For a start there is my own profile to consider. Let’s face it, I don’t imagine there is going to be a stampede for: Middle aged spend thrift, between jobs, can’t cook or perform even the simplest of domestic tasks, not much time to spare but can probably fit you in every other Wednesday. Okay so maybe I didn’t express it as starkly as that but there’s only so much you can dress it up.
Next up, there’s my list of demands and this was where it got more tricky than you might imagine. If you have never experienced a dating site questionnaire then my advice to you is make sure you have several hours at your disposal and a stiff drink in your hand first. My friend whizzed through the list with a ruthless determination that left me speechless whilst I floundered and dithered.
Appearance was the first category and we had to specify height, weight, hair colour, age, shoe size. Actually I made that last one up but it was a very comprehensive list and the truth is I don’t care. However, before you start jumping to conclusions and imagining that I am far too profound and enlightened to judge someone on their looks, get a grip; I am the fussiest person I know. The problem is I can’t define what it is that would make someone attractive to me but, whatever it is, has nothing to do with being fat, thin, bald, hairy, small, tall, blonde, dark or grey. Consequently, I ticked all of the boxes and can only assume that this makes me a perfect match with the entire world.
We then moved on to status. Did we want employed or self employed? There was a long list of jobs with corresponding suggested salaries attached. There wasn’t a box for I don’t care so again I ticked them all. Apart from farmer that is, given my phobia for all things countrified. My friend surprised me when she revealed, somewhat shamefacedly, that she wouldn’t want to date someone who earned less than she does. The very idea of joint finances gives me the shivers so as far as I’m concerned it wasn’t remotely relevant. I have friends who have to hide their purchases from spouses who disapprove of their spending habits and, frankly, I would find that grounds for instant divorce.
Moving along then we came to personality. Did we want quiet, outgoing, serious, fun, calm, passionate, blah blah blah. How in God’s name can you be expected to be so specific? It was like going shopping for a boyfriend and, once you had submitted your list, they were going to make you one up in the back who would meet all your criteria. Surely though most people are all things and there is no such thing as either or; nobody is serious or fun, quiet or loud.
My friend wasn’t in the mood for my philosophising, however. By this point we had been pouring over the questionnaire for nearly two hours and, to be honest, most of the fun got sucked out of it as soon as the novelty of ticking boxes wore off. Anyway last up was hobbies and again, I ask you, why would I care? It’s not like I am going to be going fishing, hiking or playing cricket. I have got my own hobbies thank you very much.
Finally we submitted our profiles and my friend got four potential matches in our area. You’ll no doubt be surprised to hear that I didn’t get any. In fact, the whole experience took me back a few years when a friend and I, fancying that we would like a change of career, consulted a careers advisor. Having completed a similarly lengthy questionnaire I was informed, much to my outrage, that I was unemployable. My friend fared slightly better when he was told he would make the perfect life guard. As we excitedly discussed his new career plans it was left to his wife, who had joined us for coffee, to point out that he couldn’t actually swim.