Let’s go shopping

A (not exhaustive) list of desirable qualities in my next partner:

He has to like me
You wouldn’t think this would be the number one requisite. A bit Janet & John, right? But most of you have never met me. You have no idea how pig-headed, stupid and arrogant I can be. A boy is showing little or no interest in me? Fuck you – I will MAKE you love me.

I will pour all of my love and energy into making your world a beautiful, warm, loving place. Cartoon bluebirds will follow you around, festooning you with blossom and singing songs of sweet, sweet love. Chubby little cherubs will flirt merrily around your ears, shooting their love-stuffed arrows right into your heart.

You will run as fast as you possibly can from the crazy, overbearing, smothering-you-with-fucking-Mills-and-Boon-nonsense, idiot girl that I am. No more.

Next time, he will like me as much as I like him. Not more. Not less. Exactly equal amounts of like. (I will ruin next time by trying to quantify exactly how much he likes me and comparing it unfavourably with my pile of like, like I used to do with mine and my sister’s Easter eggs. Still, it’s all content for the blog, right?)

He must smell good
My ex-husband always smelled good. The Pirate… Ah, The Pirate. Bottle him. I can’t tell you how important smell is. Both my ex and The Pirate smelled good in their raw state, but then they enhanced. Deodorant. Aftershave. The Pirate’s conditioner (oh! The Pirate’s hair! It’s OK that I’m still mourning his glorious, glorious hair, right?).

Because smell isn’t just hormonal. Cleanliness and a certain amount of preening go a long, long way. My Mum has a very attractive neighbour. He has the most beautiful green eyes, washed out surfy blonde hair and a soft yet very defined, very kissable mouth. Lovely. And he smokes roll ups, doesn’t seem overly concerned with showering in what seems to be a consistently French way, and absolutely reeks. The waste! Enough to make a girl weep.

He will be an enlightened despot
A controversial one, this, and difficult to explain. Did  you learn about the enlightened despots at school? 18th century European monarchs who ruled absolutely with no pesky government or court telling them what to do – but who did so tolerantly and with an appreciation for the arts. I need me one of those. An indulgent master.

I know, I know… Horribly old-fashioned, unforgivably anti-feminist. How to explain… OK. I want a man strong enough to keep me in line. A man with the strength of personality to command my respect, a man I recognise as my equal, if not my superior. But, crucially, a man who doesn’t abuse the power he holds over me. A man who could crush me with a word, but chooses not to, every time. An alpha male that recognises and respects the alpha female in me, and makes her want to bow down and lick his boots.

I can’t be in any kind of relationship with someone I don’t respect. I worked my way up the ladder at work not out of any real sense of ambition, but because I couldn’t bear working for people I had no respect for. If I thought I could do their job better, I worked up and over them. Told you I was arrogant.

The Boy-Child was a self-confessed beta male and it just didn’t work for me. He was timid and passive-aggressive, which was bad enough, but also put me on a pedestal, which was worse. It was really hard not being a bitch, not abusing the position of power he put me in.

You can see this is going to cause all kinds of problems. I can’t see that it will be any easier for a man not to do the same to me. I fear I’m going to get stung by a lot of arrogant bullies before I find a good, kind, strong man. But I don’t think my lust for alpha males is going anywhere fast. I blame Rhett Butler, Heathcliff and Petruchio.

He’ll teach me things
It’s more than the hair and the smell that’s making it so hard for me to get over The Pirate. He used to be a groundsman and gamekeeper. He knew stuff. We’d be driving through the Cumbrian hills and he’d tell me about moor management, and how strips of the heather are burned away to… (Fuck knows. I can’t remember. I didn’t say I’d remember the things that he taught me, just that he’d teach me them and I’d see the passion in his eyes and imagine him fucking me senseless in the blackened gulleys of razed heather stubble, whispering words of ecology in my ear with every thrust.)

Like when we were on the beach with an awesome storm rolling in over the sea, and he described what was happening in each of the types of clouds, what the winds were doing and from what direction, when and where the rain would fall. Or when we were driving across the Pennines and he suddenly pulled over, leaped out of his jeep in the rain and ran clapping into the gorse, so I could hear the wonderfully peculiar sound a particular game bird makes when it takes off. Or when he was standing behind me, arms around me, teaching me how to fly fish for salmon in the grounds of an ancient castle.

I like learning things. I was good at school, not because I am especially intelligent – again, I refer you to the content of this blog for evidence of my spectacular stupidity. No, I was good because I am good at learning. I enjoy it. My next man will teach me things. Could be about heather. Could be about particle physics. I’m not really bothered, as long as it’s delivered with the kind of passion that makes me want to do bad things.

He will want children
Because I want more. Soon. Which could be an issue… And he will want MY children, all of them, including the gorgeous boy I already have. I crave family.

He will love me for who I am
Yes. Let’s aim a little higher than ‘he will like me’. He will love me. He will find the things about me that are loveable, the things that I can’t see right now. He will make me feel loved, and he will let me love him. Every day won’t be hearts and flowers. I imagine there’ll be tough times. But we’ll work through them, together.

Too much to ask for, do you think?






9 Comments on “Let’s go shopping”

  1. Laura Davies says:

    I hope not, because I’d quite like the same!

  2. You are fucking fabulous!

  3. Caroline says:

    Just come across your blog. Yup sums up what I’m looking for.

    Here’s to 2012 giving us all what we’re looking for – and deserve

  4. Lady E says:

    Oy, less of this French not showering lark if you please!
    But seriously, you’ll have to find three of them at that rate, and I WILL fight for the most handsome one. Though perhaps I’d settle for the second most handsome one if he has long eye lashes and big shoulders (won’t fight you for the hair thing).
    Good luck with it all…
    And I’m experimenting with t-internet dating so let’s see how long it takes before I land myself a self-absorbed moron who isn’t really that into me whilst I dream of walking down the aisle and having his effing babies, shall we?

  5. Val says:

    Followed you over from MP… you had me at Boy-Child as well as the indispensable importance of That Smell. (H2 has learned that it’s best to come snog a bit BEFORE he hits the shower 😉
    Great blog!

  6. Anonymous Coder says:

    Holy crap you are delusional (and all the rest of the commenters of this article). I think its time for you to get a bunch more cats. Yeah sweetie – Mr. Big is right around the corner, waiting to get married to you, just like on Sex and the City, LOL.

    Hint: Your negative attitude about life sucks. And your laundry list of requirements is ludicrous for a single mom in her 30’s (unless your name is Jessica Alba). Do you honestly think that men are attracted to a cesspool of negativity?

    • Hmmm… I think even little ol’ me can expect to find a man who loves me and smells good, and who I respect and can teach me things. I’m not entirely convinced that this is an unreasonable wishlist. I’m not even going near your ‘single mom in her 30s’ dig. And given that the whole point of this blog was to document a period of my life when I was clinically depressed and undergoing therapy, I’m not sure where you’re going with your comments about my negative attitude. Well, yeah. Find me someone with depression who isn’t a cesspool of negativity.

      I haven’t written here for a while. I am feeling much better. Much stronger. I’m building on my career, taking care of my boy. There’s no room for a man, much less any inclination. But I am not going to apologise for how I was feeling when my husband left and my dad died and a strange piratey man messed with my head. Sometimes you’re swimming. Sometimes you sink. Happens to the best of us. Thanks for you comment.

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