The day I finally had it confirmed that I am simply not interesting enough it came to me as a bit of shock, I must admit. I'm well educated with a brace of degrees, I read, go to the cinema, am reasonably au fait with the visual arts, an accomplished guitarist and speak fluent Italian. Not earth shattering but a reasonable CV I would have thought. There are blank spots, of course. My knowledge is totally lacking when it comes to football and in fact, sport in general, a factor that I do not consider a disadvantage, and some might consider a positive benefit along with my total lack of interest in soap operas, reality television and anything to do with Simon Cowell.
So how did this revelation come about?
I'd received a call from a journalist on a National daily newspaper. They wanted to do a piece about a web-based venture which I had launched a month or two before. We discussed the project in some detail. Satisfied that there was more than enough to do a piece, the discussion turned to taking a photograph. Are you married? asked the journalist. I replied simply no (not wishing to get into the divorced versus single discussion) after a pause she responded with Have you got any children? I replied no. There was a longer, more poignant, pause before she said with a slight air of desperation in her voice any pets? Fortunately I was able to say yes, though I believe that my cat, Archie would probably consider himself a co-habitee rather than in the deferential role of pet'. So with a sigh of relief she suggested a time for the photographer to call at my house. So my existence and my interest factor had been confirmed. But why do I need partner, offspring or pet to be valid'?
I was thinking that the era of people, in particular women being identified by the nature of their husband's work was long gone. Then I remembered a story a good friend told me some years ago, about a visit to the hairdressers. After the usual preliminaries about what you doing this weekend? where do you live? etc The hairdresser asked my friend the $64,000 question.
"So what does your husband do?"
"He's a nuclear physicist." she replied truthfully.
After a pause the hairdresser asked (innocently)
"So does he work for himself?"
I still maintain that when the proportion of people living alone has trebled over the last 40 years, it is anachronistic to define people according to their associations, but then I don't have to worry anymore, as I'm married now and my wife said she loves me, whether I'm interesting or not.... and I think that's alright......