The power of love is a curious thing,
Make a one (wo)man weep,
Make another (wo)man sing – Huey Lewis (and The News)
I AM conducting an experiment. And I am the gullible guinea pig.
While no animals are being undeservedly harmed it does involve some unsuspecting assistants.
I call it an experiment because although this was not the intention when I began this “journey” (god, I hate this use of that word, but it seems so appropriate, despite the lack of destination) it is rapidly deteriorating into little more than research.
Some research assistants are given financial reward for their precious time and generosity, in this case the only reward is my one-off company (lucky them…) and perhaps the opportunity to discover the same as I – is there such a thing as being too fussy when looking for a potential life partner?
As I edge closer to the second half of my fourth decade (see how I artfully dodge stating my actual age while maintaining my habitual need to tell the truth) I decided to test the theory that there is someone for everyone, given that my previous 25-year effort was in fact, delusional.
I decided if that was ‘it’ something is seriously wrong – see, I can be optimistic!
So after realising what a sham online dating sites, and their ‘dates’ (appropriate word use), are, I glibly and gullibly coughed up a rather large amount of money to what can only be described as a dating agency. Turns out, I’ve probably done this solely for your reading pleasure! How cathartic for all of us.
I’m not feeling robbed – far from it. I said to myself, if this gets me closer to someone who ‘gets’ me and the feeling is mutual, great, but if it doesn’t, at least I tried and can now strike it off the list and continue my lifelong love affair with, me. And chocolate. And chairs. And sleep. And books. And live theatre. And Europe. And my priceless friends and fam.
Long story short, I’ll introduce you to each of my ‘research assistants’ and explain why we aren’t suited – Names have obviously been changed, but the general ambience is authentic.
Grant, the South African –
A strapping rugby union player with a personality only slightly duller than a football boot’s faded leather.
My initial thought was ‘oh my gosh, is this the calibre of man this dating agency has on its books!’ Then we began talking.
Firstly, the accent grated, but I was sure I could get past that if this handsome specimen could hold his own in a conversation.
Alas, despite being a successful businessman who moved his family from one nation to another, hence starting a new life, his was a banal existence and to make matters worse, a sense of humour could not be detected, signalling the sure but steady death of this barely begun bleep.
But death came swiftly after I probed him for experiences of how he managed to fit in to the West Australian way of life and culture after leaving South Africa.
He regaled me with a tale of he, his wife and children’s first visit to a Perth café and the baffling abundance of coffee choices he faced when he ventured up to order at the counter – his expectation of table service having been disappointed.
Upon returning to the table after ordering the mysteriously named flat whites, he told his wife in no uncertain terms that he would not be doing that (ordering coffee at a café counter) again because “it was her job”.
That was his first mistake.
His later statement, uttered almost secretly, that central Africa would do well if a bomb landed in the general area, was terminal.
This bleeding heart feminist left shaking her head (on the inside).
Jean-Paul, the Frenchman –
Oh, yes, internationally themed dates are so my thing! I love France, can’t resist the language, nation, food, art, music, architecture, fashion blah blah blah. This should be fascinating, I thought.
This FiFo was already anxious to the extreme as said dating agency had mixed up our meeting time, so calming him down was my first duty, after the obligatory double cheek kiss – maybe a little too familiar for a first date…
My next was to listen intently for the next 1.5 hours as he talked about himself ad nauseam while I dodged exuberant puffs of halitostic (yes, I just invented a new word) spittle as he ‘educated’ me about the benefits of being a property mogul, buying property north of the river as opposed to the down-heel south, why he hated his family and refused to communicate with them, how much money he earns working away and how bad the coffee was at the chosen café.
He did not ask me one single question, clearly having no interest in me, or what made me tick, at all.
I patienly observed his side show and began looking for ways to discretely beg my leave. I offered to pay for our coffees, it was the least I could do after making him both wait and cancel an appointment with his property agent due to my unfortunate tardiness.
After finally extracting myself from our table he followed me to the cash register where fopishly thinking he had me hooked, giggled and tickled my ribs with his poky fingers as if I was some come-hitherly dressed beer wench. How ironic that I had to experience the purported arrogance of the French on home soil despite travelling to the Gallic nation more than once.
I just shook my head, on the outside, as I sped walked (yes, that’s a thing) back to my ever-loving car.
I can tell you are fascinated by my first two research assistants but this has been such an outpouring of raw emotion, I must rest. Stay tuned for my next instalment…