February 9, 2006
Singles - Imperfect One and Only
Sometimes, just for fun, I look at the singles ads. I play a game of wondering which one I would respond to. The answer is a resounding zero. That's because they all sound too perfect, which makes me think they're lying.
When a man describes himself as "Looking for someone who can indulge their longing for fine dining, travel and theater," I suspect the reality is more like warm beer, dirty underwear and reality TV.
I have a friend who answered one of these "too-good-to-be-true" ads. They met for brunch and she knew right away it wasn't going to work out because he glanced at the menu and then said, "So, do you want to split an order of toast?"
She said, "Why don't you have the whole order, and I'll just split?"
I can't say I blame her, although in general I think single people have totally unrealistic expectations of perfection in a mate. I fixed up two friends of mine, and they seemed to be getting along fine. Then the woman told me that she didn't think the relationship was going to go any further, because he didn't own any classical CDs, just jazz. I told her she should be looking for a partner, not a clone. And there's nothing wrong with jazz: It's not like he had a collection of polka music! She could go to the opera with her girlfriends. Fortunately, she listened to me, and they are living happily ever after.
I don't envy anyone who's playing the dating game: It can be nerve-wracking and heart-breaking. As for me, I was never very good at the quality men admire most in women, which is keeping your mouth shut. If I disagree, I voice my opinion. I just happen to believe the world would be a better place if everyone would just do what I tell them. Plus, I only laugh at jokes I think are funny. So I guess I don't fit the standard profile of someone who wants to please men.
So there I was on a blind date one February, meeting a man who needed his Green Card, which is why we got married in April.
My friends thought I was taking a big chance, that he might disappear as soon as he got his papers. That was more than 40 years ago, and we're still going strong. Truth be told, sometimes we're going weak -- but at least we're still going. In this game of singles, you just never know.
My husband, Benni, seems to like me just the way I am -- even though we argue constantly.
If I say it's too cold in the house, he says "Oh please, you don't know what you're talking about."
If he says no one's dressing up for the party, I say, "Oh please, you don't know what you're talking about."
It's become a knee-jerk reaction -- even when it makes no sense. Once, I was telling some friends what a wonderful father Benni is, and he interrupts me, "Oh please, you don't know what you're talking about."
The Danish philosopher S?ren Kierkegaard said, "Marry or do not marry, you will regret it either way."
But the Larry David of existentialism was wrong. I do not regret it -- even though we have our differences. In my performances, I want to make people laugh, but here's a more serious song I sing for couples like my husband and me. We're like most married people I know -- including the jazz vs. classical friends I fixed up.
We seldom have heart to hearts,
We rarely see eye to eye,
But when we're hand in hand,
It's grand that he's my guy.
I like Broadway, he likes jazz,
He wants simple, I need pizzazz.
There's only one thing on which we agree,
I like him, and he likes me.
He likes home, I like out,
He's kinda soft-spoken while I tend to shout,
The future looks grim, our chances are slim,
But he likes me and I like him.
He washes the cars, he opens jars,
He keeps the books and feeds the cat,
He doesn't bring flowers or valentines,
But I've learned to read between the lines.
He keeps me safe, he keeps me sound,
I'm not myself when he's not around,
We're as different as two could be,
Still I love him and he loves me.
We're day and night; we're black and white,
Still I love him and he loves me.
The good news? When it comes to finding the love of your life, all you need is one.
Annie Korzen's latest show is "Straight From the Mouth," at the Acme Theatre every Thursday through March 16. 135 N. La Brea, Los Angeles. $25. For information, call (323) 525-0202 or visit www.acmecomedy.com/straight.htm.
Annie Korzen is a comedy writer-actress who is best known for her recurring role of Doris Klompus on "Seinfeld" and her humorous essays on NPR's "Morning Edition."