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Plenty of fish are better left in the sea...

Talk to my chums I did.  And you know what?  They were the square root of fuck all help.  Mainly because they'd all married twenty-some years ago, and I was the novelty singleton.  Apart from the wealthy mate, who was moving on to his third wife, but he was more helpful from a separation perspective.  His boggle-eyed heat-seeking wife missile thinking wasn't for me, thankfully, particularly in light of how that marriage turned out.  But everyone else just wanted to swipe through dating apps with me.  Which was occasionally hysterical, but also betrayed the bleak nature of my future - destined to die alone without even a cat, because renting high up. And not a cat owner.

Although chum Jim kindly recommended E45 lotion for genital husbandry purposes.  And that helped.  But I now have an aversion to latex.  And the fear that Jim knows exactly what cleanses underneath my foreskin.  Form an orderly queue, ladies.  And don't @me, Jim.

So.  Plenty of Fish.  Deep Breath.

It was the first site I completed my details on.  Before Tinder.  Before Bumble was even born.  Lengthy questionnaires.  But lots of "likes" almost from the offset.

I need to be kind here.  It would be easy to suggest that PoF is some kind of sub-Dantean level of hell, populated exclusively by stay-at-home ladies not unfamiliar with a custard cream, in search of Brad Pitt lookalikes, solvent, tall, and ideally Pisces.  But that would be too much praise for its matching algorithm.

But I was new.  I was a virgin dater (almost).  And Bethany looked kind.  And was a spring chicken at 42.  Her photos appeared to have been taken using a potato, for sure, and we arranged a date with barely any chat, but I was the newly arrived king of London dating.  What could possibly go wrong?

Bethany's photos may have been taken with one of these:
Possibly the prototype model.  Either that or she'd had a very long paper round.  Potato farmers would have bid for planting rights on her facial furrows.  Brain surgeons would have declined the opportunity for study.  Anthropologists may have.. oh... you get the gist.  We met for drinks on the South Bank, and at my nervous and overly polite best, I was trapped like a newborn insect by a predatory spider.  Was I sure I was single?  Did I own my own place?  What car did I drive?  Why wasn't I wearing a watch?  It took 3 and a half hours for the penny to drop that I could blurt an apology and run away.  Revelation!

Bethany messaged me later to say she thought "I'd left very abruptly".  Dear readers, I'm not ashamed to say that abrupt would have been 200 minutes earlier.  I was at the start of my learning curve.  And this had been an abject lesson.  Plenty of Fish was clearly the bottom of the barrel, because Bethany had been the standout option.  And she'd made the prospect of turning up randomly at a horse fair and "grabbing" a gypsy bride seem more attractive.  Perhaps it was time to to revisit Tinder and meet someone who only had headshots in their profile.  Coincidence or oversight, surely?

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