Ever since I became aware of the fact that boys didn’t actually suck (and didn’t actually have cooties), I’ve kept a list: Must be tall, must appreciate classical music, must not smoke pot and so on.
Given my penchant for writing and writing implements, I updated my list every few months from the age of 13 until… well, right around the time that I wrote that post about standards and started thinking that maybe I was being a bit too shallow.
But a lot can happen between 13 and 26, which might explain why my lists were always reactionary and never based on any real logic. If I’d just broken up with a man who didn’t care about religion, I’d aim for someone who was more “spiritually grounded” the next time around, only to realize that fundamentalist Christians weren’t really my “type” either.
I treated education, personal hygiene and financial stability (or lack thereof) the same way, hence November of 2010 (when I spent a month bouncing back and forth between Date #17, the workaholic from Northern Liberties, and The Man from Marshalls, who worked in defense contracting but thought he wanted to be a writer) and my double header a few months later (when I met an unemployed, couch surfing “relationship coach” for coffee and a Naval officer for a stroll through the zoo).
Can we say schizophrenic?
If my relationships were a clock, I’d be the pendulum, swinging back and forth from one extreme to the other with no hope of achieving equilibrium.
Over the years, I’ve come to accept the fact that I will never find a straight, tall, tap-dancing anthropologist who shares my love of all things Baroque, the outdoors and quasi-intellectual pursuits, but I’ve continued to fall—against my better judgment— for men who look better on paper than they do in real life.
Several months ago, when I was still very much enamored of one such bachelor, I joined my friend Date #6 for drinks at a bar in Headhouse.
“You need a list,” he said. “Then you won’t keep falling for these guys who aren’t any good for you.”
“I have a list!” I replied. “I’ve had a list since I was 13!”
“Then maybe,” he suggested, “it’s time for an update.”
Jess Killmenow made a similar suggestion this past fall, but I was still going through my anti-list phase. My I’m-going-to-stop-being-so-judgmental-and-be-open-to-the-universe-instead phase.
It occurs to me now, however, that there’s a difference between being open to the universe and choosing to ignore everything the universe has tried to teach you in the years since you realized that boys (or rather men) are good for more than cootie shots and tree houses of the NBA (No Boys Allowed) variety.
After all, we make lists for a reason. We make lists so we can organize our thoughts. We make lists so we don’t forget what we already know (and what we already know we know) and although most of my lists consist of “brilliant” thoughts scribbled upon bank statements that never seem quite as brilliant the next morning, lists can be a good thing.
And it’s high time I updated mine.
Thoughts? Obviously taller-than-me-in-heels goes without saying, but I’ll be tempted to list only those qualities which The Wedding Date already possesses if left to my own devices so your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
- Office Forts: No Girls Allowed Because of Cooties (work.failblog.org)
- Since when is “Friend” a verb? (katrichterwrites.wordpress.com)
- A Blissfully Groggy Monday Morning (katrichterwrites.wordpress.com)
PS: Check out my friend Catherine’s blog, Simply Solo, for a chance to win some cool stuff, including a pair of Manolo Blahniks, an iPad2 or a wine party for 20!