If you're anything like me -- and for the love of God, I hope you're not --you've found dating in Los Angeles to be nonstop inferno of disappointment, frustration, anguish, horror, tedium and depression.
And those are the dates that work out fairly well. It's not hard to understand why some battle-scarred veterans of the singles scene have completely sworn off dating, substituting other, nondating activities in life, whatever those could possibly be. I understand jogging may be one of them.
And then there are the gluttons for dating punishment, such as, say, oh ... myself, who trudge on through the singles scene, doing it all, experiencing it all, meeting them all, confident that Ms. Right is just around the corner. Apparently, I've been turning the wrong corners. Had I applied the time, energy and effort I've put into dating to any other career, I'd now be CEO of a major corporation and wouldn't have time for a relationship. I understand that Bill Gates' wife sees him just two and a half times a year. I'm guessing his being a billionaire eases some of her loneliness.
But sometimes you can win. Sometimes it all pays off. The cherries line up across the slot machine windows. The ship comes in. The race car crosses the finish line. There is a God. Ms. Right is, in fact, just around the corner. How else do I explain Lauri, whom I met at the Broadway Deli in Santa Monica, just over three months ago, via an online singles site? How do I even describe her without gushing? How do I talk about how perfect we are for each other without making you jealous, nauseated and anxious to kill me? Hey, get a hold of yourself -- you really have issues.
The thing is, guys know within the first few minutes of meeting a date that there's no future here. And then the rest of the evening is just treading water until you climb out of the pool, spitting chlorinated dating water from your mouth. But it can work the other way around, too, when you know that the person has all the right stuff. In the first half hour of meeting Lauri, I mentally checked off the categories: intelligence, looks, personality, sense of humor, energy, enthusiasm, optimism, creativity, love of intimacy and, the all-important one, interest in and attraction to me. Thumbs up on all counts. I was stunned, because this doesn't happen often. This doesn't happen at all. This clearly was the Halley's Comet of coffee dates and I hope it lasts, otherwise my next good prospect isn't due for another 76 years.
And because this kind of relationship is so rare, Lauri and I are both taking full advantage. We simply don't care how many frustrated singles we're nauseating with our mushy phone calls, e-mails, flowers, gifts and public displays of affection. We just can't help it. The sun is shining brighter, foods are tasting better and the lyrics to love songs make perfect sense. Romeo and Juliet? Amateurs!
So please don't hate me because I'm deliriously happy. After all, just because I'm walking on air each day doesn't mean that this new relationship doesn't bring with it another whole host of potential mine fields: How long will it last? Will I be able to not disappoint her? Will there be growth? Will our equal passion for one another remain equal? Will we stay healthy? Will we stay true to one another?
When the "honeymoon period" ends, will we still be able to give one another what the other needs and desires? Will we keep things fresh? Dear Lord, this relationship thing just never ends! I'm going jogging.
Mark Miller is a comedy writer who has written for TV, movies and many celebrities, been a humor columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, contributed to numerous national publications and produced a weekly comedic relationships feature for America Online. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.