August 16, 2001
SJM Seeks Perfect Woman
Joanne, my relationship advisor, insists that the source of my problem is that I don't know what I want. "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there," she said. I brought Jo in after reading that Lizzie Grubman and Gary Condit have hired "crisis managers" to help them through their times of need. My particular crisis is a little less immediate -- I just need someone to love -- but I always say: When in doubt, call in a pro.
Joanne said that I was too fickle, but I take exception to that characterization. Fickle, according to my Webster's dictionary, means: changeable, especially regarding affections or attachments; inconstant, capricious. Anyone who knows me would disagree. I am as constant as the stars above, and the older I get, the more fixed, rigid, and utterly without caprice I become. I may vary the object of my affections from time to time, but I myself, remain remarkably unyielding. If anything, I ought to be more fickle.
In some ways, it's easier to identify the things you don't like in a person, and use those traits to whittle down the list of prospects to a manageable number. It may not be an exact method, but I tend to take the approach that you can disqualify a candidate for the things you simply cannot abide. Any one of these things individually could be forgiven, but if a woman has two or more in any combination, let's just shake hands and call it a day.
So, what do I want? Hmmm....Let's see....I think it's very important that she speak English with reasonable fluency. I seem to be casting as wide a net as possible, while excluding most of the world at the same time. For simplicity's sake, she has to live in an adjacent area code -- geographical desirability further narrowing the search.
No extremes. No drunks, gluttons, religious fundamentalists or vegans need apply. She shall not be indigent, flatulent or otherwise unusually odoriferous. She may not smoke during daylight hours. She may have pets, but no more than two. The same goes for children and ex-husbands.
She can't work as a prostitute or terrorist, or be involved with cock fighting. She should not currently be married. She cannot be a convicted and/or escaped felon, or a Nazi sympathizer. I'm sure you'll agree that it's important to maintain exacting standards like these to weed out the riff-raff.
Certain things are matters of taste. She must not listen primarily to rap, country, heavy metal or Streisand, nor may she like Steven Seagal movies. She can't wear caftans or drive a truck. She may not have more than one small tattoo (placed somewhere discreet), nor any piercings in the middle of her head. Toe ring = good; nose ring = bad.
A woman can't be any of the "Seinfeld" things: low-talker, close-talker, high-talker, a nudist, or a "Yada Yada." She can't have man-hands, eat her peas one at a time, or have ever dated Newman.
In Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," confirmed bachelor Benedick considers the charms of fair Lady Beatrice: "Till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God."
I couldn't agree more, Bill, but she can't be a redhead, whether it pleases God or not.
There's a bad old joke that says the perfect woman is a mute nymphomaniac who owns a pizza joint and a liquor store. While that may be too much to hope for, it is important to know what you do want in a partner.
I'm afraid that anything else I might say here could lead some to call me a shallow, controlling elitist. And so what? I'm sorry, but she can't be much taller than I am. Does that make me a heightist? I wouldn't mind having these people in my neighborhood, I just don't want to put any of them in a position to kill me in my sleep.
The math says that it's next to impossible to get two people together who don't have at least one thing driving the other crazy. No one can honestly say "None of the above" on the Things One Cannot Abide Test. So, it turns out that after all the searching, the most attractive person to you is actually the one you find least objectionable.
J.D. Smith is @ www.lifesentence.net.