So here’s the funny thing, I’m back home in the New Year and my mother looks at me and says ‘come on you gotta get back on the horse’. She means the dating horse or more specifically the online dating horse. She obviously is unaware that it is actually a Trojan box of terrors. But since I haven’t been online since September, there are normally 12,000 miles between us and she’s frustrated at not being able to box my ears or give me a hug when I make stupid male-oriented decisions, I decide to humour her, after all ’tis the season of new beginnings right? So I say OK and one night over a bottle of wine we reactivate and load up my dating profile for laughs and tweaks.
The first thing she and her partner say (‘because now it’s a group intervention right?) is “Oh, don’t say you like Opera, no, no, no, no ,no….. that’s far too high brow” and “Don’t say you like to read Pride and Prejudice – just be normal”. When I protest that I do like Opera they counter in stereo “when was the last time you went?” pause “Exactly! Do you know any men that read Jane Austin? No? Exactly! And men don’t like women who are too posh or superior” so I sigh, grit my teeth and hit the backspace button on my profile. After all what have I got to lose? Seriously, my track record with men is appalling, I have a magnetic appeal it seems for the wrong polar, I attract the weird, heartbroken, lovelorn, obsessed and lost. So maybe it is me that’s the problem and I am putting out the wrong vibes in the first place? Like attracts like right? Maybe I’m a twisted narcissist?
Mum is onto glass three when she really starts letting loose and playing Bingo with prospective mens’ profiles…”Oh now he’s cute, send him a smile go on, go on, oh and he’s an investment banker quick, quick send him a smile!” as she leans over and strikes the mouse! Bing! One cyber smile sent by my mother. “Oh I don’t understand why you’re moaning kid this is fun!” She says perching her glasses on the bridge of her nose to get a better look at ‘ScubaDave’. Before demanding that her partner come in and check his credentials and give us the male thumbs up or down. It is the gladiatorial equivalent of ‘meet the parents’ online.
Upshot is my Mum pinged 7 blokes over the Christmas period (in cahoots with myself of course) but then inevitably and sometimes even begrudgingly I started chatting to them online (see investment banker in my book always rhymes with wanker, but hey ho my mother didn’t go to the same school of life as me). I told them all I was on the other side of the world and that they’d have to wait for a date. As I boarded the plane my Mum looked at me – all worn out by loving a guy who won’t love me back and she shook me by the shoulders (as only a Mother can do) and said “Forget him, he’s waste of space, think about these lovely guys and promise me that you will go for at least one drink with all of them? Promise me? Even if you’re not really that keen? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket love, go and have some fun, distract yourself and have a nice time. Promise?” Oh the blackmail.
The Christmas Batch or The Magnificent Seven – you choose the moniker, have honestly been my salvation. I was a good, diligent girl and I did exactly as my Mummy told me. After all it gets to a point in your life when you are full of blanks and misses and you think maybe my Mum is actually onto something? Maybe I just can’t see it? It took me 6 whole weeks to get through all of them, juggling correspondence and dates, times and venues, well all bar one that is… ‘ScubaDave’ who after rearranging me several times, stood me up for a date on Valentine’s Day (oh the irony). His loss.
And every single one of my Mother’s Picks wanted a repeat date. For the second date; one wanted to go running, one wanted to go salsa, one wanted a casual pizza, one wanted a movie, one wanted an ‘exciting’ dinner and one sent me an enormous bouquet of flowers at work by way of invitation to a second date.
Of this only two made it through the initial steeplechase and one in particular only by calling me on the phone and pleading with me to reconsider and be ‘less harsh’? Huh? Harsh who me? This is me the doormat, remember, the one that gets stomped on?
And one went the distance all the way and we are on date 9. It’s a one horse race now, I shut down my profile 2 weeks ago because actually I’m not interested or looking at anybody else. This man makes me laugh and hours dissolve happily in his company. He is a true gentleman who is courting me (much to my Mother’s delight), old fashioned style, no rush, no seeing each other everyday or hopping into bed. This is slow dating… and actually after all the flakey men with empty promises I kinda like it! It’s nice to be treated like a lady and respected. It’s nice to know a date is a date and he’ll turn up. To be picked up and driven to a quiet little place and romanced slowly. A compliment about my outfit, a touch on the arm, a kiss on the cheek. How nice. So yes, I gotta admit that maybe Mother does know best, just please don’t tell her, she’ll be unbearable x