11 September 2006

The Second Hand Club

I was single for about two years in my late twenties, by the beginning of the second year my friends started to worry that I would never meet a suitable man and would become a shrivelled up old prune with 50 cats and a pipe. So they started to "take me in hand" this comprised of making me drink rum and cokes instead of pints and us all going to the Second Hand Night at one of the hotels in a near by town.

Second Hand Night was wasn't called that by its promoters, no they called it something like "Connections" or "Cupid's" You had to be single and over twenty five.

It was awful.

The smell of desperation and unsubtle aftershave would hit you as you entered. For many people there it must have felt like the last chance to meet someone, in the Lavs there would be gaggles of thirty something forty something divorcees slapping on the slap and tweaking their outfits, discussing unsatisfactory exes and the lack of talent without.

The dance floor was circled by men supping their pints as they scanned the gloom for fresh meat to pounce on. Once on the dance floor it was really hard to get off because the watching men would surround the area, to get to the bar or the loos you had to push past them never knowing if they would try to cop a feel.

To make it worse my friends would insist that I had to try to chat up at least one man. There was no one there who I would have touched with a barge pole. So they would give me a choice of one out of three targets and make me talk to him. It was hell, I'm not good at small talk, they didn't want to talk to a brunette in black, drinking pints, when there was a small bubbly blonde behind me gurning like an idiot and looking like fun (Wee Jock who was engaged, happily so, to the man how is now her husband.)

I didn't really want to talk to Gary from accounts from the big company on the trading estate who fancied himself as a bit of a mobile DJ and thought that the birdie song and a Beatles megamix was the acme of sophisticated entertainment at a wedding. For fucks sake he hadn't even heard of the Pixies! It was disastrous I didn't learn how to do "small talk" and "pretend flirting" I just learnt that I hated provincial second hand men nights with a passion.

My friends said that I was too picky I said no I wasn't. It was just that I had my own set of criteria that had to be met and these blokes weren't doing it. They also said that my drinking pints (I could cope with about 3 rum and cokes before saying sod this and reverting back to the bitter) and wearing black all the time would put people off. I said that I couldn't fake "girly" for very long and I wasn't prepared to pretend in order to trap a bloke.

In the end they gave up, but only after I had blown out a "nice young man" from the Rugby Club because of the small detail that he had a girlfriend. I think they decided that I could do it if I wanted to but I was just too fussy.

So what if I am, I've found it pays to be because you get the best results in the end ;)


  1. "...shrivelled up old prune with 50 cats and a pipe."

    LOL! You're right though. Bravo for just being yourself. That's the best way to be!

  2. Good for you. You found someone under your own criteria & I wish you both all the best.

    I was in this simular situation, but I've decided to go for the big three. Bedsits , loneliness & pot noodle. It makes life so much easier than all that messing about. :)

  3. I am short. I am fat. I am VERY queer. I'm not guessing when I say most of my peers thought I'd never find a "man" and be "happy". I heard a song when I was about 15, that changed my life. Bluetonic, by the Bluetones. One line, just one line, gave me hope "There's no heart you can't melt, with a certain little smile. And no challenge should be faced without a little charm, and a lot of style".

    Being yourself is the best thing to be. Yourself is interesting. Yourself sets you apart from the dull rest. Yourself is beautiful, when your eyes sparkle with a smile.

  4. Yup. Thump the melons until you get the right one, not just anyone.

  5. "because you get the best results in the end ;)"


    Seriously though, there's nothing worse than a room full of desperate single people.
    There are very few things in this world more irritating than a "bubbly blonde" so for my part I might have had to strangle her if she kept interrupting my attempts to talk to the interesting brunette drinking the pints.