My first dateback out there after 14 years had a noticeable limp, drooled when he talked and knocked a glass of red wine over my white shirt before leaving me to search for a napkin to mop up the mess.
I could have left that pub in tears of despair about the dire pool of middle-aged men out there but instead I called my sister, told her what happened and had to pull the car over on the way home because I was crying so much with laughter.
So many media women are quick to tell everyone else that they need to be compassionate and love everyone and understand that no-one’s perfect and that everyone has their faults. They’re especially quick to criticise men who are picky about women, who don’t appreciate the wonderful qualities that women have that aren’t always immediately apparent.
Yet when it comes to themselves and dating they start talking like they’re the head of Hitler Youth. Zin vun haz ze limp. Zis is not acceptable for a vomen zuch as me. Introduce him to ze cleaning lady.
Compassion for everyone is right in the abstract, but for her personally only the cream of the crop will do. Don’t talk to me about hidden depths, he has insufficient control over his saliva glands. Everyone has worth and it’s wrong to judge people harshly, but don’t fix me up with a loser, I’m special and I’m not settling for a clumsy third-rater. Isn’t it wrong how advertising makes modern people think they’re better than everyone else? No, I’m not dating a guy with no degree, that’s beneath me.
And do we have the embarrassing self-regard section? Yes we do. Of course:
Get ready to fall in love
In the short time I was dating after my divorce, the person I fell for most wasn’t any of the men, but me. I’d listen to myself talk and be blown away by some of the things I had to say. I was a mother of two boys. I’d been bereaved. I’d been working for over 20 years. I had opinions and wasn’t afraid to share them.
But actually, when it comes to these sorts of articles, this woman is one of the better ones. She met a lot of guys she liked and found a long-term relationship, unlike that other Telegraph dating woman who claimed every guy ever found her intelligence — she got a 2:2 in French from Kent — intimidating.* And she admits elsewhere that she isn’t great-looking. So I’m not happy, because she’s supposed to be providing me with material and it’s fizzled out, so now I’m going to have to go looking through the Guardian.
But the general point holds. When you hear a modern woman criticizing men for their shallow tastes and unrealistic expectations, just think about what they’re going to be like themselves on the dating scene. Will they be looking for the nice man behind the surface disappointments? In a word: no.
*I was going to link to Newman’s fisking of this woman, but his site is not letting me search it.