Tuesday 29 October 2002

Back to the comfort zone

After a couple of years of soap-opera histrionics my love-life has segued neatly into sitcom territory.

The spectacular failure of my experiment in picking a partner from my close friends has made me realise I need to start meeting more people. Consequently, I've made myself more amenable to the relatively frequent matchmaking attempts of numerous smugly coupled-up friends. Much as I hate being match-made - all that pressure to live up to someone else's horribly oversold version of your virtues under the gleaming eyes of would-be Cupids - I nevertheless managed to get a couple of phone numbers in my blundering style:

Me: You know we're being match made.

Her (innocently): No.

Me (full of drunken insistence): No, you KNOW we're being match made.

Her: Yes, well, they have mentioned your name once or twice.

Me: Well, the thing is, I'm too drunk, too drunk for talking, or dancing, or...,or..., whatever. But give me your number and I'll call you next week.

Her: OK.

Cupids: Aren't you going to exchange numbers?

Me: OK, but I haven't got a pen.

Her: OK, but neither have I.

Me: Here's my business card, call me next week.

Romance, I've heard of it.

Encouragingly I'm also starting to overcome my morbid dread of "dates". I am hampered by a long-term hang-up about people thinking I harbour anything other than scrupulously honourable intentions, which doesn't sit comfortably with either the long or short term purpose of dating (de Botton's views on the necessity of never admitting this during courting and flirting notwithstanding).

So, after a few entertaining phone calls in which both they and I proved we were able to rise above our initial drunken conversational fumblings I arrange three different dates with three different women, things are looking up for our bold hero. Until

Date 1: Cancelled due to tube strike. No problem, reschedule to Date 4.

Date 2: Cancelled due to her dog savaging another dog at an obedience class and needing to go to the vet's. Excellent and inventive excuse, reschedule to Date 5.

Date 3: Cancelled due to thing going on with someone else or something, doesn't feel ready.

Date 4: Cancelled due to thing going on with ex-boyfriend, not a good time, maybe later.

Date 5: Still to come...dog is currently healthy.

Now, as the lovely L pointed out over e-mail, 0 for 4 isn't necessarily a poor reflection on me as

It's only when you have dates, and they never want to see you again that you know there's something wrong.

but I am currently feeling that the universe is conspiring against me a little. Either that or I've bought some duff shaving gel again.

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