Thursday, July 27, 2006


So, how are you with dating? Smooth? Awkward? Was there that one time that the date was going brilliantly, and she even agreed to come home with you, but you forgot that you left your anal beads prominently displayed in the shower and she left really suddenly and has never returned your calls since, and since then other women have become strangely unavailable and you think the story might have got around, and as a result you’ve decided that you’re a social pariah destined to die alone? That’s okay. There’s someone with less chance of picking up out there. At least, now.

Sometimes I find myself regretting, perversely, that I met and fell in love with the husband as young as I did (twenty) and therefore missed out on this world of dating. As a teenager dating wasn’t big. None of us had any money, for a start, and we were all indy and hip and stuff, so the preferred strategy mostly went: go to party, get drunk, get physical with person of choice, hang out a few times in the following weeks, start referring to one another as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Dating, as I understand it, is a whole different thing. It involves dressing up, and going out, and all sorts of issues about paying bills and there are rules about whether a first date should be for dinner or just coffee, and if you're going to kiss someone goodnight, where and when do you execute the move? And then there’s internet dating and speed dating and then someone decided that eating dinner in total darkness will help matters along (my favourite thing about that link is the effort that’s gone into the presentation of the food. Who cares? It’s dark!) and frankly, the whole thing’s sort of bewildering and exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unsympathetic. I know that it’s hard to meet and get to know the person who turns out to be the one you can’t imagine living without. And I know that these novelty dating ideas are just ways of injecting fun into what, for some people, feels like a grim and humiliating exercise. I’m not oblivious to the pathos of the whole thing.

But come on. It’s also very, very funny.

The thing about dates, barring those that end in some sort of violence, is that even when they’re bad, they’re great. One of the few actual dates I ever went on, as a younger woman, was with a guy who’d borrowed his boss’s car to pick me up, and the date itself consisted on driving to a nice lookout, sitting in the car and chatting over a takeaway coffee. Which would have been fine, except that his boss (and he) delivered papers for a living, and to make that easier the front passenger seat had been removed, and so I had to sit in the back whilst he drove. And the lookout was a long way away. There was no second date.

A friend of mine still tells the story of a guy who insisted on paying for dinner, but then took her to a cheap diner and instructed her to order the soup because it was the “best value”. Then shared her soup. Then asked for extra bread. Then put the extra bread in his bag and took it home. The tales are endless.

So all of you out there who are single – eschew the speed dating and the organised activities and stick with the one on one dates. They’re where the comedy lies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice idea with this site its better than most of the rubbish I come across.

12 August, 2006  

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