Magazine article The Spectator

Low Life

Magazine article The Spectator

Low Life

Article excerpt

Last week I had a nibble. A woman on the dating website sent an email saying she thought I looked nice and what did I think of her photo? Cow Girl's headshot was blurred and I think she might have been wearing a wig. She was looking over her shoulder at the camera and looking saucy. The wig, if a wig it was, was very black and full and lustrous, like a Halloween party wig. I said I thought she looked very nice too. Sexy. Then I read her profile, at the end of which was a categorical statement, amounting almost to a warning, that she was looking for a walking and hiking partner only, male or female, and she would rather keep that relationship platonic.

I emailed back saying that, although women farm-workers wearing Halloween wigs were a particular fantasy of mine, north Wales was a hell of a long way to go just for a platonic walk across the fields, too far really, and I didn't have a car at the moment, so if it was all the same to her I'd leave it. Thanks for getting in touch and good luck. And I thought that was the end of the correspondence.

But she emailed back. She was sorry about sounding strict about looking for a hiking partner only. That was just to keep the sex pests away. However, she really wasn't sure if she actually did want any more so-called relationships with men. None of the ones she'd had so far had lasted long or been entirely enjoyable, and everybody that she knew who was in one was having a terrible time. Her two 'boys' - meaning her cats - were all she needed right now. However, she was willing to consider stretching a point if she came across anyone who sounded promising.

Bloody cats, I thought. I'd rather strangle myself than get involved with a cat lover. But I emailed back and dolefully agreed that she was probably right to be cautious and, yes, I couldn't think of a single so-called relationship that wasn't a living hell for everyone involved. If I was honest with her, I said, I didn't really want one either.

She emailed back. My honesty was refreshing, she said. I must tell her more.

Released from any obligation to sell myself as a worthwhile proposition, I replied candidly. Her replies were characterised by candour also. She loved to wear high heels, she said, and dress up. She'd recently bought some lovely six-inch heels that went well with her scullery maid's uniform. …

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