I am rubbish with girls.
I'm not sure that this has always been the case. When I was at primary school, I even had a girlfriend. I thought that Louise was the prettiest girl in the class (I gave her a handmade Valentine's card once when I was about 6), but I only really had eyes for Rachel Cook, and used to watch whilst she did handstands against the wall and showed her knickers to the world (which I am convinced to this day she did entirely deliberately... the little trollop). Ah, the joys of young love.
I've talked about this at length before, so I won't go into it again, but from the ages of 7 to 18, I went into private education, and didn't spend a whole lot of time with girls (I finally managed to get a proper girlfriend when I was 21).
As far as I know, I have never chatted up a woman in my whole life. Never. I don't think I've ever gone out "on the pull", either. Wouldn't know where to start.
Actually, now I think about it, I'm not very good at talking to women at all.
Maybe I shouldn't be so quick to blame it on my schooling. It's not just girls I'm rubbish at talking to; to be honest, I sometimes struggle to make conversation full stop. I can do it if I put my mind to it - you have to in order to be a functioning person, don't you? - but sometimes I just can't see the point. I have the magic talent of displaying on my face exactly what I think of someone and what they are saying to me. If I think you are a twat and that you are talking from your arse, I will look as though I think you are a twat and that you are talking from your arse. I'm probably more proud of this than I should be, as I'm sure that it holds me back from time to time. Hm.
As you might expect, all of this makes me hopeless at parties, and I'm the kind of person who dodges the other guests and heads off towards the bookshelves or the CDs so that I can have a good nosey.
I reckon that blogging is another reflection of that element of my personality. It's a way of dipping into someone else's life without really needing to go through all that complicated "getting to know you" stuff. You don't need any small talk. There's no expectation that you will have to talk to anyone. You can just pop in, read the most personal things about someone else's life, and then just move along. No messy interpersonal entanglements. No misunderstandings.
If you do decide to leave a comment, you are cloaked by anonymity and can take as long as you like to think up that pithy one-liner.
Except it's not like that, is it?
As a result of reading weblogs, not only I am better informed than I have ever been before, but I now care about the lives of people that I have (in most cases) never met. I worry about them and I want them to be happy. I'm interested in their opinions on any number of subjects, from poverty in the third world all the way though to what they thought of that album they bought last week. I'm not just a dispassionate observer. I look forward to reading new posts, I like to leave comments, and I love hearing what they have to say about what I've been jabbering about. Every day I get a little thrill when I see I have new comments, or if the comments I have made elsewhere have sparked a reply.
Only today, I laughed out loud as I read a review of "Sin City" - a film that I had been considering going to see - on Troubled Diva:
"Stunningly creative and beautiful cinematography, though. I'll grant you that. But a turd in a chocolate box is still a turd".
You just don't get that sort of review in the paper, do you? Short, to the point and saves a wasted journey.
I think what I'm trying to say is that I think you guys are great.
And some of you are girls too**.
I must be growing as a person, or some other self-help, therapy-speak nonsense. So thanks for that.
And speaking of self-help, therapy-speak nonsense, I have to leave you all to spend some time swimming in lake Me.
**This being the internet, I suppose you never really know for sure. Just so there's no confusion, you do all know that the photos I put up on here aren't actually me, don't you? I'm actually a 43 year old housewife from Luton with a rich internal life. )