Saturday, 8 January 2011

Bunny Boiling, The Green Goddess* Of Northwick and Offender Profiling.

The clearest indicator that it's the New Year is that all the single people I know are on a mission, or two missions, actually: to get fit, and to get themselves a boyfriend or girlfriend. The profits of gyms and dating websites must be going through the roof.

I feel quite left out, though I suppose I could always try some form of keep-fit as part of my mission to improve my sex-life. Probably something with a more externally-obvious effect than Kegel exercises. I can hardly wear a sign on my head advertising that I do those, after all.

I decide to experiment with the exercise ball Connie bought for Max a few years ago but, although I finally find it hidden in the cupboard under the stairs, it's gone completely flat and, by the time I've pumped it back up, I'm exhausted.

Then, when I try to sit on it, I promptly roll off backwards and end up stuck between the ball and the wall, while Max tries not to laugh. I don't know what he thinks he's got to laugh about, though - he was so offended that Connie thought he needed to exercise that I don't think he's ever used the damned thing.

"Stop laughing and help me," I say. "I can't get any purchase with my feet. This bloody ball keeps moving."

"Can't," he says, "I'm on the phone. Oh, hi, Sam. How are you, mate?"

Oh, bloody hell. I could be here all day if I can't get a grip - which is not something that's easy to do while stuck atop a giant purple ball. It won't stay in one place long enough for me to gain any equilibrium and I'm still wriggling around ineffectually when Josh comes in to the room.

After he's done his share of pointing and laughing, he finally comes to the rescue and pulls me to my feet. I'm quite touched by this, until he says,

"Mum, aren't you too old to be starting an exercise programme without seeing your doctor first?"

"No," I say, though now Josh has mentioned it, I'm not so sure. Pride does come before a fall - and it's certainly impossible to maintain it after one. Knowing my luck, I'll break a hip next time I fall off, or tear all my stomach muscles simultaneously. Once I can actually find the buggers.

It's probably safer to content myself with searching YouTube for videos on how to use the ball for now - so I join Max on the sofa and open my laptop. This has the added advantage of allowing me to eavesdrop on his conversation with Sam.

"What? You want Molly to do it?" he says. "Are you sure that's wise? You know she's compulsively truthful."

Since when has that been a bad thing, for God's sake? Everyone should try it. Especially husbands. I glare at Max, but he just waves at me dismissively and continues:

"And are you sure you want to keep going with this online dating thing anyway? You know you're a bloody loony magnet. Mol and I watched that Love, Virtually thing on Channel 4 last night and those women scared the shit out of me."

That's true, actually. Max went white when the women using the websites started talking about how they cyber-stalk their dates, and even paler when one of them said that she was "immediately" suspicious of her new boyfriend because he "had sixteen female friends on Facebook". (She didn't say that any of them were Thai, so I don't think we were talking about a Dad-style scenario, either.)

Max kept repeating, "Only sixteen?" and Josh just sat there muttering at the presenter:

"Yes, well, you can't get a long-term relationship out of this, anyway - can you? Not seeing as it's your job to blog about bloody internet dating."

Honestly, Josh is such a cynic. I can't think who he gets it from. I was quite enjoying the whole Bunny-boiling thing myself, as I figured it might make Max far more grateful for what he's got: i.e. me.

I don't think he made the connection, though, so then I had to point it out to him - which rather diluted its effectiveness.

"Well, whatever site those women were on is probably called," he said. "But I'm sure they're not typical of all the single women out there."

I really didn't like how positive he seemed to be about this at the time, and I still don't when I recall it now. It sounded far too much like the voice of experience, but I haven't got time to think about what it might mean at the moment as, when Max hangs up the phone, he announces that he's just promised that I will write Sam's profile for And that I'll have it finished by this evening.

"Oh, for God's sake," I say. "Why've I got to do it tonight? It's only another dating site, after all. What's so bloody urgent?"

"Well, Sam says he hasn't had sex in ages," says Max. "Weeks, if not months."

"Perhaps he's finally ready for marriage, then," I say.

It's probably a good job Josh got me off the exercise ball when he did as, judging by his expression, I think Max would have been more than happy to have left me there all night.

*Green Goddess - Diana Moran, purveyor of relentless cheerfulness in the godforsaken early hours, back in the days when I could still find my stomach muscles. This video is worth watching just for her saying, "Take the rhythm, the lovely rhythm." Innocent times, before the advent of

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