So for reasons I won’t go into, I ended up trying the BBC show Miranda. The first episode had me laughing out loud, so I went with it. Before I knew it, I’d done the entire first series. And then the second. I’m currently trying to stretch out the third and final season, as it’s been such fun I don’t want it to end so soon.
The thing is, I’m trying to work out why I find it so funny. We don’t have a lot in common, me and the Miranda of the show, but I do enjoy the live audience’s reaction. It’s like they’re all my friends and they react the same as me. The first time they went ‘booooo!’ I’ve went: hang on, this is fun. I like the in-jokes that carry over into more series. I like the set-up. I like the humour. I think the way she carries on with her mate are how me and my HK flatmate used to be. One thing perhaps I was not banking on was the one thing we do have in common: how single we are.
The character enjoys being single: she makes her vegtepals and fruit friends, and amuses herself with jelly in the blender and home concerts. She may come under constant and harsh fire from all around her for being without a boyfriend, but she does enjoy her single life. There’s an edge of desperation about it, but maybe that’s why it’s a little too close for comfort.
I’ve been on dating websites. They all lasted about 2 weeks because on those rare occasions I had messages from people, I did not seriously consider that I would have to speak back to them. And there was no way on this Earth that I’d actually want to meet anyone. And so all memberships were revoked and I went back to normal, safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t for me.
And then I watched the show and I thought, well, maybe the reason I want her to get together with Gary is not about her at all (although, hey, it is Tom Ellis). Maybe I have my own displacement going on and it’s all about me after all. That is an unfortunate truth that I have managed to accept, in that I’m now comfortable with my discomfort of its voracity.
So here I go again on my own, as the song goes: I joined yet another dating site. This is more about listing your favourite choons and bands, and finding people who like the same music. So there’s that.
First things first: you come up with a username. Done. Then you give the site some details, like age, place, gender, hobbies, more artists, gig or concert history, that kind of thing. Done. And then they ask for a photo - of course they do. Like people trawling for new jobs don’t consider one without a salary listed, photos on dating sites are pretty much deal-breakers.
So what do you do if you don’t have any photos? I mean none. I don’t have any selfies on my phone, or in fact anywhere else. I have one picture of me from this year, and that was at a convention. It’s a perfect shot of my cosplay, just not of me. So no, it’s not being used. Plus I’ve had my hair cut since and do not want a photo on there of a time when I was more unhappy with my hair than I am now.
Cue me getting up on a sunny, Sunday morning and taking an extra 10 minutes to ‘do my hair’ after my shower. Plus a bit of make-up (and I don’t do make-up) to smooth everything over. Go outside, find a good spot with a background of bright azure sky with fluffy white clouds, and there we go. Selfie that shit. Check the shot, take two more, then have a cigarette and wonder if it’s all really worth it.
It’s gone up on the site. No, I’m not doing any more. I’m making an effort with this; I do a post a day about the songs I like. Mostly because part of me is really quite worried what being single is doing to me in terms of not being used to sharing, of communicating, of planning or being a grown-up.
That last one - being a grown-up. If there’s one thing a dating site does to me, it makes me look at everyone on there and realise I have no place there. Those people have lives, buy t-shirts and groceries, make permanent things like buying houses or getting married of having children. The most permanent thing about me is my use of Apple products. Seriously - I rent a place with no formal contract. I have a job that is not my life and could easily be changed for another. I’ve just come back from an overseas job and I’m realising how England is just not doing it for me. I’ve been searching for jobs back in HK but also in the USA. I’ve even looked at Canada on a whim. I’m seriously thinking of doing semi-paid volunteer work in the weather-ravaged parts of the USA to get an in on the whole green card thing, for 12 months as a try-before-you-buy. There is nothing permanent about my life. And it’s realising this that has triggered some borderline depression and the epiphany that I actually actively ignore most areas of my life because I can’t change them.
And that’s what it comes down to, I think. The old chestnut of ‘don’t worry about things you can’t change’ has literally got me into the pattern of flat-out ignoring what I don’t like about my life. For this reason, I have one mirror and it’s in the bathroom. For this reason, I don’t take selfies. For this reason, everyone I meet is the same and not judged on how much Another Me in Another Life and Position would shag them. Fancying people hasn’t come into it in for so long that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be in a mind-set to fancy people. Considering I am nowhere near attractive enough (physically or personality-wise), in any light or stretch of the imagination, to make anyone want to meet me more than once, it’s a part of my life that is so ignored it doesn’t exist. (And friends meeting me more than once don’t count; we’re stuck with each other like we know where all the bodies are buried.)
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m so used to doing everything myself that I don’t consider looking for a partner to be a thing. Independence is a blessing and a curse; too much free ‘me’ time is definitely not good for me, and never has been.
I’ll continue to post on the dating site every day, to trawl through pictures, invent reasons why I won’t talk to the men in those pictures, and in a few weeks I’ll close the account again. It’s cyclical, and it’s depressing, but it’s what seems to happen.
It’s mostly not a problem; the two occasions where it is are (1) watching shows like Miranda and (2) those very rare occasions when my best mate gives me a hug and it’s so nice, and new, and comfortable, and friend-affectionate that it brings me to the point of tears. And seeing as I’m not even drunk when she does it, that’s pretty bad.
That looks like a good place to stop this before I talk myself into the kind of depression that is only helped by drink and Star Trek.