Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “Contrasts”….
There is a belief that the staff of dating agencies sit around in little groups, going carefully through the profiles of applicant after applicant and caringly trying to match each one to a potential life-partner.
There is also a belief that the girls on the late-night ads, sitting on their beds in bikinis with a phone in their hands, are genuine candidates just waiting to meet you with a view to friendship and maybe more.
Neither is actually true. The profiles are typed into a computer, certain words are matched, and introductions are made more in hope than in expectation, and indeed more in indifference than in hope.
To make matters worse, the bosses tend to be too busy picking out the girls for the late-night ads to do any of the inputting, so this is usually left to the most junior person in the office.
At Dover Soul (slogan “the sole gate to your soul mate”) the inputting was done by Donna, a secretary whose only ambition was to be a WAG, so who scanned all the male applications eagerly in case any of them were famous footballers, and then typed the others in with all the care and attention of a boyfriend sitting dutifully through Sex and the City 2. Thus the odd mistake crept in.
A Pole named Agata who liked dancing, for instance, was entered as a pole-dancer.
A man called Gay (short for Gabriel) was entered as being gay. Donna paired him with Robin (who luckily was a girl, Donna hadn’t read that far, that one actually went quite well).
A girl who simply sent in her CV looking for a job found herself being rung by Pete, a truck-driver from Leeds (she had put down that she had a full Driving Licence).
An Art Student called Linda found herself matched to Joe, a painter. And decorator.
A Czech girl who described her English as Excellent was sent a PDF of the office Microsoft Excel Manual.
And Anne, who said that she was a keen walker whose hobbies included reading and supporting the World Wildlife Fund, was paired with Dave Walker from Reading whose hobbies included watching WWF.
Their first date began quite badly. She asked what he thought of Kazuo Ishiguro, he asked who he played for. He asked her did she like real ale, she asked what fake ale was. Once they realised that they had been hopelessly mismatched they both laughed, and since they were both genuinely nice people the rest of the evening went surprisingly well.
They are still together. She likes it that she can occasionally show him a piece of art, or read him a poem and watch the wonder in his eyes as he sees their true beauty.
He likes teaching her about the offside rule, assuring her that belching loudly after lager is perfectly acceptable and watching the wonder in her eyes when she tastes something like Pork Scratchings or Chilli Peanuts for the first time.
In the evenings they sit together in companionable silence, she reading and listening to Bach in her headphones while he watches men throw each other about a ring on the TV. (She secretly looks up from her book when a particularly muscular male appears, he secretly listens to the Brandenberg Concertos when she’s out).
All in all, they are one of Dover Soul’s success stories.
Though not quite as successful as Agata and the 78-year old former Polar Explorer she was paired with, who enjoyed five glorious, loving years together before he passed away in bed (and I don’t mean in his sleep) and left her an estate worth five million pounds.