferent and amused by turns) coffee yesterday. I got my book back, he stiltedly apologised and I am afraid I couldn't help myself and laughed an awful lot as he did so, he just looked so discomfited about it all. For some reason I can't work out he wants to remain friends, I just said yes to make it easier but really I have no inclination to be in contact with him again. The poor sod said several times that he had messed everything with us up and bitch that I am and indifferent as I had become I didn't say anything to comfort or contradict him.

But tomorrow is another day and another date (or lets hope it is actually a date this time) beckons!