Think back to the days of The Beatles, Ed Sullivan Show and some very questionable fashion trends… Then again… each decade has seen a plethora of questionable fashion trends… but I will refrain from launching into that topic (especially since my take on underwear-exposing droopy jeans stems from a generation of boys jealous that girls get all the attention when they bend over and expose their “pork chop”). Anyhoo, back to bee-hives, Go-go boots and mini-skirts.
How did someone meet the person they were going to spend the rest of their life with in those days?
In the “olden days” people met at school, church, work, or through family and friends. But now, in a society of divorced singles, full-time jobs and carting kids from activity to activity, there seems to be very little time left over to search for a quality mate. I could troll bars, pubs and clubs on my quest for the cream of the crap (because we all know that a relationship revolving around excessive alcohol consumption is a winning combination), or hang around the self-help section of a book store, or maybe even send a shiny apple to my child’s smouldering-hot English teacher. There had to be another way. A way that meant that, after a twelve hour day at the office, I didn’t have to spackle on more make-up, strap on a pair of four inch stilettos and stand in the melon section of the grocery store, licking my lips and giving men a “come hither” look with both my eyes and hips while they tested the firmness of the cucumbers.
I chose the winning formula of a freshly-washed face, pajamas and fluffy slippers. I chose internet dating. The question was – how could I take this on when my day started at 4:30 am and finished at 10:00 pm and was comprised of two workouts, a full day at work and then quality time with a pre-teen?
My coupled friends would tell me that I just had to get out there. But it’s not that easy. Life is busy (and expensive) in this day and age, so “getting out there” is easier said than done. I questioned how I could meet someone with my strict daily routine. I almost considered allowing my stalker admirer from the first floor of my building to cook dinner for me. I even entertained giving in to the enthusiastic security guard in the office lobby who ran to hold the door for me each day and always exclaimed, “Mmm, mmm, MMM!” every time I passed him. I stood strong though and, hesitantly, started walking down the road of cyber- dating.
Although cyber-window shopping proved to be quite time consuming/addicting, I firmly believed that if I went into it with a clear sense of what I wanted in a partner, I could weed out a lot of incompatible personalities and avoid morphing into the person who goes on a new date every night. I wasn’t looking to casually date – my goal was a life partnership. Although finding a life partner meant that I had to dip my toe in the water a few times before diving in, it didn’t mean that I needed to be the ‘divee’ to an endless string of avid divers. I chose to be picky.
The bottom line for me was that I needed to time manage my social life. So I consolidated my man-shopping efforts to the brief time that it took to eat my breakfast and then an hour in the evening to review those candidates a little more closely. Yes, sometimes my “quality” time with my pre-teen consisted of half-watching Jersey Shore with her as I sat at my desk in the living room; but I needed to make some sort of sacrifice if I wanted to find love. If that meant that Snooki had to do belly shots without me in the audience once in a while, so be it.
In the end, I got quite efficient with my search and learned a lot about myself in the process. I learned that, even though the candidate claimed to be a seasoned chef, “I can quit smoking for you” fell under the non-negotiable item of “non-smoker” on my list. I decided I’d rather spend my life eating Kraft Dinner and kissing my pillow, than eating filet mignon and kissing an ashtray.
Was I dooming myself to a life of solitude and syndicated episodes of Paris Hilton’s My New BFF in a room of giggling, multi-pierced teenage girls? I hoped not. One thing I did know for sure was that I was no longer going to accept sacrificing who I was for someone who didn’t deserve all that I am.