Monday, 12 September 2011

On getting pickier

This weekend I caught up with a couple of old girl friends. Not ‘old’ in age you understand, but in years of knowing. Although perhaps those things are intertwined nowadays. Jees, are they? We do all use eyecream after all.

Anyway, Friday night was a chance to catch up. We have known each other since 1995, when we started senior school. In 1995 I considered it ‘the fashion’ to hair-spray my fringe into individual strands, wear an Adidas drill top, and had my first kiss (with a runty boy named James) at the Grammar School Disco. I was, I recall, wearing a classic two-piece from Tammy Girl and lipstick from Miss Selfridge.

So, out came the old photo albums. We laughed so much that red wine was spilt all over the sofa. Luckily, because we are now grown ups we knew exactly how to deal with this situation and chucked the best part of a bottle of pinot grigio on after it.

After the spill, conversation turned to the old boyfriends. Luckily James from the Grammar School Disco did not come up. We’d only had one date anyway, on the 510 bus the following Monday morning. He went to the boys school, me to the girls. It was never going to work.

We remembered the days when one kiss consummated your relationship. Boyfriend and girlfriend you became. Criteria for the accolade of ‘boyfriend’ was limited at best. Two boys, two girls, and one question. ‘Which one do you want?’

Over the years we’ve really kissed an unfair share of frogs.

But at some point we developed an idea of what our boyfriend should be -  a list of criteria that our dream man must measure up to. This never quite panned out of course, most likely because our lists were utter nonsense.

Worryingly I have watched my friends dismiss lovely men because they didn’t match up to the romantic ideal that they had developed. On the other hand I have witnessed people dating absolute cretins because they apparently ticked all the boxes.

But on Friday, as we finished off the bottle, we all agreed that real relationships are bloody hard work. They are not one continual dream of romance, fluffy animals and mini-breaks. Love is not a big ring, or a box of thorntons chocolates.

 A man who sorts the rubbish and puts it in the right sacks for collection – well there is one that’s worth sticking with.

Of course, if he could also pick his towels off the floor, not make crumbs in the bed and know how to rustle up a risotto – well that would be super.  There are some criteria worth holding onto.


  1. Thanks Margaret. You can have a gold star for being my bestest comment-er. **