My dear friend Piereth posted this recently – about the delight of finding someone with whom not just to share books (though that in itself is delightful) but someone who knows you well enough to choose books for you successfully, sharing stories that they themselves have enjoyed.
I genuinely can’t think of a better indicator of a good relationship – and that makes me so happy for her I’m almost tearful.
Anyway, that post rang so many peals of clanging bells in my head that I had to make a note of it. Because a very dear friend of mine recently sent me an excellent book. One I’d never normally have chosen for myself but that I enjoyed immensely: he described it thus in a short tweet “a masterpiece of rolling sci-fi with religion, technology, poverty, wealth, meets STORY”. In fact, he has kindly sent me several books – none of which I would have picked out but each of which have introduced me to new worlds and challenging ideas.
Of course, this ‘knowing just which books and music I’ll love’ is one of the many reasons it is so darned impossible to find someone else to live up to him. However, since I am totally fed up with the unintentional celibacy of the last few months I have got to make more of an effort again. To find someone to play with, if nothing else. I’ve been so busy recently that I haven’t made time for dating and, much as people always tell you that you’ll meet men doing the stuff you enjoy, that turns out to be bollocks. You do meet men, but at my age they’re all already in relationships and that is one of my Absolute Rules: Never Cheat, which has two sub-clauses: Never Get Involved With A Cheat and Never Abuse Another Woman’s Trust By Stealing Her Partner.
I’ve pretty much given up trying to find one man to meet all my needs and desires in a partner: someone with whom I want to hold a conversation, someone to get outdoors and be active with, someone to have imaginative sex with, someone to grow stuff with (including, but not limited to, children and vegetables), someone to challenge me creatively and intellectually, someone to swap books and enjoy music and films with, and someone to appreciate the subversive and ridiculous.
But then something occurred to me recently: after I went canyoning with Tim, ran with Lachlan, wedding-danced with Mike, swapped downloaded music with Richard, got the book in the post from Ed, went to see a movie with Alex G, drank shandy in the pub with Alex B, BBQ’d with Morten, discussed the future of storytelling in the digital publishing age with Colin, photographed stencils and paste-ups in an alley with Raoul, baby-sat for little Jarvis, ate brunch with Steven, weeded our community veg garden with Bob, lent my copy of The Wire to Adam, swapped email nonsense with Olly, and scuba dived with Todd: all that’s really missing is the sex. The rest of it is all there already – even if its with many different people, most of whom are already very happily married to other women.
So, how hard can it be to find someone with whom I’m sexually compatible, right? (and do excuse the pun there).
Well, pretty tricky, apparently.
Possibly because of the ‘cereal box’ issue.
You haven’t come across that one? Neither had I till I was in a bar in the city drinking cosmos with three new-ish female friends last Friday night. According to them – after about 3 cosmos each when the normal polite inhibitions were a little blunted – my packaging is misleading. I’m advertising the wrong cereal. Which is presumably why I keep attracting these men who are looking for a demure middle-class wifey to replace their mother, rather than tall men with tattooed arms and eclectic taste in music and books who want a strong, independent woman as a partner.
I need to change my cereal box because my problem is not that I’m not attracting men, it is that I’m attracting the wrong men – i.e. not the ones that I want to attract. Gah!
P.S. An un-looked for benefit of making this blog password-protected to keep Awful Betraying Bitch out is that I now feel more free to discuss ‘adult’ themes, knowing that no kids could accidentally stumble on this blog. Or colleagues. You have been warned. 🙂