"To this day, I remain unsure which particular event in my life, led me to first explore the intriguing and bizarre world of internet dating.
Perhaps it was my mother’s passing, following years of incessant nagging regarding my single status. This was unfortunately made far more damaging, by her frequent and very public rants questioning the nature of my sexuality?
Maybe, it was the shock news, which brought my traditional Saturday night drinking sessions at ‘The Cross Keys’ with best friend Rod to an end. In December 2010, he dropped the bombshell that he was to marry the Australian barmaid who began working in the same establishment just two days earlier. His subsequent confession, that he felt embarrassed speaking woman whilst in my company, merely served to compound the pain.
So, with one or other of the happy couple routinely present, albeit on different sides of the bar, I felt it necessary to take my custom elsewhere. I had lost my closest ally and my solitary social outlet in one fell swoop .
The specific catalyst for change, does however now seem irrelevant. What is clear, is that during the course of a cider-fuelled evening spent home alone in March of 2011, I had bitten the bullet and decided to step outside of my barren comfort zone. I was to venture into the unknown, a frightening and mysterious virtual place called Findamate.com.
With Tesco credit-card resting against my ageing beige keyboard, I painfully negotiated page after page of ‘essential’ personal information, until just one tick box remained ‘I ACCEPT THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS’.
As my sweating forefinger hit the ‘enter’ key, I acknowledged that this was indeed a seminal moment. ‘Richard Fotheringham’ had been jettisoned from my body to be replaced in an electronic instant by ‘Marlow Man’.
His mission could not be more straightforward. He was required to identify a potential life partner within a ten mile radius of Marlow Bottom. If she held a driving licence and was prepared to travel, ten could conceivably be stretched to twenty, but with rising fuel prices to consider I was determined that this should not extend to thirty.
After much deliberation, I had reluctantly decided against the inclusion of the term ‘Bottom’ in my username. After all, Marlow ‘Bottom Man’ was open to the kind of misinterpretation which could easily have added weight to some of my late mother’s ill-founded beliefs as well as potentially incurring the wrath of womens’ libbers for other reasons.
My creation, had of course, existed for many years in my mind, like the big brother I didn’t have. He was suave, sophisticated and assured, consistently holding court, with local businessmen and land-owners. Women would hang onto his every word as he painted a picture of supreme knowledge and emotional maturity and security . He exuded confidence and sexuality and when he walked into a room, everything seemed a little brighter to those around. This man could influence opinion, provide guidance and re-assure young and old alike. More importantly however, he was capable of finding a partner at the drop of his stylish hat.
‘Marlow Man’ was to be marketed as a 36 year old…an acceptable reduction of five years applied to reflect my excellent genes. ‘Athletic and toned’ was surely achievable within a few weeks, with any current excess being put down to the stress surrounding my mother’s relatively recent passing . Best feature had to be the same blue eyes, which the dearly departed had warned would bring “trouble one day”. Height 5’10”, for which a Cuban heel would unfortunately be required. This was a necessary evil, if he was to appeal to the type of the skyscraper-heeled blondes he had regularly watched striding their way along West Street en route to Clayton’s Lounge, as he had patiently waited for his mother to return from her monthly coach trips to Oxford .
Marlow Man’s stated ‘interests’ included all sports, theatre, salsa dancing, museums, festivals and fine dining although his knowledge of the latter was based almost entirely on trips to Nandos for Christmas functions and his teenage nephew’s birthday parties.
This specimen was designed to be attractive to women on every level, irrespective of hair colour, age, body shape, profession, religion, pets kept, race or income.
And so… I…. aka ’Marlow Man’... was ready now…. and had been for many, many years….as Paddy McGuinness might say “it’s time to let the cakes see the icing”
Listen to the Adventures of Marlow Man as he tries to find himself a 'mate'
Marlow FM Breakfast Show every Friday @ 09:10
All episodes copyright @MarlowBottomMan & MarlowFM 97.5
Episode 01 (Aired Marlow FM on Friday 18 May 2012)
Episode 02 (Aired Marlow FM on Friday 25 May 2012)
Episode 03 (Aired Marlow FM on Friday 01 June 2012)
Episode 04 (Aired Marlow FM on Friday 08 June 2012)
Episode 05 (Aired Marlow FM on Friday 15 June 2012)
Episode 06 (Aired Marlow FM on Friday 22 June 2012)
Episode 07 (Aired Marlow FM on Friday 29 June 2012)
Episode 08 (Aired Marlow FM on Friday 07 July 2012)