Monday, September 17, 2007

Dating Malaise ...

Before we go any further, just let me assure you that I'm writing this post purely for my own amusement, not to truly bemoan the dearth of datable men out there, OK?


Last week, Doreen forwarded an e-mail to me featuring a new book (which I won't name because I try not to advertise that which I have not purchased), the premise of which is that we womenfolk should always be dating four men at once.

Yes, four men. Yes, if you're female and single, you're thinking, "I can't find one man to date. How in holy hell am I supposed to find four?" Supposedly, the answer is in the book.

The author is some sort of math person and she's devised some mathematical method, if I'm understanding the sparse content on her web site correctly, to essentially pit the boys against each other, the thinking being, if he's just not that into you, he might be more into you if he knows other guys might be even more into you. Because you, of the Adam's apples and penises, are a simple lot, apparently, and it'll bug you if some guy has something that you could have had and you'll rend your shirts and beat your chests and women will swoon.

Or something like that.

Dave once said to me that he didn't fully understand what it was like for women in dating situations until he started watching Sex and the City. Yes, bless you, Candace Bushnell and Darren Star and Sarah Jessica Parker for shining a light on the plight of the single girl, because for every Aidan there are a hundred Turtletaubs. "Do you like this shirt? My ex-girlfriend bought it for me." For the love of God.

Yes, the gene pool is shallow and the pickin's are slim. Maybe it was all the talk of The Sopranos leading up to the Emmys, but I found myself remembering one particular would-be suitor this weekend. Allow me to paint a picture: Think George Costanza meets the mafia, balding pate, receding hair slicked back with some sort of grease, a bit of a leer on his lips, and a pinky ring in view. Allow me to mention, too, that my profile on used to say that I'm drawn to men who can express themselves well.

And now, allow me to reveal the five magic words he offered as love bait: "You're stunning, I'm interested. Tony."

I say that to myself in my best goomba accent and crack myself up.

And then there was the man who looked a bit like Simon Bar Sinister with a comb-over whose handle was (is?), I kid you not, CareBear Eyes, who told me in his opening salvo that he'd enjoy brushing my hair and included this bit of poetry: "We would be like two vases of water poured into one larger more beautiful vase, in which we would be one."

Or cripplegeek, who wrote: "hi. ur tall. i bet you didn't know that."

My friend Eddie once told me that when it comes to men, I'm simply too picky.

Au contraire, mon frere!

It's not that I'm too picky. I don't expect of anyone else anything that I don't embody myself. And hey, I've been single for this long; I'm not about to settle. So, yes, I want a man who's intelligent and funny and kind and thoughtful, who can express himself well (words are my life; anyone who's going to be part of my life needs to be able to, oh, spell), who has a sense of who he is and where he's going. He should not live in his parents' basement.

I once dated a guy who didn't know what a cappuccino was. We didn't last. Not that that's why we didn't last, but it sure didn't help his case. I don't need to date a diplomat, but I need to date a guy who knows from a cappuccino. Really, it's not asking for much.

But on the off chance that there are any handsome diplomats reading this post, allow me to say:

"You're stunning, I'm interested. Beth."


Blogger Mercurie said...

I think if an individual is reasonably intelligent, they are going to have trouble finding eligible men (or women, for us guys). I've concluded that the average person isn't that bright, and not being that bright. If one is an intelligent person (as you are) and he or she wants to date intelligent people, then he or she is naturally going to have problems finding dates. And then when you factor in such things as whether or not a person is kind, gracious, thoughtful of others, et. al. it ends to cut the dating pool down to an absolute minimum.

I don't think that in wanting someone who is intelligent, thoughtful, and so on, men and women are asking too much. The worst relationships I have had were with women who lacked intelligence--I learned the hard way that looks aren't everything. I think it then pays to be a bit picky when dating!

BTW, do you have the number of the guy who looked like Simon Barsinister? I want to fix him up with my sister....

7:19 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey, mercurie, drop me an e-mail and we'll see about fixing your sister up with Simon.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous cannon said...

Why are Americans such pragmatists, even about love? We want a coffee, we go to Starbucks. We need a loaf of bread, we go to the local mega-mart. We want a relationship, we end up at eHarmony. Superficially analagous, but a relationship isn't a commodity. Why can't it be enough to hang in places from time to time where like-minded folk show up, people who--gasp--might even share our values, whether that be a Habitat build-site or a church, a jazz-club or even stuffing envelopes (or writing copy) for a favorite candidate?

And, no, it's not a rhetorical question.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

At least he didn't say "You can has cheezeberger". ;-)

11:53 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Welp, cannon, I've long held the belief that the universe is not so benevolent as to put the love of my life within five miles of my house.

Note that I am no longer on a dating site (eHarmony - ((shudder)) ), but I work from home, which means I don't get out in the world very often. Granted, I can make an effort to get out in the world, and I do, but it's still a pretty small sphere I'm operating in.

Your point is well-taken, though. Surely it makes sense to attempt to meet people while doing something you love to do, as you'll have that in common right off the bat.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Based on those jokers, you are NOT anywhere near too picky. And i am sure you know that too.

I feel for you being in that dating limbo- it kinda sucks. The one thing I have found is that most of the advice in those books -the ones that give women the secrets to winning a man- are absolute trash and would only get you the kind of man you wouldn't want to keep.

Hang in there; there must be intelligent life out there somewhere!

5:42 PM  

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