Monday, 27 September 2010

Cherry Goes Dating

TUES SEPT 28 UPDATE--on again on BBC 3 at 8 PM!

Poppets, it's my third post of the day, but I am traumatized. I just watched a BBC 3 programme called "Cherry Goes Dating," and I almost couldn't watch to the end. Fortunately, the girl with the brain tumour meets a cute cancer survivor through friends and so there was a sort-of happy ending.

Cherry is a sparkling TV presenter much prettier and more personable than any of the women she interviewed for this programme, so it was sort of a bad idea for her to turn up before the women's dates to ask the men how they were feeling.

Oh dear. I am almost hyperventilating, so this post isn't making much sense. Okay, Cherry interviews a number of single women of different ages, first two young teens, then a few women in their twenties, including an unabashed gold-digger, then a 30-something or two, a widow of 45, and then a divorcee of 51 or so.

The teens are mostly harmless. They go to the mall and walk around and around hoping to catch or re-catch the eye of boys they like. Too smart to approach the boys bluntly, they wait for the boys to start something.

The twenty-somethings include a woman with big breasts and big dyed blonde hair. She is looking for a rich husband. However, she seems to have become a professional girlfriend instead, having been invited away on holiday 21 times last year and given lots of clothes by her dates. She really, really wants to get married, and can't imagine still going on dates in a tiny skirt in ten years. The thing is, though, that she is after a rich man and wouldn't let herself fall in love with a poor man. Oh dear, oh dear.

Then there is a big girl, who seems really nice. Sadly, though, she is very lookist in her expectations, which is a bad idea for any woman who is not herself model-perfect or Queen Latifah. There are some belle-laides who can sweep into a room and sweep out with whatever man she likes in tow. I was never such, nor is this big girl.

The girl with the brain tumour, whom I respect a lot, finds a nice man through friends, as stated above.

The widow of 45 lost her husband to that huge tsunami in Thailand you might remember. She waited years for him to come home, and then grieved, and then finally decided to find love again. But taking no chances in this crazy world of freak accidents and sudden tsunamis, she did one of those massive hundred-question diagnostic quizzes and does diagnostic charts on (A) the men she dates and (B) their relationships. Cherry thinks that this might be a coping mechanism, and I think so too.

It is hard to say what I would do if I lost B.A. to a tsunami, but I think I would probably pop anti-depressants and write long novels about a loving couple who are separated by cruel fate. I would not date again. Heck, I never dated B.A.

There is next a double-divorcee of 51, who has a lovely slim body, great hair, and a lined face. Her principal dating problem is that she has gone through every man in her village. Oh dear. And one divorce is so ghastly, imagine two.

"Don't divorce me, B.A.," I wailed.

I think, though, that this 51 year old is just as happy to be divorced, for she speaks very forcefully about being able to do whatever she wants now. Her two husbands were both more than 10 years her senior, and I suspect one or both bossed her around. And at the show's end, she is dating a nice 38 year old.

Now, the 34 year old. Oh dear. She needs my book. And if she's still single, she might have it because she seems to have read every book for Singles out there. On the other hand, these must be the how-to-get-a-man books, not books of the I'm-Single-Chaste-and-Happy variety.

I'm not writing her name because her long search for love has made her a little loopy, and she now may be sorry she appeared on "Cherry Goes Dating". If she sees this and sends me her address, I will send her a free copy of Seraphic Singles. Oh dear, I don't want to add to her pain, but I don't want you girls to do what she did. Oh dear.

What she did was challenge herself to get five men's phone numbers a week for six months. And then, just before the Valentine's Day after the end of her challenge, she wrote a letter to the date she liked best, inviting him over for V-Day. She decorated her flat with hearts, set out Valentine's cookies, bought a Valentine's cake, fashioned a First Place Winner's ribbon, and called Cherry and the TV crew. N.B. She had not seen the man in months.

At the flat, shortly after Cherry and the crew, arrived Mr. Winner, looking for fun, and I am not sure what happened, exactly, as I hid behind a pillow and merely watched the expressions on B.A.'s face. Let's just say that it was very embarrassing for everybody, including Cherry, whose conscience might have been giving her a twinge.

It was so horribly embarrassing because it was exactly the kind of big dramatic gesture women think will work but of course never, ever does.

I wonder if Cherry, whose eyes nearly popped out of her head when she found out what 34 year old had planned, was torn between love for her show and female solidarity. She must have been. Utter emotional and social breakdown is great for TV but terrible for one's fellow woman, and if you ever meet a woman about to embarrass herself like that, you must tempt her out of her flat, take her to a bar and talk her out of it.

I feel like Father Z writing "Brick by brick" as a kind of mantra, but, girls, really, don't chase men. Don't chase men. Let love come to you. You deserve that. You're worth that. And if God means you to meet a Mr. Right, you'll probably meet him through friends. Must have some more wine now.

Update: Oddly, the seemingly most man-savvy women in the whole show were 14 and 15 years old.


Julie said...

AAAAAAH! ah ah ah ah ah aaaaaah!!! Oh that poor woman! How awful that they would show it on television and everything!

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

" was exactly the kind of big dramatic gesture women think will work but of course never, ever does."

Would big dramatic gestures like that work if the recipient was a woman? Do you suppose that's why some women do that kind of thing?

I think that one thing women need to repeat over and over to themselves is, "Men don't think like women."

That sounds terribly sexist. And of course the thought processes of men and women are often the same in some circumstances. But you are so right that this is not one of them.

theobromophile said...

Oddly, the seemingly most man-savvy women in the whole show were 14 and 15 years old.

Having seen my little sister in action, I'm not surprised, but wonder why. I'm not sure if it's that they haven't had their self-esteem crushed by men before, but think it might have something to do with rebellion and/or looking at older women and learning from them. Either way, my/our generation doesn't think they they do, and they are either rebelling against us ("You do X, Y, and Z with men, so we're going to do A, B, and C") or they think, "Yeah, let me know how that worked out for you!"

Seraphic said...

Julie, I KNOW. Let it be a lesson to us all!

CBib, I thought about that a lot. I could see it being a massive fail for men, too, depending on the man. I recall one boyfriend's fail so massive that my conscience won't let me tell you.

Let's just say that it is just not as humiliating for a man to take a huge chance and blow it as for a woman to do so.

A man throwing himself on his knees saying "I'm yours" is kind of a cool reversal of men's masters-of-the-universe pretensions. We give him points for trying.

A woman throwing herself on her knees saying "I'm yours" kind of sucks because too many women are on their damn knees already, if you see what I mean. It's pathetic. No points for trying, and epic fail re: male psychology.

I agree, too, though, that this is not fair, and we have been unfairly conditioned to despise women's doing this by Big Ethel in Archie Comics. And we shouldn't bash women who do that sort of thing because, let's face it, complete self-abdignation is a constant temptation for many women.

Theobrom, those seem like good hypotheses. Possibly they are also too young to have allowed a constant assault of bad advice overcome their native good sense. The two teens of the show watched Cherry in horror as she just marched up to two teenage boys.

KimP said...

My two cents: the teenagers do what come naturally; the older women try to take matters into their own hands when doing what comes naturally doesn't seem to be working. Teenage girls hang around hoping boys notice them. After doing this for about 10 or 15 years with no notable success, an older woman might think, "Wait a minute, I should just go after the man I want because that works in other areas of my life. Besides, this 'hanging around waiting for a boy to notice me' is clearly not working, so I'm going to try to get a man the same way I try to get a job, or land an account, etc."

Seraphic said...

No, no, no. The teenagers don't just hang around. They dress themselves up and walk round and round the mall, glancing at cute guys. "The Rules" (I think it was "The Rules") suggests adult women do the same darn thing: dress themselves up, walk around and around dances and cocktail parties, glancing at cute guys.

Really, though, I honestly believe the thing to do, if you feel called to marriage, is to make new friends (male and female) all the time, and meet their friends, too.

The groom at the last wedding I went to first laid eyes on the bride at his cousin's wedding two years before. She was an extraordinary minister, and she gave him communion.