I decide that I have nothing to lose by seeing Make-up Madam again, but in the same breath I also have nothing to lose by meeting someone else too. A month ago I had been swapping messages with somebody on the national newspaper’s dating site, but although we had made noises about meeting it didn’t happen. I arrange to meet her this coming Saturday.
First I have some unfinished business with Make-up Madam. She’s gone away on another ‘girly weekend’ and is getting back on Monday morning. We arrange to meet late on Monday afternoon at a pub near where she lives. I drive for an hour into the wilds of the English countryside. It reminds me of the time I met Miss Indecisive in a lonely pub on a stormy night; internet dating was certainly broadening my geographic knowledge.
As usual I get to the venue first and it isn’t long before Make-up Madam arrives in her car with her pug strapped into the seat next to her. Is that curious chappy a safety blanket of sorts for her? We meet in the middle of the car park and politely kiss each other hello. Again my gut reaction is one of disapproval at the sight of all that unnecessary make-up. Does she use a shovel to plaster it on?
It’s a pleasant Autumnal dusk as we sit chatting in the beer-garden of the pub. There’s nobody else in the pub except the staff but that will soon change. I have no idea how this date will turn out or when it might even end up. Sex is not on my agenda; I want to know if this person and I can have a loving relationship.
“So you live nearby?” I ask.
“Yes, only a five minute drive away. I must tell you that I have a lodger,” she replies with an inquisitive look in her eyes.
Why is she choosing to tell me this? Is she trying to tell me that we can’t go back to her place? If so, does she think I’m only interested in sex? Well she’s wrong. Perhaps she’s letting me know that her living arrangements are complicated and planning is required if things go down that route. My brain sprints about and my silence makes her tell me more.
“It’s a guy, but nothing has ever happened between us. The money I make from that spare room pays for my horse,” she says.
I’m still not entirely sure why she’s telling me this, I’ll have to figure it out later. Men and women communicate in such different ways. Women prefer to be subtle and graceful, but unfortunately it often leads to ambiguity and then confusion on the man’s part.
“So what happened on this weekend away?” I ask as a way of changing the subject and fishing for information about what she gets up to with her friends in her free time.
“Well, it was a friend’s birthday so we went to the coast and boogied the nights away,” she says with a hint of defensiveness.
I decide to go on the offensive. Is she the type to sleep around?
“Oh c’mon, I know what happens on these girly weekends. Did you get lucky?” I ask calmly with my best naughty smile.
“No, I didn’t but my best friend did, but if you ever meet her please don’t say anything,” she replies.
“I won’t say anything. So what happened? I’m curious,” I proceed, pushing my luck. Hmm, she’s already picturing me meeting her social circle.
“Well, we had our Disney costumes again which the fellas really like. I think it’s the short skirts. My mate went home with a different fella each night. I went back to my hotel room alone,” she answers, giving me far more information than I was expecting.
A red flag goes up and I now start to feel somewhat uncomfortable about Make-up Madam. Birds of a feather flock and fuck together. If this is what goes on with her best friend then it’s not too far-fetched to think that Make-up Madam has also indulged in this kind of loose behaviour.
I’ve always been wary of promiscuous women. As a younger man my outlook was driven by a concern about sexual health. As a teenager I worked in a scrap-metal yard as a foreman and one day a labourer came to me about a health problem he had. An enormous growth the size of my fist was perched next to his genitals. This was quite shocking to me at the age of sixteen. I had this guy taken off to a clinic immediately. That sight caused me to be sexually conservative, something that I am grateful for. Now as an older man I see promiscuous women in a different light. In my experience their behaviour is driven by an emotion, an issue or a self-perception about themselves. They are using sex – and men – as a way of getting something that they feel they are lacking. They have an emotional issue or two that is not just sabotaging their relationships with men, but it is also hobbling their lives. I want and need to be with someone who is emotionally healthy.
It gets dark and cold so we go inside the pub and share a meal. No topic of conversation seems to be off-limits with Make-up Madam. As we talk I’m charmed by her sweetness and willingness to be honest with me. Those are two things that I value in a woman, largely because each is rare and together in one person is even rarer still.
Despite my misgivings about how she chooses to socialize, from everything else that she has shared with me, I sense that I can trust and respect her. Yes, I can have a relationship with her I conclude, but there are a few red flags that just can’t be ignored. First, that ghastly make-up is always going to bother me. Second, she doesn’t seem to go anywhere without her dog; that’s just not practical in my world. Third, she has a back problem from her riding accident that might never heal, so our sex-life might never be what it might have been. Lastly, she has a lodger; we can forget about baptising every room and lazing about as we please in her place. Memories of that time with Krazy Girl having a lodger come to mind. Yes, all of those things are temporary and can be changed, but I don’t want to go changing anybody, in the same way that I don’t want anybody trying to change me.
On the plus-side, I do enjoy her company. A major bonus is that she loves my dry, twisted sense of humour and doesn’t mind the occasional pun. She has a positive outlook on life and has her shit sorted; she doesn’t need a man in her life, she only wants one to share things with. Those things matter to me.
The evening ends with her starting to fade and even the pug has fallen asleep. A brief bout of sweet kisses ensues before I walk Make-up Madam to her car. She speeds off into the dark and I drive home feeling conflicted.
The next evening we chat on the phone and I invite her to my home for the Friday night. I offer to cook for her, which excites her. Then she asks if she can bring her dog, to which I agree. I realize that there is a very real prospect of things getting physical between us on Friday night; I think that if I wanted to she’d be easy to seduce. The thought of that does not fill me with the feelings that it should.
The next day I rethink things and conclude that she’s not The One. On a purely logical level there is cause for optimism for us having a relationship. The problem is that love is a matter of the heart. My heart does not crave her. I’m learning about myself that I need to feel besotted with a woman, like I did with Baltic Babe and Krazy Girl.
I don’t want to hurt Make-up Madam in any way. She’s a good decent person who does not deserve to be used or misled. The kind of love that her and I would share can only be a sympathetic love, which is never the best kind. I want another love: the best kind.
I want to share my life with someone whom I cannot imagine being without. A woman who I cherish, treasure and will never fail. She has a way about her that I find mesmerising, an effortless femininity that I find alluring and reassuring. She has a heart untouched by the strife of life. She completes my world and I am prepared to die defending her. When I look at her, I must be stirred. When I touch her I must feel something inside me react. When I kiss her my body must rise to the pleasure. When I hold her hand it must feel just right. When we look at each other, words are unnecessary, we just know and can’t help but smile at each other. When we make love, every part of who we are is involved and satisfied. We must feel like we’re made for each other.
From what I have experienced with her, I do not for a moment believe that Make-up Madam fits that description, so I send her my standard goodbye text message.
She responds with:
I have to just say that I am feeling sad today as you are the first guy in a very long time whose company and conversation I have really enjoyed. I fear that you have got me wrong and have me down as a party girl which I’m not at all. I haven’t had the joy of a good relationship in a long time. I miss having a lover who is my best friend and giving each other support. Either way I am pleased that I met you and do wish you every happiness. X
I find her words touching so I respond with soothing thoughts and a suggestion that she join my Happy Humping Ground dating site which, I believe, has a better type of person on there.
I’m looking forward to meeting someone new on Saturday and that in itself tells me that my decision is the correct one.
Tom Odell – Another love