Monday, 5 November 2012

The end is nigh...

I’m only thirty four (yes, only) and I have been told that I look at least five, if not ten, years younger than my age. So why then, did a carpet salesman, who I would guess at being in his mid-fifties, think it was ok to ask me out while I was pondering the differences between “twist” and “berber”? Listen, I realise I am no spring chicken, and I have made my peace with the fact that I may never get to throw an amazing fortieth birthday party for the love of my life. But honestly, this guy was a good twenty years older than me, and this is what made me feel a bit icky and sleazed over. I understand that being slightly sleazy and overly flirtatious is an occupational hazard as a salesman (I speak from experience having been in sales myself), but it is far more easy and pleasurable to take from a twenty two year old. Coming from someone twenty years older wearing a Dad jumper for crying out loud (it was a nice Dad jumper, so nice in fact that I thought of asking him where he got it so I could buy it as a Christmas gift for my dad), it suddenly made my cool single life seem a little sad and depressing. Is this really what my life has come to?

Don’t get me wrong, this carpet guy was a perfectly nice chap, and I’m sure he’d make a great boyfriend, for my mum or one of her friends. But it was me he asked for coffee, then for lunch, then coffee again. I have a feeling I may have visibly recoiled with horror when he first suggested it, before recovering with a cheery giggle and a “ah thanks but no. So does this one come with free underlay?” but by the third ask I was getting less convinced that he was joking and/or trying to make a sale and more frustrated at not being able to use the “I’m spoken for” technique without being a big, fat liar. But fending off unwanted attention from men twice my age is actually only one of the reasons that I think it might be time to end my three and a half month long man ban.

I am incredibly comfortable on my own. Maybe a little too comfortable if I’m honest. I have lost all interest in keeping my body hair free, in fact I am actually using the cold weather as an excuse when my waxing lady asks me to remove my tights when I go in for a wax. “Those aren’t tights,” I say “they are my natural defences against the elements. So I am going to be cold after this, I hope you’re happy.”

I have just painted my room a gorgeous shade of pink, it’s like sleeping in a massive ballet slipper. It’s a proper girls room. And one of the excuses against getting a new man is the whole d├ęcor thing. I go to Homebase on a Sunday and see couples bickering in the paint aisle, while I sweep past and breezily pick up a pot of matt Pink Bunting, inwardly smug that I don’t have to deal with those trips anymore. I can go to Ikea and know that no longer does it mean massive rows, I can merrily pick up as many yellow bags and fill them with odd shaped kitchen implements that I will never use and thousands of tea lights, safe in the knowledge that it’s up to me and only me that decides what goes in my house.

But staying single just so I can have a pink bedroom is really missing the point of finding a soul mate. And the real clincher, the thing that made me decide that the man ban absolutely must end, was that the other day I seriously considered getting a dog. Not that much of a shocker on the surface, but I am not a dog person, at all. I get fed up with having to feed my cats, let alone taking a dog for a walk and spending half an hour each morning on a dog egg hunt in the garden. I have sort of the opposite feeling for dogs as I do for kids. Other peoples dogs are fine, and I enjoy spending time with them, but as for one of my own? No way. However, I had this thought that maybe a dog might be nice company for me in the evenings after the kids go to bed. And that is what did it.

So I am finally at the point where I’d be meeting someone new not because I don’t like being alone, and not because I need someone. Which makes me think I must be ready. But, given how busy I am, and knowing that the whole hands touching over the last pain de campagne in Waitrose is a complete fantasy dreamed up by myself in a time when I was less cynical of the mid-thirties dating scene, it does, unfortunately, mean going back to online dating. Which fills me with horror having learnt from experience that there are an awful lot of yucky men on there just out for a bit of excitement. So I set up a new profile (this one without any pictures) totally designed to stamp out any unwanted attention from marrieds, lying fuckwits or oddballs. My user name is of the Star Wars persuasion (obviously) and of course the first message I got was from a guy offering to show me his light sabre. Great. The internet is not immune to sleazebags. On the plus side, I am feeling optimistic, light sabre man may well have been a one off, as I have had a couple of nice messages from some really normal seeming guys, who have not mentioned their light sabres once, and there is not a Dad jumper in sight in any of their photos. Watch this space…