So, the clocks have changed, spring has sprung and here I am: still as single as can be.
If I’m to avoid an old age surrounded by cats, I’ve decided that I need a strategy. It’s all very well hoping that I meet some delicious young gentleman to sweep me off my feet, but thirty-five years’ worth of experience tells me it’s not going to happen spontaneously.
More recent experience tells me that trying to force Cupid’s hand by parading myself on dating sites isn’t the way forward either. And although I dearly love my gang of mates, I fear that Cupid is unlikely to strike in their presence: since I’m one of the oldest in the group, there aren’t (m)any candidates for the position of potential beau.
So my all-new battle plan hinges on tipping the odds in my favour and hanging out with the right demographic: if I make more grown-up friends, I’ll meet more grown-up men and therefore increase my chances of finding a grown-up man who wants to date me. Simple, non?
Of course, there is – as always – a teensy flaw in the plan: hanging out with grown-ups means that I have to grow up. And this thought fills me with dread.
The fact is that growing up – I mean, really growing up – doesn’t appeal to me much as a concept. It may be that from my disadvantaged viewpoint I’ve got the wrong end of the stick, but to me growing up means mortgages and obligation, being where you don’t necessarily want to be, and not having the option of running away if you need to.
I suppose it also means stability, security and certainty… but none of these sounds particularly sexy or appealing to my ears.
Growing up also seems to signify the end of youthful ideals, the death of dreams, and the sudden desire to own any number of pointless electronic goods that fill the hole where excitement and fun used to be.
In terms of material acquisitions, I’m lagging sadly behind my classmates – I’ve got a pushbike, a stereo and a battered old car, but I fall short on the house, the SUV and the 42” surround-sound TV.
To be honest though, I really don’t give two hoots about that kind of thing.
In fact, I quite like the fact that if I really wanted, I could drop everything and move to Timbuktu tomorrow, unencumbered by any of my possessions. Naturally, I’m far too sensible to do that (more’s the pity), but I like the feeling that there’s nothing to stop me.
I once had a friend who took it into his head to own no more than he could carry. Of course, he took it to the extreme – to the point where he had to wear a blanket when his trousers were on their annual wash – but something inside me applauds the sentiment.
I passed by the Apple store the other day. It was the first sunny day of the year, and the excitement of picnics, barbeques and lazy afternoons spent idling with friends was fizzing in my veins.
In the shopping centre, there was a long, long queue of people waiting and waiting for their turn to buy the latest hi-tech, go-faster gadget on the first day of its release. I wanted to shake them by the shoulders and force them out into the sun, force them to sniff the spring air, force them to dream a little bit.
Now, I know as well as anyone that there’s different strokes for different folks, but really, when you’re old and toothless are you really going to look back with fondness on the day you queued at the Apple store? Of course everyone’s different, but my memories are made of good times: good food, good weather and – especially – good company.
Anyway, in light of all this, I can see that my battle plan doesn’t go far enough.
Meeting grown-ups is all well and good, but what I’m actually looking for is slightly childish grown-ups with a highly developed sense of fun and an underdeveloped love of material goods. It’s a small and rarefied subset of society … which might explain why I’m still bloody single.
So, I appeal to you now, good people: get your thinking caps on! Do you know any individuals who fit this rather exacting description? If the answer’s no, I definitely need a Plan B.