A COMBINATION of heat stroke, boredom and the usual malaise, which strikes every January, led to me rejoining a dating site last week. (I may or may not have also been looking for a blog before I start travelling again for the year). I elected to go back to BoganDating.com (not its real name) to see if things had changed in the year since I was last desperate enough to sign up. They have not. In all fairness, in the deep dark recesses of my mind, and with yet another Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, I may also hold some grim hope that the man of my dreams is lurking somewhere in the shadows on BoganDating.com. He is not. But it has certainly been an amusing week.
This time around I named myself after a popular travel site to at least see if anyone out there possessed a sense of irony. They don’t. At the time of writing this, I have attracted 209 views, 29 kisses and engaged in 1 email conversation. I think the rather low ratio of views to kisses and actual conversations may have had something to do with the fact I stipulated I am not interested in one-night stands, thus knocking out the majority of participants. Yes, “Fairdinkumkiwi”, “Gazza”, and “DancingandRomance” were all scared off by that one. “ChristopherB”, 27, was an interesting entrant in the game, particularly given I stated I was looking for a man aged between 40 and 50.
“Paul3000” was not looking for “anything serious” nor a “one-night stand” but just “regular fun”. I’m pretty sure we all know what that means. Yet Paul was quite the serious sausage himself, stipulating: “Please read my profile carefully, and only respond if you do want to chat and do like what you have read. Sorry for sounding like a grouch, but it has been getting annoying.” I’m believe Paul actually lives in a garbage bin and his real name is Oscar. “RhythmLover”, aged 64, also viewed my profile. He wanted to “encounter a friendship of epicurean attraction…a curious glance across a shared vintage…the chink of glass, one hand upon another…mmm”. I think RhythmLover has just finished reading 50 Shades of Grey. He is, however, keeping his options open, stating he wants to meet anyone between the ages of 18-120 and, most reassuringly, stating “my iPod remains young.” Phew. Can’t date a dating iPod.
“Charlie” was not interested in “pushy women” but definitely wanted someone “with their own mind” (I’m SO confused). “RichobytheCoast” went straight for the sales pitch, leading his profile with “I have just bought a beachfront apartment at Kings Beach”. Unfortunately for Richo that is the most exciting thing about him. I actually responded in the affirmative to “Devoted2U” prepared to overlook the corny name, as he said he wanted a woman he could “spoil”, one who was “independent” and “one that knows how to put a man in his place”. Devoted, you had me at hello! Unfortunately, Devoted’s idea of “spoiling” a woman, seems to be actually responding to her email. He has since gone walkabout.
Walkabout seems to be the theme this season, as was also the case of a detective who also went missing in action for three days, straight after I emailed him back. Which made me wonder. Had he been killed by a Gold Coast bikie? Was he on a secret assignment? Or did he do a criminal check and discover I got a speeding fine on New Years Eve? In my defence, Your Honour, it was a scorcher, I had a hot roast chicken in the car, and I needed to get the chook home. And no, I don’t condone speeding, but I thought it was a 60 zone in which I was clocked doing 65. And yes, the chicken ended up costing me $227 and 3 demerit points. Lesson learnt. And so, too, may my lesson be learnt on this dating site.
Now, before I sign off, I have been speaking with a close male mate and he too has been dabbling in the whole dating disaster site business. And, remarkably, he has similar tales to tell of the female of the species. Like me, the minute he contacts them in the affirmative, they tend to disappear off the face of the planet. His worst tale is of a self-confessed spiritual guru who expended considerable energy painting a picture of what they’d do when they next caught up, and even spoke of an overseas break with him. And just when he was about hooked, she then revealed she had “reconciled with her partner”. We both don’t believe her but thanks for playing around with someone’s heart, lady. So, I am none the wiser on what makes this dating business tick. Or why there are so many imitators playing this particular game, but if the survival of our species relies on men and women actually forming healthy relationships, then we’re all doomed.
I ARRIVED late, in the midst of a ferocious tropical storm. I was the only person on the bus which was carrying me deeper into the jungle. My friendly Malaysian driver dropped me off in the dark, the torrential rain soaking me to the skin, with the warning: “watch out for snakes, as they are always watching you.” Great, I thought, he could have said “men” instead of “snakes” but it was not to be on this particular evening.
I took my first tentative steps towards the dim light somewhere in the distance…and promptly broke my sandals. Now I was drenched, barefoot, and in the midst of a potential snake pit in a tropical thunderstorm in the dark and rather alone.
Sliding on the slippery path, I eventually made my way to the light which turned out to be a cafe where I grabbed a beer, and sat out the storm. Upon leaving, I saw what looked like a lovely little green tree snake. “Don’t move,” one of the Malaysian cafe owners called out. “It’s a deadly viper, and it can kill you in seconds.”
I was reminded today of my trip to Kuching last November when I found the first evidence of Spring on my back deck. A snake skin. Now, I have a bit of an Indiana Jones relationship with snakes. They scare me, and always have. It goes right back to when we were kids in country Queensland and come summer, our backyard was full of poisonous king browns. My parents, being tough-love 1970s types, offered us little comfort: “If you see a snake, you freeze like a statute and you call out ‘mum’ and then you keep watching it so we know where it’s gone.” And then dad, who is a bit of a Steve Irwin, would march up to the deadly serpent, grab it, bag it and dump it on the farm to eat the rats. Lizards, on the other hand, I love. They’ve got legs.
So, it came as quite a shock one night a few years back when I was having a barbecue on my beloved back deck to feel all the hackles on my neck rise, in that really creepy fashion jsut before something bad’s about to happen. I turned around and there she was, slithering down the railings. I decided it was time to conquer my fear and named my snake Anastascia, deciding she was my sex goddess, meaning whenever she made an appearance, things would improve in my bedroom, so to speak. And, miraculously they did.
I won’t go into details but suffice to say, we both had a wonderful summer. For the record, I’m not alone in my thinking. Just this week, a Townsville couple went to the media with their story about two pythons copulating in their ceiling. According to Ron Degenhart: “You and your missus could be going hammer and tongs in the bedroom, while the snakes are going at it upstairs as well.”
Yes, things were going great guns for me, until the night Anastascia died. It was a scorching February night and I was laying in bed, clad only in undies and a singlet, drinking wine (yes, I know how to party). I heard what I thought were two possums fighting right outside my bedroom window. And then “boom!”, my neighbour Dave – a bit of a bogan – burst through my front gates and leapt down in front on my bedroom windows, grabbing a massive python which was in the process of eating his cat. I stood there, a little tipsy if I have to admit it, in my undies and singlet, glass of wine still firmly in hand, watching in slow-motion as Dave wrestled the cat from the snake’s mouth. It was Anastascia having dinner. Dave screamed “it bit me, it bit me”, the cat went flying into the night, and Dave stood before me, snake dangling from his hands. For the record the cat, not the snake, had bitten Dave.
The only words I could mutter were “you’re not leaving that snake here” and thus, Anastascia met an untimely death. (Which, for the record, is a great shame as Anastascia was the Indigenous species in this scenario, not the cat, but circumstances had already spiralled beyond my control).
Around the same time, my summer of sex abruptly stopped. So, it was with pure delight that I found my new snake skin this week. I’ve called her Sylvia. I haven’t see her yet, and Dave and his cat have since moved on. But I’m certainly looking forward to a long, hot, summer.