ďLothario for dummiesĒ
March 1st, 2003
look at Larry King. Heís been married 85 times and if someone
can look at his crocodile face and find love, Iím sure that someone
out there can have the genuine courtesy to do the same to me.
Romantic dating in your
mid-20s is like a visit to the proctologist: Itís painful, humiliating,
and very necessary. Itís a tough old world out there, competition is
thick, and most women my age have more baggage than a Prada garage sale.
I havenít gotten around to settling down yet. I donít know if I ever
will. Iím not entirely against the whole idea anymore, though, and Iíll
be damned if I can figure out when this shift in thinking occurred.
Most of us who are still single after the age of, say, 25, have tremendous
issues. Or weíre just plain awful at dating. Pull up a chair, wonít
you? Letís grab a table for two to this melancholy disaster.
Kids or no kids? Iíve dated
people with kids before and itís difficult. As a matter of fact, itís
psychologically scarring. Of the two women Iíve seen, I missed the kid
more than I did the girl after we broke up. Youíve got to watch out
for that kind of predator. Some women are hunting in full camouflage
gear looking to bag a five point man of the house. Thatís not me. Donít
call me daddy, princess. Iíd prefer to have my own children and not
have to deal with esteem issues and so on. And I would like to have
children...sometime. Whenever I stop being one myself. Or, if that never
happens, whenever I can afford one. If all else fails, Iíll have kids
I never thought Iíd reach
a time and place where I found 30 year olds attractive. But maturity
enters the picture eventually. Iíve done the 19 and 21 year old thing.
It never lasts. Itís a lot of fun while it does but itís a bad idea.
Iíll get back to them when Iím cleaned out from a divorce, nurturing
a bald spot, and actually going to routine proctology check-ups around
the age of fifty. 19 year olds seem like babies to me. Theyíre too young
and innocent to foul up with all my bad craziness. Not to mention the
fact that a woman of that age would probably kill a man of my constitution.
I donít have the energy to keep up with a wild force of nature like
that. Not without a vigorous nap and a cup of coffee first.
Plus thereís the sad truth
that a lot of women out there are still around due to the fact that
theyíre stark raving mad. I picked a beautiful redhead up for a date
once and she was shit-faced drinking cranberry juice and vodka before
we even left for the bar. That should have been a big blinking warning
sign to the subconscious, but I went ahead with the relationship anyway
because Iím fond of seeing a good train wreck from time to time. I dated
another woman of 40 who was in pharmaceutical sales or some nonsense
who picked me up at a bar once. It was fun while it lasted. And even
another who was so good looking that I tried to look past the fact that
she was totally wrong upstairs. I attract the fun ones.
And a lot of us are just
awful at dating. Iíve never had much experience with it, really. The
majority of my relationships were longstanding friendships or cataclysmic
and sudden trysts. The courting process is almost completely alien to
me. I know how to open a door or pull up a chair or offer up a rose
to a woman, but the rest of it, the subtleties, the novelties, the sheer
finesse of it....Iím a stranger in a strange land. Grown up dating is
an animal of a different color. A quick trip to the movies and a fast
grope in a car are a thing of the past. Going to a kegger in the woods
and rolling around in some brambles...no more. There are meals and concerts
and picnics. There are walks and poems and long phone calls about religion
and politics. I have a romantic side, donít get me wrong. I just do
my best to strangle the life out of it before it gets too headstrong.
The patience is the tough
part. If Iím interested in someone, every day is like Christmas. Iíll
pine away to cheesy old love songs and bounce around with a spring in
my step penning fifteen page sonnets and trying to form the perfect
picture of the intended in my head dreaming of blissful scenarios. I
can barely contain myself. This is all well and good sometimes, but
never acceptable all the time. Women my age canít handle that sort of
thing. Most people arenít in the mood for that intensity. Women my age
want consistency. Stability. Financial largesse. And I suppose I can
see their point. The stars that shine brightest donít last that long,
or something like that. I never seem to make it to the stage where things
are cozy and established and regular. And thatís sort of sad.
All of my relationships
(if you can call them that) for the last five years have rarely made
it past the month mark. Itís a curse. A voodoo hex. I always find a
way to botch the whole arrangement and gum up the works. I have impossibly
high standards for friends and loved ones but what it really comes down
to is this: I want someone to do the crossword puzzle with me on a Sunday
afternoon. I donít even care much for crosswords, but that image has
stuck with me for ages. I want someone to look after me when Iím sick.
I want someone who stays the night even when they have to work the next
day. I want someone who understands my high tides and low tides. Someone
who gets that Iím distant and introverted six months out of the year
and so outspoken and sociable the rest of the time that I can draw an
entire roomful of people together and put them in stitches. Itís a lot
to ask. Which is probably why Iím still alone.
I never thought Iíd reach
an age where I started checking for wedding rings before I decided to
be interested in a person. The bar scene gets tired. I donít go to church
and I donít take courses at university. I work around a bunch of guys
and cater to a bunch of guys. I went on my first date in two years last
week and it felt good. Rusty, but good. Iím sick of hanging out with
my friends and their significant others. It sucks going out to social
functions and having the distinct feeling that people are going out
of their way to keep you from feeling like youíre a third wheel. Going
over to peopleís houses and getting to be friends with their kids. Iíd
rather not be the funny uncle down the road. Some days I feel like walking
around with a t-shirt that says Ďunattachedí. Thereís a big difference
between that and single.
Iíve got a childish streak
a mile wide. I watch Batman cartoons and read comics and play video
games and Iím almost thirty. I get drunk with the guys two days a week
and get loud and boisterous. I have a designated desk drawer for my
butterfly yo-yo. And I will never lower my standards. Thereís someone,
or some one(s) out there for everyone. Just look at Larry King. Heís
been married 85 times and if someone can look at his crocodile face
and find love, Iím sure that someone out there can have the genuine
courtesy to do the same to me. Thereís somebody out there. I just may
have to hire a private detective to find her, is all.