We've all heard the old excuse -- that there were more women than men in this burg.
Apparently not so.
According to recent stats, the balance has shifted and there are now 12,000 men left over after you count all the men who are currently hooked up.
Okay, right off the back, I'm questioning their police work.
The bean counters may have forgotten to ask one incredibly pertinent question: gay or straight?
Given the fact I once heard that one in ten men are gay in Ottawa -- I am sure the number is much, much higher -- I still believe there aren't enough single men for desperate women. Once you factor out the creeps and ne'er do wells, the homeless, the nerdy and the social awkward, I think it's safe to say that decent single women outnumber potential suitors a good three to one.
Odds aren't good. You know what I's saying.
I've met and married three men in this town. I met the first two at work. I met the other -- the one who stuck -- at the National Press Club after 10 years of being single and oh-so-afraid. During my single years, I met and dated a number of men whom I found quite unsuitable for reasons that they were a) on the down-low b) dating six other women at the same time c) stupid.
I met a few in bars -- a non-starter -- and many at the Rideau Tennis Club and at the afforementioned National Press Club. There were lots of single men at the Rideau, men who had money, often no kids and knew their way around the tennis court. But mostly, they were duds. I ended up dating at least three tennis pros and let me tell you ladies, they may be pretty but they're as useless as a three dollar bill.
So by about year eight, I gave up completely and that's when I met Scott. I wasn't looking for a hook-up; I'd known Scott for two decades but both of us were married through those years. Turned out, he got divorced, retired and poor and he was ripe for the taking.
He and I have been happily poor together for nine years and I have absolutely no regrets. I love him as much as ever, as do my kids. I can't think of a better, nicer man on the planet Earth.
Which brings me to my point.
Ladies, stop being so picky. There are lots of great men out there who would make wonderful mates. Trouble is, they have ex-wives, kids, financial problems, erectile dysfunction, bad knees, weak hearts and other maladies. They don't have RRSPs or big pension plans. But they are able to make a nice and hearty breakfast, serve you wine on the couch and tickle the ivories when requested to do so.
Women today -- particularly high achieving women -- are looking for Mr. Perfect and most men aren't perfect. The ones who are have 25-year-olds on their arms. Most of the great guys are sitting on the couch playing XBox online because they feel insecure and feel women expect too much.
My son, Stef, is a perfect example of today's modern young male. He's handsome, witty, smart and university educated. He works as a waiter. The only girls he meets are skanks so he spends most of his down time on my couch trying to get Scott and I out of video game dangers. Otherwise, he's at home playing XBox and watching YouTube videos.
He would be an outstanding mate for a nice girl but he can't find girls who aren't puking on the pool table and offering blowjobs in the bathroom.
Older men have it much worse.
Older men have had the shit kicked out of them and their bank accounts drained by their exes who own all the nice real estate and are currently trolling the internet dating sites, competing with nice girls, looking for another mark.
Most nice guys just want to be loved and have their wienies pulled on occasion.
Is that so much to ask?
When I met Scott, he was a beaten, cowering puppy who was just divorced from a woman who came at him with a hammer and made him sleep in the car. When he wasn't spending nights drinking beer and shooting stick at the club, he was swilling Scotch and sitting in the one chair his ex let him take out of his house to his horrible little apartment across from the garbage shoot.
He had just retired from CBC but had no money thanks to his ex's addiction to the shopping channel and the fact she didn't want to work, only smoke and drink tea.
He gave her everything to keep his sanity. But the man put up with her for an unbelievable twenty years.
Saints have died for less.
Dating was the last thing Scott wanted to do.
But I showed him kindness and the lace on my bra and pretty soon he was mine forever. I didn't care that he wasn't perfect. He was sweet, funny, loyal and loving -- and I realized that neither of my own exes had those qualities.
We will be together forever, or until the Heart and Stroke Foundation sends Death to our doorstep.
I'm hoping neither of us is the one in three. I want to live with Scott into our 90s, drooling, toothless and incontinent.
So advice ladies.
Look down the hall in your office, right there in the back cubicle. See if there is a nice guy there who's had his balls handed to him a time or two. Bring him a Sausage McGriddle and coffee and offer to go dutch on a date.
Be proactive. And keep your eyes peeled for the recently divorced.
When you do find Joe Average, keep the bar low -- at least until you get to know him.
Tell him you will never hurt him and forgive him his trespasses.
Buy him some new underwear and you're good to go.