Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Reach A Pivotal Moment In My Life.

There are certain moments. When you know you will change as a person. And are about to do things you never have before, that will probably define the rest of your life as a man.

For the first time, I am about to purchase a vacuum cleaner.

Feeling very modern, I flash the text-message reservation confirmation at the woman in Argos. She seems unimpressed. Perhaps she has seen this done before.

I remember the first time I discovered that socks and pants did not magically just appear. I was in my third year of university.

That was a big one.

The thing about household tasks requiring ‘tools’ of some sort was also a shocker, as was the introduction to shops that smelt of metal, hard work and masculinity. Purchasing a cordless drill was mind-blowing.

But this.

More than socks, pants, hammers or drills, vacuum-cleaners have always just BEEN THERE. Wherever I’ve lived, there’s always been one about, or someone has had a spare one (why?) that I’ve taken.

So this is enormous. I had a perfectly good one that just came from nowhere, which my sister – in the brief period she rented my spare room, used once and tripped every switch in the house and caused a brief but alarming electrical burning smell – destroyed.

Getting home from work, I take the box from the carrier bag. This is guaranteed to be an excellent experience.

For one; it cost less than twenty quid. No matter how poor it is, it cannot disappoint at that price.

And. The box has been taped-up by an Argos employee meaning it is an un-advertised return. This means that the previous owner thought it was so good that it would have been unfair not to let other people have a go at it.

I am agog with anticipation.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish thingse”

Yeah. It’s time to put away childish things and do some overdue hoovering.

But it’s late. We’ll see.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Internet Dating.

It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon, and Blonde Colleague is engaged in one of her favourite pastimes.

Me: Alright. Do you just want to delete it now?

Blonde Colleague: But you’re getting loads of matches! I mean, I’ve not put your picture on there which probably helps but ….

Me: I don’t even know why this amuses you.

B.C: Well, it’s just…oh. Look at her – she’s alright.

Me: No.

B.C: It’s just funny. You know. The thought of you actually ‘with’ someone. I can’t really see it. God knows how you managed to have two children.

Me: Great. Thanks. Will you delete it now?

It’s not the first time and I doubt the last that she has created an online dating profile for me because she’s bored.

I shan’t forget the harrowing afternoon when she found a site that effectively promised to match a very in-depth psychometric profile of your good self with anyone similar in the world. After forty minutes filling-in the alarmingly lengthy questions she refused to take any more of my honest answers on the grounds that they made me sound like a 'fucking psycho' and clicked ‘search’ with the result that I am apparently incompatible with anyone in the Western Hemisphere with internet access.

B.C: Ooh. Look at this one. ‘Mildly disabled’ it says. What do you reckon?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ‘hating on' internet dating. But I’ve been ‘actual’ dating and by God it’s horrific.

Effectively a job interview to be someone’s boyfriend, where you sit across a table with someone you hardly know in some bar or restaurant somewhere with a fake rictus grin plastered on your fizzog whilst you pretend to be interested in a virtual stranger and try to present yourself as a reasonable example of humanity and not as the vindictive, ill-tempered monomaniac you actually are.

That’s bad enough. But at least you’ll have had some sort of normal human contact to get you there in the first place.

I nearly tried the internet version once. I had a flatmate a couple of years ago who seemed to do quite well out of it. I actually set-up a profile on her preferred site and everything. To be honest, it was because she was (astonishingly) quite keen on me herself and I was trying to subtly let her know that it wasn’t happening. She liked my profile, but felt that the photo “didn’t do me any favours”. In that it contained my face, I can only assume.

It was deleted after a day. She’d got the message.

And I'd got a dispiritingly filthy message from an overweight woman who works in my local Co-Op. I do my shopping out-of-town now.


B.C: You should do this for real.

Me: No. If I write an attractive profile people will be only let-down by the abysmal reality and if I write an honest one people will run a mile.

B.C: What’s the honest one?

Me: I dunno. Something like “Emotionally distant borderline-sociopath WLTM fragile woman with crippling self-esteem issues to repeatedly batter with his Sarcasm Mallet until her sense of self-worth is so low she can’t leave the house. Reply to Box Number etc”

Blonde Colleague squints at me for a moment.

B.C: That would work.


Women are mental. [She considers herself an honourary ‘woman’] They lap that shit up. They love a bloke who’s crackers. Either that or they think “hmm, I could sort him right out.” You know, fix you up and that? They love that.

Me: Let’s just not bother.

Besides. I like the way my house is at the minute. Y’know?
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