Hospitality Myths Debunked

I’ve been working in hospitality for about 20 years (holy crap). Mostly part time, full time for about 5 years and then the desire to sit down took over. At the moment I have a sitting down office job and I also work in a restaurant a few times a week, for money and because I like it.

Hospitality is one of those weird professions. The pay is crap (generally), the hours are long, you end up dealing with a fair number of wankers and, the bit I like the best about it, is the fact that a lot of people just think you’re an idiot. But if you love it, then you love it, and you’ll go back again and again until you’re either committed or your fake customer smile becomes permanently tattooed to your face and your feet fall off. Or you go on a murderous rampage dressed in chefs white, brandishing a cleaver. Not really sure which is the best of those options.

However, I am not here to espouse the wonders of the mind of a re-offending hospitality addict, I am here to rid the world of a few of the pre-conceived ideas about hospitality workers.

Now firstly, I have to make it abundantly clear that I am well aware there are some bloody awful waiters and waitresses out there. And I am the first to not tip if service is shite. And the servers who wander around looking like you’ve shoved a poker up their arse when all you’ve done is ask for a fork should be made to write the meaning of hospitality 100 times on a blackboard. But for the purposes of this article, your waitperson is neither shit nor a pretentious wanker.

Hospitality Myth No. 1 – Waitressing is not a proper job

YES IT IS. End of story.

Hospitality Myth Number 2 – Waiters are stupid idiots who know nothing

Well, to begin with the wait staff know about the food on the menu (well, they should) so sometimes it pays to listen, or else your meal may end up going something like this:

Lady enters restaurant, sits down peruses menu.
Waitress enters (stage left) (pursued by a bear)
“Good evening, and how are you this evening?”
“Is this the menu?” Asks the lady.

See, even at this point, you know it’s all going to be hard work. Because obviously it’s the fucking menu. And although you would love for those exact words to slip out of your mouth, you don’t, because it’s your job to be hospitable to stupid people who ask blindingly obvious questions.

“Yes, madam it is the menu”
“Well it’s changed from the last time I as here.”
‘Yes, the menu is seasonal’
‘I don’t like this menu as much.’
“Oh?”
(Want to say: “Well go and open your own bloody restaurant then” )
Do say: “That’s a shame, I’m sorry to hear that”
Customer: “I wanted a steak”

Proceed to point out to customer that there is a wagyu sirloin on the menu (it was those 6 months when everyone wanted to eat massaged Japanese cows)

Customer, “I really wanted a filet mignon”
“Sorry, we don’t have one.” (if we did it would probably be on the menu, wouldn’t it, hmmm? Just saying)
“Wagyu is fatty isn’t it?”
“Yes, wagyu does have a high marbling rating, which means as it is cooked it melts into the meat and leaves the steak incredibly tender, we would recommend that you have it cooked no less than medium.”
“Can you cut the fat out?”
“Erm, not really, it runs through the whole cut.”
“Well as you have nothing else I like on the menu I’ll have that but rare.”
“Well, I wouldn’t recommend that as the fat needs to melt into the steak, rendering it and if it’s served rare then it will be quite tough. Maybe there is something else on the menu you would like? (or you could just fuck off ?)”
“No, I’ll have the wagyu. Rare.”
“No problem, just to make you extra aware, we wouldn’t recommend it to be served rare.”
“I said rare. I would like it rare.” (rolls eyebrows at presumptuousness of server)

So, take chewy piece of meat over to woman.
Go back, ask how it is.
“It’s a bit chewy and there’s a lot of fat”
IS IT??????
“I don’t really think I should pay for this.”

Well I do, and I think you should pay for my bail after I’ve stabbed you with a steak knife
Sigh….

Hospitality Myth No. 3 – Waiters don’t deserve a modicum of respect

I don’t know what it is about the job that seems to make average everyday people thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to speak to you in a way they wouldn’t think of speaking to a mangy dog on the road. I think my favourite comment was as follows:

Lady to man: “Aren’t you going to give him a tip?”
Man “Yes, get a proper job”
Charming.

There are the people who think it’s acceptable to speak to you like a piece of shit because you are serving them. So what if you know everything there is about every ingredient in the dish. So what if you can match the wine to whichever ingredient they choose, so what if you can work a 15 hour shift and still smile at people. So what if you just managed a 70 seater lunch and turned it round and have just served another 70 seater dinner whilst ensuring no orders are forgotten ,the orders aren’t clogging up the kitchen, the tables are set correctly, that each regular’s order is in and remembered perfectly. What does it matter that you’ve been smiling for hours and dealing with the complaints from the customers and the subsequent reactions from the kitchen. So what? You’re a waiter and therefore of a lower social standing.

The people who are the worst at this are middle management for some reason. Who try to amuse and delight their companions by trying to show up the waiter. Because they aren’t a waiter you know. They’re going somewhere in life, they’re middle management (?!?). These are usually the people who get blind drunk and you end up having to throw out of the restaurant because they’re trying to shag Barry/Dawn from accounts in the bathroom with the door open. Classy.

Say please and thank you. I say it to you and you’re an annoying fuckwit who’s had too much to drink and thinks you’re an expert on the wines of the world but manage to pronounce Chenin as Chennin, says Pinot as Pinnott and are affronted when asked whether you want the white or the red ‘Pinnott’. Obviously the red, you say and proceed to raise your eyebrows “how stupid these waiters are!” you say to your companions.

So, not the Pinot Gris, then? Wanker.

Hospitality Myth Number 4 – Hospitality staff don’t care that you’re allergic to ……(insert as appropriate)

We do actually. We appreciate that there are food allergies and restaurateurs need to acknowledge this and the majority do. However, the customer also needs to understand that telling the restaurant before they arrive is a good idea. Psychic ability is not a pre-requisite in this job, unfortunately.

Case in point, a recent degustation.

One of the courses, Japanese custard with oysters. All dined, many liked, some thought a bit weird.

Next course: seafood platter.

Table “oh we can’t eat that we both have a seafood allergy’.
Waiter (blood running slowly from face) “but you just ate the Japanese custard, with seafood in it”
“Oh, well that’s why my companion is feeling a bit funny now.”
“But why didn’t you tell us?”
“Well, we’ve been here once before and we thought you’d have it on record.”
“Did you have seafood the last time you visited?”
“No…”
“Hmm, I’m sorry, our food allergy detector and record keeper must not have been in that day…”

Seafood allergies are not good. People die. We could have killed them. Which is not only a large burden for a person to bear its also not so good for a business. Just tell us.

However, I have absolutely no patience with people who avoid carbs though. Not coeliac, or gluten intolerant, that’s a proper pain in the arse for the person affected. But those that just avoid ‘for health reasons’

“I’m avoiding gluten, I’m on a diet.”
“Ok, well we have many options without bread or gluten”
“I’ll just have the fried chorizo.”
“That’s has gluten in it.”
“Yes, but it’s not bread.”
“It has about 88 grams of fat in it.”
“Yes, but it’s not bread.”
“Of course, no problem, sir”
(Although I don’t think it’s the bread that’s your problem…)

Hospitality Myth No. 5 Waiters Don’t give a crap how you like your food cooked

We do. The kitchen don’t sometimes. But this isn’t (generally) an indication of arrogance it’s because the people in the kitchen are qualified to cook your food. They know how to cook something so you will experience the flavour properly. They care about your experience. It reflects on them. And they can get a little antsy about it. So, next time you want something well done, just give a thought to the waiter who will be going through something like this when they request your food to be cooked a bit more:

Customer: “my lamb is a bit pink”
Waiter: “Yes, lamb is best served medium rare, it’s how the chef would recommend it”
Customer: “I like it cooked more, can you do that?”
Waiter: “Yes of course, it is your meal after all”
Waiter enters kitchen
“Chef, could the customer please have this with less pink?”
“Why? Didn’t you tell them its served medium rare?”
“Yes”
“Well, are they a complete fuckwit? Do they not know that how lamb is supposed to be served? It’s going to taste like shit if I cook it more.”
“But they would like it cooked more”
“What I am their fucking mother? Why don’t they just go home and cook their own fucking piece of fucking lamb?”
Waiter: “Erm….”
Chef “Knobheads”
Waiter: “So, shall I tell them to get fucked as they obviously don’t know how meat is supposed to be cooked and they should just piss off and go and go and cook their own dinner?”
Chef: “What are you? A fucking moron! No, tell them we’ll cook it”

Waiter leaves kitchen, smiles and tells customer that’ll be fine. Whilst ignoring clattering of pans and the colourful vernacular resounding from the kitchen.

I would also like to point something out. If you order a well done steak and it arrives at your table in 5 minutes, you have accidentally gone into a restaurant where your steak was cooked 4 weeks ago. Food takes time to cook. Leave immediately. If you are in a restaurant that serves fresh food, pointing at your watch and then pointing at your mouth when your well done sirloin isn’t on your table in 10 minutes is just silly and will probably result in your steak ‘resting’ for an extra ten minutes. On the floor.

And this is where I stop. I could go on, and on, and on, but I won’t.

As far as I’m concerned, whether you’re the CEO of a company or a dinner lady, a bin man or a multi millionaire, until you prove yourself to be a fuckwit, you don’t deserve to be treated like one. And luckily the majority of customers are lovely. However, for those that aren’t, watch out for those people dressed in white with cleavers – they’re after you……

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Mature Age Student

I have become one, I used to be young and funky (not smelly funky, more like samuel jackson funky, without the tash) but now I am classed as a mature age student. Which is: Just Plain Weird.

Before I went back to uni I was trying to think of any mature ages students I might have known once and I couldn’t really, apart from Mike. Mike was 30 years old (ancient) from Birmingham (talked funny) who answered an advert for a housemate that myself and my other housemate put up (itchyballs we called her, still do actually) (and no she didn’t). We had put one advert up and it was quite sensible. We did have a list of questions that we asked when people came to see the place, like “do you like cheese” and “what kitchen implements can you contribute to this household”. We just hadn’t found the right individual, so one night after Cheesy Pop (Thursday night, Queen Margaret Union 15 pints of lager and a cheese toastie minimum consumption requirement) we changed the advert slightly:

“Housemate wanted, no boring bastards need apply.”

And we got Mike. Mike was a postman and was at uni studying IT or ‘computers’ as we called it then. Because we didn’t all have one. In fact no one really had one (a computer, not a Mike). In fact, we had to HANDWRITE our essays, with our own hands, and no one even considered suing for carpal tunnel syndrome. Oh those carefree halcyon days… Anyway, Mike drank like a fish, which we all did really, but he also did something else no one had ever really heard of before. Mike studied.

It was with this thought that I entered university with a bit of trepidation. It is 20 years since I started my last degree. And yes I did finish it, thank you. Took a while but that’s because I didn’t really go a lot and also managed to get run over by a taxi whilst wearing coat hangers in my hair which made my plaits stick up at a rather fabulous angle. It was even more fabulous that as I bounced off the taxi hood they didn’t go into my head. (From this I learnt that cider, red wine and traffic are not a good combination).

Well, how things have changed. Firstly, you don’t really have to physically go anymore, you can download university on your ipadpod and listen to your e-lectures later… Far out brussel sprout. This fact was disturbing enough. But i was about to learn something even more out there. It’s hard even to write it down. Such is my shame.

I went to a tutorial. This is shocking enough in itself. I was trying to remember my tutorials at my last uni. Nope. Nothing. In fact I’m sure they maybe weren’t invented then or I sure I would have gone (mum) (thanks for the education, love you). But even more disturbing was this. I found I couldn’t shut up. I didn’t stop talking. I was the most vocal person in there. And when I left it occurred to me:

I am the really annoying mature aged student who thinks they know everything…..

The one that you look at when you’re flush with the glow of youth and go, bloody hell, if I ever end up like that just shoot me. I’m not old enough, like a Nanna, to be cool. I’m the same age as their parents. In the world of cool, I’m an iPhone 3. Not even. A Nokia.

Something else I also learnt. I actually want to do well. I study. Like proper study. And get essays in on time. I also find it hard to go to lectures because I often have to fight an overwhelming urge to turn around and say “I don’t really care how many venereal diseases you picked up last Saturday, shut up, I’m trying to listen”.

It’s a brave new world out there, folks.

Anyway, I’m off to analyse a music video on you tube (I know! Watching the Internet is learning these days…. )

Mental Health

I am a bit mad.

Well, I’m not nuts but I do have a few issues with my brain where certain neurotransmitters don’t work and some work far too often for their own good. And because of this I take some medication. And have done for years. And I manage my mental health with a combination of taking these tablet and a (mostly) healthy lifestyle. I exercise and I try and eat well and I make sure I keep an eye on myself and try and let people know when I’m not feeling so good. I have only learnt to do these things after a long and sometimes harrowing journey through life, for both myself and my family and friends.

So, I hear you asking, whats the point of this then? To let everyone know you’re a bit of a fruit loop?

Well, no. Because a fair number of people that read this are my friends and they don’t know that side to me and I’m not looking for pity or sympathy or anything. I just want to tell you a story…

I recently went for my once yearly psychiatric check up. I have to go to this as the government requires me to in order for the doctors to continue to prescribe the drugs that help keep me on the straight and narrow.

This appointment costs me $390. If I get a referral from my doctor to go I get a huge $70 back. Problem there is it costs me $75 to go to the doctor. Then the tablets cost me $75. I get nothing back from Medicare because its a private prescription. I can claim from my private health insurance for the medication. But I can’t claim for the consultation. And then there are all the other tablets and doctors visits that are required. Necessary, I know. But not cheap.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is its really quite expensive to be mad.

I wrote to my private health company and asked them about this. They will only help with the cost of in house psychiatric care. So, you have to be hospitalised first.

Lets imagine the scenario.

‘Bob’ (not his real name) (not actually a real person) has some issues. Whilst he has a job, it doesn’t pay that much. He’s had an expensive month, car tax, enormous electricity bills, eating food, all the things you waste your hard earned money on. He hasn’t been able to afford to go to the Doctor or get a prescription and he’s missed his yearly appointment owing to the fact it costs a lot of money. So his condition get worse. And eventually Bob decides he can’t cope any more so he goes out and (pick your favourite):

a) kills himself
b) kills someone else
c) goes on a murderous rampage and kills lots of people
d) cuts himself off from people, loses his job and ends up living in a cardboard box.

The good thing about this is (apart from for a) if successful) is that when he is admitted to psychiatric care after damaging however many lives in the process he can get that money back. Woo hoo! Just think of all the straitjackets he can buy.

My big problem is that there is no money to prevent any of these scenarios occurring. Although, if he wants to go and get a relaxing hot stone therapy massage, he can claim that back. Because that’ll do it. Because all you really need is hot stones and nice cup of green tea and you’ll feel a lot better.

What really pisses me off is that health should be viewed in a holistic manner. The way your mind works affects how your body works. If you have a damaged mind you are more likely to drink, to take drugs, to self medicate and therefore you will end up in hopsital clogging up the system, having money spent on you that could have been better spent elsewhere. But, and here’s a radical idea. If you tackle the problem before it gets to that stage then there won’t be so many people taking the beds. I don’t know, it just seems to make more sense.

Now, I know this is an in depth and complicated issue and there are no quick fixes. But it just seems to me that there isn’t enough importance placed on the prevention. You don’t stop giving someone insulin because they didn’t turn up for the appointment they couldn’t afford. Thats tantamount to murder. So why is it ok to leave people with mental health issues to fend for themselves so often.

Thats just my opinion anyway.

But you know, I’m a bit mad.

Puppies

I had a few weeks there when I was thinking ‘sod this internet dating malarkey,  I have a large enough lack of faith in the nature of the male without running into a brick wall made up entirely of freaks and weirdos’ again and again and again and then I remembered. You are not doing this for your love life, you are doing this for your blog.

And that made it a lot easier. 

Its not real life. Its fiction.

So, back we are .

This time I decided to go on the website where you don’t get a chance to pick and choose, you just get sent matches.  That you can’t see. Until you pay. Which you will do, because lets face it, you could be dating your Dad and you wouldn’t know it.

So, I answer my questions and basically say, I would like someone who lives in Perth (because I live there, so makes it a bit easier to catch up, I think), who has an education , who isn’t 97 and apart from that I don’t care if you’re rich, poor, with kids, without kids, bald, hairy, blind, have 5 legs, 6 eyes and a moustache….even all at the same time.

These ‘preferences’ go into the machine.

A whirring sound. A bit of a clicking and finally, with a big fat splutter:

“Your parameters are too wide. Please consider narrowing your search”.

To what exactly?

So I took out must live in Perth.

And now I get matches.

Anyhoo…

So firstly there is the man who had professional photos taken. Of himself looking cool and soave (or just like a bit like a wanker) wandering around a european city (or in front of a large picture of a european city), looking deep and interesting dressed all in black, with his mirrored shades on. My favourite snap for the album is the one of him walking down the street, mobile to the side of his head, obviously making some kind of amazingly complicated business deal. Not talking to his mum, who he probably still lives with, about the fact that she knows he doesn’t like it when she puts his socks away without pairing them. No, that would definitely not be the conversation he was actually having. 

And on this website you just get sent questions straight away. Well, the men with any social skills know that saying hello first and seeing if you say hello back is probably the way forward but for those with none (I’m thinking thats about 90%), you get questions. The man who would be james bond sent “how many children do you want?”. 

Coffee first maybe? Before fertilisation?

But my absolute favourite so far:

“I have ambitions and want to be successful in life (really, because I’d love to spend every day shit faced on ethanol watching my life disappear down a drain hole.  State the bleeding obvious why don’t you).

But I digress, he continues;  “even though I have these ambitions I still like to take time out to watch puppies walking on wet grass”.

????

I’m sorry, did you say puppies walking on wet grass?

How exactly do you do that? Do you have a van full of puppies that you just drive around and every time it rains you just chuck one out of the window and watch it walking around? And what exactly do you do when you’re watching it? And what happens when its summer? Do you have a hosepipe with you at all times? Do you throw the puppy out of the van window before you put the hose on or do you hose down first and then throw puppy?  Or is it a simultaneous action?

DELETE.

 There was one bloke who seemed ok, but  but I unfortunately committed one of the most heinous sins in internet dating world.  Having a life outside the internet.   And therefore not replying to an email instantly. In fact I didn’t reply for 4 days. He didn’t like that. He had a mood, in fact I expect he probably stuck his bottom lip out, and I got a note telling me that he didn’t care what he did to offend me there is no excuse for that. No offence, Mr Over Sensitive type individual,  but I haven’t spoken to my mum for 2 weeks and I love her and  you’re just some strange bloke I wrote to on the internet, so calm your boots.

And thats where we stand at the moment. Gloriously alone and not being fertilised or hit on the head by wet, flying dogs.

So far, the chickens have got nothing to worry about.

 

Lynne

Lynne died on Tuesday.  I don’t know how she died. I don’t suppose it really matters. I didn’t find out she had died until Saturday. None of us did. And I was ok about it. And then today I went to her funeral and now I’m sad. And I want to tell you about a woman who was only in my life for the time it took her to drink a coffee and yet had more of an impact on me that some of the people I’ve known for years.

The Lynne I knew came to the cafe I worked in, about twice a day, every day, for the duration of my working there full time. And when I recently started working back there part time, she was still coming in.

She was a large lady, who occasionally brushed her hair, and very occasionally wore lipstick. And she chain smoked. In her car. Which was  evidently unlicensed and had been for the past 6 years (tidbits you pick up at a funeral). She was forever planning an escape to the country and scoured through the papers picking properties that took her fancy.  She wasn’t allowed to eat hot chips, doctors orders. But she did. Only once a fortnight though and she always had an extra large tomato sauce to go with them, which invariably ended up mostly down her t-shirt. She always parked in two spaces. And never wore a seat belt.

She had been known to wear a cropped top, and sometimes her jeans were on backwards and I liked giving her a hug because she was  a lady that needed to be hugged.

She told me the cafe was her safe place. Where she came to be away from the troubles of life that existed outside of the four walls and her half water half skim milk coffee with a sweetener. She wasn’t keen on the peace being disturbed. So much so that when one of the most annoying women walking the face of the earth, who was also a regular, asked if she minded if she sat next to her she simply said “Yes, I do, Fuck off.”  (Cue applause from the kitchen, and instant star status into the halls of hospitality fame (things you want to say, but just aren’t allowed to)).

She was an intelligent woman, who I genuinely enjoyed talking to. She was interesting and individual and brave. She had battled with schizophrenia and had lectured all over the country about overcoming and coping with her illness.  She wrote a book about it.

I’m going to miss her. And I didn’t really realise how much until I had to say goodbye today.

So I decided to write about her. A tribute to an exceptional  and honest woman with a gift for straight down the line.

In fact, when  I told her about my experience with the knobhead from internet dating  she said, as only Lynne could:

“Darling, he’s obviously just a total fuckwit”.

Respect to you, Mrs Folkard, and thank you for letting me be a (very tiny) part of your life.

xx

Bugger

So, I have been a bit absent of late.  There are reasons for this. Take for example the blog below, which I wrote about a week ago:

Life is a funny old game. Sometimes when you want lemons, you actually get lemonade.

Went on an internet date.

Had a good time.

Seen him again since.

Who knows what will happen but unfortunately, there’s absolutely sod all humourous to write about.

So, unless he is hiding his capacity to be a knobhead then I’m going to have to change direction.

Guess what people! He did turn out to be a knobhead. The universe did not fail me. It just decided to get me to go through the whole rigmarole of meeting someone, liking someone, seeing someone for a bit and then getting the ‘I had a really nice time but I don’t think we’ll be seeing each other again” phone call. In about a week and a half. Thats pretty bloody fast. I’ve been single for about 4 years and then I meet someone, go on a few dates, have a spiffing time, and get dumped, all in less time than it takes to cure a sausage. Is this called concentrated dating? Is this the new way the kids are doing it? I much prefer the old way. Not that I can really remember what that was, but I’m sure there were people in hats smiling and singing and whirling round lamp posts.

So, the story…

Girl meets boy in pub. Boy has very bad t-shirt on but good jeans. So is forgiven on appalling taste in upper body wear. Girl and boy drink lots of beer/cider. Girl is slightly concerned that boy thinks XXXX is good beer, especially as he is not from Queensland. But in girl’s head the following is occurring:

“Remember what everyone told you, you can’t just write someone off because they have crap t-shit and offensive taste in beer. They can spell. Remember the spelling, the spelling is good…do you want to be single forever?  Some compromises have to be made. Think of that knitting pattern, think of your mother, think of the poor orphaned elephants in Africa!!!”

Girl and boy chat, they get on. They are attracted to each other. They might kiss, maybe. But thats where your imagination comes in. Or not, because thats a bit weird actually.

And then, the next day, girl finds herself in unknown territory. And I don’t just mean the outer suburbs of Perth.

Girl brain: “Oh my god, I think I like someone. What does this mean, what do I do? Am I allowed to text and say I had a good time? Am I supposed to leave it for more than 48 hours? What the hell are the rules here? Who the f**k invented mobile phones and made it so much easier to appear to be a crazy stalker? What constitutes stalking. Aaaaarggghhh…..”

But girl gets text from boy saying he had a nice time and would like to see her again.

And relax.

Or not. As in the meantime, the following has happened.

Boys brain has rewired itself to only hear one line of conversation:

Girl says: How was your day?

Boy hears: I want to marry you and have babies and take away all your freedom.

Girl says: Do you fancy catching up for a drink?

Boy hears: I want to control your every move, I need to know where you are every second of the day, I have made a schedule for you. I want to marry you and have your babies, there is no escape. Give up now, all hope is lost.

Girl and boy see each other a few times and have fun. All the time, little evil voices whisper in boys head; “she wants your babies and your life and your freedom”. Babies, life, freedom!! Babies, life, freedom!!”

Until finally, the evil voices make boy pick up phone and say “Hi, I don’t think we’ll be seeing each other anymore. I had fun though, thanks. Maybe we’ll run into each other sometime”

What, literally? So,  girl will  be out running one day and so will boy and neither will be looking where they’re going and they”ll just suddenly go “why, its you!”. I think not. I think the possiblity of girl running into boy whilst driving fully loaded tank is much more likely.

So, count so far:

Men: minus 987,000

Chickens:: 42 million.

And what valuable life lesson have I learnt from this?

Men that drink XXXX and wear shit t-shirts that are the colour of baby poo are to be actively avoided.

Even if they can spell.

Next!!!

The chickens are winning

This is what I look like a lot of the time at the moment.

I would say, in my one week man shopping extravaganza, I have come to the following conclusions:

No one reads your posts. If they do, why is the majority of ‘kissing’ traffic I receive from people under 5’5″ and over 55 years old? Who can’t spell? Who think that writing ‘you soundlike funi am up for funmail me or u’ll nevas know.” is going to get me flying to my credit card to buy a million kisses to email them. Why? Why? Why?

Why, when I put, “I like drinking wine, I’m an atheist and sometimes I smoke” (sorry mum), do I get mormon teetallers who go to the gym 15 times a week? Are they going to try and convert me? It won’t work. I’m telling you now. Ask anyone who has ever met me.

And how many of these photos are actually mug shots? If you can’t see their hands, its probably because they’re holding up a board with numbers on it, thats my opinion.

And, without wanting to sound like my Nanna, what happened to romance and being wooed? Its not ‘you look like a nice youngish lady, lets get to know each other, I shall pick you up in my trusty carriage and we shall stroll the promenade whilst sipping on a cool beverage”‘, now it seems to be “I want to meet you, here is my phone number”. Be still my beating heart! Why not just put “you’ve got nice tits, I wouldn’t mind a shag” It’s pretty much the same thing.

Although I have to say my success rate does differ on the sites I’m on.  The profiles I put up are a little different. I’m not really having a lot of luck with the traffic on one in particular. I think maybe putting my ‘tag line’ as Missing: Man with a Brain” may put a few people off. And obviously the ones it doesn’t put off are the ones who can’t read.

So, I’m sorry to say, that so far the tally is:

Men considered: 0

Caravans considered: 89

Bottles of wine consumed whilst flicking through caravan catalogues: 912

Maybe I’m being evil, maybe I should look past the bad spelling and the shit hair and the lack of conversational skills and just go out with someone. But, unfortunately I have standards.  And honestly, they’re not that high. Granted, on a night out and on the pull (as I used to say when I was a whippersnapper), the 5 pints I may have consumed may have lowered those standards even further. But I’m not drunk when I’m looking.

Aah.

I see the problem…

Next week: How alcohol makes internet dating viable.

Research anyone?

The Day of the First Foray

Right, I did it, and I blame every single one of you for making me do this. Unless it goes really well and then it was completely my own idea.

The primary issues that need addressing when you decide to put yourself out there for a bit of online loving are as follows:

Which site shall I flog my lovely wares upon?

What incredibly interesting things shall I put about myself?

What shall my attention grabbing (but humble) profile name be?

What spelling mistakes am I willing to forgive?

And most importantly, because, lets face it, most people don’t read the crap you write:

Which photos shall I use?

Which site?

I generally think; the cheapest. In fact, the free ones. Although, you do start to think that if someone is willing to pay to advertise their desire for a partner then a) maybe they aren’t just after a shag and b) they have at least $30 in their bank account. (Bonus)

There are  the sites that claim to psychoanalyse you (for a tidy sum) and find your perfect match through a series of scientifically proven relevant questions like ‘do you prefer cabbage or lettuce? Do you like going out or do you like staying in?’ ‘Is personal hygiene important to you or do you not mind someone that stinks?’ ‘Do you like puppies? Do you like fields full of puppies? Would you rather cavort in a field full of puppies whilst shaking your long blonde hair as the sun casts a golden glow upon your perfectly freckled button nose? Or would you rather go in there with a machete and AK47 and make puppy soup?”

 In my experience my answers to these questions mean I like people under 5’4″ who can’t spell and live on the other side of the world.

Interesting.

Personal Information

If I was to be completely honest here no one would ever want to get in touch with me. So that’s why I lie. Everyone lies.  Some people a lot, some people a little bit.  Examples:

Men:

Height:                                         Actual height

5’10”                                               5’3″

Body shape:                           Actual body shape

Slim                                            Skinny

Average                                   Overweight

Muscular                               Has no neck

Overweight                           Needs three seats on the bus to themselves

Women:

Age:                                       Actual age:

21                                             15

35                                            45

50                                             75

Body shape:                      Actual body shape:

Slim:                                       Anorexic or 15 years old

Average:                               Slim

Muscly:                                 No boobs

Curvaceous:                      Needs 3 seats on the bus to themselves

And the list goes on.

Attention grabbling profile name.

This is tricky. How do you want to sell yourself? Cheeky and sexy? Intelligent and mysterious? Desperate and ugly?

For men, you seem to get a bit of a mix from the completely unimaginative: MattP1985, Johnnyboy4, Doubleview54, MountLawley1985

To those with an exaggerated sense of self worth: I’myourdestiny, gorgeousman65; smartman (really?), Forsurebabe67., wetyourpantswithanticipation87

There are those who just split up with someone and really should give themselves a few months: donthurtme45, I’llbeyourbitch34; pleasedontrunawaywithallmyassets78

And my most favourite category, those trying to show just how sensitive and caring real men can be:

GenuineGuy4sure, Realgentleman63, illmakeyourtoastinthemorningandrubyourfeet78

And if you’re a kiwi, you HAVE to put that in somewhere; Kiwijohn7, Superkiwi43, and on and on and on… Just so noone thinks you’re Australian. God forbid.

With the women, there seems to be a lot of references to sunshine, kittens and angels and then the sexybitch variety. But I don’t really spend a lot of my life looking at the women. So I cannot comment fully.

Obviously I’m not telling you my name. But I can guarantee its not hotmama74.

Spelling mistakes.

 Jesus christ it drives me insane. There is spell check, there are dictionaries, there are people you sit next to who wear glasses!

I simply cannot get past the following:

definately (i know its a common one, but just NO)

threw, instead of through:

“I like to hold the door open for ladies to let them through”

“I like to hold doors and send ladies threw them”

See the difference? Its a bit of a significant one. Gently ushered through a door or flung headfirst into a pane of glass. 

Looking for Miss Rite? As in satanic cult rites?

REALLY!!!

There are millions of others but it just makes me sad and cross so I have to stop writing about it.

Which photo?

Because lets face it, we might say its all about the personality and ultimately, it is, but to start with if you think someone looks like the back end of a really old horse who’s had a very hard life, chances are you’re not going to want to talk to them. 

There are the blokes who insist on having their car or their form of transport in the picture, motorbike, moped, caravan, pushbike. And they are mostly polishing their aforementioned mode of transport. Look, I can drive and I can polish! Well done. Delete.

And then there’s the no pictures. Why? Did the camera break when it was taking a shot of you? And why are these ones always accompanied by “I’m not into looks, I’m more about the personality”. So, you’re really fucking ugly then aren’t you.  Double delete.

But, anyway, my profile is on.

Lets see who turns up….

Internet Dating vs living in a caravan with chickens and 45 cats.

Ok peeps, its opinion time.

I am, for those of you who don’t know me that well, 37 and single. I don’t see either of these things to be a particular negative. 56 and dead would be a lot worse. And writing this blog would be a lot harder as well. Owing to deadness. However, having watched my mother show me the knitting pattern she has for the (take a deep breath)  twins of her friend’s daughter’s babies to be (and relax) on the old ‘time of faces’ yesterday, I thought, that woman deserves more. That fabulous lady deserves to at least have hope that one of the sets of ovaries that she produced may stir slightly with the sniff of a sperm and the possibility of reproduction. Presently, my sister is learning to knit and I spent yesterday in bed reading Miss Marple. Which I thoroughly enjoyed. However, neither of these past times is getting my mother anywhere near to the elusive status of Grandma. Its time for action. But How? Why? Who? Where? When? What?

The problem is that I never really go out and when I do I find men are generally divided into the following categories:

20-30 – wouldn’t mind a bit, because, you know, older women know what they’re doing, so they’ve heard. But seem to think they’re doing you a favour because you are not 23 and therefore probably haven’t had sex for 15 years anyway. But the truth is, you’ve just been having much better sex with yourself than you could ever have with them.

30-40 – married or serious relationship or eternally single or living with mother.

40-60 – Approaching, or in the depth of a mid life crisis. 37 is the same age as their first, or second wife. And they want a younger version with nicer boobs that looks good in an open top car and have friends that look good in bikinis. And manage to convince you its your personality they’re after, not your credit card. 

60+  – well, they’re 60+. I’m not going there.

So, you see my problem.

I’m a cynical bitch.

I have been married, for not very long, and I have had relationships. And I know men that I like. But they never like you back, and that’s just annoying. I have also previously tried the internet dating thing. About 5 times. And I have met people. Strange people. And not so strange people. But mostly strange people. And every time I go on I slowly but surely lose the will to leave the house and my ‘caravan and cats’ deposit just grows (well, I spend it on wine, but the thought’s there).  

But I’m thinking, maybe its time, maybe once more I should enter the crazy foray that is putting yourself out there on the internet. My mother deserves hope! She deserves to use her knitting patterns more than once! She deserves someone else for me to hit up for $20 when I’ve accidentally spent all my money on beer and can’t pay my gas bill!

And I will keep you updated. I promise.

And, oh yes, I might meet someone! (but there will never be skipping in field of puppies) (oh no).

What do you reckon?

Addendum to Crap Adverts

Kate Moss in a 1990s Calvin Klein ad

Kate Moss in a 1990s Calvin Klein ad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is another one incredibly infuriating one I have to mention.

Cue overweight pretty lady standing looking overweight. She’s been to the doctor and the doctor told her she’s overweight and needs to go on a diet. For her health. As oppose to trying to follow her chosen career as swimwear model. The doctor has evidently told her she needs to follow an LCD (low calorie diet)(an acronym makes it more scientific). And this will induce ketosis.

Now, from my understanding, ketosis is when your body is in a state of starvation and converts basically anything it can find into fuel. Like your brain. So, basically, this lady went to the doctor and the doctor said – “here, why don’t you eat sweet fuck all for about 5 months, just enough so your body will devour itself from the inside, your metabolism will slow down so much that if you ever eat like a normal person again, in fact not even like a normal person, if you have two cucumbers instead of one your body will be jumping around for joy saying ” well this crazy bitch is obviously on a binge right now lets save these cucumber calories, lets put them on her thighs so we know where they are at all times. Lets keep all the calories there, for her own health, because we’ve nearly got through the liver and the brain is getting a bit mushy” 

And she won’t be able to exercise because she’s too tired from living on a milkshake a day, so all her muscle will be gone, and then when she eats again, it will just all get put on as fat. And her breath smells and she’s a bit of a miserable cow because all she’s consumed is a protein shake and a handful of lettuce in a month.

I don’t really understand why this is good, I don’t really understand why anyone would sell this as a good thing. I understand there are medical advantages to these diets for certain people, diabetics and such like.  But basically, as I’ve been taught to understand STARVING YOURSELF IS BAD. People die from it.

So, I say to you pretty overweight lady, for the sake of your health, don’t do it. And don’t tell other people to do it.  Eat three meals a day, go for a walk, take it slowly, and understand that we are all different and some of us aren’t meant to look like Kate Moss (in fact about 99.99% of the universe).

And most importantly, get yourself a new doctor. Yours is shit.