Monday, October 11, 2010

My Friends Think I'm Gorgeous...But 'Computer Says No...'

So while I was alternatively hibernating or bleating away about my pitiful existence this summer, to anyone who had the patience of a saint to listen, two of my girlfriends came up with a plan.
It wasn’t a particularly brilliant, inspired  or original plan, but they succeeded in getting my attention regardless.
“What you need,” they declared knowingly, “is to be wined and dined a little.  You need to get out more.  Let your hair down.  Have fun!”
More specifically, I needed to be wined / dined and to expend a little flirtatious energy with men who had the looks of Pierce Brosnan, the assets of Richard Branson and a Phd in cunnilingus/multiple female orgasm.  “Any sane, single man would give his right arm for the chance to go out with you!” my loyal friends assured me.  “You’re going to have men queueing up for the chance to take you out to some fancy, schmancy restaurant!  C’mon, your confidence could do with a little boost and it’s not like you have anything better to do, is it?  What have you got to lose?”
Sounded like a good plan to me.  Sign me up!  I said.  Now, where’s the catch?
There’s the catch.  Need I say more?
I wasn’t particularly convinced that a man with the combined attributes of Pierce / Richard / Sting (?!) was going to be advertising himself willingly on  I’d had the impression that was purely a euphamism for“well, what’s the problem with that?”  said one friend, “after all, it’s about time you had your pipes serviced.”)  
When I expressed these concerns to my two girlfriends they duly ran roughshod over my scepticism....”No, No, No - there’s plenty of fantastic, eligible men on Match...look, here’s a photo of one on a boat!” they assured me fervently....and started to write my profile.  
And that, my dear friends, is how my first foray into t’internet dating began.
Oh well, I thought a little dubiously, at least it will provide some entertaining blogging fodder if nothing else.
In a matter of days I had created a dating pseudonym, written a half-hearted profile and posted a few pics, including this photograph.

This is, I have to be honest, the most flattering photograph I have probably ever had taken in my whole life (wedding pictures included).  It is a miracle of modern digital technology.  It caught me in a split micro-second before my facial features morphed back to their typical frown or gormless gaze.  Even my most closest friends will attest that unintentional gurning is one of my foremost specialities.  
This is going to have all the hot, rich men responding in droves, I thought.  No matter that I won’t possibly be able to recreate that look in person - this is the land of false advertising.  And anyway, I am going to divert their attention with my effervescent, vivacious personality and pernacious wit!  It’s going to be great!
Now if there was ever one activity designed to well and truly knock my confidence to rock bottom levels this summer - it was my experience with
Oh to be sure - I did get a fair number of winks.  And even a number of emails.  All of whom from  men with the combined attributes of Homer Simpson (couch potatoes), Jabba the Hutt (“Weebles wobble...but they don’t fall down”), John Merrick (aesthetically challenged), the Hunchback of Notre Dame (a few handbells short of a full set), the Yorkshire Ripper (serial killer style facial hair) and Sarah Palin (gun toting global ingoramus).  
It appeared that the likes of Pierce / Richard / Sting hadn’t yet tracked down my profile, so I decided to give them a helping hand and shoot out a few winks and sardonic, amusing emails of my own.  
Which were all IGNORED.  
Not one response.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  And I know they went on to read my profile and take a look The Most Ridiculously Flattering Photo Of Me Ever Taken, because I checked.  
Now to say my self-esteem was in tatters prior to this experience is to put it mildly.  And after?  Well, it was well and truly incinerated.  
Well here is proof positive, I mused.  My destiny is a relationship with an overweight, hairy, ugly man who sits on his couch all day cleaning his guns, picking at his beard while agreeing with the latest Glen Beck rants.  Either that or I am going to be alone FOREVER.  Way to go in cheering me up, girls.
Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, as the saying goes, so I did venture out on four first dates.  

The less said about those the better.  

Surprise, surprise, there were no fancy dinners in exclusive restaurants.  I made an effort to make myself look presentable, only to find each man turn up in baggy, ill-fitting cargo shorts, T shirts, that looked as though they had slept in them, and flip flops.  I’m not sure what impression they were aiming to make with that ensemble, but it definitely wasn’t one of, ‘I made a little effort before coming out to meet you tonight’.  Of course, looks aren’t everything.  I may be shallow, but not that shallow.  However, I have to confess I have spent more entertaining hours in the company of my friend’s British Bulldog Louie...and at least with him I am guaranteed of less slobber during the goodnight kiss.
What a spectacular waste of time.  And more to the point, what a spectacular waste of $75.  Do you realise how many cheap bottles of plonk I could have purchased with that money, to keep me company during my long summer of sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself?  Quite a few, I can tell you that for nothing.  Particularly if I had limited my spending to the 3-buck-chuck shelf at Trader Joe’s.
Let’s hope this is not a sign of things to come when I am back on British shores.  Surely the dating world can’t be as cruel back at home?  I guess on that front, I will just have to wait and see.
In the meantime I will continue to reassure myself that I have, in fact, meet a very interesting guy and no, he does not have the looks of Pierce, the assets of Richard (although potentially he could have a Phd in ‘satisfying women on the sexual front’...).  

He is a good friend of Subversive Mum and I met him the first time last Xmas, then again at Easter while on holiday in the UK and most recently while visiting SM at her new home in Brooklyn.  
He’s a Brit.  Older than me.  Shorter than me.  Possibly not the least bit interested in me.  But I like him.  I can’t quite put my finger on where the attraction lies - all I know is that the instant I met him, I liked him.  I wanted to spend time with him.  We are so very different yet have umpteen things in common.
Maybe he’s going to be a very good friend once I move home.  But maybe, it could be something more.  Only time will tell.
It might take a while....but I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Hmmm...that photo is NOT the best one of you by a long shot. You can't even see what you look like. I'll bring my camera next time I see you and show you what I mean. You're being very modest m'dear!

  2. i think you look lovely. More fool the men.

  3. Gee, if someone as pretty as you can't get a match, where's the hope for the rest of us schlumpadinks. And I agree with HOM - they're the losers!

  4. PS, speaking for myself of course. When I said 'us' I meant me! Sorry!

  5. Was going to write you a comment but have decided it's better to e-mail... You do look lovely in that photo. Definitely.

  6. Well good luck. Perhaps they were just about to get in touch with you when their agent from their modelling company called.....? You never know!

  7. Huh. I am very sorry. That sucks.

    You see, my foray into internet dating (via Yahoo! Personals instead) netted me some rather nice dates with nice men and I felt flattered and then BAM!!!! I met MTL (through that site) and that, as they say, was that. True love, rest of our lives, all that good stuff.

    I have a feeling that the Powers That Be are making sure you don't get too attached to anyone before heading back to Merry Ol' England. Protecting your bruised and battered heart, I think. Chin up: it will happen. I believe it.


  8. I think you look gorgeous there (although am looking forward to seeing the real you, soon!). Don't worry about lack of response... you probably had a lucky escape. The Brit in Brooklyn (?) sounds nice though.

  9. Oh, you and me both. Last week I decided for some insane reason to subscribe to a dating website. I'm not as gorgeous as you, but I had a lot of replies and I have managed to ignore all of them. Not because they all seem unsuitable (although nearly all are) but because I still can't believe I did it, and I'm paralysed with fear about taking the next step. Gulp.

    I'd wait until you get back to the UK and see what's what with this new male friend. You never know, and the bonus is that you already know him and like him. Could be promising.

  10. Oh no! The stress!
    Do you think perhaps they were being shallow and scared off by the baby in the picture?
    I hope this works out for you. Probably better to meet friends of friends anyway. At least they come with reliable reviews.

  11. I absolutely empathise with everything you say about internet dating - disastrous for me, but finally met someone through friends. At least it makes a good story. Worked for my son though.
    Hope the brit turns out well, or at least becomes a good friend (with very fit single friends of his own!).

  12. Expat mum - bring the camera (you can snap away to your heart's content whilst I drive you sharpish to the nearest optician...) ;-))

    HOM - I KNEW I liked you! Thanks hun!

    jo-blue - yeah, yeah, yeah. believe you me, the camera Does lie. And if there is one thing that I have learnt over the years - a good man isn't just attracted to looks - some of the most attractive women are not classically beautiful...but there is a certain energy about them that makes them intriguing. This, I am working on !

    Potty mummy - I think your email hit the nail on the head. And thanks for the compliment...sole reason for the post of course - a blatant request for 'you look lovely' comments!

    Hot Cross Mum - Ha ha! Yes...or maybe They Just Weren't That Into Me??

    Teacher Mommy - it really does serve me right. In all honesty I wasn't looking for Anything serious at all. I was being very selfish in quite liking the idea of being wined and dined a little (with maybe some bonus 'loving' thrown in. My heart wasn't in it at all. Maybe the responses will change when my heart and mind are in the right place...

    NVG - Oh believe me - the real me doesn't really look like that photo. And yes - can't wait to meet you too! Oh - and the Brit lives in Tufnell Park...

    Notsupermum - Yay! You go girl! Don't be too paralysed by fear to at least meet a few of the men. Chemistry is the oddest thing after all. And I have to say - the 4 men I met were very interesting in actual fact. Just not for me...

    MWA - that's what potty mummy said! I hadn't even thought about it (too busy staring at my own gorgeousness to even appreciate there was a baby in the photo...)

    Marianne - Thank you! I might try it again - it was fun to receive an email when you least expected it. And it did mean I left the sofa at least 4 times this summer for a night out. But I agree - meeting people through friends is so much more relaxing.

  13. Love the photo.OK so it's been a while since I've been here, but when did you move to Chicago??????

  14. You look fab and I am sure you don't really gurn although I would put that down as an attribute; you never know Pierce might actually like girls who gurn...
    As for internet dating etc back in teh UK well at least your willing to look, I find that once you are willing to look and take a peek at what's available , you'll find that there are plenty of respectable, good looking males who really would give their eye teeth to meet you!

  15. I remember that photo.
    It was a lovely summer's day in North London, celebrating my daughter's birthday.
    And yes you did and do look lovely.

  16. Anonymous27 May, 2012

    No offense, but your picture has a bunch of kids in it! Plus im sure you probably mentioned them in your profile. A lot of men dont want to be with someone who already has kids (and a tiny baby!!) because they see it as more work. I know thats terrible, but dont worry- youll find someone who loves you and your kids. Theyre out there! Just harder to find I think