‘The Men2be agency promised that only “discerning professional men” were on their books’
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
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
FIVE ITEMS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT
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