Continuing these speculations on how my future social life could work out, let's suppose some man is bowled over by the Melford charms and begins to talk about wanting to see a bit more of me. I'd want to clarify that somewhat - does he mean more thigh, or more of my mind? Or is he proposing an evening out, just the two of us? Aah, how romantic...
I'd ask him, among some other pertinent questions, to define what he's looking for in me. Here are some things he might want me to be, with my responses:
Oh yes, I'm strong on loyalty, and I think I could manage to be a decent enough friend. But will he be a decent enough friend to me? Loyalty and lasting friendship are built on mutual liking, trust and respect. He's got to understand my need for lots of personal space. He can't drop round when he feels like it. When chez Lucy, he mustn't rearrange my kitchen or laugh at Teddy Tinkoes. He's out if I feel he's using me as a meal ticket. And he must never, never assume that he can touch my car. Not ever. Fiona's my real best friend, my reliable and comfortable and genuinely safe and protective friend, and he is not.
Well, I never had any 'mates' in the old life, and the concept eludes me. I suspect that 'best mate' isn't quite the same as 'best friend'. What does it entail? Does he expect me to go to football matches? Or sit around in pubs of an evening, just boozing? No way: I want to watch a repeat programme about German Art on BBC4. Sorry.
I didn't have a sister, so I've no idea how they behave within the family. From what I've heard, brothers and sisters often slug it out, going to fourteen rounds before a knockout, if the sister doesn't actually win on points. I think he means someone who would protect him and 'understand' him, and smile indulgently and forgivingly at his indiscretions and foibles. Fat chance in my case.
What's this? Hasn't he got a perfectly good mother? I don't want this role. I did my parenting in the 1980s, and I did it reasonably well, but I don't want to put in another stint. Ah, I see: he wants someone to keep his place clean and tidy, and do his cooking, and his mending, and make him cups of tea, and generally fuss over him. Well, he can peel his own potatoes. And find his own slippers. (Sobering to think that this is the image I may be projecting)
Sounds like being a mother, only more extreme! Or does he mean 'sex slave'? Is he going to keep me in a gilded cage, to be released at his whim? Well, I get no kicks out of being a prisoner, pampered or not.
I don't do passion. As for the lover bit, he's got to woo me properly. Remember: women have the real power. They have what men desire, and shouldn't give it cheaply. It's got to be an open and honest transaction at full value. With kindness and tenderness added. If he won't pay the emotional price, then it's no deal.
He wants me to dress to impress all the time, but that will make me look ridiculous at Sainsbury's, and besides has he any idea at all how much time it will take to smother myself in the kind of makeup he wants me to wear? It's not just my appearance. He wants me to strut about in a sexy way, pouting, high heels, teasing men and putting dowm lesser women with an insolent glance. All to suggest that I'm hot stuff. And if anyone objects, I have to run to him, and cling, and let him defend me. I'd be just like some naughty pet dog. No thanks.
Oddly enough, I'm restored to virgin status again, so I can do that bit. But temple posturing isn't my thing. I don't want to be untouchable. I don't want to be up on a pedestal, semi-divine. Some women like being worshipped by their men. Not this one. I want reality and equality.
There you are. Any man who tries these approaches will get nowhere with me. And mutatis mutandis, the same with any woman. I'm clearly a bit cruel and stuck up and much too picky.
Sod's Law being what it is, I may get pestered even though I'm not looking for anyone. So it's essential to work out in advance what needs to be said to the next Lothario who thinks I'm a desperate housewife.