The Dating Thing…

Hard to put yourself out there for scrutiny, possible rejection. No reason given, you usually never find out, what fluke of speech, character, appearance, has taken you out of the running.

Then there are the ones you have run from, withholding your opinion of their quirks, or secretly visualizing Edvard Munch’s scream, as you listen to the tales of bad marriages, bad break-ups, could have been lives, or wonder what the mental health status is of the narrator.

What age you are dictates the format of the “date” itself. A quick “hook-up” or coffee or drinks, the invitation to go back to their place, or vows of undying attraction, out of sync with your real appearance, even if you have tried to optimize with your best outfit, your most intriguing persona.

Maybe cultures where family arranges the match are easier, choice removed, with the folks who know you at your worst deciding who you will match up with, removing our construct of love from the process, and taking the practical route of some shared values and background, obedience to the rules, as the real foundation.

But dammit! Every fairy tale, every good movie, every cultural construct we have, speaks of passionate attraction, quests and challenges, a dynamic of opposing clashes, melded eventually into a gooey chocolate kiss of undying love and lust. We want that. We need the belief in the unreal, and don’t want the illusions spoiled with dirty underwear, morning breath, flaws in character or damaged goods.

So, how do we make dating bearable, instead of an Internet carousal of arousal, refusal, alienation, and a more enhanced state of desperation, loneliness and disenchantment?

Easy. Get a cat, get a dog. Get several. Get several of each.

It may not be a gooey chocolate kiss, may not last through our lifetime but it is a true love, and a fur husband, or a four-footed wife will never let you down, never disappoint, never betray trust, won’t steal your savings, lie to you to get a green card, take drugs or drink, or be scornful, sarcastic, cold or disparaging. These partners await our attention, and are present in the moment. A pure love, untainted by ego, though the need to please these spouses does entail regular feedings, snacks, walks (if dogs) litter boxes (if cats).

Am I too cynical here? Having had some real love, and some passionate affairs, relationships of some length and duration, and having become a “failed romantic”, and all is implied by that phrase, I don’t think so.

We seek these myths like moths in a windstorm, always at the mercy of time and place

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