Adelaide was a sucker for a good romance. And it was all romance on Shopping for Love.

Adelaide had nearly missed it, so involved was she in her pre-Christmas clean, but she had stopped for The Bachelor (Adelaide was quite worried he was going to fall for the tricks of that raven-haired Trish), and there she was at ten thirty with nothing better to do, and there it was. Shopping for Love.

Adelaide watched.

‘When are you going to bed?’ her husband asked which was typical, he didn’t have a romantic bone in his body, and probably hadn’t even given a thought to her present yet. ‘After this,’ Adelaide said.

She did not notice that he trundled off to bed.

What happens is two contestants get a couple of minutes each to rummage through an eligible single’s flat. Then, in just twenty minutes, the contestants have to spend one thousand dollars on gifts for the eligible single, present the gifts, and the eligible single will choose one of them for a date. How romantic.

Adelaide watched as the first single left her flat, and the contestants got a couple of minutes each to rummage through her flat. They all seem to have flats. ‘It must be set in Sydney,’ Adelaide thought. She took a sip at her tea. She sniffed. She had left it too long, and now it was going cold.

The single sits in a van outside her flat with a computer screen on her lap and watches what the contestants do. Goodness, one of them even sniffed at her knickers when he was looking through her drawers. You couldn’t get much more romantic than that, Adelaide thought. She ate another row of the chocolate she had tried unsuccessfully to hide from herself.

The single in the van laughed as she watched those guys do their thing around her flat. ‘How do they find the people to go on these shows?’ Adelaide wondered. It was something she’d like to do one day. Go on the tele. You know, just for a laugh.

And what a laugh as they race around the Chatswood shops. Look, they’ve even got the Christmas Trees up. Chatswood? Or is it Chadstone? Adelaide had heard the name before. Is that in Sydney or Melbourne? Adelaide wasn’t quite sure. But there was no sign of rain. ‘It must be Sydney,’ Adelaide thought it again.

Adelaide needed a cup of tea to wash the chocolate down. That’s the problem with a television program driven by product placement. It doesn’t have long enough commercials breaks.

When the eligible single chooses her date, the host tells them their compatibility score.

Adelaide smiled as she thought fondly of Dexter and Perfect Match. It had seemed so risque, so cutting edge, so 80s at the time. Adelaide had always wanted to go on Perfect Match. She ate another row of chocolate. She tried not to think too often of the 80s and how things might have been.

This was better than Perfect Match, because you got to see them talk about the date at the end of the show. On Perfect Match you had to wait for weeks, and you didn’t get to see them all.

How did the night end? asked the host.
‘We left the venue at different times,’ the girl said.
‘I think footy trip rules apply,’ said the guy. Then he gave one of those smirks. ‘Yeah, it was a good night.’
‘Well,’ Adelaide thought, ‘he didn’t promise to fall in love with her.’ Still, it was a pity. It sounded like he hadn’t even walked her back to her room. He looked like such a nice boy too.

Will you be seeing each other again? the host asked the other couple. The guy from that other couple was much more attentive it seemed to Adelaide. ‘Yeah. She handled her grog,’ he said.

Shopping for Love was over by eleven and Adelaide went to bed.