A couple of weeks ago, I attended a drawing class. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for years, basically ever since I had to choose between art and music at school aged 15 (due to timetabling reasons) and chose music. I’ve always suspected I’d love drawing and would relish the opportunity to have a proper go. I’ve modelled for countless artists over the last decade but have been keen to try my hand at the other side, and signed up to the mailing list of a local artist, planning to go when my diary aligned with his class, which happened a couple of weeks ago.
When I pulled up outside the artist’s studio for the group class and the door opened for me, I was startled by the artist who welcomed me in… He was utterly dreamy, twinkly and greeted me with what felt like possible excitement. The class was really fun. I was terrible at rendering the model’s portrait at first but got gradually better under his tuition; I managed not to faint at his biceps when he stood close to demonstrate (who knew artists had biceps?) and listened, rapt, to his not-from-round-here accent. We made shy conversation (well, he was fine, in his element, telling me about measurements and how to line things up on paper; I was shy, obedient, enthusiastic). The small class was mostly conducted in silence (pity the model who later told me he passed the time by counting) and so all flirting had to be minimal and understated; touching knees as he showed me what he would do differently, small questions about my week/life/interests, a slight bit of flusterment on his part when I asked about the paintings of his that lined the walls. Continue reading
– Best Self: I think I’m going to have a boyfriend again.
– Worst self: Um, terrible idea.
– Best self: Why?
– Worst Self: You might die.
– Best self: I’m hardly going to die.
– Worst self: You were so miserable last time, remember.
– Best self: Only because he was the wrong man for me. Another man – the right one – will make me happy. Or keep me happy, because I’m already happy.
– Worst self: Sounds horrifically claustrophobic to me. You’d be locked in to being whoever you are when you meet him. Won’t be able to change or develop. Sounds hellish, actually. That panic in your throat right now; you know you’d hate it.
– Best self: Not true. He might be someone who is interested in learning and self development and who I can have interesting conversations with. In fact he almost certainly will be, otherwise I won’t be attracted to him in the first place.
– Worst self: You’d have to meet his family. Continue reading
(I once read that one clear symptom of being British is that it is impossible to intone the word ‘great’ without sounding sarcastic. ‘Great’ is a word most naturally reserved for sarcastic occasion. Ever since, in cross-cultural exchanges, and due to this absolute truth, I have performed a small inward giggle and self-enquiry whenever I allow the word to flutter free from my voice, which isn’t often (but the word is usefully efficient and gleefully positive, so it does get out now and then in emails, etc.); and also, unlike most of the people who self-describe their category of humour on dating sites, I don’t think sarcasm is a particuarly inspiring humble-brag, so I usually err on the side of the gentle, far more British and authentic ‘quite good’ or ‘quite nice’. Therefore, please take my use of ‘great’ in the above title as evidence of my uncertain and unstable opinion on the subject of today’s pondering.) Continue reading
This is a long one… I could probably write at least nine books on the subject of online dating. Maybe one day I will*.
I even manage not to be embarrassed about the fact that I am so experienced in these matters, since anyone who’s anyone (who’s single) has given the world of online romantification a go at one point or another (this is a phrase I hope might catch on), and the fact that I am the world’s most picky, yet naively hopeful, writerly-hermit (with far too many projects and evening engagements for that to even work as a ‘thing’), usually either working from home or in some foreign exotic land (it’s a bit black and white, isn’t it?) means I have become over the months-which-turn-into-years deeply, deeply wise about all things online dating. I’m basically a connaisseur. Or connaisseuse. Or guru. Continue reading