My very dear but neglected readers,
I’m playing catch up on a few Methods of Meeting Melbourne Men that I investigated before I left to gallivant around this great country of ours. While my travels yielded nary a date to report on I’ll share some pictures soon. Until then, please do accept my sincere apologies for my absence and I hope you enjoy this one about the time I went to a Singles Mingle.
Upon arrival at an inner city Melbourne pretentious cocktail lounge I’m given half a playing card (when I find the man with the other half we both get a free shot at the bar!), shown to the ‘wine tastings’ area (free champagne!), the tarot card reader (good conversation topic!), the ‘icebreaker conversation topics’ on all the bar tables (good for a laugh!) and then left alone in a small room with about 50 men and a handful of women. No entry fee + complimentary drinks + 5 men to every woman = Singles Mingle = most economically sound of all the contrived dating events!
“Do I need to keep doing shit like this?” I ask the tarot card reader. She smiles, “Probably not,’ she replied, ‘but you’re a huntress, you won’t just sit on your laurels. Besides, it’s good to get out of the house.”
I was just about to go get back into my house when in walks a total babe. A teacher. English. Intelligent. Funny. We talk for 45 minutes and I catch him undressing me with his eyes a few times. It’s the blue dress. Works every time.
The Akubra might be a bit much for a first/second date, so I wear a more feminine pale blue hat to meet my Proper English Gentleman (PEG) in the sunny Treasury Gardens the very next day. Delightful date – dappled shade, ducks, Frosty Fruits, the whole shebang. When we part (after two hours!) I go for the lips but the PEG goes for the cheek.
The following week, the PEG texts me drunk and out of town. Those saucy texts make it impossible to concentrate in yoga. I send sauce back, secretly loving being bold again.
On our third date the PEG meets me in a Panama hat (so good!) in Fed Square. How did I not notice his tanned and muscular forearms before? I keep having to resist the urge to touch him. After we leave the art gallery he says “Next time we’ll do this dating thing properly, like at night, with drinks.” That night I scrawl in my journal – WHEN WILL WE PASH?
I start wondering if people are like busses, if you get off one, will another one come along soon enough? Is the concept of soul mates kind of ridic? That there’s just one person meant for you and you’re just meant to stumble into each other somehow, somewhere in the world? Maybe people just settle? Do we just need to do what our parents do, just like each other MOST of the time, the rest- you just make it work? Speaking of parents, do we all just seek out versions of our fathers? This English gentleman is a Springsteen fan, loves cricket and is a teacher.
A week later I go to another Singles Mingle. Despite the fact that I went to pick up men that aren’t him, he comes along when I text him to say I’m out. We have a surprisingly good boogie on a carpeted dance floor. The music turns shit so I share a few of my favourite dance floor tips – pick someone and copy their dance moves without them knowing, if you hate the song then either pretend it’s your favourite song ever and go nuts, or just find the one person who does absolutely love it and dance with them during ‘their’ song. Then the music gets unbearably shit. Fast forward a few minutes to the next scene, which takes place in the Bourke Street Mall outside Telstra, waiting for the 96 Tram.
It is approximately 11.30pm. Our heroine (Me) is pashing on with our soon to be anti-hero (The PEG). It’s not a great pash but at least it’s finally occurring. He breaks it off and leans away.
PEG: Interesting technique you’ve got there.
Me: Uhhhh, what?
PEG: It was just interesting.
Me: Oh. Ummm…
PEG: I just mean, like, it wasn’t good or bad, just interesting, but it’s OK we can keep kissing. (He looks at his feet.)
Me: Well now I’m self-conscious! Are you going to be marking me this time? I didn’t know I was doing it wrong!
PEG: No, no, it’s fine, really
(No one has ever complained or questioned her pashing prowess before. She leans in. They kiss. He breaks it off. Again.)
PEG: So I told the girls at work about how we went to that art gallery. I really liked doing that, I felt really balanced. I think you’d be good for me.
(Silence for a beat.)
Me: Do you… not want to kiss me?
PEG: No! I mean, yes! Of course, but I just…
Me: It’s like you’d rather talk than be kissing me.
PEG: No, I mean, it’s practically our fourth date, we should be having sexual intercourse by now or something.
Me: C’mon, I AM trying to kiss you here!
(A tram arrives. She gets on it. She never contacts him again. The blue dress is hung up underneath a jacket in her wardrobe. It was starting to feel like a costume. The costume of the huntress. She was starting to feel like a fraud. Dating had become less of a hobby and more of a competitive sport. The following week she goes on no less than 5 dates in seven days with men from OK Cupid. They mostly involve pretentious cocktail bars and are all too boring to blog about. She goes to the Pilbara to work for a month.
Upon her return from the desert she accidentally goes on two dates in one night. If both men were combined, they’d make the perfect man, but alone, they are deficient. One short, fit, blonde, clean shaven, shy, art history/philosophy majoring serious ex-boxer masseuse, and one tall, pot bellied, brown haired, bearded, confident, funny, construction worker. She goes on a second date with the ex-boxer, to which she is 48 minutes late. He doesn’t mind, cooks her a delicious risotto and kisses her. The kiss is OK, but not amazing. She can imagine sleeping with him, but she can’t imagine being his girlfriend. She finds that her laughter isn’t real, it’s only polite. She pictures the confused looks on her friends’ faces if she invited him to a group camping trip. ‘He’s just so not YOU,’ they’d say.
She goes dancing with Tent Guy and another guy she used to fancy and she has a really great time. They’re great guys. Just because they don’t want to date her doesn’t mean they aren’t really fun, interesting, lovely guys.
She starts a part time job and a part time internship. She has less time to trawl OKCupid, and her Melbourne friends have less evenings to spend away from their sports teams, houses, spouses and babies.
She goes to the theatre alone and sits next to a stranger who happens to be a babe. They eat dinner together after the show and she goes around to his house for soup the next week. He’s a bit young, but they have great conversations. She decides she IS in the market for friends after all. She’d previously decreed that she wasn’t interested in having boys as friends. It was boyfriends or nothing. But it’s possible to find friends and look for lovers at the same time.
Towards the latter aim, she signs up for ‘Silent Speed Dating,’ to ‘learn to connect by looking into each others eyes and reading frequencies.’ She wonders what to wear to such an event. She wonders if it would be the last of the contrived dating events she’d be willing to try, if it’s the very last Method of Meeting Men in Melbourne…)