Lately, my married friends have been telling me that I'm too picky. All of these guys, they tell me, are just fine. They are fine, and I am flawed in that I seek perfection. I am unreasonable and should just settle down and get it over with.
Oh, gee, thanks for the encouragement.
I try to remind myself that the people who tell me I'm too picky are probably thinking that I have my choice of wonderful guys. Why shouldn't I? I'm wonderful! Surely the wonderful guys are swarming around me like drunken bees to honey. Surely, it's all my fault.
Of course, when I actually am dating someone, these same well-meaning friends groan and sigh and roll their eyes in pity whenever I forgive my fella for some fault (real or imagined) that is vexing me that day. Truthfully, my biggest mistake in relationships is staying in them too long once things go bad. When you love someone, you have to allow them their mistakes, tolerate the stupid small little things, and stick with them. At least, that is what I tell myself. My friends tell me to DTMFA instead. "Go on! Get back out there! The love of your life is just waiting for you! The Best Guy in the World is looking for you RIGHT NOW. Hie thee to the Internet, and jump on that online dating horse once again! You'll never find someone better while you are with this loser!"
Oh, gee. Thanks for the encouragement.
I remind myself that my friends have generally been out of the dating pool for a while. They forget. My single friends never nag me because they know what horrors lurk in the depths of that pool.
As an example, I'm going to tell you about the shortest date that I've ever been on.
I read his profile. He seemed cute, educated, and nice. Not perfect, but neither am I. I met him for coffee. We chatted about work; he had a fascinating and sexy job as a statistician. (What? I don't know what's wrong with you. I think that is super hot.) We discussed coffee. We discussed food. We discussed where we grew up. We discussed my dog. We discussed his favorite guitar. We discussed literature, music, and politics. We discussed our common love of hiking.
"When you say hiking," I said, "do mean that you like to take long walks or that you like to go mountain climbing with an ice pick? Because I've discovered that there are two camps on that one."
"I'm more of an ice pick guy," he said.
"Ah. I'm more of a long walk kind of girl," I said. "I usually walk with my dog, and she's getting older. If I do a really demanding hike and she gets injured, she's too big for me to carry back to the trail head."
"Oh, yeah. That would be inconvenient!" he said. Then he held his hand in the shape of a gun, and pantomimed holding the gun up to someone's head. "BANG! Sorry dog. Got to get home." He laughed.
I did not.
I turned my head sideways and looked at him carefully. "Did you just make a joke about shooting my dog in the head?" I asked.
"Um. Yes?" he said, holding very still.
We stared at each other briefly.
"Alright, then," I said, standing up. "I need to be somewhere...where you aren't." And I left.
Perhaps it is all my fault. Perhaps I am too picky. But, you know what? I'm actually okay with that. Even if I'm the pickiest girl in the world, when it comes to who to date, I am the one who gets to pick.