A few weeks ago, I was enjoying a meal with a close guy friend of mine and his new main squeeze. As usual in these situations, the new girlfriend unmercifully quizzed me about my own relationship status, a sly attempt to make sure I was no threat to her and her fella. Feeling put under the third-wheel spotlight, I quickly turned the tables and asked her, “So, how did you two meet?”
She became giddy when describing how she had first laid eyes on him while he was on stage performing in a local play, adding, “I knew when I first saw him that I just had to have him. He was the prettiest man in the world.”
My buddy looked down at his beer and began peeling off the label, knowing that as soon as she was out of the room, I would be unleashing my wit upon him.
“It was like love at first sight,” she continued. I choked on my salad and held back giggles as loverboy gave me the stink-eye. Any time “love at first sight” is mentioned around a cynic like myself, I tend to throw up in my mouth a little bit.
Not to sound like Jerry Seinfeld, but what’s the deal with this “love at first sight” crap? Has this ever actually worked for someone, and if so, wasn’t love just confused with lust? Maybe I’m just naive, but it’s never happened to me, and if it ever does, I’m sure it will be brief and alcohol will play a major factor.
Whenever I think I’ve fallen for this clichéd shtick, it’s been on appearance alone. It’s only after talking to my current target of desire that I become extremely disappointed, realizing that during our short conversation he’s making disjointed statements that are relayed as if there’s a question mark on the end.
For example: “So, I really like Mahler? Because, he’s like so moving and deep? And his work really makes me feel detached?”
Such a waste, I think. I even consider the possibility of keeping his mouth busy so he can’t speak, if you know what I mean, but, sadly, I’ve never been that aggressive. So, if you are only going to approach people you are initially attracted to because of looks, doesn’t that limit you? Sure, it’s shallow, but what else do you have to go on?
This is partly why my most successful relationships have stemmed from dating men who I’ve been close friends or worked with for a long period. You get to know someone genuinely, amid all the bullshit, the lows and the highs. It’s like dating without ever actually doing it! It isn’t until that one happy hour lasts a little too long and everyone else has left except you and this person, happily sharing a bummed Parliament Light, that everything seems to fall into place. This is when you finally look at him and think, “Maybe it’s been in front of me all along and I’ve been too ignorant to realize it.” So he’s not the prettiest man in the world, but in that exhilarating moment, I wouldn’t change a hair on his head.