Monday, September 29, 2008

The Men We Dream Up

I was about to throw in the towel for online dating and cancel my subscription to once again hit up the bars, clubs, and other cheesy groping spots of San Francisco. As I was on hold for a "end my subscription now before another 50 year old hairy man contacts me” representative, I got an interesting ping in my inbox. A seemingly normal, well-traveled man wrote me. He was in my age category, had ski racks on his car, spoke French, and what’s this…was a surgeon who had volunteered across the world in international medicine brigades? I immediately hung up the phone.

What is it about doctors that bring women to their knees? Even hedge fund gurus cannot compete. There is something alluring about a man that is not only intelligent, but also does something positive for the world. Perhaps it is because I really don’t…unless you count making peanut butter cookies for a barbeque as a good deed. Although you can bet that in my response email I am going to mention how I volunteered with troubled youth in the slums of Guatemala back in ’99. (This is a true story...kind of...I also spent a lot of time in Guatemala salsa dancing, which can also be considered being a good Samaritan depending on whom you dance with).

I am doing what I advise women to never do which is extrapolate one tiny first contact into a full blown relationship. I cannot wait to bring my new doctor boyfriend to cocktail parties. "Marcia, you know that sore throat you have been complaining of? Well, you should let my doctor boyfriend look at it. He is an expert. In fact he treated village dwellers with the random Morlionopoliosicko virus in southeast Asia for two years.” “George, is that a paper cut on your right hand? Let’s let my boyfriend doctor look at it to ensure it is not infected. You never know these days…while my doctor boyfriend was in the remote island of Hunu Hunu, he saved thousands of lives by merely disinfecting common injuries.” "Yes, Portia, my new doctor boyfriend not only saves lives but he also is on the ski patrol, writes a column for the New Yorker, and didn't invest in any funds with mortgage-backed loans."

Okay, I know this is ridiculous. Not only am I sketching out annoying ways to present (i.e., brag about) this potential guy to my friends, I have not even met this man and I already deem him perfect. Time to cancel my dating subscription now before this daydreaming gets the better of me.

Why is it that when women first meet a man (or in my case, read a two paragraph email), they immediately take one tidbit of information and concoct a perfect man out if it? Why can’t we wait patiently and let things develop (or not)?

As usual I poll the peanut gallery.

Mazz (single with multiple crushes herself): After being out in the dating cesspool for a few months, it’s easy to get excited about someone halfway normal. As long as the fantasy stays in your head (no more writing the new man poetry, Shoe Girl) there is no harm done. Crushes are a good thing—it is what motivates us to keep putting ourselves out there. Remember my fantasy with Gabriel, the bartender in NYC? It didn’t go anywhere but it did keep me excited to wear Manolos every time I went to The Modern.

Eva (married and concerned about my dating future): Yes, Shoe Girl, you do really need to stop writing poetry to men who you barely know. I am not sure letting your fantasies get the better of you is a good thing. Stay focused on your life, your two thousand sports and let the man slowly reveal himself to you before you plan your wedding theme song. Think of him as a flower unfolding…isn't reality more exciting? It certainly is more sustainable.

C.B. (single, male): Why do women do this? Men don’t. In fact after we send you an email we don’t think about you until we hear back from you. The we spend four minutes picturing you naked and another two minutes writing you back or calling. That’s it. Perhaps you should start a fantasy football league. Now there is a fantasy worth spending time on.

Sigh…okay okay. I’ll pace myself. No extrapolating. No fantasies. Although the one with the hospital gown is pretty darn good…

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