As I mentioned the other day, I have recently been dabbling in Online Dating. Success has been… varied. It’s an ongoing project. I’m learning as I go and one of the things I have learnt is just how very short a ‘date’ can be when it needs to. Bollocks to sticking around out of any sense of politeness. Sometimes you just need to neck your drink as quickly as possible, make your half-hearted excuses and get the fuck out. And, yes, I’m looking at you three, Weird-Smelling-Bloke, Almost-Certainly-A-Racist-Bloke and Doing-Some-Kind-Of-PUA-Negging-Bullshit-Bloke.
|Click for the full thing|
It’s surprisingly difficult to gauge people’s Not-Being-A-Fucking-Weirdo credentials by email sometimes. And even when they’re not being an out-and-out weirdo, lots of people who seem to have potential can be terribly disappointing when you meet them in person. (Including me, I have absolutely no doubt.)
And one of the things that is consistently disappointing are the shoes. Once men reach a certain age they seem to have absolutely horrible taste in footwear. Young men don’t seem to have a problem in this regard. Unfortunately I don’t think that dating twenty somethings is an option. It’d freak the fuck out of my teenage daughter for one thing.
I don’t know what it is about middle-aged men and their terrible shoes. I suspect it’s just part of a larger terrible casual dress sense issue. These are men who wear suits in the office all week and then struggle when it comes to donning anything non-suit- related. This leads to well-meaning gentlemen pairing formal shoes with camo trousers and other horribly eye-watering attempts at ‘casual’. It’s like that time during the 1993 Conservative party conference when all the party members had to dress down. They didn’t have a clue. It was all mismatched workwear and horrible, horrible jumpers.
|Despite all my increasingly desperate googling, I can’t find the Conservative-Party-In-Horrible-Casualwear photo that I am thinking of. So enjoy this picture of a random gentleman in a knitted poinsettia waistcoat instead.|
Maybe I shouldn’t even bother with small talk on future dates. I’ll introduce the Shoe Test instead, I’ll walk in, assess the footwear and decide the outcome of the date from there. If he’s wearing elasticated loafers I’m fucking the fuck off.
It’s not a foolproof method, admittedly, I absolutely know from previous experience a wearer of terrible footwear can be a wonderfully considerate and considerably sadistic lover. And I’m not claiming to be any kind of Acceptable Dress Yardstick myself, you understand. The look I’m rocking at this precise moment could probably best be summed up as ‘Middle-aged Sixth Form Student’, It’s one of a number of looks I go for, others include ‘Hippy librarian’ and ‘half-hearted Goth’.
I suspect that my refusal to grow up is a large part of the problem. I am surprised by how old a lot of my dates are. Obviously I know they’re fifty or whatever from the website. But have you ever met a fifty-something year old? They’re like actual proper grown-ups. As are most people, apparently. I haven’t got my head round the fact that the guys who are interested in me these days look like I expect my friends’ dads to look. I might bang on about being in my forties all the time but I don’t feel any different to how I did when I was eighteen.
It’s been a long time since I was last dating. It’s a voyage of self discovery. And one of the things that I’m discovering about myself is “Fucking hell, you’re unbelievably bloody picky for an annoying, fat, middle-aged woman with no redeeming features beyond decent cooking skills and sky-high kinkiness.” Well, yes. Yes I am. I’m happy we’re all in agreement about that.
I’m not sure about introducing the Shoe Test as a formal procedure. The last gentleman that I, um, entertained would be the only person to pass the Shoe Test so far. Unfortunately he didn’t pass the Being-Particularly-Keen-To-See-Me-Again test or the Being-Single test*. Bloody nice boots though.
As I have mentioned before, I don’t really know what I’m after here. I suspect shoes may not be the most important thing in a relationship, but quite frankly I wouldn’t know. Perhaps these things will become more apparent with time. Onward and upward. Best foot forward.
* I feel like I should clarify that the gentleman in question was in a polyamorous relationship that I already knew about. I didn’t mean to imply that there was any underhandedness on his part regarding his lack of single status.