This blog post comes to you from my sick bed. I know, I know…it sounds melodramatic but the truth is I came home from work early today and after not having had a single sick day in the last 2 years that should give you some idea of the gravitas of the situation. I would like to be asleep right now but my stomach hasn’t settled enough yet. On a positive note my bathroom floor is spectacularly beautiful. Who knew that oak was so smooth?
My housemate (the beautiful Boo) texts me wishing me well because she’s looking forward to our night out together tomorrow. I tell her that I’ll be fine and my poor, tired, groggy brain immediately starts calculating the obstacles. Tomorrow morning I have to get up at 6am, work a 12 hour shift, run to the other side of town, inhale as much pizza as physically possible in between throwing on my new red dress and still somehow be at the pub in time for 9pm. It’s like Desperate Housewives meets Krypton Factor. This, of course, does not leave much time for primping tomorrow so the realisation dawned that I would have to lay the preparatory groundwork tonight.
I’ve been single for just over 2 years and 4 months. It’s fair to say I’ve let things slip just a little. And as I’m standing there in the shower, sick to my stomach, knees wobbling, blunting a second razor attempting an ambitious program of deforestation, it suddenly occurred to me that a Saturday night out on the town for a single almost-thirty is analagous to The Hunger Games.
We’re not competing for food of course, we’re competing for affection. I have been lonely and I don’t want to be single forever. I’d love to go out and meet a great guy and one thing lead to another. The club is our arena…full of bright lights, unexpected sounds and clashes between tributes. The drunks are our Muttations [cue Attenborough narrative: and here we have the greater-spotted Yoof participating in the mating dance ritual which consists of waving a half-full pint glass in the air and stamping feet while swaying precariously, sometimes with arms around each other…]. These Mutts must be avoided at all cost. I strongly identify the risk of being roofied or given an STD with tracker jacker stings. But I digress…
In many ways I am the tribute…offered up by my much younger, prettier and less jaded friends who are determined to get me back in the dating saddle. I am kidnapped and taken to the shop where they select my outfit for me and then I must undergo an extensive renovation process to emerge smooth and polished on the other side ready for my ordeal. Well, as smooth and polished as I get which isn’t very. Unlike the others I don’t have all day tomorrow to dip myself in creosote and do something with my hair.
During this renovation process I am calm on the outside but on the inside I am screaming with the miserable hopelessness of it all. After all, I am the chubby, slightly older and less glamorous tribute. I am (un?)fortunate enough to have a group of pretty friends, all slim with mile high legs and gracious attractiveness. When it comes to contesting for attention I am at the bottom of the puppy pile. It is a hopeless venture and there may be occasions throughout the evening that I wish the ground to open up and swallow me whole. Please God let me not fall off my new heels.
Then finally, tired, entirely unglamorous and recovering from some stomach ailment, wearing clothes I have been ordered to wear and polished to within an inch of societal dictates, I am delivered unto the arena with nothing to protect or advance me but my wits. So happy Hunger Games all you frumpy almost-thirties out there. I stand with you. I salute you. And may the odds be ever in your favour.