SO my friend Alice is all loved up for Christmas. Yes, she is in the process of moving in with her new man and the pair of them are like teenagers.
It's unbelievable. I mean, this is Alice! Yes, the same Alice who has been sitting on the dusty shelf for more than a decade, telling anyone who will listen that all men are losers. And now look! My last remaining single friend is taken. I don't know what to do because Alice was always available to go out when everyone else was unavailable and now she's not.
She blows me off for this new man even though I've been there for her for 20-odd years. I mean, they're even buying a Christmas tree together this week. Myself and Alice always did that together, for goodness sake.
I've met this new man and he is fun, has all his own teeth and hair and he genuinely seems in love with my friend. But I hate to admit it, I'm a tiny bit jealous. I used to have Alice all to myself and now she has somebody else to while away her days with. Who will sit in my kitchen for hours on end now filling me in on all the gossip? Who will come for walks on Dun Laoghaire pier and join me for shopping sprees in Dundrum Town Centre?
"What you need is a man, not another woman to hang out with," insisted Alice. "Did you not stick with the online dating? Honestly it's the only way to go these days, especially for people with busy lives."
I found myself grimacing. "I tried it for a couple of days, but then I shut my page down because I was getting too many freaky messages. I'm not able for it."
Alice folded her arms and gave a dramatic sigh. "Look," she said. "It worked for me so it can work for you, too. The problem with online dating is that people think it's like eBay and they can just log on and find a boyfriend or a girlfriend by pressing the 'Buy-it-now' button. But you can't just order a human being like you would a mobile phone online. It takes patience to sort out the crazies from the maybes."
And so I went back to the site to trawl through the various messages again.
There was a message from Sinbad222. He lived in Egypt. He thought we could be very happy together, even though he didn't know the slightest thing about me.
There was Paddy from a farm in Mayo with four kids. He wanted a woman with a GSOH and not afraid of hard work. He wanted a woman who would be as comfortable in a pair of wellies as a pretty apron. Did I like the outdoors?
Then there was Aido from Dublin who said he would be more than happy to be a stepfather to my little girl.
Hmm. I have a little boy, actually. And he doesn't need a stepdad.
I just don't know.
These dating sites are mindboggling and kind of draining to be honest.
I think I'd rather meet a man in that tried-and-tested traditional Irish meeting place: the pub.