In Jurassic Park (1) there’s a scene where workers tether out a goat, to tempt T Rex to come out where the zoo-goers can see him. ‘THAT won’t work!’ says one of the expert visitors previewing the park, ‘ T Rex doesn’t want to eat tethered meat, he wants to HUNT his prey’.
In a similar situation – down at the pub on a Friday night – I realised just how true this is. Recently I’ve been lackadaisically dipping my toe into internet dating, looking at profiles, responding to the occasional ‘kiss’, and agreeing to the occasional ‘coffee’ interview. If I think a guy looks good on paper, I’ll meet up with him, we’ll ask each other the kind of questions that total strangers with a mutual interest in romance ask each other (what??), then we’ll have the awkward business of working out whether we like each other over the next three dates. Yawn yawn. Hang on while I go have a nap.
In contrast, down at the pub, demonstrating to a friend how to make a total arse of yourself, I engaged three strange men in conversation and enticed two of them onto the dance floor. Exchanging what I fondly hoped were alluring smiles with one guy young enough to be my nephew, and then shouting sweet somethings into each other’s ears as we clasped each other on the dance floor, I felt a long-missed zing of exhilaration, a brightening of the eyes and a question mark in the spiderwebbed loins. I was Hunting!
Yes, that’s what’s missing, I thought – the thrill of the chase The looks, the touches, the steadily rising tension ‘if I play my cards right could this man be in my bed tonight’, the mystery – the fact that I don’t know a thing about this guy on paper or off it – only now, cheek to cheek, mouth to ear, a female stalking its prey – MAN!
Of course I didn’t make any lewd suggestions to young Mr Thingummy and if I had he probably would have said ‘Excuse me madam, but my mother told me not to talk to older women’. But still – I remembered for the first time in ages what it was like to be (slightly) turned on.