As per the adoption of a slightly more structured approach to dating, I’m accepting a large majority of invitations that come my way. I’ve gone through periods of doing this before, with the result that I seemed to spend a lot of time tired, drunk and broke. Initially, it had the advantage of getting me out of the house whilst California Girl was in it. And, whilst I think of it, it was a ‘saying yes’ episode that ended in the confession of love from Innocent Flirt, and the start of the slippery sexual slope with Speckled Lad. Maybe there is something to the theory...
However, what my new approach also seems to have done is to encourage my friends to take me on as a dating charity case.
I was in a King’s Cross cocktail bar one night, giving Old Friend some out-of-hours media advice for his latest harebrained scheme when we got to discussing the ups and downs (him) and statics (me) of our love lives.
“Oh, I have plenty of eligible men, Blonde. I’ll set you up.”
“Really? I don’t think so. The last time you did that, Rugged Scotsman happened.”
“Oh,” he said, apparently having forgotten the fact that the last chap he set me up with turned out to be gay. “Oh yeah. Well, this time I’ll make sure they’re straight.”
“That doesn’t fill me with confidence, OF – I had rather hoped that would always have been the case...”
“Look,” OF said, draining his glass. “How does this sound? I’ll set you up with a variety of eligible types: if, by Midsummer, you’ve not met someone you’ve truly clicked with, I’ll take you out for a Michelin-starred supper.”
Which is what’s known in my book as a win-win situation.
And I was in a Soho cocktail bar with PolitiGal a few days later – yes, I realise there’s a theme – when she made a suggestion along the same lines (though without the added incentive).
“Well, there is a really lovely guy in the office – he’s just moved into our department, and I was in two minds about telling you, but if you’re being all open-minded about things, well, I think I’m just going to go ahead, and set you up. I’ll email you both tomorrow and arrange it.”
I inhaled the rest of my Elderflower Collins, and told myself that everything will be fine. After all, with friends like these, who needs to arrange their own dates?
Forty days: Pt 12 (the half-term shuffle)
22 hours ago