There was a time when putting expiration dates on food products was not the norm. We had to guess how long we could keep perishables in the pantry or fridge. But now milk, yogurt and even beer have a ‘best if used before’ date, which has saved me, more than once, from poisoning myself.
So wouldn’t it be great if the same technology could be used to determine the shelf life on a new relationship? At least we’d know when it might begin to turn sour or if, like a Twinkie, it would never get stale.
Think about it.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict the half-life of a romance before you invested in all the new lingerie and got your hopes up, as well as the hopes of your girlfriends?
Since my divorce, I have become the Sherlock Holmes of first dates. I examine the subject, trust my instincts, make a plausible assumption about the man’s character and level of sincerity, and then, on most occasions, run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. (I guess I still have a few trust issues.)
And if you want to take first-date torture to a whole new level then you must try speed dating, the musical chairs version of the fixer-upper. Dozens of single women perch at individual tables while dozens of single men make the rounds for two-minute interviews in the hopes of meeting “the one”.
It must be the brainchild of that dying breed: true believers in love at first sight, or at least chemistry at first sight. But even thinking about it puts my brain on sleuth overload. Honestly, at this point in my life, I’d be happy to date someone I wouldn’t be mortified to be seen with in public. It’s tough out there.
That brings me to those well-intentioned friends of mine who have tried to fix me up with ‘the perfect guy’ one too many times. I know they mean well, but the problem is that they are using a whole different rating system than I am. After all, these over-eager matchmakers are always happily married and just want everyone to enjoy the same kind of wedded bliss they’ve found. Plus, since your divorce they never see you at dinner parties because you have become the odd woman out. We all know how scary a single woman can be in a crowd of couples! So what can those well-intentioned friends say to a divorcee except “I know this great guy…”
To me, a great guy would come with an expiration date, at the very least, if not a friggin’ guide book and comprehensive bio. There it would be; past relationship snafus and all, laid naked in front of you so you wouldn’t have to make the mistake of seeing him naked and then learning his secrets.
And what about his language? Does “Yes” mean “No”? Does, “I’ll call you” mean “Thanks, but no thanks!” And does the phrase “I’m not looking for a commitment right now…” mean he’s a Serial Bachelor, Master Breaker of Hearts or a Commitment-Phoebe from the Zoo of Forgotten Men? Or, does it just mean he wants to sleep with you and God knows who else?
There’s absolutely no way to know. Sure your girlfriend fixed you up with her husband’s poker buddy, but has she ever dated him? Has he even ever been to her house for dinner? And the biggie: is this guy a rebound-fixer-upper that four of her previous friends rejected?
It’s all so complicated that it makes me want to spend my Saturday nights with my dogs, a pint of Hagen Dais Chocolate Sorbet (no fat grams!) and plenty of time to catch up on everything I have Tivo’d during the week. And that is probably right where you’ll find me, until a man dressed in a Twinkie wrapper comes to call.