Date

Actually on second thoughts, don’t bother. Run dear man, run for your life. I’m a housekeeping slut!

Dating in your thirties is an entirely different kettle of fish to dating in your teens. Then the only frame of reference the male species had to your soul was your fickle taste in music, how short your ra-ra skirt was and just how high you could spray your fringe up. And all things considered- if their best mate liked you , then you were almost guaranteed a night at the flicks and a shared bucket of popcorn. But alas, no more.

Now men expect you to attend the dating venue of their choice clutching your credit score, proof of your fertility and a picture of your Mum.  Never mind the fact that they have already googled you, had your house valued and in my case at least, know everything there is to know about you and beam in dubious delight as they present you with a gift wrapped organic cucumber because they read somewhere you had a culinary obsession with them…

And thats before you get down to the nitty gritty and invite them into your living room for coffee. (Lord help you Darling Girl, should you be so stupid.) For it is in your living room that the fun really begins. You see it is a truth universally acknowledged that the man in search of a wife fancies himself as the twenty first centuries answer to Sherlock Holmes and even the shortest soiree on your sofa will provide him with all the evidence he needs to make or break your future…

Never mind your gorgeous new highlights, french manicured fingernails and pale pink bra peeking seductively out from under your cashmere cardi.  When you see the object of your affections running a white gloved finger across your door frame and  staring at your bookcase as if you written all your secrets in  your collection of paperbacks, you will wonder why you bothered.

Examples? How about the rugby sized cad who bounded into my house, stopped dead in front of my  portrait of Robert Taylor and said  "I suppose that’s Mark?".

"Well no" I replied. "Thats Robert Taylor. He was a  a Hollywood movie star… erm he died in 1969."

"Same thing really" he muttered mysteriously, then walked into my kitchen, opened my cake tin and shoved a piece of carrot cake into his mouth like he hadn’t just devoured a four course meal and a kebab.

Then there was a man who dismantled my toilet in an effort to get to the root of my noisy plumbing before we had barely said hello. The same one who visibly shuddered as he trailed a finger across my scary green wallpaper and finally worked up the nerve to ask me what in heavens name possessed me to lay patterned carpet in my bathroom, over pomegranate sorbet in a chi-chi bar. And sadly the very same one who following a cringe-worthy date resplendent in shared financial history, took the opportunity to send me a new mortgage illustration the following day. By text.

Let’s not forget the oh so sweet man who wandered around touching things in a gleeful manner before turning to me with a huge big smile on his face, and saying "Oh yes. I feel right at home here.  I could live here I could. It reminds me of my Granny’s!".    Or the man who told me he couldn’t come to terms with the fact that my TV was ten years old and  left as fast as his excessively short little legs could carry him…

But first prize goes to the man who loved roast chicken. The one who came equipped with his divorce papers in his pocket (no really!). I had invited him over to dinner and the house was a glow with candles and the spark of unspoken chemistry. We were grinning at each other a lot and I was walking across the living room carrying the chicken on a vintage transfer ware platter, when all of a sudden he was possessed by the urge to rugby tackle me to the floor and nibble around the straps of my flowery apron (Yes Sweeties I’m the kind of girl who wears a pinny even in the midst of blatant seduction with  garlic rubbed poultry). So there we were, kind of sprawled across the rug with the chicken winking next to us, when he lifted his lips from my neck and in a tone I can only describe as borderline outrage, said "Alison May, you are a housekeeping fraud! There is fluff around the legs of your sofa!" before jumping up and breaking a leg off my darling roasted friend, as I went to fetch a feather duster  and watched one more promising relationship bite the dust.

If you will excuse the pun.