Dating sites – with a little help from television. Pt 2

This post was going to be my usual glib nonsense in which I reference vibrators, the waxy sheen of Shane Crawford’s face, and that one time I almost got stood on by a Clydesdale while I harassed Humphrey B Bear for a balloon. (Mulwala, 1989. I also got Twisties. They weren’t chicken flavoured. Thank Christ.)


But, possibly like Shane in the photo above, I was worn down by words!

I know Humphrey, Shane and I share many things in common.

Researching Lolita, I read a wonderful book by James Hardy and Ann Martin, Light of my life. In it, they detail the narcissistic, demented (and criminal) Eros as suffered by Humbert Humbert, and also reflect on other notable literary romantic failures. Of the adulterous, constantly displeased protagonist of Madame Bovary, they write ‘Emma Bovary was coarsened by her affairs, made ever more forward and vulgar, whether her love grew or declined’. With that, I quickly stopped my download of Magic Mike XXL. The pang of recognition made my face hot and my heart harden. Or, I was suffering an embolism. But I mostly think it was a Madame Bovary related reality check. Is it not enough that I am tarnished and tainted by divorce and stretch marks? That I have to endure politicians, my Grandma and Bryan Ferry’s constant reminder of the heartache I have caused my children?

To suffer the indignity that all women with children are grouped into Vicky Pollards or Liz Hurleys?

I am also tiring of the current trend, (in Australian publications) of single female journalists (with kids) being either white-bread soccer Mums, or vaguely rocker Northcote types, who suffer a vague mental illness with vague swearing and vague sexual desires. (I am unsure of how you can swear vaguely, unless you’re saying ‘fu-u-c….ell’.) Where are the earthy, freckle faced Helen Garners? All staggering intellect and sex-as-breathing? Salty women who feel keenly, and piss in the garden? Where’s the functional yet arty Australian woman gone? Probably to Doncaster. Or Florence.
So, in an effort to not become any more vulgar, I am turning to one man. Kerry O’Brien. Sadly, no, I am turning to God. As an atheist you might think it would be difficult to suddenly devote myself to the Lord. Not at all! My one week Work Experience placement at St Martin’s Youth Theatre, taught me everything I need to know about giving yourself over to character. It also taught me how to bundle up pieces of cellophane, and how to be paralyzed by fear at the idea of doing ballet moves across a stage, when you possess the grace of Joe Hockey .

The internet is possibly the best invention since Savoys with Vegemite, and in an effort to become a nun, it did not let me down.

What a resource! I especially like #2, with the suggestion of conducting ‘Nun surveillance’. I think if I was going to start partaking in surveillance, I’d just stick with RSVP. Next week will now be filled with non-hairdresser related head soaking, and reading the works of symbolists more far-fetched than Winton. Fantastic! But before I call them for a quick chat and slacks shopping, I need to finish my excellent synopsis for a dating show that will undoubtedly be praised as ‘edgy, beautiful, life affirming, produced by Paul Clarke’. (I have spent more time considering how this show could be filmed, than I have on the holes in the plaster in my house. Which are now so big, Joe could perform Don Quixote in them quite comfortably.)


Firstly, the show will run over twenty weeks, following exhaustive background checks. We do not want any Duggar sex criminal types. I don’t want to be on the front cover of That’s Life with the headline ‘I had my Executive Producer credit taken away when I killed a pedophile – The Single Mum story’. The show will feature fifteen men and fifteen women. There is no prize. The winners are love, and voyeurism. As with life, there will probably be distinct categories – arty man that’s amazing in bed, football guy with ball handling skills and not much else, emotionally repressed architect, people who crap on about coffee, and men that look like lumberjacks but don’t own a chainsaw. The women will be chosen for their disinterest in WAG’s, knowledge of indie music from Brisbane, emotional stability and complete disregard for my faff. The interviewees are quizzed on their dating histories, family histories, hopes for the future and if they own any box-sets of Castle, (immediate dismissal if so). This will not be a crying show. No one is going to have their snot drip onto a perfectly nice bit of cake. The thirty cast members are allowed to contact each other, and twenty other participants. Everything is filmed. There is nothing out of bounds and following dates, the host will ask questions like “Did you try the fish?” and “Do you feel any stirrings?” (I should add, sex will not be filmed.) Seemingly, this is how dating works. You try your luck with many people hoping that you’ll click. I have no interest in that part, what I’m after is whether there is truth in what you think you desire.

That, is fascinating to watch.


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