This week, we will run excerpts from Issue One of Kill Your Darlings. The first excerpt is from Clementine Ford’s piece on that collision of technology, romance and shattered illusions: internet dating.
Before I discovered that the lemons life throws at you are not always suitable for lemonade, I suppose I was like any typical girl who fancied she might one day get married.
It wasn’t a question of ‘if’ so much as ‘when’. Marriage seemed to be as much a natural, evolutionary progression of adulthood as the cessation of pimples or the ability to live away from one’s parents. I wasted little energy worrying about the fellow involved, imagining his entry into my life to be as perfunctorily inevitable as the very act of growing old. My husband would emerge into my life fully formed, the vagaries of courtship having been dealt with as if in a distant dream. One day I would be a young girl, allowed finally to wear her first lipstick; the next, I would be married.
Of course, the folly of youthful expectations never lends itself well to reality. Not only am I entering my twenty-ninth year convincingly single, I have discovered that there is no set date at which one can expect to be free from the brutal inconvenience of skin blemishes.
Don’t be alarmed. This isn’t one of those dreadful singleton laments that have become the domain of media puff pieces since Sex and the City dehumanised women everywhere. Nor is it an example of the lady doth protest too much, determined to convince her audience that the mere thought of tethering her wagon to some rogue cowboy fills her with inexpressible repugnance.
Rather, it’s an exploration of what happens when we find that what we expected as children turns out to be a fantasy driven by saccharine cartoons and the ritual brainwashing of Golden Books. It’s an examination of what my grandmother would refer to as ‘making the best of things’. It’s a perilous journey into the shallow end of the gene pool, only to discover that science hasn’t begun to scratch the surface of in-breeding’s lasting consequences.
Ladies and gents, I have stared into the abyss and found that it had only one thing to say: Welcome to Internet Dating.
Read Clementine Ford’s ‘Love in a LOL-ed Climate: Internet Dating’ in Issue One of Kill Your Darlings.