“Boys and girls in the summertime love,
In the summertime love on the beach tonight
Say hey say me say you say what?
Everybody’s gotta stop, I say stop, don’t stop
I say you say me gotta get in the groove!”
I’ve been wondering whether I should announce that I remember the entire rap from Sabrina’s classic 1988 song, ‘Boys, Boys, Boys’ on my internet dating profile? You want to stand out from the rest of the crowd right? This is the minefield I have entered into this week…and it’s not pretty…but more of that later. In 1988 I was 11 years old. I was about to go to senior school and I had just started to think about boys. I was lucky then, that there was an anthem that summer which expressed how I was feeling, even though I didn’t understand what that feeling was, and I memorised every word. The realisation which has struck me fairly recently is that I have been chasing boys (they have occasionally chased me) for 24 long years. Now it might be time to find a man.
The trouble, of course, is my plan to go to New York. I am not really in a position to commit to anyone if I’m about to bugger off and I also have so little spare time, that I can’t imagine when I would fit a ‘man’ friend in. But on the other hand, I can hardly put my life, and possibly my future, on hold in the hope that a miracle happens and I do find a way to get to the best city on earth – where it is apparently even harder to meet men. I haven’t tried internet dating before so I guess I should give it whirl, if nothing else it might be fun to go on a few dates. I’ve never admitted this, but in the back of my mind, I am always aware of the fact that a psychic told my mother a million years ago that I would marry an American man. I just want to make it clear that this IS NOT the reason I want to move to New York as I am surprisingly contented with myself without a man in my life, but anyway that phantom thought is always hovering around my cerebellum. I’ve had enough of it so am going to see what London has to offer.
Last Saturday night I allowed myself to have one last hurrah with a boy. To clarify, my definition of ‘boy’ is never inappropriate and has more to do with attitude than age, this one was about 30. I was in paradise and as the breeze blew across the steamy dancefloor I spotted a tall, dark stranger. No, that’s not right. I was actually in Paradise (by way of Kensal Green) and I was so drunk and sweaty that I stumbled onto this boy’s toes and elbowed him in the ribs (he was about 5’5”), but he did have nice dimples, and tattoos. We started chatting, or rather shouting, over the heavy soul music. Then the seduction dance began, lots of fumbling and groping, and finally some filthy snogging. It was so romantic
I wrote a poem about it. After about half an hour, I grew a conscience about my friends and told him I had to leave. He asked if he could take me out to dinner, I put my number in his phone, and shouted, “My name’s Jane, by the way!” his reply, “I know, you told me. What’s mine?” Blank. I don’t think I’ll be hearing from him any time soon.
Clearly I need to stop drunkenly meeting boys in bars, and start soberly meeting men in coffee shops – how interminably dull. In the last week, since joining the internet dating community, I have learnt 3 things;
- Most ‘single’ men out there are called Paul, don’t ask me why.
- Many men think it’s ok to take their profile picture in the toilet. It’s not.
- Being stinking rich is often listed as what they like most about themselves. I’d hate to know what they dislike most about themselves.
I have also learnt that internet dating is a full time job – like I didn’t already have two of those! First you have to review your matches, respond to initial interest and then think of witty banter as you get to know random strangers who you most likely have nothing in common with. And then start all over again. The other night I had that moment any internet dater dreads. When reviewing my matches I came across someone that I interviewed once. If memory serves he got the job, but he wasn’t very good and his contract wasn’t renewed…ouch. Hang on, if I can see him that means he can see me, think it might be time to start exercising the ‘block’ button. All this in the first week – I can’t imagine what’s to come.
Anyway, I do have a date with one of them next week, we exchanged so many messages this week I thought he might be trying to make me fall in love with him before meeting and discovering that he’s actually 82. But he finally asked me out. He is not called Paul, he’s not unattractive (when did that become an acceptable description?) and I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed him, so watch this space. I may or may not report it here.