| 11.4°C Dublin

You've got male!: How many hot mails does it take to bring on a very serious bout of girl flu?

It's probably not the approach my employers would like me to take, but I do all my email between nine and five.

I'm too afraid of the internet taking over my life, so, unless there's something going on that can't be organised by text, I keep the computer blind and dumb of an evening.

So I had no idea that I was the most popular girl on the www until I booted up at the job. I had 25 mails in my inbox. I made some noise, enough to draw the attention of a co-worker, which I covered up something rapid when I saw those 25 mails had all come from the dating site.

My hand shook as I moved my mouse. I moved closer to the screen, to shield what was on it from my workmates. Of all the things I shouldn't be doing at work, checking internet dating email probably comes a close second to downloading porn. I should wait. I should wait until I get home. I shouldn't do this now.

How could I not do this now? There were 25 men out there who wanted to know me!

Just one, then. Just pick one. One that will get me through the day. It looked like my moratorium on home-time internet was about to end.

I click on one, randomly. Crap! This email is only an indication that something awaits me in my inbox on the site. Which, at the end of the day, is a good thing, as the fellas on the site don't have my personal address.

All this email says is that TDH2000 has sent me an email, and to retrieve my email, I have to log on. Way to get traffic, lads.

TDH! Tall dark and handsome? My spine is tingling, along with a few other parts. Hmm, wonder if any of the other mails are from the other 1,999 TDHs . . . I hide the window and scan the office. No one is paying attention to me. I got loads of attention when I had to take annual leave to get over my break-up, but that was a while ago, and things are back to normal. No one wants anything from me for the moment. I am left alone.

My fingertips hover over the mouse; they feel shivery, like they are going to faint. There are 25 responses to my profile, and any one of these fellas could be The One. As I sit there and contemplate this notion, six more emails come through.

I become unwell right before lunch, and hurry home to . . . rest.