Imagine, if you will, the small-ad: “Wanted: reasonably able-bodied man. Must enjoy being woken at 5am and eating shepherd’s pie every day. Does not need own hair or teeth but does need power-tools and a high tolerance for poo on the soft-furnishings.”
(And I’d even be prepared to remove the line about him needing power-tools: I’d just really like to get my flooring fixed before all the furniture slides to one side of the room).
I have never been wholly sure of my USP. Height? Humour? The ability to turn my tongue upside down? Those things are all still true, but my dating credentials have taken a severe battering since the Mini came along.
1) I no longer know how to talk to adult males. My standard chat-ups have always been music, films, books and “yes, I like the same as you, therefore I like you”. All I really like now is getting as much sleep as possible, eating Soreen and watching Mini singing “Incy Wincy Spider”.
2) I have biceps that are visible through my sleeves. They’re so prominent I may even take to calling them “the guns” (a la Ron Burgundy) and kissing them when I see them being goggled-at. I think I may have had a pre-disposition for mighty-arms but having never done any sport, it was never tested. Carrying a beefy child around every day has brought out my natural ‘assets’. Do men like dating women who can lift them with one hand?
3) Unlike the biceps, the rest of my body now sags and lurches at every step. It’s not that I’m that much heavier than before, it’s just that whereas before my wobbly bits were more of a firm fruit, they are now very much a bag of glue – seeping out of clothes in unexpected directions.
4) I cannot be spontaneous:
“Fancy a drink after work? Want to pop out for a coffee one weekend?”
“Err…. Let me check for three weeks’ time whether I can get a babysitter or to see when Mini might be with her dad and… hello? Hello…?”
5) I have a child standing on my lap 6 days out of 7. Although I personally think that Mini is the Greatest Human Who Ever Lived™ I’m aware that not every man wants to have a tiny creature sticking her fingers up his nose, bossing him around and getting in the way of late nights/late mornings/holidays/fun times/drinking/sleeping/travelling… (add to the list at will)
6) I am 37. Much as I complained about being single in my teens, my twenties and my early 30s, the long slow drag towards the menopause now seems to be a gallop. The last three guys I know who got attached all plumped for someone ten years their junior. So, mathematically, I’m looking for someone approaching 50 who doesn’t mind having a toddler in their lives. I feel my fishing pool may have just dried up entirely.
After 18 months in Purdah I was considering re-entering the dating-fray but I think I may withdraw for another 18 years.
Or at least until my biceps can be contained within my clothes.
This post is dedicated to anyone who can find me a man with power tools and a penchant for fruit loaf. (My feminist heart sinks at this, but while my ability to read maps and do quadratic equations is excellent, I cannot use an electric drill without putting lives at risk. I’m sorry to let you down sisters).