Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Ongoing Adventures in Online Dating Part 2 - The Shoe Test

In response to the last post and its disturbing 'Sexy Dolphin' picture, fellow spanky author Morganna Williams said: "Please post a follow up...and be sure to Google some other sexy sea creature just for grins!". Well here you go, Morganna, I couldn't find anything QUITE as creepy as the picture of a dolphin with tits and minge, but have a picture of naked Helena Bonham Carter getting intimate with a tuna, instead. If anyone is offended by this image, please bear in mind that it is ALL MORGANNA WILLIAMS' FAULT. Take it up with her.

As I mentioned the other day, I have recently been dabbling in Online Dating. Success has been... varied. It's an ongoing project. I'm learning as I go and one of the things I have learnt is just how very short a 'date' can be when it needs to. Bollocks to sticking around out of any sense of politeness. Sometimes you just need to neck your drink as quickly as possible, make your half-hearted excuses and get the fuck out. And, yes, I'm looking at you three, Weird-Smelling-Bloke, Almost-Certainly-A-Racist-Bloke and Doing-Some-Kind-Of-PUA-Negging-Bullshit-Bloke.

Click for the full thing
It's surprisingly difficult to gauge people's Not-Being-A-Fucking-Weirdo credentials by email sometimes. And even when they're not being an out-and-out weirdo, lots of people who seem to have potential can be terribly disappointing when you meet them in person. (Including me, I have absolutely no doubt.)

And one of the things that is consistently disappointing are the shoes. Once men reach a certain age they seem to have absolutely horrible taste in footwear. Young men don't seem to have a problem in this regard. Unfortunately I don't think that dating twenty somethings is an option. It'd freak the fuck out of my teenage daughter for one thing.

I don't know what it is about middle-aged men and their terrible shoes. I suspect it's just part of a larger terrible casual dress sense issue. These are men who wear suits in the office all week and then struggle when it comes to donning anything non-suit- related. This leads to well-meaning gentlemen pairing formal shoes with camo trousers and other horribly eye-watering attempts at 'casual'. It's like that time during the 1993 Conservative party conference when all the party members had to dress down. They didn't have a clue. It was all mismatched workwear and horrible, horrible jumpers.

Despite all my increasingly desperate googling, I can't find the Conservative-Party-In-Horrible-Casualwear photo that I am thinking of. So enjoy this picture of a random gentleman in a knitted poinsettia waistcoat instead.
Maybe I shouldn't even bother with small talk on future dates. I'll introduce the Shoe Test instead, I'll walk in, assess the footwear and decide the outcome of the date from there. If he's wearing elasticated loafers I'm fucking the fuck off.

It's not a foolproof method, admittedly, I absolutely know from previous experience a wearer of terrible footwear can be a wonderfully considerate and considerably sadistic lover. And  I'm not claiming to be any kind of Acceptable Dress Yardstick myself, you understand. The look I'm rocking at this precise moment could probably best be summed up as 'Middle-aged Sixth Form Student', It's one of a number of looks I go for, others include 'Hippy librarian' and 'half-hearted Goth'.

If you type 'Middle-aged Goth' into Google Images, this is one of the pictures you get.
I love this picture to a ridiculous degree.
I am going to print it out, put it in a picture frame in my living room and pretend we're all related.
If you are either of the people in this picture, get in touch. In fact, come round for Christmas dinner.
I suspect that my refusal to grow up is a large part of the problem. I am surprised by how old a lot of my dates are. Obviously I know they're fifty or whatever from the website. But have you ever met a fifty-something year old? They're like actual proper grown-ups. As are most people, apparently. I haven't got my head round the fact that the guys who are interested in me these days look like I expect my friends' dads to look. I might bang on about being in my forties all the time but I don't feel any different to how I did when I was eighteen.

It's been a long time since I was last dating. It's a voyage of self discovery. And one of the things that I'm discovering about myself is "Fucking hell, you're unbelievably bloody picky for an annoying, fat, middle-aged woman with no redeeming features beyond decent cooking skills and sky-high kinkiness." Well, yes. Yes I am. I'm happy we're all in agreement about that.

I'm not sure about introducing the Shoe Test as a formal procedure. The last gentleman that I, um, entertained would be the only person to pass the Shoe Test so far. Unfortunately he didn't pass the Being-Particularly-Keen-To-See-Me-Again test or the Being-Single test*. Bloody nice boots though.

As I have mentioned before, I don't really know what I'm after here. I suspect shoes may not be the most important thing in a relationship, but quite frankly I wouldn't know. Perhaps these things will become more apparent with time. Onward and upward. Best foot forward.

* I feel like I should clarify that the gentleman in question was in a polyamorous relationship that I already knew about. I didn't mean to imply that there was any underhandedness on his part regarding his lack of single status.


  1. I think you might be on to something. I have a friend who, after her divorce, met her new husband on a dating site. I want to say E-Harmony but that may not be true. She had a spelling test. If someone couldn't spell, even a single word wrong I mean, she'd ignore him. If he used things like u instead of you, he'd be ignored and for her, it totally worked. She's married to a hot bald doctor and they just had a baby. His second her first. So, perhaps a footwear/spelling test?

    1. Oh the spelling test is already being fully enforced, don't worry. I only have room in my life for people who can be arsed to spell 'you' in its entirety.

      Genuine message received today: "Hi how u X wat way u kinky"

      I fear, sweetheart, that you will never get the chance to find out.

  2. *Smiles* This was interesting and humorous. I'm sure I'd pass the shoe test, at least on the first date - I'd dress to impress. After that, all bets are off.

    Hmm. Now, what would be an equivalent test for women? Maybe a pedicure or manicure test? Crusty heels or mismatched painted toes/fingernails might reveal the inner-woman.

    I read Part One of this series - well done. I hope there is a Part 3 highlighting the particulars of some bad dialogue by a date.

  3. First off, you made me laugh out loud and choke on my cheerios- so you win! Okay, I am going to point out something that maybe should have been obvious: the only guy you dated so far with decent shoes wasn't single! The men need someone to tell them what shoes to wear... I'm married, it's totally true. We just had a discussion about ratty sneakers and where they were appropriate to wear (nowhere).

    Also, you are allowed to be picky because you are amazing, and a catch! I had no idea you had passable cooking skills, you just moved higher on my list of people I would consider marrying :)

    1. I'm replying to my own comment because I thought of something else! Have you ever seen Crazy, Stupid, Love when Ryan Gosling tries to teach Steve Carrel how to pick up women and Steve Carrel shows up to the bar in running shoes. Ryan Gosling is all, dude, what are you wearing?? That's what this made me think of!

    2. It's true. Maybe bad shoes is a plus. When left to his own devices my hubs picks out some horrible shoes. His business associate is 60, (aging incredibly well-he's kind of hot in the I-want-to-bang-my-best-friend's-dad kind of way) single, has decent to good taste in clothing, but the worst shoes I've ever seen. Why can't men pick out shoes?

      This may end up being a reverse Cinderella thing. The man with the good shoes...

    3. Wait, so I'm going to have to accept a chap with terrible shoes and then use my feminine influence to improve his footwear choices?

      Bloody hell, this 'relationship' business is hard work, isn't it? No wonder I've avoided it for so long.

    4. I just remembered this--my hubs and I went to breakfast the other morning and as we were leaving a man in gym shorts and a t-shirt walked in. He was wearing dress loafers. After we were out of earshot I turned to my hubs and said, "Did you see that?" And my hubs said, "Yeah, I think it's a divorced and single middle aged man thing." Then he mentioned two of his associates that were both single who he's seen do that very thing.

      I feel like there should be a footwear outreach program of some sort. Like there should be a list of appropriate outfits the shoes can be worn with on the box the man buys them in. All the lackluster sex advice in Men's Health should be replaced with footwear dos and don'ts.

  4. I love these! I once went out on a date from one of those websites and he showed up in cargo pants hiked up to his waist presumably to ensure the proper showing of his white socks from the high water hem to the tops of his Nike's. He was also wearing a shiny green running shirt tucked into said pants. At one point he told me when he saw something he wanted he went after it; so he bought four of those shirts. He also said I was his only success story. I guess me meeting him for dinner was a success in his book. Anyway, the shoe/pant/shirt/spelling test might be a win-win. Oh and thanks for the creepy pic...I will laugh for days...though I refuse to accept blame. ;-) Morganna

    1. That's quite a breathtaking image, there. Thanks for sharing, Morganna.

      Particularly the 'tucked in' shirt bit. Why? Why? I just imagine him putting on all those items of clothing and then at the very end tucking the shirt into his pants, looking at the mirror and thinking "Yup. Nailed it."