Here's what I DO know:-
1. Some of them have no idea what women are looking for. (And it's not down the back of the sofa).
2. Mostly, they have no idea how to sell themselves. Generally, we don't pay by the inch. (Although, how cheap would that be, girls?)
OK, have to tell you that I gave in and registered on (yet) another dating site. Last one, I promise. No, really. Really really really.
I filled in the usual standard questions about myself - sex (yes please!), favourite divorce lawyer, how many dogs are you taller than (left that one blank), thought up a witty pseudonym (what do you mean you don't like HorribleEtoile?) and wrote a few paragraphs to express my shy and retiring personality. Posted a pic and put a link to this blog.
A few interesting conversations subsequently ensued. It's a great way to meet people from all walks of life, if not men. (Since when have they been people? Have I missed something???)
And then I received a message from someone rather endearingly calling himself XFG4387596.
...your profile, liked your intelligence, liked your blog, worried about becoming a character in something you write. Want to correspond?
Bit of a twist in the chat-up routine, have to admit.
I looked at his profile. Well, when I say his profile, it was more like gazing at the profile of a blank page. Hardly any information on there at all. Here are the questions he'd answered:-
Body Type: Average
(Now, we women are fairly experienced with men's default measurement position, so I took that to mean he was 5'1").
Anyway, as descriptions go - may just be me, perhaps I'm too fussy for my own good - I wasn't exactly experiencing a racing heart at this point. So I read on (as far as there was reading to be done).
((And as she melted into his average length arms, running her fingers through his...erm...over his scalp, she purred 'tell me more, XFG4387596...'))
Old-fashioned values, modern ideas. I try not to waste words.
Well, isn't that a good thing in a recession? Where will all the new words come from if we thoughtlessly spit them out as if there's no tomorrow???
I'm goal-directed. Everyone has a number of goals.* Some people get on with working towards them, others don't. I try to be in the first group.
* Tottenham Hotspur players excepted.
Hang on. Had he got this form mixed up with the one he was filling in applying for the position of Office Manager for the Neasden North Society of Actuaries?
But what finally did it for me (meaning what didn't do it for me - OMG...just look at that word-wasting!) was his answer to the question: What are you good at?
Now, we might think, might we not, in an effort to capture the heart of some gorgeous menopausal fairy, that a man would carefully consider his options here. What do women like a man to be good at? Cooking? Playing the guitar? Talking Italian?
What's old XX438&^$(%$£ good at???
'So, er, which side of the bed do you prefer, Gerald?'
'Oh, just let me make a few calls - can I let you know after I've spoken with the Vice Chairman on Wednesday?'
Board meetings indeed.
I wrote to him. I said I didn't have enough information to know whether I wanted to communicate (this was irony, dear Reader; in not having any information about him, I already had too much). Why no photo, I asked?
He replied tersely: Haven't figured out the IT. And YOURS doesn't show all of you. And you haven't answered my question!!!
I calmly replied thanking him for the kind compliments, and said I'm a writer, I write about things that happen to me, I don't sign anything that says I won't write about anyone, and that he should have picked up from having seen my blog that I don't generally do hatchet jobs on people (currently under review). If someone pisses me off - and it's interesting enough - I might wryly pillory them. But if he was that worried, what on earth was he doing writing to me in the first place?
I went on to say something like if I wrote to all the men on dating sites who paid me a few compliments, I wouldn't get any work done.
This was his reply:-
I'm impressed and humbled by the number of men who pay you compliments. I must create rarity value by not doing it.
Well, what's minute-taking come to these days? He'd paid me three compliments in his very first message!
I told him that he was awfully combative. He said no, he wasn't. (Ha!) He was a sweet pussycat really, but he 'could go for a girl who used the word combative'.
Never mind combative, I could easily have used some other choice words....but instead I said thanks, but no merci. (And I would have had no mercy...)
Pointless. Depressing. And a complete waste of the time I could more usefully have spent fantasizing about George Clooney.
And so, as the ageing maiden of time seeks the suitable suitor of destiny, and the short, averagely-built bald men of fate prattle on for eternity, NiceEtoile has left the dating site.
Somebody please turn out the lights.