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Dating game

There are three things that I cannot do: drive, swim and be single.

When people say “I’m free!” I want to ask them, “Free from what?” Free from disastrous first dates? Free from Neanderthal dating dances? Free from the three-days-after-the-first-date phone calls? Free from scandale hookups? Free from lecherous pickup lines? Free from awkward silences? Free from roofied drinks?

I once broke up with my sweet boyfriend years ago after years of hitting a permanent domestic plateau and was tempted to go back to him just so I could sleep. Being single is tiring. Every night is a window of opportunity but usually a doormat of disappointment. Each fruitless morning is met with a hangover that could easily be mistaken for an aneurysm. Work suffers, head suffers and not to mention your swollen gin belly flourishes.

I’m no player. Never was, never will be. I totally wear my heart on my sleeve like how some people wear their heart on their navel (i.e. sexy time). I say I love/like/want/adore you way too fast with people I like and it doesn’t bother me that I do. I hate to quote him because he’s such a “fashion person cliché,” according to Karl Lagerfeld, but I’ll quote Oscar Wilde anyway: “Humanity will always love Rosseau for having confessed his sins, not to a priest, but to the world.” It may not be the art of the deal but it certainly is a bargain for your time. Extracted from Seinfeldian philosophy: If you don’t love me, then no soup for you.

Maybe it’s because I was such a happy child. No traumatic relationships except for one, which was very Black Snake Moan. Generally I’m Meg Ryan where a few cute glances and some clever quip stolen from a Joan Crawford movie usually gets me somewhere. People are just too neurotic and high-tech these days. They want all kinds of shit — like sometimes they wouldn’t date you because you’re too successful or they ditch you when you get fired or become too drunk in a party. Or if you like Toto and REO Speedwagon like I do. I can’t do professional cool guys, it’s too tiring to be hip.

I just can’t have guys drinking flavored martinis. It’s such a turnoff, but if he’s cute enough maybe I’ll relent. Game players, too. Perhaps I’m just too old to care about these dating dances. My priorities are overshadowed by my preoccupations. I have to worry about clothes, TV shows I haven’t seen yet to attend to commitment-phobes, it’s kinda so ‘90s, like Grant Shaw, don’t you think?

We’re not necessarily in the free-love age, or the romantic inertia of Singles and Reality Bites decade…it’s the hookup era. Randomly, sporadically or most often drunkenly, it’s nice to see people loosen up a little bit.

I have not cried over a boy in years. Not the heartbreaking, flatten-my-pillow-into-a-puddle cry while I listen to Wilson Philips. I cry when I’m pissed and that’s what Victoria Beckham shades are for (don’t knock it, it’s the best of the bug-eyed variety).

A friend of mine just broke up with her boyfriend of several years. She decided to celebrate the way newly single people do in our country (regardless of age, I must say): she got hammered at Embassy. After years of domestic bliss came a wave of domestic disturbance.

The next day she messages my friend, “I have two bruises on my leg and a bump in my head. How did I get home?” My friend simply answered, “Welcome to the single world.”

From empirical accounts, I have been described as “complicated as a girlfriend.” I really don’t know, I think I’m just simple girl from the south who loves her daddy too much. As a single person I’m a pure and crystallized form of disaster. In the wake of every soured relationship my reaction is not to lick wounds or mope and get fat, but to go meat shopping. As markets here go, there are not much choice cuts. How many times have I come home cross-eyed and drunk, giving my date the impression of intoxicated enchantment, when I was merely intoxicated?

I hate dating. There is so much pressure involved. How do you act impressive to the unimpressive? Or if you’re like me, how do you stop acting like an idiot in front of a guy you actually like? I’m like Keira Knightley in interviews when she talks about how thin she is, she just wont shut the eff up. I just start talking about stupid things like my pet’s toilet habits or how many carbs are in his plate. There’s a cue card there in my brain flashing: “SHUT UP!” and I can’t seem to seal it.

Drew Barrymore said that when you’re on a date you have keep your freak flag up. If he doesn’t get it, move on. I don’t know if I should be getting dating advice from Drew Barrymore, but there’s something comforting about not having to pretend. People say to me all the time, “Don’t scare him off!” But I’m Scary Spice, I can’t help it and at the end only the adventurous stay. Just the way I like it.

Group dates are even harder. You’re there with friends and despite the chitchat they’re all looking at the two of you. Two desperate single people who might just hook up that night just to make your friends feel better. I have a friend (I swear it’s not me) who ended up making out with her blind date because she couldn’t tell her friend that he sucked since he was her best friend. I used to ask people to set me up, but it has proven to be a bad spot in the democratic process of society.

Your not liking your blind date can translate to not liking the tastes of your friend. Or if it does go somewhere then ends up nowhere, which most modern romances are wont to do, then you end up blaming your friend for the mishap.

So the wisest thing to do is to create your own disaster.

Facebook: My gay friends have all these fabulous websites that allow them to have romantic interludes at any time of the day. A highly sophisticated Craigslist if you will. There’s a reason we straight people don’t have such networks. Well, none worth knowing at least. Heters are way too dramatic. I guess Facebook comes closest to macking online but it feels rather like high school, which makes your crimes seem more petty than they actually are. So you super-poke someone? So you drunkenly write on someone’s damn wall? Every evil intention is there but it’s masked as a childish gesture. It’s the perfect foil to the rotting moral compass of the 21st century. Just don’t add that relationship heart thing, it’s a little too revealing even for a harlot like me. And cheesy as well especially if you’re a boy.

Texting: This has completely changed the romantic landscape of our times. What used to be a sweat-inducing, stomach-turning experience of calling someone up and asking them out has become a casual vowel-free affair. “Wnt 2 hv drnk 2nyt?” Gross. I still have standards when it comes to texting. My friend Donald once said that he would dump a girl no matter how gorgeous she was if she texted or e-mailed like a T-100 robot. You’re out to have a delicious cocktail, not react to a global threat. It’s especially desirable when someone makes something as mundane as texting a treat for the senses.

I also hate graze texting. It’s basically forwarding the same vowel- free message to several chicks and see who are the takers. Homeboy is too busy hunting for booty to mind his p’s and q’s.

Bars are the worst place to meet guys, experts say, but I have met all my boyfriends there. So I’m not going to knock it. It’s a date-free zone and you can enjoy the company of someone without the pressure. I have a paranoia for roofied drinks... I blame Veronica Mars for this. This is perhaps the only reason I am a bit apprehensive.

It does happen, my friend once passed out in a club after one drink. What I don’t get is guys putting roofies on drinks and just watch girls pass out in the club, a jerk for the jerk. So I always buy my own drinks and by buy I mean I put it on Tim’s Embassy tab.

Being in a relationship is probably the most fulfilling thing. Like grilled cheese. However, being single has brought me more laughs than the entire run of Seinfeld. After all, we’re all fools in love with love.

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