love

Online dating and how to get over yourself

Typical profile from a dating site:


i am complex and intresting and like foppish indie bands that you have never heard of. i am a delicate balance of conflicting emotions, demanding, loving, at times wistful, sensitive, poetic, philosophical, sensual. i’m a lover, artist, friend, warrior, poet, mystic. i am 14 years old and avoiding my gcse coursework.’

It is reading men’s profiles that I find the most intresting and at the same time repellent. Perhaps I am jellus but I find myself raising an eyebrow in mocking approbation when I read about how they are doing a PhD at the Institute of Extreme Cleverness, play the drums in a trendy rock band, write award-winning TV shows, sell their watercolours through a small privately owned gallery, and are basically immeasurably sophistercated, rich and successful. I cannot help but add sarcastically in parentheses, ‘yet mysteriously I do not have a girlfriend’.

I think if it was a woman I would be far more attracted to someone who said ‘I am a bit confused and mixed up and perpetually feel as though life is an exam that I’ve forgotten to revise for, I lead a semblance of a normal existence but underneath the cool exterior I am hiding under the duvet chain-smoking, glugging cold saké out of a beaker and putting on make-up as a hysterical displacement activity’.

A little vulnerability is appealing. It is no good saying that you are a cross between Einstein and Paul Gauguin as we will assume you are either a fantasist or a narcissist.

Keithlard, or Virtue Rewarded

I am reading Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. It is wizzo. In my expert judgment it is nearly as good as Jane Eyre, except it is not.

Your friend and diarist is rarther tired, having spent all day working on the booth at a trade show. I could not sleep last night as I knew I had to get up early, so lay fretting and flumping from side to side trying to find a comfy bit of pillow, but they had all turned hard and unyielding. So I was a bit worn out when I arrived at the show at 9am, and after ten hours of smiling and welcoming search engine marketers, demoing the product, keeping a watchful eye on our rivals’ stands, handing out complimentary T-shirts, answering really hard technical questions, and being interviewed and filmed for the Telly, I was ready to curl up and go to sleep in the nearest corner.

I did not though, as there was a really cute girl on the stand next door, who I had been trying to muster the courage to go and talk to all day, and cursing my stupid shyness. I am no good at marching up to cute girls and saying “Hi! I am Keith! What is your name? I am friendly and unthreatening!”, otherwise I would probably be married about fifty times over by now. Finally she came to our stand and said hullo, and I leaped into action, as I am fine if someone else breaks the ice. In fact I can be a one-man charm offensive when I get going, as some of you will be able to testify :D

Anyway luckily she was really nice as well as super pretty, and amazingly enough I got up the nerve to go and chat to her in the pub after the show, even though she was with all her workmates who I do not know. I dare say this all seems rarther ridiculous if you are blessed with the ability to mingle, but I am not. Once I worked in the same office with a girl that I fancied for about nine months before being bold enough to contrive to bump into her at the printer. I probably had a brilliant conversational gambit worked out, but due to bad co-ordination of mouth and lips it came out as ‘shmrrpl msmphh smnt?’. Needless to say that did not lead anywhere, as she probably thought I had some kind of disease.

So over the years I must have got better at this stuff somehow, as I do not seem to dissolve into silent embarrassmint any more when talking to cute girls, even if I am a bit sticky getting going at first. Probably by the time I am 76 I will have mastered the art of saying hello. Anyway today just goes to show that you do not get anywhere being quiet, and sometimes a little bit of nerve can get you a long way.

I am tired though and must nestle into my tiny bed, goodnight :>

PS I have walked 32 miles in four days (most of it round the Business Design Centre in Islington :D)