Girls, Goddesses and GaGa


If Giada de Laurentiis calls now and asks me for three kilos of best Scottish salmon, you know what I do? I drop everything and speed dial the Edinburgh fish markets. Or London. Tokyo. Wherever I can find what she wants.

If Samantha Cameron aka Mrs British Prime Minister texts and asks me to tea at #10 Downing Street tomorrow, I see there’s still enough time to make the British Airways flight to Gatwick.

On the other hand, if Lady GaGa’s handlers emailed wanting me to participate in her newest video, I’d be resentful of the intrusion. Who wants to be in a GaGa shoot?

Let’s be clear. Guys and girls both have a fantasy life, driven by our imaginations. That’s normal, with the one caveat that we don’t act on our delusions. There should be an inviolable wall between daydream indulgence and real life. If not, you’re psychotic. Please seek help.

My real life has no intersection with either Giada or SamCam. Or Germanotta, happily. I’m sufficiently self-aware to understand that the first two are but a passing fancy. Catalogue-browsing. Window-shopping. Nothing more. And, fundamentally, nothing.

The woman for whom I really would drop everything to find Scottish salmon, or travel around the world with no notice, is the woman who might actually be in my life, for whom I want to give my life. She’s the person to whom I aspire, the connection for which we all thirst.

That’s also what she would understand. She’d laugh at my dopey thoughts about unattainable women about whom I know nothing anyway. Likewise I’d (lovingly) mock her “thing” for Bono. Or Prince Harry.

Giada’s just a girl to me, even if she is currently on the pull. GaGa’s less than zero. SamCam’s happily married. But whomever that mysterious non-famous special woman is, she’s the goddess.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Hearts RabbitWhen Alice looks into the mirror, does she see herself?

Or does she see the bizarre world she’s about to explore?

Perhaps the view changes with the day. Or with the time of her cycle. Or if she’s in company or not. Or if the car’s low on petrol.

Being a male with an interest in an Alice is our own version of going through a looking-glass. To most of we guys, the world of women is odd. Things change quickly. What worked yesterday doesn’t work today. Clarity garnered in similar circumstances earlier turns to misunderstanding the next time.

When we do find a moment of mutual meshing it never seems to last. Such a balance is fragile, rapidly dissipated and replaced by the eternal riddle…what did I do wrong?

At a certain point, males discover that we are a relatively fixed point in space-time, and women are an energy field. (Time for some hard physics in the coupling sphere, don’t you think?)


Dating is a circumstance which, as lawyers like to say, has no attaching rights. Everything is by agreement, or tacit assent. I ask you if you would care to join me for a walk on Saturday and then for some coffee, and you decide to join me. Or not. Or propose something different, which I’ll either go with or not.

Okay, you say, I get it. What’s the big deal?

Dating is a process. The architecture of dating is a gradual increase of knowledge and understanding of the other. They act, we observe and note. We act, they add to their wiki about us.

At some point during this information gathering process, one or other or both of us will allow our own wants and wishes to bleed into expectation – expectation of demonstrated behavior or acts by the other. Innumerable tv sitcoms exploit this assumptive inevitability:

  • is the Saturday date implied or expected?
  • are phone calls daily or random?
  • monogomy? assumed or by mutual assent?

Because dating is more-or-less whatever any one participant wants it to be, this area creates chaos between people. My idea of dating might include nothing more than an expression of interest in being with you. Occasionally. For short periods. Your idea of dating might include shopping for knick-knacks, Sunday breakfasts, gym workouts and pre-choosing pets.

Uh-uh. Nope. Dating is nothing but a mutual agreement of possibility. Now, if we both come to an agreement about how we conduct ourselves with respect to the other…well, that’s a different circumstance. We’re still dating, but now we’re also two adults with a limited treaty of understanding. Which is really a bit of a stretch, because what will the consequences be of stepping outside the agreement? But, whatever, it might be worth a shot.

What will never work is the ultimatum. For two reasons. One is that ultimata are rarely ever the LAST of anything. All those who issue them do not live up to them, especially in the area dating. And two, the foundation for demanding stuff from the other person is…what? That you have known each other for a while? You’ve had sex? Vague dreams you had of x and y aren’t coming true and it’s time to make that shit happen?

Good luck. Relationships with people you want to control are going to end up precisely the way you do not want. The choice is either a better understanding of yourself, other people, coupling itself, human nature and communication, or all of the above. Ulimata are ultimately the end, in one way or anther.

Look Back In Amusement

In retrospect, my dating history reminds me of nothing as much as a Mad magazine. Instead of the usual bunch of idiots drawing cartoons and creating snark, there’s me, an idiot, blindly bumbling around creating chaos in my life and those of others. It’s a sad tale of immaturity, poor modeling, ego and failure.

There is a feeling I have that I am not alone in making a dog’s breakfast of my dating and relationship life. General practice appears to be parents expecting their urchins to be innately skilled at dealing with their own thinking, and their ability to deal with people as well as two sets of emotions and intellects.

Is that a fair distillation of human relationships? A meeting of two egos and all the accompanying infrastructure?

Even now, looking at that idea, the thought of being turned into the world to cope with making a success of being with yourself and with another looks immensely complicated. And here we are, turfing children into that mixing bowl with fundamentally no instruction.

Perhaps the question to ask is: Is human interaction a learned skill or is it really innate, and is there a way to prepare people to handle relationships with more aplomb than, say, a fool like me?