At home, my family would never dream of trying to advise me on who to date. They wouldn't think it was appropriate, nor would they want the responsibility, of finding a mate for me.
Yet here I am on the other side of the world, working amongst another family who have known me just a few short months, and dating guidance/encouragement is issued at least once a week.
Previously the lady of the house (I am the leading lady of my own life, at least, but in this house I am the understudy) was steering me towards a local Mexican business owner she took a fancy to.
Since I remained uninspired to go and check out Jose at his workplace after many weeks of prodding, I think she got the hint because now there is a new flavour of the month.
His name is Pickle and he has a lazy eye.
These are the primary bits of information relayed to me. Following this, I also learned that he is English (because I couldn't find an English guy in England!) and he is from the north. I am from the middle of England, so if you think of English land as a caste system like in Hinduism then the north is the Untouchable part. (If you are from the north then it is the south that would be considered the Untouchable area.) There is a considerable divide, not as politically strained as in Italy, but a cultural reality nonetheless. The people up north are warm like buttered crumpets, but the rest of the country doesn't care, because it rains more and the car exhaust sticks to the sandstone and makes everything look dirty.
Or maybe it's just me. I never said I wasn't a total snob.
Anyway, Mr Pickle is a Health Inspector. I was treated to one of his fecal tales of Health Inspectorism, from Mrs X, who raves about him. Apparently he bakes which is no good to me as baking is one of the feathers I was hoping to bring to the cap of any relationship. Everything I bake tastes like crap compared to when Robin bakes it, but whoever I am with will never get a chance to try any of Robin's baking while I am around to scoff it all so my baking-mediocrity may never be revealed.
The lazy eye factor is a curious one. I hear I had a lazy eye when I was six years old, but I don't remember it. I don't think I had a lazy eye at all, I'm just generally lazy and maybe that one eye just really couldn't be arsed. Not that Ptosis can't be peculiarly attractive but if I were trying to sell someone I might not have mentioned it as many times as Mrs X has referred to it.
By the way, 'Mrs X' comes from that nanny movie with Scarlett Johansson and it occurs to me it would be easier to use a moniker so I'll steal this one.
For one thing, I'm kind of unnerved and slightly insulted that Mrs X thinks I can't find my own man. I'm pretty sure if I were looking I'd be able to scare up all kinds of unsuitable specimens right here in Van (you know; musicians, 18 year olds, those with serious defective personality disorders - the usual).
Maybe I should just bite the bullet and say 'You know what? Penises are not my friends right now. Keep them to yourself.'
On the other hand, I may not need to get so dramatic. I accidentally brought up same sex marriage over breakfast. (It wasn't my fault, I went to see T&S again and Mrs X asked if they were married. Come again? I have never been to see a band before and been asked whether the musicians were married or not. It's the least relevant question I can think of. Maybe there are more single health inspectors she is taking it upon herself to hook up.). Anyway, I talked about how progressive Canada was with it's same sex marriage equality and then, lest it became apparent that it was a subject close to my heart, felt the need to cover it up by getting randomly political about other things like the fox hunting history at home and illegal dolphin hunting in Japan.
There's a good chance Pickle will bake himself into marriage sooner than I get the gumption to ask that the impromptu dating service be retired.