Well, I guess that was bound to happen. I was quite gung-ho at first and maybe even felt a bit superior to all these semi-literate guys on Match.com. But then I signed up for Guardian Soulmates (haven’t subscribed yet), and out of curiosity, had a look at the women on there.
Oh. My. God.
They were beautiful. Ebullient. Witty. Stylish. Confident. Slim. Had ‘dream jobs’ – yes, no ordinary job for them! As I read I felt my confidence sag down to my knees (along with the rest of me). I’ve got to face it. I’m not Helen Mirren. I’m fifty, but nowhere near fabulous. My waist is fast disappearing altogether. My house is a bit of a mess – only really good friends can come here. My Hoover has more or less packed up and I can’t afford to replace it, and in any case, I’m short-sighted, and simply don’t see the dirt.
Worse than that, what have I got to show for my fifty years? What have I achieved, where are my credentials? Non-existent dear reader. A troubled teen son in foster care. Still resoundingly single, having just disentangled myself from a low-life scumbag. Unemployed for nigh on twenty years. The only field I appear to be skilled in is that of a professional mental patient. Oh yeah, I know a lot about that. Ask me anything!
Cruising a dating website triggers a lot of stuff. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. It makes me have to face things about myself I’d rather not. And I haven’t even met up with any of them yet. When one expresses a wish to meet, I panic. I go into fight or flight mode. I can’t face the awkwardness, when I don’t turn out to be what he expects. It’s ridiculous. But it’s real.
After my perusal of the glamourous, successful and erudite Soulmates had destroyed every vestige of ‘chutzpah’ left to me, I abandoned the computer and went upstairs to try on some clothes with a view to glamming up a bit. I have already taken to wearing a bit of make-up again. I’ve been getting compliments. But in the dim light of my bedroom, dragging the dusty gladrags out of drawers and off the clothesrail I just felt even more depressed. Who am I kidding? What decent man would ever want me?
It’s enough to make me cry big fat salty tears over my wasted youth that is gone forever. And I really did chuck mine down the drain. Don’t get me wrong though. I would never opt to go back – unless I could take my hard-won wisdom (such as it is!) with me.
Then I think of my son. Right at the beginning of his youth. And apparently even more messed up than I was. And that’s really saying something.
If I sound a little down, well that’s because I am. Even my sense of humour has deserted me. This sucks, by any standard.
I still love you though, dear reader…