19. All The Single Ladies

I have never really mastered Facebook. There is an immediacy to it that isn’t suited to people like me. By the time I get around to checking it, my head filling with pithy retorts and interesting little snippets, the world has moved on, and everybody is busy with something else. So I don’t really check it too often. But I will do so more often in the future. Because when I logged on this morning, I made an interesting discovery. There are, apparently, some single girls in my area. And they are dying to meet me!

Literally. This one has already collapsed to the ground.

Literally. This one has already collapsed to the ground.

I have noticed a couple of women on the streets of my neighbourhood, but they don’t look at all like the ladies on my Facebook page. There’s the lady who comes jogging past every morning, red in the face and breathing like an emphysemic hippo running up a flight of stairs. She seems more intent on meeting her maker than meeting me. Then there are the two elderly ladies who walk their dog down the street in the evening, but there is a comfortable domesticity about them that would imply that they have not been single for years.

She's dying to meet a cardiologist.

She’s dying to meet a cardiologist.

Women do occasionally drive past, but if they were dying to meet me wouldn’t they at least wave? No. I took another look at the message, and I think I know what’s happening. Winter is starting to bite round here, and on closer inspection, these ladies don’t seem to have many clothes. The poor dears are probably locked away inside, huddled over their electric heaters, and desperate for some company. And peeping out occasionally from behind the curtains, they would have seen me running up the road hurling abuse and small stones at the dog and decided that I was a friendly sort of person.

As I get older, this sort of thing happens to me more and more often. Years of scowling at my children have given me a network of fine lines around the corners of my eyes that look just like smile lines, and people think I look friendly and avuncular. I’m not. I don’t particularly dislike people; I just never learned the art of making friends.

Eat your damn vegetables!

Eat your damn vegetables!

I grew up with three sisters. My older sister is like a machine. Whenever we went away on holiday or off to a party full of strangers, she would sit back and survey the scene for a minute or two, and then simply wade in and take over. Within minutes, I would be a privileged insider at the centre of a brand new circle of friends. Which was wonderful. But it meant I never learnt those skills for myself. I tried to learn by example, by watching how she did it, but I could never work it out. She just made friends. And I borrowed them.

My son is like this. He has the EQ of a cult leader. He will walk into a room full of kids he has never met before, and soon they will all be dressed in tiny saffron robes and chanting his name as they follow him to their doom. I’ve tried to watch him, too. I still have no clue. He will spot a likely little knot of kids and walk up and stand near them, without forcing himself on them. He will begin to ape their moves, playing the same sort of games and laughing when they laugh. And fifteen minutes later they will have handed over their life’s savings and shaved their heads for him. It’s a little unnerving, but may prove useful when we get older and run out of cash.

They can even pop round to our house. As long as they swear to wear underwear.

They can even pop round to our house. As long as they swear to wear underwear.

Which brings me back to those poor single ladies. They must be pretty desperate for some company to be approaching strangers on the internet. To add to their woes, most of them seem to be from the Ukraine, so they must feel as isolated by the language barrier as they are by their lack of sturdy winter clothing. But for once, I’m going to stick my neck out and make some friends. I’m going to contact these ladies.
You see, the flip-side to hijacking my sister’s friend-making abilities is that when she wasn’t around, I tended to keep to myself. So I know what it’s like to feel lonely. Isolated. I’m going to invite those poor, lonely ladies over for a meet and greet. My wife likes meeting new people and has that same magical friend-making gift.

We can offer them a hearty slap-up meal (some of them look to be a little on the lean side, and Svetlana in particular looks like she could live with a steak or two), and maybe send each one of them home with a warm winter vest. And some pants. The expense doesn’t bother me- someone else on Facebook is going to teach me how to make piles of money by trading in forex, so I should be set up for life!

Me. Just as soon as I work out what a forex is.

Me. Just as soon as I work out what a forex is.

Now that I think about it, we could even invite over some of our single guy friends. The more the merrier, I always say, and who knows, maybe the odd spark or two might fly. Stranger things have happened.

34 thoughts on “19. All The Single Ladies

  1. mud4fun says:

    Very enjoyable read, the first post I’ve read today and I’m now smiling 🙂 (smiling even more after reading through the comments 😉 )

  2. itinerantyak says:

    We live in Ukraine and you have to see what you are missing. It’s like all the femaleness of the world has concentrated into one country and then teetered itself on six-inch heels with a fur stole and a see-through zebra-print blouse with golden sunglasses.

  3. Lyn says:

    Have you noticed dear Thorny, that most of your commenters are of the female persuasion? With the exception of Narfie of course. Incidentally, you never fail to make me laugh. It’s a nice way to start the day 😀

    • narf77 says:

      Er…who ever said “narf” was male! 😉

      • Lyn says:

        Fair enough, but you write with a male voice 😀

      • 23thorns says:

        that’s not a male voice, that’s Australian 🙂
        I never doubted you for a second, narf. But then I’ve always been able to read backwards 😉

      • Lyn says:

        Don’t you mean you can read upside down? We are “down under” after all. 😀

      • narf77 says:

        lol! Must be too much Aussie Testosterone coursing through my veins. Might be time for that hormone replacement therapy… 😉

      • 23thorns says:

        It would be cheaper and quicker to move Steve’s enormous bearded head a little further to the left in your gravatar.
        Or a lot.

      • narf77 says:

        Either that or I should perhaps wear a bow in my hair and lots of lipstick…or maybe I should be proud that I “write like a man”, take it as a compliment and be done with it 😉

      • Lyn says:

        Funny you should say that. My boss told me I had far too much testosterone in me for my own good when I took on some bloke who was pestering one of the little office girls 😉

  4. narf77 says:

    Your sister and your son are psychopaths Mr 23Thorns. Don’t panic, not all psychopaths kill other people, they are just overrepresented in the serial killer genre…trading in forex? Is THAT where all of that terrible Aussie beer went? I wondered…good luck selling it to anyone with taste buds sir. By the way, apparently those self same single ladies want to meet me to! The only sparks that are going to fly are when Mrs 23Thorns gets wind of their impending travel arrangements and decides to reveal her own psychopathic tendencies. You had best hope your son’s genes were ONLY inherited from your side of the family…the day might be coming, incredibly quickly sir, where you might be needing more than the Kigelia africana and it’s enormous Mpfunguri fruit to restore your manhood…you might want to tuck the name of a good plastic surgeon into your wallet BEFORE you mention your new friends to Mrs 23Thorns… just sayin’…

  5. You are hilarious…I loved this!!

  6. firefly1958 says:

    Fantabulous writing. Some of my sentiments exactly, only I don’t want to see ads wailing on me that butt ugly females want laid and dated too with their gluteous maximus plastered all over the left of my page(You ain’t gonna find me fanning my fanny and @ my age?!?!) going up a flight of stairs. Or pretty hot, little Asian chicks who will do more then just offer to marry you so they can stay in the USofA after they perform a one sided marriage & you get a deevorce whammy, left behind w/you alone in your trailer, w/ fresh frothy beer in hand, and your thickened beer guzzling belly exposed because all you are wearing is your jockey briefs for jammies, after your discovery of a note she left behind on the fridge door, “I found me someone new, you and I ain’t no more, he’s got plenty of money, and will show me the USofA, with wad of money in hand & plenty more where that came from…Sorry, I got lost for a moment there in my imaginary scenario…You made me laugh & I appreciate that. peace—ginger

    • 23thorns says:

      Perhaps I should rethink my meet and greet plan?

      • firefly1958 says:

        Yes, re-thinking is the way of the dark side…Come on over young jedi, feel the force, it is strong within you to REVOLT against this conspiracy online to get your heart broken and YOU spending everything you have up until your last dime, just ask Alex Jones…

  7. pfstare says:

    There’s a book in these when you’ve finished the hundred days, surely?

  8. luluchris58 says:

    Great post! I have the biggest smile on my face.

  9. carolinecarryson says:

    Positively delightful.

  10. TamrahJo says:

    😀 – How selfish I’ve been not to invite all the poor guys that my online email account said were in my neighborhood, but are apparently staying home,out of sight, because they don’t have enough gas money to be tooling around and waving at me while I work in my garden…
    I simply must pack some picnic baskets to deliver…

  11. zen city says:

    that was great first-thing-in-the-morning entertainment!

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