This week, CLAUDIA wonders why there are so many singles mingling at our most esteemed university.

Act I

Life, Sunday 3rd of March 2013

CLAUDIA: “I’m taking my coat off! I’m going to ensnare him!”

CLAUDIA re-applies her lipstick.

Tumultuous applause from the occupants of the Ladies’ Loo.

CLAUDIA exits stage left.

We see this week’s man of her dreams embroiled in a passionate dance-floor embrace with another, faceless woman.

Despite the stifling heat of hundreds of undergraduates grinding wildly, Claudia flings her coat over her shoulders and walks solemnly to the bar.

Her coat swishes in a manner reminiscent of Cruella, as she bats people out of her way à la Dowager Countess of Grantham.

CLAUDIA: “I’ll have a large pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea, no ice – just the one straw, please.”

Fade to Blackout.

________

There are many problems that fill the head of this author. Why are there no employment prospects for PPS students? What precisely is management consultancy? What will happen if, yet again, I don’t get a 2:1? Am I ever going to earn enough to pay off my loan? Why, in every photograph taken of me, does my nose look like it’s falling off my face?

And perhaps the question that occupies too much of my head, and too many of my friends’ heads: Why in the bloody hell am I still single?

It makes very little sense to me. Cambridge is riddled with thoroughbred, brain-filled beauties. And too many leggy princesses spend too much time wondering why they’re still limping home in heels at the end of an evening that required painstaking preparation, given that it ended in the usual cheesy chips with their girlfriends. Why, indeed, are the only men that are a constant in my life Uncle Frank and my DoS?

The women of Cambridge will go on to become CEO’s, G8 Leaders, Academy Award and Nobel Prize winners. Why, then – will someone please enlighten me – has the male population of this town not realised that they’re sitting on a gold mine?

If you’ve managed to snap someone up, well bloody done. Congratufuckinglations. Skip down King’s Parade doing a rendition of this and live happily ever after.

At this juncture, I’m going to avoid the inevitable Tab trap of using this column as an extended personal ad. I will, however, share nearly three years of experience on the locations I have scoured in my quest to make someone to fall in love with me.

The ADC: Affectionately known as the Gay-DC, this is where I began my Cambridge career. All the good ones here are sadly too good to be true, and are also trying to find a man with an appreciation of musical theatre. You can spend a fortune here, sampling the boutique gins of the week as you attempt to decipher whether there are any straight men left treading the boards. Inevitably, a few of them are. But they will almost certainly have been snapped up already, or will be complaining that they identify too much with Hamlet and Ivanov and are thus stir crazy and best avoided.

Sportsmen: If, despite drinking bans and ladsladslads culture, you manage to find a sensitive soul who is prepared to stop playing with his balls for a minute, then bully hooray for you. You are wonder woman. Because, as a friend so aptly put it the other day, “Why does owning a blue jacket make you God’s gift to womankind?” Indeed, ladies, if you have ever been branded Blue-Tac, then I salute you. Natural selection dictates that it is inherently normal for you to wish to procreate with a man that has bigger biceps than you have thighs. You are, after all, only human.

The Pitt Club: Full of choice individuals, these boys never fail to do anything without style. If you’re really lucky, you might get a post-bosh letter. But that will invariably be the last you’ll hear of the gentleman in question until you are summoned via pigeonhole back to Jesus Lane for round two.

Drinking Societies: Fathom this for one second, would you, dearest reader?

Child: “Daddy, how did you meet Mummy?”

Daddy: “Well my dear boy, Mummy showed a room full of people and unsuspecting waiters her good pants but it wasn’t until I smashed a poppadom over her head that I really knew it was love at first sight.”

I don’t fucking think so.

Perhaps if I’d spent more time sat musing over my battered copy of Leviathan in the library, then some tall, dark, handsome intellectual stranger might have snapped me up by now. Perhaps I should have used my terribly expensive Union membership a bit more and someone would have wanted me to be his First Lady. Woulda, shoulda, bloody coulda.

No more iffing and butting, if you please, gentlemen. The combination of boobs and a brain is deadly, but nothing to be afraid of. Indeed, – and without wishing to sound like an even more embittered old finalist hag – grab yourself a girlfriend, because these women are the best of the best. Every gal in this place is a catch, and the sooner you lot realise this, the better.

Otherwise, we’re all going to dance off into the distance, clutching our degrees and remembering what pricks you all were. Until next week then, my friends; I’m going to summon my gaggle of gays and my jubilee of Queens, and sing this loudly at them. TTFN.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0niwn2pOEno

  • Men of Cambridge

    Best advertising we ever paid for.

  • Tear jerker

    ah claudia this is great!

    X

    • Gazi Roo

      **For the record: I coined the term ‘Jubilee of Queens’**

      THIS IS THE BEST SO FAR!

  • Yawn

    Cambridge woman complains that her type are all so wonderful, ergo there must be something wrong with the male population of this place for not all falling desperately in love with someone. I can think of some other reasons why not many relationships seem to happen here:

    1) Colleges are ridiculously inward places, so a failed relationship ensures between 1 and 32 months of inescapable awkwardness.

    2) In comparison, social circles rarely transcend colleges, so it’s rare to really get to know people from elsewhere. And if you do start going out with someone, your friends are doing completely different things to their friends.

    3) It’s Cambridge, so when you’re each doing 4 late night library sessions a week, you can’t possibly have much time left for each other and your own interests.

    4) Terms are especially short, which means that for 25 weeks of the year, unless you live close to each other, you’re basically in a long term relationship.

    5) Let’s face it. Most of the people here were virgins when they came, and a lot will be when they leave. Years of swotting up for school exams means that maybe half of people have never had a sexual relationship – hence unprecedented levels of physical awkwardness when it finally might be about to happen.

    6) Or we could just blame men.

    • you’re

      very discerning. you wanna get a drink sometime?

    • Hmmm

      ‘For 25 weeks of the year…you’re basically in a long term relationship’. True, but probably not what you were going for?

  • Guy

    Why are there so many singles? Because half the people in this town (of both sexes) are narcissistic arses. Either they can’t deal with the fact that they’re no longer the popular/clever one, and act like neurotic twats as a result. Alternatively, the more infuriating ones still strut around like they’re God’s gift to humanity.

    Once again, a very good column, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them all so far. But I wouldn’t say this town’s a goldmine. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of good people out there, but also lot of self-professed ‘diamonds’ in need of a very severe ass-kicking from real life; too self-obsessed to be in a relationship. And sadly, particularly as you hit the older years, many of the better types have already been snapped up.

    Happy hunting!

  • Octavia Sheepshanks

    Just thought I’d remind everyone that I’VE GOT A BOYFRIEND.

    • YUH-HUH

      <3 <3 <3 FB Official since March 2k13 <3 <3 <3

    • Oli Thicknesse

      Ahem… Claudia, over here… I can cook after all.

  • FYI

    Desperation is deeply unattractive.

  • Erm

    Maybe if you want to meet a nice, honest guy you should try looking in the places which don’t attract (in order) Cambridge’s biggest attention seekers / douches / self-important, spoiled poshboys / douches (again).

    Sincerely,
    80% of the male population

    • Beg your pardon

      Not everyone who plays sports is a docuhe. Nor is everyone who goes on swaps.

      • but when you get people who do both you’re in trouble.

      • Erm

        I said that these kind of groups ‘attract’ that kind of person, not that they’re exclusively formed of them.
        I’ve met quite a few people who are good at acting, sport, or being rich, but choose not to associate with many of their own types because they prefer to have more down to earth and modest people as their friends.

  • Hobo

    You didn’t go home alone last Wednesday night though did you, Claudia?

  • Confused

    “2) In comparison, social circles rarely transcend colleges, so it’s rare to really get to know people from elsewhere. And if you do start going out with someone, your friends are doing completely different things to their friends.”

    Surely subjects and societies are the easiest way to meet people and transcend colleges? Unless you’re looking for someone who is in your year/college/subject and you have absolutely no out of college activities. Unless you are planning to invite all your collective friends to all your dates I doubt an issue friends doing different things is an issue.

    • Cookie

      You’re obviously a nerd

  • Sassy

    Incredible, sassy and fucking hilariously honest! brillo pads NEEEXXXXT

  • Gazi Roo

    Oh also remember if you’re still single at 35 I have dibs on your uterus

  • straight, single thespian.

    so i should hang around at the bar and wait to get picked up?

  • Blue

    Because we are actually a big deal

  • Oscar Pistorious

    Would love to see the response to a male version of this, pigeon-holing women based on one facet of their personality.

  • Hugo Cobb

    I’t seems that the tab won’t let me publish my comments into your hypocrisy Claudia. Suffice to say I miss you.

  • Claudia, why…

    …have you shamelessly copied this article: http://cambridge.tab.co.uk/2013/02/17/the-cambridge-dating-drought/ written two weeks ago? I suppose it’s the greatest form of flattery, but this one isn’t even a balanced or honest account for anyone who isn’t 1) a girl, 2) single, 3) desperate and 4)a terrible writer.

  • An insult

    to every girl in Cambridge, who is being tarnished with the same brush as this..

    • I’d like to

      tarnish you with MY brush.

  • Surveyor f Gold

    Looking forward to telling my many illegitimate children how many CEOs, G8 leaders, Academy Award and Nobel Prize winners I shagged.

    • Don’t be silly

      Nobody shags in Cambridge.

  • (The) Will Smith

    I thought what we had was special :(

  • Hmm

    It seems like you are just perpetuating stereotypes of the ADC, sportsmen, the Pitt and most vaguely, of drinking societies to avoid accepting that the reason for your being single might lie elsewhere…

    • Ever heard of

      Satire

      • Yes, and…

        No, I actually believe she has cleverly disguised these things she actually thinks as satire judging by her actions over the last two weeks. #Cobbtack #SmithyAKAGodsGiftToWomanKind

    • huny…

      …i’m sure you’re perfect, and i’m sure you’ve never stereotyped anyone in Cambridge, in fact anyone at all!!

  • Beverly Knight

    It’s actually ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’. Get your facts straight.

  • Anonymous

    CLAUDIA YOU ARE AMAZING

  • storm systems

    also, many singletons scare people off by being obsessed with finding a life partner. high pressure in the chatmosphere, all i want is blue skies yeah

  • sigh

    “Why, indeed, are the only men that are a constant in my life Uncle Frank and my DoS?”
    Because your standards are too high. You think men don’t appreciate you, really what you mean is the men you deem worthy of you don’t appreciate you.

    • So true

      Why are the ladies of Cambridge seemingly divided between:
      a) I’m God’s gift to mankind, and that nice but fairly average looking guy who’s interested in me can’t possibly be good enough (He hasn’t even got a blue).
      b) Low self-esteem after being nerdy and unpopular at school so I’ll get with almost anyone who shows an interest. And then spend the rest of my time lamenting how I don’t have a boyfriend yet.

  • What an

    original article, I’ve never read anything like this on the tab before
    http://cambridge.tab.co.uk/2013/02/17/the-cambridge-dating-drought/

    • What an

      original point, I’ve not seen anybody post that link in this comments section already

      • Anonymous

        Clearly a lag in comments being approved

  • Does anyone else like

    the inherent sexism in this article – if the men-folk decided to get off their bums, the women of cambridge would be so grateful to them that they would have no choice but to enter into a relationship with any man that may approach them.

    • My balls

      Amen to that!

  • old fashioned

    This article moans about a lack of relationships yet starts with an anecdote about how the author tried to get a guy she had met only that week take her home from a club and fuck her.

    • FABULOUS MONDAY

      how do you know she wanted to be fucked? also, you’re implying that the glory of the bonk can’t be a fabulous springboard for a relationship. Claudia you rule, especially in that new blue jacket I’ve seen you wandering around town in. Burger King??

    • Randy Marsh

      Oh! A nice Old Fashioned!

  • “People and unsuspecting waiters”

    Waiters are also people

  • The Truth

    Your standards are probably too high and you’d find it easier to find a boyfriend if you didn’t spend most evenings propositioning so many people on nights out

    • to you and your 7 likes

      ‘Your standards are probably too high’ — How can that possibly not be a meaningless thing to say? If they are YOUR standards then YOU set the height of them because its your choice. Do not meddle with other people’s standards. Get thee to a nunnery.

  • Fan

    YES! great column

  • voice of reason

    You are looking at this the wrong way. why do you consider the lack of an intimate relationship to be a deficiency? See it as a positive choice, and live for yourself, not for or off someone else. People who always define their identity in terms of their parents/spouse/&c. are losers.

  • Ciaran

    Nice one Jaz, another top quality article

  • Nice to Michu

    I love a powerless and restrained partner. but then, i also like rape…

  • Dave

    It’s not rape if you shout ‘SURPRISE!!!!!!’