Little Girl collects snow globes; Apprentice Man collects those plastic pens where some object (usually an image of a boat or sometimes a cable car or train) moves up and down. On holiday we spend hours in tacky souvenir shops trying to unearth them. It has, I admit, become easier in recent years to find snow globes, even in those hot areas of the world that have probably never suffered a frost since the last Ice Age. Surprisingly, plastic pens can be more elusive but there’s nothing more challenging than browsing the shelves of shop after shop till we track one down.
My friend Constance was recently divorced, well 2 years 3 months and 14 days ago to be precise (she never fails to update me when we meet). Since then she’s started to collect boyfriends. She doesn’t find those in tacky souvenir shops so far as I know, though she seems to look everywhere else. Her latest foray is Internet Dating and she spends hours browsing pictures of man after man. Now Constance is an exceptionally good looking lady and I keep expecting to be introduced to a consort by the name of Tall Dark and Handsome. But no, Constance has developed a philosophy on life that says all good looking men suffer from character defects like those of her ex. As a result the only ones she considers worth examining for kindness, maturity and all the other attributes she's seeking seem to be at least ten years older than she is, wrinkled and toothless. She’s also convinced that green eyes are a sign of trustworthiness. Hence Constance keeps pairing up with rejects from national gurneying competitions sporting pea-coloured orbs where their eye-sockets are meant to be. Regrettably none of them has proved to be at all genuine and, one way or another, she still keeps getting dumped.
Until such time as Constance learns that mutual affection has nothing whatsoever to do with a stereotype created by a closed mind, I suspect that her love life will continue to keep me entertained.