“If I said you had a beautiful body would you have sex with me” a #tinder message flashes up. Opening it, I see it’s from one of the bright young things: this one’s 26 and is swigging champagne out of a bottle in his profile photo, with his arm round a springer spaniel.
“No,” I write back. A couple of minutes later I decide to enlighten him. “The quote you’re looking for is ‘if I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me’. Groucho Marx. Clever and funny because of the double meaning. Get the quote right and there’s more chance it will produce a positive outcome with the next lady.”
“Ahhhh I thought I had got it a bit wrong. Thanks. Now I know for the future. Although a contemporary twist on tried and tested old school lines are more my thing,” he replies.
“But you must see that it only works in the original? When attempting to seduce a lady with words it is important to choose the right ones,” I tell him.
“I missed the Marx. All credit to the Grouch,” he writes back.
“You look sweet. I’m sure you’ll meet someone nice,” I reply.
“Thanks, you too.” He messages back.
Happy to have done my bit for the cause of correct quotation, I close the message box.
In less encouraging news, someone who is always right tells me:
“You’ll never get a boyfriend if you tell the men you meet that you’re writing a dating blog. It’s guaranteed to make them run for the hills. Look at Liz Jones. Is that who you want to be?”
“You know I love her writing,” I say.
“It’s all me me me. She doesn’t care about their feelings or whether they want to be written about. She writes what she wants to about them and it just makes her look awful and attention seeking. Not that I’m saying you are or…”
“I behave like a lady on my dates,” I say. “So what do you think I should do?”
“Stop writing the blog. Or don’t tell them about it,” she says.
“The thing is, I’m writing the blog because, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, everything that I found to read by younger women was about their relationships with their husbands and small children. There just wasn’t anything for girls in their thirties who didn’t have husbands, who were going to have to return to dating after treatment and surgery. That’s who the blog is for and…”
“Don’t tell the men about it then. I bet that’s why they don’t want to see you again: they don’t want to be written about.”
Maybe she’s right. She usually is. So I’m not going to tell future first dates about the blog. Let’s see if that helps…