Categories

PART OF THE Jolabokaflod ISSUE

‘The Men2be agency promised that only “discerning professional men” were on their books’

Buy Buy Baby tells the story of two different women, Carol and Julia, and their lives in and around Glasgow. In this entertaining excerpt Julia steps into the murky world of online dating courtesy of the questionable Men2be agency.

Buy Buy Baby
By Helen MacKinven
Published by Cranachan Books

The Men2be agency promised that only “discerning professional men” were on their books. The naff name had initially put me off from registering, but I was keen to test the authenticity of the agency’s claim that the men were all highly successful professionals. The steep registration fee of £1500 did make me think twice about signing up. But it seemed a fair price to pay to filter out any undesirables.

Men2be’s secondary sifting process was a massive questionnaire for prospective members – it was going to take fucking ages to fill in. The online form wanted to know everything from how much I earned, the school I had gone to, the designer labels I favoured, the property I owned, to the car I drove. The dating agency’s strict criteria even ruled out any woman who was over a dress size twelve. Thank Christ I’d kept up my gym membership. I had to be a bit creative with a few facts and figures, or I’d never have passed the entry requirements. It wasn’t a problem; a good journalist knows how to massage the truth.

My best friend, Kirsty, had even emailed me a dictionary of terms for women’s personal ads. But the joke was only funny if I didn’t have to cross reference my own profile with the comedy version. It was obvious that if I wrote one thing, it meant something entirely different.

30ish = 38

Adventurous nature = slept with everyone

Athletic build = no tits

Voluptuous = fat bird

Average looking = ugly as a monkey’s arse

Gorgeous = pathological liar

Glamorous = high maintenance

Emotionally secure = on medication

Soulful= cries a lot

Contagious smile = does a lot of pills

Outgoing = loud and embarrassing

Fun = annoying

Free spirit = junkie

New age = body hair in all the wrong places

Looking for soul mate = stalker

Passionate = up for it

Sensuous = dirty

Open-minded = desperate

The humorous element of the list wasn’t completely lost on me, but it made me overanalyse every single word I chose to describe myself. No one wants to end up a cyber-spinster.

Did I want to sound intelligent or would being too clever put men off?

Did I want to sound fun or should I sound more serious?

Did I want to use a professional photo or would it look as if I was trying too hard?

Reading the variations, anyone would think that there were more sides to me than a Rubik’s cube. Updating my profile was the perfect displacement activity.

SCREEN NAME   JOURNOJULES

LOCATION   GLASGOW – CITY OF STYLE

AGE   THIRTYSOMETHING

SEX   JOURNOJULES – WHAT D’YA THINK?

EMPLOYMENT   FREELANCE BUSINESS JOURNALIST

BODY TYPE   JESSICA RABBIT

LAST BOOK READ   SCOTTISH BUSINESS DIRECTORY

FAVOURITE AUTHOR   VIRGINIA WOOLF

BEST/WORST LIE YOU’VE EVER TOLD

“IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME”

WHAT ARE YOU MOST SCARED OF?

BEING ON A PLANE, ABOUT TO CRASH… AND THE BLOODY BAR IS CLOSED

TOP THREE THINGS THAT ANNOY YOU

  1. REFORMED SMOKERS
  2. PEOPLE WHO EAT WITH THEIR MOUTHS OPEN
  3. RUDE SHOP ASSISTANTS

FIVE ITEMS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT

  1. MY LIVER
  2. SEQUINS
  3. MY BLACKBERRY
  4. LA PAVONI ESPRESSO MACHINE
  5. MY NIECE HOLLY

The most difficult question to answer on all of the sites had to be, “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A RELATIONSHIP?”

This was the BIGGY, the question that required the most thoughtful answer.

Over the last few months, I’d tried out a few:

“A guy that makes my nipples peak just by looking at them.”

“The total package with all the trimmings.”

“A best friend, lover, partner.”

“The other half of me.”

I toyed with answers for hours. Too slutty? Too tongue-in-cheek? Too corny? Choosing a response was a nightmare. Eventually I decided on an honest answer, minus a key detail.

“The last love of my life.”

I’d alluded to seeking a long-term partner (without any mention of the ‘B’ word) and hoped it wasn’t too scary a prospect for most men. It was a no-brainer NOT to advertise the whole truth. No man would ever reply to the most honest answer, the bluntest version being, “Desperately seeking a man to settle down with and start a family”.


Buy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven is out now published by Cranachan Publishing priced £9.99

Share this

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Hogg’s Highland Journeys and Mine click Hogg’s Highland Journeys and Mine

‘The journeys would change the next half of Hogg’s life’

READ MORE

Scotland’s Landscapes: Coastlines click Scotland’s Landscapes: Coastlines

‘For millennia the coast has been a gateway for the people of Scotland’

READ MORE