May 16, 2002
Why I’m Still Single
A friend of mine and I were sitting at Canter's having lunch when we were discussing my dating life -- or lack of it. Since he knows what a cool guy I am, he suggested that there was just one tactic to take -- to make up an ex-wife and a divorce so that I could avoid the stigma of having never been married. He went a step better -- he went for the widower concept, which I liked, and embellished with the death of my wife in a tragic car wreck.
But here's the problem: It's not so much that I'm against lying on principle, it has its place. It's just that I suck at it.
And in the best- (or worst-) case scenario, I would have to continue the charade with tales of my courtship and marriage, the details of the accident and whether I'm in touch with her parents and siblings, etc. I'd have to basically write my own Lifetime TV movie.
So, in the interest of honesty, and because I cannot afford more therapy, I am going to address, once and for all, the issue of why such an incredible, well-liked and modest guy has never been married.
First of all, I was a late bloomer. Although I had an amazing date for my senior prom, she broke my heart, and I had zits. So I never got married in high school.
In college, I didn't have a car and partied a lot. I went to the weddings of several friends my senior year, and it was pretty obvious that those marriages were in trouble. My main concern was the draft. So I never got married in college.
After college, I got the most incredible job in the history of mankind, due to the fact that my father was the treasurer of a large travel agency. For the next seven years, I was a tour guide in Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Cancun, Rome, Paris and Tahiti, just to name a few. I learned to play tennis quite well and got an amazing tan. Needless to say, I didn't get married.
After that I moved to Los Angeles and became a screenwriter. I had a serious relationship that ended when I decided that it wasn't quite right. Thereafter, I went out with every flake and insane model and actress in Los Angeles. By the way, in case you didn't know this, struggling screenwriters are not considered marriage material by women of substance. So I didn't get married in my 30s.
And I even made a bit of money writing screenplays, but you couldn't call it a career -- although I tried. And I made good money as a legal secretary. But you know what, legal secretary is a crappy job to meet women.
Oh, did I mention that I am the only child of Holocaust Survivors? So I had a very close home life and was devoted to my parents, who were quite a bit older than my friends' parents, and in most cases, a lot smarter. Well, my father passed away when I was 37 and he was 86. He was a very wise man. He loved my mother deeply but he would say to me, at least three times a week, (translated from German) -- "marry infrequently."
So I did. Very infrequently.
My mother lived in La Jolla, and I went down there about every third weekend to make sure that she was OK and to pick up some free food -- she would generally pack a cooler of Czech specialties and lox for me to take back to L.A. Made it rough to really get married with all that free food.
When things stabilized, my mom died. Now I was really devastated because I couldn't really figure out why I needed to get up in the morning, so I didn't bother. Well, not really. I went into therapy and discovered that I was really a hell of a guy, and that I had a right to feel bad.
So I got back into the thick of things and wrote a couple of computer books and decided it would be nice to find love with a good woman, but everybody I dated would ask me: "So how come you've never been married?"
Translation: "What is wrong with you anyway?"
So I met this woman I really liked -- and I even really liked her dog, Max. I even walked him on Sundays and cleaned up his poop. She was worried I would never make a commitment, but right after Valentine's Day, she woke up and asked me at 1 a.m., "Are you going to make $100,000 next year?"
You know, I really miss Max.
So I bought a condo on the Westside and had a big party, and all my friends said, "Man this is a great place to bring a lady." But the women at the party all asked me, "So how come you've never been married?"
So I decided that instead of lying or making up an ex who died in a car wreck, I'm going to photocopy this column. At my age I go to the bathroom quite a bit, so over dinner, when I need to take a break, I'll let her read it. We'll see what happens.
I will also post it on dating boards online under the area, "What I've learned from my relationships."
What have I learned from them? Mostly, I know that thing with the toilet seat, and a lot of times I even take tissue and wipe the hair from the drain in the shower.
Next time: Why I'm not six feet tall.