maybe i was thinking of bocce

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.

19 comments to maybe i was thinking of bocce

  • jenny

    i heart ben & jerry’s half baked ice cream.

  • Excellent analogy–charm and romance.

    Also, do you think it’s getting harder to find satisfying dating relationships? B/c I sure as hell do. It’s as though I turned a corner at 24, and since then it’s been all uphill–a wet, slippery mud hill and I’m trying to climb it wearing slick-soled formal flats.

  • Kudos for not taking the easy path and blaming men for your loveless or loverly situation. I find it all to easy to just say all women are completely whacked mentally and just give up on the game for months at a time before realizing that maybe it is just the women I tend to go after that are whacked. So, at least half the problem is my fault.

  • Cannot agree with you more on this post. And I do think dating is some kind of a torture-laden activity much like hazing in order to be accepted into the couples society. Finding good relationships is like hitting jackpot in the lottery. The chances are slim but the payoff can be so good. What makes me sad is that now I almost expect the guy to screw up something, or to have alterior motives. I’m cosntantly finding myself en guarde. Which is SO not the way it’s supposed to be.

  • Bond Girl, I know EXACTLY what you mean, I haven’t had a satisfying relationship since I was 21. I think that the bar scene ruined it for me.

  • Ah, Fish, the best ever from you. Truly. You have so much insight. Every bit of it is true. Men and women are different in their approaches, but so much the same in their human wants and needs.

    I think “getting to love” isn’t as hard as getting over the infatuation with “new and exciting” and settling in to make the commitment so the real love gets better. That’s when the silly jokes no one understands start to accumulate.

  • PS — As for your dying alone in an old house full of cats, I really don’t think so. Call me a romantic. :)

  • Ari

    Nah… you were thinking of boys. Bocce is far more rewarding when done right lol.

  • Goldner

    I think Goldner is right. And smart. And funny. And handsome!

  • i’m with ari. at least if you follow the rules at bocce, you can assume you’ll have a good time.

  • k

    I think goldner is smart and funny and handsome too, and i’m not even goldner!

  • Ari

    Yeah – Goldner was adorable.

  • I don’t know…I don’t think true love requires anything but dumb luck. Of course, before I ACTUALLY felt it, I thought the same things. With my first, second and fourth wives, I was all about the hard work and the faith. (The third died in a horrible falafel accident.) Then I met the man who mows the lawns at the old folks home across the street and it was pure magic. And alcohol. So not really pure magic. More like 63% Magic and 32% alcohol. And 5% margin-for-error.

    Still though, fantastic post.

  • But we don’t date anymore. At least not in the UK.

    We meet for drinks, we go for coffee, we pull in clubs, we all go out in a big group to a club and bring friends so its not a date.

    No one actually goes on a ‘date’ in the converntional sence of the word anymore.

  • It’s like I always tell men, “It’s not you, it’s me.” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

  • Yeah, we don’t date over here either. Which actually just makes things even more confusing, if that’s at all possible.

    And you make sure you tell this Goldner that

    Aussie tourists can be very romantic. You know, depending on your definition of romance…

  • It’s just disapointing at the end of the day, isn’t it. I mean, we want so much to like someone, and then it fizzles, or we spot the red flag, and it’s over before it began. We know it’s part of it all, but we wish he’d fucking hurry up already and get his act together and find us. When I find mine, he’s getting an earfull… I mean jeez, nice time to procrastinate, huh?

  • Nah. We’re not romantic – not us australians. Not even the tourists. But we are a shitload of fun. I can’t wait to visit New York. Cheers Fish. Bloody good post.

  • this post was awesome and the comments awesomer! (I decided that was going to be a word as of now!!)

    You have a great way with words as do your readers!!