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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Fall Dating Guide

It’s time again for the annual Leftbanker Fall Dating Guide, your best bet for connecting with hip and attractive single men in your area. I know that all of the readers here have come to rely on the Fall Dating Guide to tell them the latest trends in dating and romance and I promise that this year’s edition will not disappoint anyone. I am privy to information that other journalists won’t see for months or perhaps even years—they may never see it. The huge advantage that I have over regular journalists is my ability to make shit up. Because of my long-standing connections in the dating industry you have relied on me to predict well in advance trends which are soon to take the nation by storm. The hot new trend this fall for women is…you guessed it…men!

Men really have it together these days; men are bouncing back after decades of being the butt of jokes and the target of insults hurled by American women. According to a recent poll by Maxim magazine, men have never been in greater demand. Men are back in style and it doesn’t matter if they are fat, bald, stupid, sports-obsessed, alcoholic, erectile dysfunctional, unemployed, living with mom, or asthmatic; the word on the street is that you need to get one as soon as possible. How can you snare one of these enigmatic creatures for your very own? Let me give you a few pointers.

Girls, if your present strategy of only dating guys who yell obscenities at you from construction sites isn’t going as well as you had planned then perhaps you need to consider the Leftbanker Fall Dating Guide For Women. If you think that perhaps you have been going about this dating thing all wrong let me assure you that you have been going about it all wrong. If you think that perhaps you are too late in the search for an even mildly interesting man let me tell you that you probably are too late but I can help you feel comfortable with settling for someone completely beneath you.

First of all, forget about all of that internet dating stuff. Let’s face it; you never had any luck with that in the past. You would spend three weeks exchanging e-mails with someone who seemed nice only to find that you were on the verge of falling in love with a ten year old boy using his parents’ computer. It only shows how truly desperate you are when you told him to give you a call in ten years. I have a new strategy with a proven track record that I guarantee will work for you.

If you randomly dial numbers on your cell phone eventually a man will answer. The fact that he answered an unknown number means that he is probably available and as desperate as you are. If he seems nice you can agree to a meeting. The initial meeting is the greatest stumbling block in any relationship. Of course, meeting for dinner is out of the question. That is too much of an investment in time and money to squander on a potential and probable loser. Even meeting for a drink is too much of a commitment at this early stage of the game. At this point you are probably saying to yourself, “Fuck it, I’ll rent a video and stay home.”

Although that is certainly the smart thing to do, my guide will encourage you to proceed with abandon, if by ‘abandon’ you mean putting as much effort and planning into the first encounter as you would a ransom drop in a kidnapping. The way I check out potential dates is I have them stand at a bus stop at a specified time. Wearing a disguise (my preferred disguises are either a nun or a Mexican revolutionary), I ride a crowded bus by the rendezvous point and surreptitiously take pictures of the subject which I immediately analyze back home in my forensics lab. Next I go through their trash looking for credit card statements, receipts, cancelled checks, clues to their dietary habits, cell phone records, discarded letters, and other personal matter in order to build a better picture of “Miss Right.” After a few days of 24 hour surveillance of the subject I then conduct extensive clandestine interviews with their friends, relatives, and neighbors while posing as a Jehovah’s Witness. This may seem a little extreme but I don’t want to hook up with some weirdo. Some guides encourage you to break into a potential date’s apartment to search for clues but I feel that people have a right to their privacy.

When you finally agree to meet your date face to face make sure to do it in a public place--preferably the lobby of the police department. Keep the initial encounter brief. If everything seems to go well you can agree on a second meeting. When you are ready to leave make sure to be polite, shake hands firmly, try to be friendly as you squirt a steady stream of pepper spray directly into his eyes, and then make your exit being sure to change cabs at least three times on the way back to your apartment. As a precautionary measure don’t forget to change the locks on your doors and obtain a new phone number. If he is persistent enough to obtain your new number you may have to take the next step of legally changing your name to Maria Sanchez and moving to La Paz, Bolivia to become a yoga instructor. Wait at least two years before listing your yoga classes in the La Paz yellow pages.

The good news is that Latin men are at least as uninteresting, vulgar, and tasteless as their American counterparts so you will feel right at home. Good luck down there. Try internet dating.

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