Catch up on the series:
JIM from the gym is perfect. He meets all of my top five criteria for the ideal man, which I've revised. After all, when you've waited this long, why not go for gold?
My new top five are...1. Must look as amazing as Roger Federer in a white sweater. 2. Must have abs like Michael Phelps, the American superstar swimmer. 3. Must be as clever and witty as UK talk show host Graham Norton. 4. Must be proficient at assembling furniture (to the standard of an Ikea assembler). 5. Must own diving gear, a boat, and a jet-ski. (You never know when I might want to take up water sports).
You've probably guessed that I ticked off my challenge from last week, and rejoined Silhouettes Gym. Good humouredly, Jim accepted my apology over our missed coffee date, and we've been like a pair of turtle doves ever since.
The clincher for Jim and me was Frankie's next door neighbour's house-warming barbecue.
I asked Jim if he'd liked to come along, and after assuring him that I would actually be there, and not in the night noodle markets of Bangkok, he turned up with a carton of Canadian Club and Dry.
Well, the drinks were flowing and before I knew it, Frankie and I had set up her old slip 'n' slide in the neighbour's backyard.
So there we all were, Frankie and Leo (the good looking neighbour), Jim and me and Ted (Leo's hilarious brother), having the time of our lives when I belly-flopped on the slip 'n' slide and happened to get some Golden Sil dishwashing detergent in my eyes. Jim then leapt into action and attentively held my head over the sprinkler while affectionately washing the suds from my eyes.
It was so terribly romantic and gallant of him. I responded by squinting up at him and lovingly declaring, "Jim, that's the sweetest thing anyone's ever done for me." To which he replied, "Honey, I simply had to make sure you could see my superb abs." I know. So suave. So charming.
Yes, I can gushingly report that with a month to go I'm definitely on track to find the perfect partner by Christmas Day.
You'll be probably be as perplexed as I am then to hear that Frankie's challenged me this week to have a night at home by myself. Personally, I think she's still annoyed by my behaviour at the barbecue. It's not my fault. I'd had a dozen CC and Drys within the first hour.
IN LIGHT of Fionnula's top five criteria of the perfect guy, Jim gets a mixed report card from me. He obviously ticks criterion No. 2 in having abs like Michael Phelps, but I'm sure he couldn't rock a white sweater like Roger Federer, and he's certainly no Graham Norton when it comes to wit. I mean, who says, "Honey, I simply had to make sure you could see my superb abs"? Fionnula said he was joking, but I think he was deadly serious.
Speaking of jokes not going down well, Fionnula almost trumped Jim that night. Leo, the cute guy next door, and I were having some interesting conversations, when Fionnula yelled out from the other side of the yard, "Hey Leo, why don't you ask Frankie on a date?"
Literally the whole backyard of people stopped and stared. We laughed of course, but an awkward blanket of embarrassment had been thrown over any further interactions.
Anyway, it turns out he has a girlfriend in Sydney, so I adjusted my focus to perfecting my dive on the slip 'n' slide, and had the time of my life.
Surprisingly, Leo came over the next day and asked if Fionnula and I would like to head to Great Keppel Island with him and his brother, Ted. We all had cracking hangovers, and the sea air and snorkelling did us the world of good. I must admit, if Leo was not already caught, he'd be quite a catch. Although he definitely struggles when matched against my top five list.
Yes, in light of Fionnula revising her top five qualities in the perfect guy, I've also made some amendments.
My criteria are now the following...1. He must have a kelpie to play with my kelpie, Poppy. 2. He must have an unrestricted European passport, and a desire to spend six months of every year in Sicily. 3. He's preferably a clean-shaven masseur specialising in aromatherapy. 4. His personality must sparkle like a freshly opened bottle of Moet. 5. He must wear jeans that fit properly. I don't think that's too much to ask.
Anyway, I feel very comfortable with Leo, probably because I already know he's taken. Actually, being with him reminds me of decaffeinated coffee... it feels nice, but you know it's not going to go anywhere.
Meanwhile, I tell you who I think would be great with Fionnula...Leo's brother, Ted. He may not have rock-hard abs, but he was very quick to disassemble the slip 'n' slide the other night, has the wicked wit of Graham Norton, would definitely have the Roger Federer charm in a white sweater, and I heard him say he loves water sports and is planning to settle in Rocky. Perfect. If he had any more ticks you'd take him to the vet.
Unfortunately (sigh) she's besotted with Jim... which could be why she didn't take so kindly to my challenge to have one night this week alone. Poor Fi. If it wasn't Jim from the gym, it would be Mac from McDonald's or Col from Coles.
She doesn't seem to like her own company, and is soooo impulsive. That's one thing about this challenge, it's really showing up our shortcomings.
Speaking of showing up our true colours, mum's turning into a bit of a hippy. She spent the whole morning colouring in patterns of flowers and butterflies, and hardly raised an eyebrow when we spoke of Jim and Leo.
Quite frankly, I don't think she was listening at all. The only time she perked up was to issue me my challenge...to attend the Holistic Rocky Expo at the Showgrounds next Thursday. Mum has lost the plot.
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YOU can't go anywhere these days without falling over one of those mindfulness colouring-in books for adults. Anyway, I decided to join the club, and have spent today's session at Cafe Cath-ene happily colouring in.
In fact, I've become so new age that I've subscribed to the Blissed Out Rocky newsletter, and lo and behold they're organising a holistic expo out at the showgrounds this week. Well, it will do Frankie the world of good to get in touch with her inner angels... heaven knows they can give her more guidance for this Christmas Countdown than I can. Now, back to this book.
NEXT WEEK: Will Fionnula be able to bear having a night on her own? Can Frankie psyche herself up for the psychics? Find out next week.
Missed any columns? Catch up online. And for more humour from Anna Daniels, head to http://www.annamdaniels.com.