Saturday, 22 May 2010

University of Life and Other Irritations

Sam arrives first thing to stay the weekend. We haven't seen him since my ghastly birthday party, and of course Max hasn't phoned him at all since.

How can you call someone your best friend when you never bother to contact them? That doesn't stop Max acting as if he's delighted to see Sam, and slapping him on the shoulder in that weirdly repressed male way.

I reckon Sam only puts up with Max's neglect because he still hasn't got a girlfriend. Now he's joined an internet-dating site and wants me to check his profile for its woman-appeal.

It's hilarious. He's claiming to be a non-smoker (!); a moderate drinker (only true if compared to Annoying Ellen), and he's put University in the education section. In response to my raised eyebrow, he mutters, "University of Life."

His photo is terrible too - he looks like a middle-aged woman with a really bad haircut. Why do so many middle-aged men insist on growing their hair? Thank God Max wouldn't dare - I'd wield the scissors while he slept if necessary.

For some unaccountable reason, Sam's also swathed in a scarf that could almost be one of those hideous pashmina things that everyone but me seems to be wearing. (Everyone female and of my age, that is.)  In the About Me section, he's written a load of pseudo-sensitive stuff that completely belies the fact that he's about as unreconstructed as you can get.

I'm still trying to find a subtle way to tell him that his profile and photo are rubbish, and that he's doomed to permanent bachelorhood, when he announces that fifteen women have already contacted him in the three days since he registered. Fifteen! Why do I find that so depressing? (And am I a middle-aged woman since my bloody birthday?)

In the evening, Dinah calls to say that she thinks Dad's taken up internet dating. She says he seems to be sending emails very late at night and sounds "suspiciously cheerful." She says it's either that, or he's becoming obsessed with online porn. Why is everyone else having sex except me - even if only virtually?

It's not as if Max and I lead exciting lives - not like Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper, who've got three kids and self-satisfied smirks. Greg and I once looked up Yvette's CVs in Dods*, and we couldn't see how she'd managed to fit all her qualifications and experience into such a short time, let alone all those kids.

Oh well, I suppose they say power is an aphrodisiac - though I'm pretty sure that's not what all these women see in Sam. Maybe they just want to borrow his pashmina?

* Dods: Dods Parliamentary Companion. Invaluable reference book for those involved in politics. Unfortunately, it's annual, and so expensive that most constituency offices are using copies that are terribly out of date. Ours dates from 1997, when The Boss was first elected, and was only too happy to pay for everything his staff needed to do a great job for the constituents. Like some of us, that original copy of Dods is looking pretty dog-eared now.

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