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Mine Own Weak Merits


Well, contrary to all expectations (mainly mine) I am entertaining a gentleman. Not right now; I'm using both hands to type with. I mean currently, in general. And he's rather wonderful, by which I mean he's got clean fingernails and I never have to correct his grammar. It is awkward, though, isn't it, when you first start seeing someone, because they are yet to discover your faults and you know that in the coming months, if they stick around, the full horror of your extensive flaws will unfold. Or maybe that's just me. Shakespeare eloquently spoke of 'mine own weak merits', which is a flowery way of saying that someone has next to fuck all going for them. My faults are significantly stronger than my merits, but of course they are, I spend considerably more time working on them. Anyway, I thought it would be handy for the gentleman in question to know in advance. Of course, I'm not going to detail all my flaws; this blog is only about 800 words long and I'm already more than 100 words in. No, I'm just going to give you my top five.

5. I can't sing. I really can't sing. People think I look like I can sing, but I sing like Susan Boyle looks. I hit notes that don't even exist, and they don't exist for a reason. It is not only painful for other people to listen to, it's painful for me to listen to as well. If I had to describe my singing in two words they would be 'dog torture'. Don't ever turn the music I'm listening to down without warning me. You will thank me for this advice. Oh, and don't ever play Michael Jackson's Earth song. I wouldn't sing, it's just shit.

4. I don't do housework. Except if my mother is coming round and even then only half-heartedly. For you, I've so far been making use of my Tidying Bin Bag (patent pending). When I know you're coming round, I put all of the untidy into the bin bag and then when you're gone, I empty all of the untidy back into the house. There will come a time when I won't even bother doing this. The thing is, as with so many other things, I ask myself, 'Would I rather do housework or have a G&T?' So now you know. On the bright side, I always have plenty of gin.

3. I won't eat outside. It's not that I don't like the outside; sometimes I look at it through the window. It's just that the outside isn't as good as the inside and anyone who says otherwise (including you) is a liar or an idiot or, in the case of Bear Grylls, both. It is almost never appropriate weather to picnic and when it is, the air is all at once full of tiny flying vermin. There is a term that is used to mean to eat outside - al fresco, which comes from the Latin 'hell on a rug'.

2. I am almost always late. There are only two situations in which I am on time: firstly, if someone is paying me and secondly, if it's by accident. I mean, if it's that important to you, you could pay me, but that would put a completely different slant on the relationship.

1. I love DIY and I do it badly and in heels. I'm as likely to go shopping for a hammer as a dress. Okay, I have 61 dresses (yes, I just went to count) and 5 hammers (no, I didn't have to count) but that just means I'm not as good at hammer shopping as I am at dress shopping. I also have a tool belt, which I wear empty while doing DIY because I haven't figured out what goes where. I've reattached a curtain rail balanced on the back of a sofa in peep toe stilettos, screwdriver in one hand, screws in the other, holding onto a sash window with my chin. I have a scar on my right ankle where I slipped with an axe and hit myself in the leg. I once went into Wickes and asked for 'the stodgy glue stuff that sticks the floor back down'. After many questions (which I felt showed the sales assistant lacked the necessary knowledge) I was informed that this is in fact called 'grout'. Another time, in B&Q, a sales bloke asked me if I needed any help and I said I was looking for a decorating saw. He laughed. I laughed. I asked for paint instead. Later, on my own, I found a saw that looked as if it'd be suitable for decorating. If you ever need to borrow it, it's in my tool box next to the gardening saw.

That is, as they say, the tip of the iceberg. Underneath the surface is a big hulking mass of, amongst many other things, clumsiness, lack of athleticism and an obsession with films with the word 'shark' in the title. That's for another day. This time I'm just throwing the initial grenade and cringing with my hands over my ears. William Congreve wrote, 'I like her, with all her faults: nay, like her for her faults.' Fingers crossed, eh?

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