Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: First Catch Your Husband: Adventures on the Dating Front Line

First Catch Your Husband: Adventures on the Dating Front Line
First Catch Your Husband: Adventures on the Dating Front Line by Sarah Bridge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had a date with Sarah Bridge during her search-for-a-husband-cum-research-for-her-book. She didn't even reply when I thanked her for a lovely evening. Even more humiliatingly, I wasn't fascinating or vile enough to warrant a mention in this book, which charts her late-thirties quest for a man to supply gametes and to fart on her sofa during major sporting events for the next forty years.

I mean, I earn over twice the average salary in London and drive a BMW – both of which I'm sure I mentioned on our date – so what's not to like? So I bought this book in a natural spirit of spite and schadenfreude, hoping her journey ended in misery, degradation and defeat. Oh, and to find out a bit more about Sarah herself, since I was too busy delighting her with stories about myself when we met. She might have said something about herself, but I wasn't really listening. That's how it works.

You've got to admire her stamina as she charts her demented journey through internet dating, speed-dating, holiday romances and single-themed evenings, weekends and holidays. On the way she meets men who vary from the gorgeous to the repulsive, while her quest becomes obsessive to the point of desperation.

Sarah's (yes, we're on first-name terms; do keep up) book is gently humorous, exasperating and perhaps a bit long, but it's still a fascinating insight into the infuriating world of modern partner-hunting (not 'dating' – that's an American thing; we agree on that). Some parts, such as her trip to Greece, are poignant, engaging and funny. Others, such as her womyn's empowerment weekend, where women are supposed to have their confidence strengthened by talking about their yonis and being institutionalised as eternal victims of the patriarchy, are frankly terrifying.

Sarah was one of only two women I met through artificial modern dating methods, and her experiences make me glad I never went further. The self-pity is (hopefully) exaggerated for humorous effect, even if I couldn't help smiling when she complained about men who didn't have the courtesy to say why they refused to return her messages.

And her book is better than mine, in that it's a) finished and b) been published.

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