I try to avoid making sweeping generalizations when it comes to gender, and I don’t often rant about dating here. Sure, I’ve cried about broken hearts and fussed about the crimes of specific men (I’m sure I toyed with the idea of bludgeoning J with his drum sticks at least half a dozen times), but I have never made the statement, “I hate men.”
Because, first of all, it’s not true. I love men. I adore them. And even if I didn’t, I’d be foolish to say so here. Like Lindsay Lohan, I’m no fool. Why alienate half your fan base?
Secondly, it’s just too easy to fall into that trap — to blame the XYs for romantic misconnects and the inevitable fate of dying alone in a big old house surrounded by cats and your collection of arts & crafts made from recycled containers of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream.
But the other day, I gave in and unleashed a bit of a rant on Goldner, my MTV-based Instant Messenger sanity saver.
FISH: Conventional dating is really just a waste of time. You go through intense pageant-like auditions, and even if you win, it’s only to discover that the sash is itchy, the crown is heavy and the prize pack sucks SO bad that you wish you’d just stayed home in your PJs.
GOLDNER: That’s not a very romantic thing to say, H.
FISH: Well! Dating is not a romantic sport!
GOLDNER: Maybe you’re thinking of bocce.
Maybe I was thinking of bocce. Or maybe, being a die-hard, mushy romantic and a new convert to realism is a bit trickier than I had thought.
Having been hungover with realism a handful of times, I now get somewhat nervous about romance. See, romance is like charm. Nobody simply is charming, because charm is not a personality trait. It is a behavior. It’s the result of an action that is, to whatever degree, intentional. That doesn’t make it bad, mind you. It just makes it… situational. Charm and romance come with unpredictable permanence. And what they lack in permanence, they make up for in endorphin production.
We do so love a good endorphin rush.
And love? Well, love is different from romance. But we all know that. Love is comforting and sticks around after fights about wet towels on floors and makes inside jokes stay funny far long after their expiration dates. Love doesn’t make me nervous. Getting to love is tricky, though, and for some reason, seems to require this dating pageantry and loads of romantic unpredictability.
Really, all it requires is a bit of faith. But so did religion and we see how well I got along with that.
I told Goldner that this is why god invented Australian tourists. He didn’t think that was very romantic, either.