I being single.

Chapter One

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 09:13 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat

Last night was bitter cold. I should know. The kitchen sink got frozen again. I decided to walk to Superquinn to get my fix of ice creams and herbal teas; one to balance the other or so I'd like to think. Do not comment on that Nuala. And I felt pretty happy with everything. Yes, happy Meave! I know you keep on saying you rather be in Florida right now but at that moment, I was happy right here in grey old Ireland, right in the very cold heart of Dublin city. Hard to believe, isn't it?

Work had been great. Martin had been in a splendid mood all day.

There was hardly anyone in Superquinn. So I thought: "Great! No queuing this time."

So I'm in front of the checkout girl right? Money ready and all and the articles are rolling towards us: cat food for Mrs Loopy, I mean her cat (I know Mrs Loopy is supposed to feed him but she can't barely remember my name so I feel an obligation towards the cat) Bounty ice creams, cranberry tea, oranges and lemons ( not for the benefices of the fruits but for the muffins I'll make) and dates from Tunisia ( so I can dream of heat and sun ) when it suddenly hit me: I'm a spinster.

I got home and I ate half of the Bounty family pack. Family pack! Arghh!

Abby.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 09:20 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: meavemaguire

To: aoc , nualat ,

You're NOT a spinster Abby! Definition of a spinster in wikipedia: an old maid, or an old childless woman who is unmarried. You're not ol. Nuala on the other end…ah just kidding Nuala!

p.s: Abby, stop feeding the neighbour cat and stop calling your neighbour Mrs Loopy! Mrs Loophole is just not good with faces, that's all!

And yes you're mad to wish to be in Dublin. I would sell my parents if that could let me GO to Florida.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 09:25 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat ,

Maeve, seriously! Is this your definition of cheering me up?

Joke asides. Let's face it. I'm childless. I'm unmarried. I'm old and I'm alone. All alone. I'm going on the hunt again.

p.s: If Loopy isn't good with faces, she's certainly good at making faces. That woman could beat a clown.

Abby.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 09:28 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat

To: aoc , meavemaguire

Ah Meave, I see you're you're being your usual charming self today.

Abby, funny that you feel a responsibility to the cat but not to your neighbour!

And oh, please stop making me laugh! Hunting? You? A ladybird might have more hunting skills than you do! You're not a hunter. You have never been a hunter and never will be! You hit and miss.

Actually you don't even hit. Sorry to be tough with you my Bemoaning Abby but here are a few truths about you: You don't flirt. You don't date. You don't hit. You miss and then go back to your cave empty handed.

Sorry Cookie but you need a wake up call. Besides I thought you had started to make yourself available online.

Nuala.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 09:42 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat ,

Not everyone is like you Nuala! How do you even manage to hunt on the phone! And at WORK! Sometimes I hate you. And I'm not your Cookie! Unless you bring me one right now!

p.s: I did register on one of these online dating websites a few months back but it was a disaster. Many hours of reading and typing and for what? Got two dates. Neither suited. I felt like Goldilocks having to choose between a cold and a hot soup.

Abby.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 10:39 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat ,

To: aoc ,meavemaguire ,

Your good friend Nuala loves you too, Biscuit! Sorry I was being a bit tough on you, kid! Come and get a cookie with Mummy Nuala. But it's for you own good.

Just one advice: If you could change your email address to your first name instead of hiding yourself behind this ridiculous AOC acronym. It's a label for quality wine in French, did you know that?

Most of our clients still don't know whether you're a wine supplier or a female journalist.

Nuala.

p.s: Are you actually comparing men to soup? I hope you went for the HOT one!

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 11:20 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat ,

Nuala, YOU're only four years older than me. And I'm perfectly fine for being taken for a wine label. Have you never considered that I could be trying a new tactic? By making them feel light headed or dizzy about me?

And for your information, I'll go for the big kill. In fact I'll hit SO FREAKING big that it'll feed me for years to come, figures of speech of course. I'm feeling peckish. Wanna go for a large beefy steak? Ah ah ah.

Abby.

p.s: The Hot one was ten years younger than me and he went surfing for two weeks without telling me. I thought someone had abducted him. I didn't even bother telling what an arse he was!

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 11:36 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat

To: aoc , meavemaguire

I'm older than the two of yous put together… in spirit…

p.s: I thought you'll never ask. You'll tell us the rest of the juicy details over lunch.

Nuala.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 12:20 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: meavemaguire

To: aoc , nualat , jmaguire

So what if the old soup's profile was deleted for suspicious behaviours? It doesn't mean you should stop trying! You must persist in using technology to date.

Key to happiness you'll find with Dating and Technology my little Obi Wan.

But Darling, stop crying over the fact that romantism is gone. It's not gone, it's dead. Must I remind you that you're living in the twenty first century? Ballrooms don't exist anymore and we won't meet men at the church! Of course they're still pubs but they don't provide with great choices of err…meat.

Sorry Nuala, didn't mean the age comment. Let's drop this touchy subject.

Talking of meat, Cowboy, can you buy me some ham on the way home?

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 13:22 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: jmaguire

To: meavemaguire ,

Cc: nualat , aoc

Pumpkin, I really dearly love you but I should ever be so grateful if you'd stop adding me to your conversation with your other two carnivorous friends!

Men are not meat okay? Or I'll never be your tiger AGAIN!

p.s: Ham, duly noted.

Your devoted husband, Jimmy, soon to be vegetarian…

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 13:34 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: meavemaguire ,

To: jmaguire

It was just a stupid analogy Tiger. You are and will remain of course my only Honey Bear.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 13:46 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat

To: jmaguire

Cc: meavemaguire , aoc ,

Jimmy, if our conversation is making you uncomfortable, by all means, go fish!

Nuala.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 13:51 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: jmaguire

To: meavemaguire ,

Cc: nualat , aoc

Ah ah Nuala, your joke is hilarious! I would of course roll on the carpet with laughter but my wife's brilliant company has not come yet to clean the place, so I'll pass for this time.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 14:03 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: jmaguire

To: meavemaguire ,

Cc: nualat , aoc

They haven't? I'll send Noel, right away! Sorry Honey Bear. It's been hectic today! But I can give you a special discount later? ;-)

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 14:07 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat ,

Oh Meave, I so want what you both have!

Abbie.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 14:12 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat

To: meavemaguire , aoc

Eww, Meave…gross…spare us the details!

Abbie, what do you want exactly? You want a chance to roll on a clean or a dirty carpet? I'm confused!

Nuala.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 14:15 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat

Nuala! Stop it! Phil thought I was choking at my desk!

Right. So everyone, this is it. I've re-officially plugged myself back to the opposite gender world.

Abby.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 15:27 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat

To: meavemaguire , aoc

Don't be so dramatic. How many websites have you so far subscribed yourself to?

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 15:41 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat

What do you mean how many? Just one. I think that's plenty for a start.

Abby.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 15:54 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat

To: meavemaguire , aoc

Baby Baby Abby, you're a little scared, aren't you?

One? Try three! Try five! Try ten! I bet you didn't even go for the ones I suggested.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:02 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat

They were too damn expensive! I'm not going to spend thirty quid a month on an online dating website. And I'll have you know that I'm not as well paid as you are.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:10 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat

To: meavemaguire , aoc

You're right. Thirty euro for a life of happiness with a soul mate is way too expensive. Besides there are so many things you could spend your money onto. Like decent dresses.

Don't ask for any advice any more.

And I wouldn't call three hundred euro a month that much over!

Nuala.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:15 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat

Oh Nuala, don't be like that. I'll need all the help I can get! I can feel it won't be an easy task.

Re about the salary, three hundred euro would go a long way. For a start, I could feed Teddy for the next while!

Maeve, are you still there? Or have you been swallowed by your carpet company?

Abby.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:21 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: meavemaguire

To: aoc , nualat ,

I'm battling actually! I think the carpets are winning.

Sorry I was just talking to Jimmy. He just told me the news. Cullam is coming for dinner.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:23 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat

To: meavemaguire , aoc

Cullam? Who's Cullam again?

p.s: Teddy? Please tell me Teddy is a gorgeous hankie American and not a cat. For the life of me what kind of name is Teddy for a cat!

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:30 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire , nualat

Nuala, what can I say: Mrs Loopy is a fan of Roosevelt.

Abby.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:34 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: meavemaguire

To: aoc , nualat ,

NUALA! I can't believe you can't remember my brother's name after hitting on him last time we went out together!

Meave.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:41 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: nualat ,

To: aoc , meavemaguire

Did I? Let me put it this way: did I sleep with him in the end? I'm guessing I didn't. That's why I don't remember.

And Meave Darling, don't be offended: names don't stick with me.

Talking about sticking, has your husband's carpet, I mean the carpets of his hotel been cleaned yet?

And Abby, stop feeding cats and start feeding American Hankies!

Sorry better log myself out ladies or I'll miss my train.

Tooddle-loo.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:44 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: meavemaguire

To: aoc ,

Call me crazy Abby if you want. But don't you think Nuala is rather "distracted" lately? Any drama on the horizon? Boyfriends or issues that I should know about?

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:44 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire ,

Meave, Nuala would kill me for bringing this subject up again but yes she is distracted and no wonder why! Martin, our deal Team leader, has been a pain on my back. Yet it's nothing compare to what he inflicts on Nuala.

I was thinking of asking her to come over and have an orgy of chocolate to interrogate her. What d'ya think, gal?

Besides better to wallow in chocolate misery!

Listen give lots of smooches to Aoife, I better run too! I've a skype meeting with Dad in less than two hours and you know how is like!

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:50 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: meavemaguire

To: aoc ,

I will. I'll pick Aoife at the crèche in about 76 minutes. I can't wait!

That b* $% of team leader again? What has he done this time?

Chocolate misery sounds good. You should defo suggest it to her.

I'll come along. Only for morale support of course. ;-)

p.s: And if you intend to be serious about the dating, please put a picture up this time.

And yes, okay! Say hello to Mr and Mrs O'Carolan for me.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:54 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire ,

Oh let's not talk about Martin, shall we? He just gives me rashes. You wouldn't believe the things Nuala has to put up. Just this morning again he asked her to re-edit five times a ten-day trip to Ugarit when Sue already said she was happy with it.

Re the chocolate misery, sure, the more, the merrier.

Dad always asks about you, do' ya know? And Mum still refuses to touch a mouse. Electronic or not.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 17:33 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: meavemaguire

To: aoc ,

Affirming his authority in front of his female superior? Do you think Martin is acting out of spite because Nuala got promoted and he didn't?

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 17:40 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: meavemaguire ,

Possibly. Can't tell. She won't tell me nothing.

Listen better go. See you tomorrow.

Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 22:13 +0000

Subject: Re: the saddest epiphany

From: aoc

To: aoc

Dear Dairy,

It sucks to be me. And by extension, it sucks to be you. How is it that everybody falls in and out of love like fashion while I can't even land one bloody date.

I have applied to three new online websites. One recommended by a friend. Err. I mean by an acquaintance. What the hell is that website? A dating website or a pornographic website? . the online dating site for Ireland 100% free.

A 100% rubbish.

Well I mean the name says it all. But the profiles names are even worse than I expected. Zombiehard. Sexyleg323. And nookie45. Great.

Reading some of the profiles made me want to vomit. I unsubscribed after an hour.

Some of those websites name make me laugh.

.com

For Connecting Sophisticated & Mature Women With Younger Men.

LoL.

.com

Err, hello.

I've been told of another one: . Ah the euphemism. Trying to be subtle.

Arrgh. I'm realizing after reading and exchanging 7 emails that I can't exchange contact numbers unless I pay to join their website. Forget about it, then!

The other completely free. .

Dear Diary, you wouldn't believe how long it took me to read their profiles! 34 profiles in two hours! If Abby and Meave knew how many emails I had sent previously to the other website back and forth which resulted in not one date, they would find me crazy.

Enough time lost, let's cut to the chase.

Example number 1:

Hi, I'm Pat. I'm looking for an honest, friendly woman. I am honest and friendly myself. I'd like to acknowledge I've made some mistakes in my life when I was younger. I've been in prison for two years for a petty crime but it's all behind me now. My mother was unwell for three years and I took care of her until she died. It's not easy to date. I hope we can meet soon. Text me.

Example number 2:

hi girls i like football i have just joint the gym i was geting a bit fat ... i am funy and beter looking in person no really .. ha hate this bit i am a much better s-talker (ah ah) then texting or emailing. i like dogs i like cars and yes i have a nice one. I can bring you for a spin. Send me a text.

Example number 3:

Hey Gorgeous, whoever you are, I hope you are in the very best of health and looking fab cuz so am I. I mean look at these biceps of mine. What can I say? (See picture) Don't I look just…don't you just want to eat me? I mean eat with me? (ah ah) so lover, let's meet and eat together. Text me.

God. .

I'm so depressed.

I'll end up old and wrinkly, with witchy hair. I'll scare the neighbours' kids every time I'll get out of my home. I can picture myself already. And oh yes, I'll have for company a dozen of stray cats.

Wait. There might be a God.

Reading…

Example number 34:

I'm a guy who's looking for his soul mate. I'm intelligent, honest, kind and ambitious. I'm interested in rugby, current affairs, cinema and music. I play the trombone and like most types of music except hard rock and western. Jack of all trades master of none :) Let's not lose time in endless emails, let's meet for lunch.

Simple and to the point. Picture is not very clear but never mind that! I've replied to him. He can actually write, doesn't take himself too seriously and he is funny. Sounds promising. We'll see how it goes. Name is Eddie. Don't like that name. But won't judge the book by its cover.

Writing in bold. Not a good sign. Better close down the laptop.