Friday night's encounter with the blue-collar artist's son did throw me into a pondery over desirable characteristics for future partners. Obviously there's got to be some adoration and attraction, but that in itself is made up of a a whole lot of subconscious cues about the type of qualities another person has, all fed through some sort of encultured filter. For example, tradesmen (a more Kiwi appellation for the Australian term "blue-collar" workers) are great potential partners - they've got money, they're smart, they're usually pretty fit, and they don't spend every single second they're not at work thinking about work. So far so good. But then, how would the average tradesman feel about women like myself with two degrees, a couple of jobs and regular stints in the office at the weekend? Add an unfortunate tendency to deploy items of lexicon that aren't in common usage while in conversation with new people and there are some obvious red flags for anyone with a pragmatic orientation to life. And then that nasty cliche of the working class man-alone, spending more time at the pub than at home raises its proverbial head, and I'm left thinking, yeah, well. Maybe not.
Playing statistics on this kind of thing is a mug's game - if my Ponsonby encounter reminded me of one thing, it's that people are always more than the sum of their culturally-coded parts. However the exigencies of dating, especially in a town the size of Auckland, mean that success in mating must most often go to people who are ruthless in their weeding of potential partners, right from the beginning. The blue-collar artist's son declined to take my number on Friday night, but I was happy with that honesty. No one wants to sit around with the sound of the phone not ringing in their ears. And in truth, he seems like a truly decent person (not so much the man-alone type at all) but I think we might have used up most of our conversation at the pub.