"Can't you see beyond his ear?" my friend asked when I told her why 3 date Dave wasn't getting a 4th. "Seriously, its like tracing paper - the light shone behind it and I could see the veins!!" I said. Sadly, although I could see through his ear I couldn't see past it to a future with him.
I used to put up with a lot, I was never too choosy, if he was attractive and had a good personality I could cope with most things, but the night I made my excuses to leave a date with a man who had a belly button piercing, seemed to signal the dawning of my choosy phase. I had visions his penis would resemble a rusty breakers yard and quite frankly I didn't want to stick around to find out. The last time I had encountered an intimate piercing I regretted it for a week, after catching it on a filling and almost biting it off with the shock and pain. If anyone has ever chewed on silver foil with a filling you will know the pain and reluctance to repeat the act!!
I had gone through many more first dates from Chris - the man with the body of Adonis but the personality of a plastic parrot, too-short Steve, clingy Brendan, and of course who could forget wet-kiss Kevin? His kiss produced more saliva than a restrained Boxer dog being held inches away from a char grilled sirloin steak. I had practically gagged on his tongue, it was so far down my throat, but, when I pulled away, the amount of spit strung between our chins could have flooded a small country!
So yes, I guess you could say I am fussy. I know I shouldn't judge a bloke on such small matters and I may sound incredibly shallow, but I can't help it. First impressions count, and I bet I'm not alone in this.
I've never seen the harm in aiming high, but the thing is, I've been single for years. Of course this is partly through choice and naturally because of the number of attached men I date and enjoy seeing, but sometimes I wonder if I do that because, if they don't live up to my expectations I can run away and no one is hurt, or because I genuinely don't believe I will ever get past my fussy, picky, ridiculous selection process.
Why am I so fussy? I guess because every bad date or relationship I have had has given me another box on my checklist of no nos, and as such it is now completely out of hand.
Ok I may be punching above my weight expecting the equivalent of a combination of Johnny Depp, Rufus Sewell, David Beckham, Heath Ledger, Colin Farrell and Jason Manford, but I wouldn't buy a pair of shoes if I didn't like the look of them and if I worried they might hurt me, so why settle for that in a man?
My friend is always full of great advice and said "It's all well and good having high standards but how would you feel if a bloke dumped you because of a birthmark?" She's totally right. While I'm waiting for Mr Perfect and dating Mr Attached I'm writing off a potentially fabulous boyfriend, because his ears, naval architecture or kissing technique, before I've even got to know him properly. That's the real reason I've been single so long.
So, although I don't intend giving up in my knight in Prada shoes just yet, I have decided - for now - to ditch my ridiculous checklist. And to prove it, this week, I've agreed to another date with a single man my friend set me up with.
Now, if only there was something I could do about his too shiny shoes...... :)