Saturday, September 17, 2005

I give up. I'm not playing anymore. The 'dating game' that is.

It can be too painful and confusing, and I'm not very good at it either.
It's fine when I just go out with friends and so, the speed dating thingy was a laugh, but that was because there's not usually somebody there that I like. I mean like in a way that I start thinking 'Ooh, maybe, just maybe, this man might like the same things I do. He might also want to do things like snuggle up in front of a cozy fire, laugh hysterically at Die Hard, and go for adventures involving quick getaways and possible altercations with the Police/Rabbis/local widlife/all three', he might possibly like me too!*. Now the main problem when that happens is that my brain starts to seize up.
For starters, there's the getting ready for a 'date' scenario.
Picture if you will, a 30 something blonde frantically pulling the entire contents of wardrobe and laundry basket on the the bedroom floor in a desperate attempt to find an outfit that hides the flaws, looks 'cute' but is also practical for any possible eventuality - ie: Comfortable to wear to a restaurant/cinema/police station pub. Also, want to look nice. I do like him.
This routine ain't pretty, and involves rather a lot of swearing and mild hysteria. By the time I set off to meet the 'date', the hysteria will have settled down to a rather more calming catatonia, helpfully induced by the internal mantra 'He won't be there, it was all a misunderstanding, he's just having a laugh, and if he does turn up he's going to run a mile when he sees me!'
Apparently, I'm not the only woman that thinks this way. It's pan-global and the attitude can be resolved by years of intensive therapy, but dates are so few and far between that I keep forgetting to make the appointment with the shrink, and so, I take the inner demons out with me every time.
But then - he turns up! For a couple of seconds my brain does it's little happy dance and says 'Hah, see? I wasn't stood up after all!' to the little voices in my mind.
This euphoria can last up to about four seconds - max - and stops as soon as the realization that I now have to talk coherently about various topics whilst hopefully, making witty and erudite quips, and keeping him interested without coming across as a total psycho with a tangled mess of neuroses so huge, that Freud would have started on the Prozac had he had me as a patient.
Easier said than done.
Normally at this point, there will be a discussion on what to do and where to go.
Him: 'Fancy a drink?'
Me: 'Yeah OK'.
I should have learnt by now that having a drink is not the best of ideas. I keep forgetting that instead of maybe just coming across as a mildly irrational person with a couple of hang-ups, with added alcohol I will appear completely insane.
Anyway, should by some small chance the date be a success, the worst horror of all will unfold.
The 'Will He Call Me Again?' scenario which nine times out of ten, turns me into more of a wreck than usual and is the point where I will invariably f**k things up. Spectacularly.
Stage 1.
Happy. After all, he said he'd call/email and wants to see me again. Will check emails and answerfone if have left the house.
Stage 2.
Still happy. No call/email as yet, but then he's probably busy. He did say he wanted to see me again.
Stage 3.
Decide to be brave and make contact. Leave jaunty message along the lines of 'Hi, it's me, really enjoyed the other day, give me a call?'. Check emails and telephone are working.
Stage 4.
Still no sign of email and phone will not ring. Leave yet another message such as 'Is everything ok? I'm just one of those people who tend to worry. Get in touch?' Start to check emails and ensure phone is still plugged in every half hour.
Stage 5.
Self doubt and panic set in. Mentally scrutinize every minute of conversation held on date and decide that maybe the anecdote about the skateboard and aubergine was too much information to share on a first meeting, and leave message along the lines of 'Oh by the way, I was only joking when I said that - I am sane really! Ahahahahahahaha!' Start to swear and mutter at 'puter whilst checking for emails every five minutes.
Stage 6.
Decide to contact any known friends of his and leave message saying 'Hi, I haven't heard anything from him, is he ok? I think I might have scared him off. Ahahahhahahahaha...'
Stage 7.
Realize that his friends now probably think I'm stalking him, and that as I've made a lasting impression as an insane bunny boiler, it is for the best that I just back off before things get any worse and I receive a restraining order.
Stage 8.
Stay in the sanctuary of bed watching inane films, eating sad little microwave meals for one and vowing never to put myself through the hell that is known as dating again.
Stage 9.
Buy mad tea cosy hat and start cat collection.

*Stems from a desire for companionship and to be loved alledgedly.