Dating in the suburbs.

I love the idea of meeting men. Slipping on a pretty dress and strappy sandals, a little lipstick and a splash of perfume.

Having my hair washed, smelling like a strawberry, and then, heading out into the big wide world, to hook up with somebody new.

Exciting.

Exciting, but also – such an effort.

The reality of driving to a date, after the waxing, moisturising and perfuming, is a drag. It’s not that easy to change gears in heels. My dress gets crushed and crumpled underneath me in the car and I come close to death every time I take to Johannesburg’s roads. It’s tricky giving the finger, while keeping the window closed for the air conditioning.

And it’s really hard to text and say ‘I may be a little late’ when taxis are pushing in to my lane.

So on my dating profile, I am very clear that men, in this big wide world, must live within a five kilometre radius.

Not only am I a snob and would prefer to meet a man from my area, but I would never dream of driving out to Alberton. Or, even worse, Centurion.

Imagine! The horror.

The long journey.

The moustaches. The paunches. The odd hairstyles.

The conversation. And the sideburns.

Perhaps I’m a little mean. Because there are some nice men from those areas. And men in my area have paunches too.

The truth is, I am just very lazy. And my laziness has led to many a problem.

Laziness has led to the loss of lust.

Laziness has led to the loss of liaisons.

And laziness has led to the loss of many a good lay.

Yesterday morning I met my girlfriends for breakfast. The local coffee shop. It felt like running the gauntlet.

‘Why are you blushing?’ Sara asked me.

‘Because Parkhurst is sitting outside.’ I said.

‘Who’s Parkhurst?’

‘The guy I had dinner with last Saturday. It didn’t go so well.’

‘And the guy who just called you over, the one you tripped over and pretended not to see?’

‘He’s Blairgowrie. Check out the facial hair…’

‘Ah’, she said. ‘What about him, in the white shirt, you stopped to chat to him ?’

‘I think he’s Saxonwold’, I said. ‘I’m not sure. I’m not even sure if I dated him. They all look the same’.

I was very clear about the guy who was sipping tea at the corner table. He was my ex husband.

He was not alone. And he was smiling.

Behind him, nursing a cappuccino, sat my ex lover.

At least he looked miserable.

I was so uncomfortable I asked my girlfriends if they minded moving to the next door coffee shop.

No problem. Because they felt uncomfortable too. They’d also gone through most of the men.

Next door was no better.

I saw Rosebank, Delta Park and Westcliff. All together at one cosy table.

Sara had slept with Rosebank, Lucy had dated Delta Park and well, I’d kind of done Westcliff.

So much for the five kilometre radius.

It was a disaster.

I have no choice but to extend my low mileage rule.

I’m going to have to put on flat shoes, wear a dress that doesn’t crease, wind down the windows of my car, and put the music on full blast.

Because…

Hello Alberton, hello…

driving in heels

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