Adventure Girl learns it’s all about the boy
‘See that guy in the pin-stripes? The one who looks like he’s got his shit together?’
My friend nudges me. I follow her gaze to the high-powered, stiff-shouldered, beefy suit with a cheese-board chin, who despite spending his life under the fluorescent lighting of the 35th floor, miraculously manages to maintain a tan.
‘That’s who you should be dating.’
‘Wow. He’s hot.’ Except I’m not watching the after-work suit, I’m watching the gangly bar-tender. Pale, slightly effeminate (‘arty’, if you prefer), struggling to fill an undersized op-shirt.
Eyebrows raised – I’m sprung. ‘That’s the kind of guy I would have dated in my early twenties.’
(This is the same friend who sent me a link to datingpsychos.com, so clearly she has an inflated opinion of my taste).
She’s right, of course.
But there must be something, some primal part of my make-up that believes it will benefit by sprogging up with someone barely capable of catching a spider, let alone whisking me away from the clutches of an over-sized tiger. I’m also one of the least maternal people I know, so perhaps my survival instinct just isn’t that strong.
Or maybe it’s that my mould was cut catching the bus at thirteen with my first pasty crush. Mmm that concave chest and scrawny arms, that alabaster English lack-of-tan, drifting bohemian-like from art class to orchestra…
‘What is it with you and pasty boys?’ another friend wants to know.
I delve into my psyche in new and uncomfortable ways, say something about non-threatening physicality and a prancing father…
‘Wrong much! I want to understand the attraction, the appeal. See what you see.’
‘Oh! You want pasty porn!’
‘Yes. Well, sort of’.’
But how do you explain the subtleties of attraction? It’s an imagined sensation, like a memory-scent.
For some it’s the appeal of an I-can-work-with-my-hands tool-belt, the rescue-me-dominate-me uniform. For others it’s the I-can-take-you-on-that-cruise-with-diamonds power-suit.
But not for me.
I long to see a guy who will embrace a guitar, a microphone, a keyboard, not arse-sniff their field-mates in an animalistic neck-throng. I want someone who will attack a blank page or a canvas, fill it with mind-spray, not piss up a wall playing fisticuffs. Give me elbow patches, English-department glasses and an op-shop corduroy suit, or a sweaty black T with mussed up hair.
I describe the line of a narrow waist, the feel of limbs encompassing without the push and shove of intrusive convex beef-cake. A gentleness – not weak, or passive, but free from inflated aggression. A hardness that yields… or something… (I’m drowning in clichés here).
Because when it comes right down to it, I like my catalogue cast.
I tip back my glass and head for the bar. ‘More suits for you,’ I say.