Lady Muck – Port Out Starboard Home
99% of the time I thrive on being on my own. The horrifying reality for men is that most solvent women with a few brain cells to rub together feel the same way. But call me a hopeless romantic or vicious predator, I’m still holding out for my lightning bolt moment and refuse to compromise until I find the man I deserve. By ‘deserve’, let me contextualise – I want rich (or at least comfortable), socially adaptable (as posh as me, not necessarily posher) and in possession of an IQ higher than room temperature. Tall order, I know.
In the meantime, I can generally count on the memories of all the frogs I’ve kissed in the search for my prince to keep me, and more importantly, to provide material for my girlfriends. The net effect is I’ve built up quite a folio of failed attempts and nearly-but-not-quite prototypes. I share these with you to elucidate and, in maybe some ludicrously optimistic Panglossian way, serve as exemplar for men still hoping to snare that ‘special gal’.
Take, for example, Funeral Man. The name derived from the fact that he first spotted me at a funeral – his friend, my ex (I know, I was vulnerable) and contacted me afterwards to suggest we meet. I’m assuming it wasn’t his shoulder he wanted me to cry on. What followed was a potentially romantic winter stroll in the park ruined by an ice lolly, which adhered fearsomely to my lips upon contact and whose removal from my mouth resulted in wrenching of flesh and not insignificant blood loss. Funeral Man revealed a notable lack of compassion. Reader, I dated him. For a short time. Problem was, Funeral Man had a temper.
One evening, towards the end of that time, he was clearly out of sorts and unjustly vented his displeasure on an innocent waitress. Upon our arrival at the restaurant, she had politely informed us that the table he had reserved was, regrettably, still occupied and invited us to have a drink at the bar until it became free. Disproportionately aggressive, Funeral Man, real name Amiss (no not HIM), had ranted at the innocent minion and stomped off bad-naturedly to the bar, leaving me to apologise in his wake and sheepishly follow him. I can do sheepish, when it suits me. A few minutes later, she found us at the bar and addressed Funeral Man, all sweetness and light. “I’m happy to tell you that your table is now ready for you Mr Anus, may I show you the way?” I could have kissed her. “WHAT did you call me?” She played it perfectly, wide-eyed in her innocence. “Erm… Mr Amiss? That is correct isn’t it? I’m so sorry, did I pronounce it wrong?” His face started to erupt in angry red blotches whilst other guests looked around uncomfortably and his true colours were revealed in all their gaudy glory. Throwing your toys out of the pram is never going to win the heart of a woman and neither is vanity.
Everybody likes to find their partner physically attractive and I confess to having indulged in dalliances with a ‘himbo’ or two in my time. However, much like a late-night kebab, indulging in one might satisfy an urge but invariably leaves you feeling bilious and a bit dirty the next morning (and not in a good way). There was the impossibly handsome and eligible Frog. Yeah, he was French. I’m not always on sparklingly creative form. Frog drove a top-of-the-range Porsche (badly) and spent so much time checking himself out in the rear view mirror that I feared for my life each time I set foot in his car. That was going anywhere and the entente was far from cordiale.
And there was Abercromboy, the young Abercrombie & Fitch model, whose beauty was marred only by the tattoo of a crucifix, which stretched from the nape of his neck to his tail bone and marked the brief period during which he had found, and subsequently lost, God. While I was just able to accept the ink, I failed to appreciate how his job could be so “exhausting” as to render him incapable of being useful at the end of the day (or, for that matter, achieving coherent speech) until I popped by Bond Street to pay him a surprise visit and saw him hard at work: stripped to the waist and posing for photographs with bevies of 12 year-old girls stroking his six-pack. One trait I’ve come to realise that many himbos seem to share, particularly those with modelling and/or filming experience, is a way of behaving in everyday situations as though they’re on camera. These boys have clearly spent serious time with a mirror, cultivating specific looks and poses, which they then deploy in certain situations. Chalet Man (one of the more self-explanatory monikers) was particularly adept at this – while I could never quite see whether he was using Blue Steel while he was skiing (he wore a full-face helmet to preserve his greatest asset), his mastery of Le Tigre and the imploring l’Amour was devastatingly effective. At first. However, when these looks are used in disturbingly inappropriate situations, typically in conversations that stretch the mental capacity of the average himbo, they soon lose their allure.
One night, while enjoying a moment of passion in Chalet Man’s er…chalet, I spotted a strategically placed mirror to my side. “Oooooh, mirror?!” I believe was my enthusiastic response to this potentially interesting development. His reaction would, I believe, have taken even Zoolander himself by surprise. Gazing up at me from his black satin sheets, he murmured: “Eyes on the prize, darling, eyes on the prize”, his Peter Pointer and middle finger waggling between our eyes. It was a sobering moment in so many ways. It can be difficult to know precisely what the prize is during our search for a soul mate and the better I get to know myself, the more I realise what I can tolerate. It’s a heady combination, but I know he’s out there somewhere. Hopefully counting past 20 and not socialising with school girls. I know. I’m so picky.