|Jeez, he looks grumpy!|
‘It’s like online dating,’ he said, sitting on the end of the bed. ‘Except without the sex bit.’ Shaking his head. ‘I don’t get that either.’
‘Aha,’ said I, sitting up and adjusting the SP. ‘Now, see, if I were single, I’d do that like a shot.’
‘God no.’ He shuddered. ‘It’s not natural.’‘Oh come on. It’s practical.’ I put down my coffee cup so I could wave my arms around. ‘Look. Imagine I don’t exist. Nothing nasty – I haven’t died or anything. I’m just Not Here. In fact, let’s take James out of the equation too and make it simple. You live here. Alone. Who you gonna date?’
‘I’d move,’ he said briskly. ‘I’d go to…hmm….Bristol. I’d go to pubs and clubs…’
I raised an eyebrow. ‘No, you wouldn’t.’
He shrugged. ‘Okay, I’d go to pubs and museums. I’d stalk women in military museums.’ Dear God.
‘Right. But say you couldn’t move. Say you worked here?’ I named names. He looked alarmed.
‘See? It’s not easy once you’re out of your twenties.’ I keep saying this to my mate who just wants a nice man with a labrador. She doesn’t buy it, the Internet dating thing – but then she doesn’t do Twitter or FB or anything other than the odd brusque email. Maybe the world is divided into those who click and those who don't... ;)
‘And it’s the same with friends,’ I continued. ‘I know lovely people here but I can’t always talk about the stuff I need to – about writing, about books, about mad spiritual/mystical stuff. They’d think I’d gone bonkers.’ His turn to raise an eyebrow.
‘Hence online friends.’‘Okay, I get that,’ he said. ‘But then you go and meet them.’
‘Not all of them,’ I pointed out. ‘But yeah, why not?’
See, I’m fascinated by people online and particularly by how online personae can be so different from RL. I was talking about this with Jake and the lovely M (his wife) yesterday – how some people are exactly the same on and offline while others are, frankly, unrecognisable.
‘Anyhow,’ said Adrian. ‘If you were here alone, who would you shag?’Shag? Don’t you love the way women say 'date' and men say 'shag'? He named names. My eyes widened.
‘Oh, I don’t know…’ I said with an evil smirk.
He lobbed his croissant at me. The SP neatly intercepted. I grinned and picked up my coffee cup.
But, seriously…if you wanted to meet a partner, would you consider Internet dating? Anyone tried it and a) loved it b) loathed it?
How many of your online friends have you met in real life? Were they how you imagined?
And, before I go. The ila competition. I decided, in the end, that I couldn’t just give all that gorgeousness to one person. So I talked to ila and we split the prize. The SP was the most fragrant creature I could find so he plonked his paw on these guys: Zenandtheartoftightropewalking, Tiger Princess, Posie and Preseli Mags