If there's one really good argument for staying married, it is this: dating. On my own priority scale, dating falls somewhere between doing taxes and chewing glass.
You've got to get dressed up and bring your résumé...
"Yes, I was with Cynthia from May to August. My main duties were to pay for dinner and hold the door ... Why did we separate? I'm afraid she was downsizing. Since then I've just been a temp."
Older singles tend to process you in terms of market value. With a Robocop scan, they determine your age and weight, then match you with a car in the parking lot.
"Are those real diamonds? Mind if I use my jeweler's loop?"
I'm not cut out for dating anyway. I was married so long that now I'm like an animal raised in captivity -- unfit for the wild. Do you still show up with a corsage?
When I first started out, I was looking for a certain type. She'd be 5'6" and have blonde hair, cute dimples. She'd be a Capricorn.
As time went on, I adjusted. "Okay, she doesn't have to be Capricorn so long as she's friendly ... She doesn't have to be friendly, per se, but I'd rather she not drag her knuckles ... So long as she wears pink. So long as he or she wears pink."
Now all I notice is whether or not they're wearing a ring, and that's my type: available.
The ring finger tells people you're married. At times so does the middle finger. Some women fear that men won't notice their barren ring finger, so they hedge with low-cut blouses. I've dated women who can swipe credit cards with their cleavage. You get a migraine just trying to maintain eye contact.
What we need are cleavage blinders: They'd work like horse blinders, only the flaps go beneath your eyes.
I tried speed-dating, where you get five minutes per woman, and that might not seem like a long time ... but it is. How long does it take to know that someone is psycho? One minute? Two? That leaves a lot of time to sit there thinking, Yeah, I could be celibate. I've got an X-Box.
Even if you do find a match while speed-dating, where do you go from there? Can you see that relationship in two years?
Her: "Every time we make love anymore, it's only a quickie."
Him: "You knew I was in a hurry from the beginning!"
I'm not saying that all the good ones are taken, but the smart ones seem to be scarce. It was so refreshing to finally meet a woman who reads.
"That's a nice collection of books you have. Which are your favorite?"
"Oh, I like the blue ones."
So it goes.
I wish that friends would save me before I leave the bar: "No! Jason! It's a booby trap!"
On the Web I get steamy with women in chat rooms, but then we meet for dinner and have nothing to say. We might as well pass notes back and forth across the table.
Men fantasize about dating younger women, but it takes a lot of Bengay. One girl walked into my home, kicked off her shoes, and started stretching. I felt like Roy Scheider when he first saw the shark in Jaws: "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
My real fear is catching STDs. My buddy Dave goes to bed with women from whom I wouldn't be caught downwind. I'm afraid that one day he's going to get lucky and die.
It's not necessarily sex that I'm after; sometimes I just want to sleep with a woman. Can you see the hookers down on Sunset and Vine...
"You just want to hug?! All right, sicko, but that'll cost extra."
Of course, it's illegal for women to charge a man for sex. Unless it's pornography, but then you have to film it and make it available to everyone.
I don't ask for perfection; like Bob Dylan, I'm just "lookin' for a girl with hair messed up like mine." She's out there somewhere. I only hope she's not swiping credit cards with her cleavage.