I’m not a girl who’s particularly au fait with the self-help section of the local branch of Waterstone’s. I can’t say that I’ve ever been tempted by the musings of some over-happy American type who thinks they’re able to improve my life with a little positive thinking.
So when people were milling around in the kitchen, plied with gins and tonic, ahead of an ultimately successful dinner party, I was a little surprised to be handed one as a present by PolitiGal.
“Here – you remember I told you that you needed a more scientific approach to boys?” The men in the room looked at us both, clearly sceptical and alarmed in equal measure. “Well, I thought this might help.”
I looked down at the title in my hand: The Four Man Plan.
Initially sceptical, I thought it would be one of those books that lie dormant on a shelf for years until a charity chuck-out comes around. But, on getting rid of everyone on Sunday afternoon, I curled up into the chair with a restorative mug of Earl Grey, the kitten at my feet, and the book in hand.
The theory is that there’s science behind the plan that this woman has devised. The reality is that it’s just quite a lot of common sense. The basic tenets of the book are: not to put all one’s men in one basket, by dating more than one chap at once; to be honest about dating several people; and not to sleep with more than one man at a time. As I say, common sensical, but apparently easier to grasp when laid out in black and white on the page.
My buy-in to this theory was waning, until I got to a page that said – you might think all this is daft, but let’s face it: nothing has worked for you so far, has it? You suck at this. You may as well give this a shot.
I’m paraphrasing, other than that penultimate sentence.
“Which, let’s face it, probably has some truth in it,” I said to Best Mate as we sat in a nail bar in the West End, her opting for the nude look, and my sporting fabulously slutty crimson.
“Hmm. Well, you’re probably right there,” she said, watching as a top coat was painstakingly applied.
“We may as well give it a go,” I said, wishing I’d not broken a nail to such an extent during the week that they’d all had to be drastically chopped off. “In the name of science, if nothing else.”
“I’m up for it,” BM said, studying the handiwork. “If for no other reason than we might as well.”
Thus it was that she and I have embraced the Four Man Plan. After all, searching for quality has got us nowhere thus far – it’s probably time to give quantity a go.