The Demographic Shift - 58
I've been meaning to get this one off my chest for ages. I hate anything organised other than politics and pub-faring activities where organisation has always proved pretty crucial, so to be honest I really wasn't all that up for speed dating.
I mean seriously, it never seems to work so well when done at a more sedate pace, what's it going to be like on speed?
I blame several people, beginning with my friend Alison, who although best is also a born-again smug married, who suggested it and Adam, who was keen to go.
"I really think you should get out more."
"Really? I do get out. What are you getting at?"
Alison slid a tatty piece of paper across the table.
"You should do this, they have nights designed for people just like you?"
"What you mean war-mongering lefties with a taste for pop culture , Lloyd Cole songs and Douglas Coupland novels? Are you sure? As really I'd be surprised."
"No, I meant people who work in the media."
"That sounds a nightmare. Have you meet those people?"
"But speed dating is very trendy, right now."
My interest pricks up when Alison says this. What can I say I'm a little shallow and easily influenced by passing trends and fads.
"Er, well at least among single people."
Anyway, once the ball got rolling just about everyone thought it was a good idea. Adam is always up for this kind of stuff and will drag his arse to many distant locations if women happen to be involved.
"Oh, I've been saying for ages we should do more stuff, I'll go."
"I knew you would be up for it."
"I hear the women are really desperate and, well, it's apparently like shooting fish in a barrel."
"You say that like it's a good thing? I'm not sure you're approaching it with the right attitude. The whole barrel-fish thing?"
"The right attitude, what are you talking about. I really want to sleep with women, what can I say?"
"This can't possibly end well."
Alison not only thought it was a great idea that I go, but she had been talking to Susan about it as well who then called me with a really stupid plan. You see where this is going, right?
"Oh I think it's great, I've been meaning to go for ages, we should all go together it would be like a group outing."
"Suze, I hate to break it to you, but I think you're missing the point with the whole group idea. If we go together we would actually have to date each other."
"But not seriously, it would be like pretend dating."
"Yes... but I still don't think it's a good idea, we should go separately, you know, on quite different nights."
"What are you worried I'll see your technique at work?"
"My technique? I thought it was pretty clear that I don't have one – hence the singleness."
"True, but I thought you were just overly picky and fussy, and really with a fixation on Winona Ryder."
"I'm long over that, I mean by years."
"If you say so."
That said, I did recently rewatch 'Heathers' on DVD and really? Still very good, but seriously, I'm over the whole Winona Ryder thing.
"So you won't go on the same night as Adam and me?"
"I'll think about it."
"You'll think about it? I'd think hard about it."
"Don't pressure me. I hate being put under pressure. I'll make some crazy decision and live to regret it."
"I'm not worried about you living to regret it, I'm more worried about me."
With that, of course, she hung up. I've sort of digressed. In the Sunday night BBC show... which I should be honest about and admit that really I've only seen highlights of. Highlights is kind overstating it. What I really mean is that Sunday is about the only night of the week when I am in and something is actually on TV that I like. And can you believe it, it's on Bravo? Who would have guessed that there was actually anything of value on Bravo whatsoever? The show in question is the high-kicking, twisty-turn CIA drama 'Alias' starring Jennifer Garner and I am a slightly addicted, four-season veteran of this confusing but wonderfully written Milo Rambaldi obsessed show.
I did mention the whole lo-fi culture thing right? Anyhow, not that I am encouraging anyone to ad skip, but I've been watching the BBC show during ad breaks. So really I've seen about 12 minutes of 'Science of Love'.
In the most recent show the team of scientists orchestrate a speed date with a hundred singletons to test their theories. They get zero matches. One included 32-year-old Beth Eagland who started her "dates" with Gestapo friendly questions like "why are you single?". I didn't see the next bit, but my feeling was she heading down the McCarthyite path and surely her next question was "Are you or have you ever been a member of..."
I swear it was just like this. There was a vast amount of pickiness going on. I should put my hand up and say I'm guilty also and really have on several occasions declared that I could not possibly go out with X or Y as I find it impossible to date anyone who has a bigger arse than me.
Seriously, I can't help it and I just wish I could. I'm just worried that one day, I'll be there and she will go, does my arse look big in this? And I won't be able to help myself. I know, I should get a job or a life or, you know, something. I know, what's that about. I blame my parents.
So we went... and really this is long enough. I will follow this up.
I thought I really should update on last week's blind date latest. After I left message with said girl who might be called Becca or possible Jackie or maybe something in between.
Amazingly after garbled message she calls me back, but from the back of a taxi and so when she says who it is I still can't work it out. I'm positive this is significant or maybe even insignificant. I can't quite make up my mind.
We sort of blahed away slightly incoherently, what with the lack of coverage, after about half an hour on the phone and exchanging various biographical details we agreed to meet up sometime in a few weeks' time.
She was off to Scotland and was going to be away in the States and possibly Ireland as well this was difficult.
"What about the week commencing July 25?"
"The week commencing? Do people really say that?"
"Er, I do, everyone here does."
"Really? That's disturbing, the week commencing? That's just plain... oh who knows."
Somehow I found this very amusing, to be honest, I can't tell you why. For some reason it totally escapes me. But for the next five minutes I could not help myself but make fun out of the phrase week commencing. You can see how I get all these dates now, I mean it's pretty clear.
Anyway, July 25 has of course been and gone, but before it happened she cancelled. Tragic I know.
"I'm going to South Africa, work, I know tough, but I will be back on August 5, but might have to go to Ireland and the US after that, so might now be back until August 20, which is heading into autumn. I'll text you or you could text me, do you want to put something in the diary now?"
All this and really I'm still not sure what her name is or what country she might be visiting. I'm sure it never used to be this complicated. I'm no good at advance planning and not really much better at dating, so combining the two is really never going to work out.