I'm 49 and feeling menopausal. Apparently it's called peri-menopause, or peripause. What this really means is that on a good day I cry at the John Lewis advert with the boy and the Christmas gift for mum and dad, and on a bad day I want to throttle the gal sat next to me on the train for tweezing her eyebrows in public. I have a child who is sweet and beautiful and smart, and nuttier than a box of rocks. I am single - as in unmarried, unattached and at times feeling just 'un'. I've got near-constant chatter clogging my head, and not in a schizophrenic kinda way. I thought an online journal might be a good place to deposit my middle-aged chatter. Here goes...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Guardian Soulmates: home of the eloqwanker

Unlike my last few blogposts, this one’s not about death and grief. This one’s about language and its use in what I have frequently referred to in this here blog as cocking wankery – or, rather, ‘mental masturbation’. Guardian Soulmates seems particularly plagued with men who are proficient in wankery. I call these men ‘eloqwankers’, because they are both eloquent and fluent in wankery.

See, the words mental masturbation capture the essence of a great many online dating profiles I’ve come across. In fact, so prevalent is the verbal wank that you can spot impending wankerage by username alone - pretty much any username that contains words such as ‘plainchant, brisance and capsicum annuum’. Urban Dictionary – admittedly not the most credible linguistic source but an immensely amusing one – offers a near-perfect definition of mental masturbation.

MENTAL MASTURBATION: The act of engaging in intelligent and interesting conversation purely for the enjoyment of your own greatness and individuality. Subjects range from obscure LPs to cultural movements in preindustrial societies. Either delivered through grand monologues or subtle conversation orientation, it links large words and random references resulting in nothing actually being communicated.

And so, it is with this in mind that I give you an extract from a recent profile I stumbled upon while perusing Guardian Soulmates’ public search – a small example of random references that succeed in communicating... well... you be the judge...

Soulmate: man, age 50 (but looks 58) There is something erotic about a gracefully poised thought… I’d ideally like to meet somebody who enjoys their physical self and can play still, since I prefer play to work.

OK, maybe I’m a pedant, but does he mean planking? (Click here – my trusted Urban Dictionary will explain planking) Coz, you know, maybe he likes to plank after a bit too much plonk – like the granny-planker-extraordinaire you see here.

Or, does he mean someone who can ‘still play’? Coz if he means someone who can ‘still play’, then he got his words all in a scrumble, but not as big a scrumble as believing there is something erotic in a ‘gracefully poised thought’. A gracefully poised thought is hardly an absolute truth, so who’s to judge which thought merits adulation, and which warrants opprobrium?

Who’s to judge? Well, the many middle-aged eloqwankers on Guardian Soulmates, that’s who. You know, those men I’ve written about in previous goofy posts – the ones whose ideal lady must ‘enjoy learning a new word in a foreign language’. Tru dat. Someone actually wrote that in his profile. Well, how about this for starters, babycakes? With the help of Le Goog-le, I learned that the English word ‘tosser’ in Esperanto is, surpringly, also ‘tosser’. So, methinks I shall add to my profile the fact that I speak a smattering of Esperanto!

I’d say the average person needs something somewhat more tangible than the kind of dumb-ass waffle that seems so prevalent in the Guardian Soulmates’ profiles of sooooooo many middle-aged men. Afterall, it’s unlikely this prerequisite – ‘you must understand mono no aware’ – is going to attract an onslaught of fan mail. So, because Soulmates doesn’t provide a translation app for dumb-ass waffle, I’ve come up with my own interpretation. Here are some extracts from the ‘What I Am Looking For’ section of the Soulmates profiles of men aged 47-55.

Soulmate seeks… You must have a degree of political awareness – a dollop of righteous anger, even if you are not quite sure what to do with it.
Peri says… This man needs a dollar, so he can buy himself a clue 

Soulmate seeks… (btw, he claims he’s 47 but looks 55+)
I am looking for someone genuine, who isn’t just after money. She will be petite, in a slim kinda way, attractive and have a bubbly personality. She may be any age from 24 to 44, but generally I get on better with late 20s and early 30s. She will dress well, be trendy and stylish, and have a great personality.
Peri says… This man is an – and clearly suffers from – ASS, also known as Amelie-Seeking Syndrome 

Soulmate seeks… You can see rain falling through a streetlamp light, a blade of grass in a crack in concrete, sunlight caught in a tree, you can hear a blackbird singing in the dark, distant trains, a shallow stream, every heart-felt thing, whispering...
Peri says… He's clearly projecting – peering out a barbed window from his cell in HM Wakefield

And now, I give you my FAVOURITE Soulmate of all time – an absolute dreamboat. 

Soulmate seeks… A lady.... a REAL lady, elegant, articulate, a nice voice, but not a timid one. Sensitivity, but not overt weakness, are attractive features. Passionate, creative, entrepreneurial and an ability to cook. My ideal match will be different from other women in many ways. She’ll probably stand out in a crowd but won’t try too hard and won’t be a fashion clone. She will be cultured, intellectual, a good conversationalist, a hospitable person. Certainly not a career-type powerhouse or, at the opposite end of the scale, a wild party girl. Getting drunk and flirting are definitely not qualities I consider to be attractive traits in a lady. Loyalty is very important, as is the desire to spend as much time with me as possible. I like a little possessiveness from a woman as I think it’s healthy. If I go abroad for work, I want you to go with me. I don’t approve of guys or girls on holidays without partners...

I’ve decided I’m going to contact this guy if I ever reactivate my profile. And if I am fortunate enough to get a date with him, I shall cackle lots, speak in the styleeee of Barbra Windsor, wear a too-short dress and too-high heels, scratch my ass while walking, get hammered, possibly vomit in my handbag, flirt with a waiter and shout obscenities at him if he dares glance at another woman... just coz...


  1. Oi, I was thinking.... if that table had wheels.... he, he, he... . Sorry, couldn't help it, it was way too much at hand :D

  2. women are no better, here is a typical profile

    having worked in Advertising and lived in every country in the world, I am returning to London, although I have thousands of friends and can sleep with any man I want, I am greedy for more, really special stuff, especially after reading 50 shades of Grey, spend nights at comedy clubs in Islington and the days canoeing and white water rafting, happiest backbacking in the boardroom, or camping in the great outdoors of the balcony of Room 601 of the Mandarin Hotel in Singapore, equally at home eating Pizza in the hanging gardens of Babylon as I am fresh lobster in a Hackney municipal park, hang gliding, scuba diving, and so much the better if you live on a coral beach in queensland, but also enjoy cuddles in front of X factor, so ironic, but then again its all about chemicals so ignore all of the above

  3. Hmm... I almost get the impression she is trying to be an anti-asshole. She writes about eating lobster in a Hackney car park, and her reference to 'greedy for more' seems like a jibe at the appallingly written 50 Shades, which I've not read but is heavily mocked in journalistic circles for being inelegant and ineloquent. I'm afraid you get Nil Point for this one. Do better, please...

  4. Don't be ridiculous, I made this recipe up myself out of the raw and inedible ingredients of female profiles ... nil points indeed ...

  5. ha ha this is funny!

  6. Another angry woman pissed off with every man because her daddy didn't love her enough.

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