Books for Everyone!

1 April 2021

Dating Myself

Today, I learned how to operate what I call “the music system”. I do not want to be too modern in my terminology, lest I date myself. “To date yourself” is to place yourself in a particular place and time, usually in the past, the atrociously distant past. This phrase does not mean to engage in superficial societal interactions that, once upon a time, bored me to distraction, usually the distractions of mischief. The term “stereo system” was, I’d thought, too passé, but I have been informed that it is quite appropriate for this auditory equipment in my home.

I suppose, in one very large sense, a person does date herself whenever she participates in “going out” with a member of the opposite sex. The desire to find someone who is like you in order to find that life’s mate, or Matey, has been a strong motivation throughout the centuries. Familiarity, however, does breed contempt, and too much familiarity can breed loathing. If a person is filled with self-loathing, the likely Matey is someone who will either loathe and loathe alike, or simply pile onto the hatred of the other self.

Not nice, not good, not heathy, not fun.

Avoiding such a scenario might have necessitated the Speed-Dating that I’d read about, oh, about ten years ago. Upon learning of this novel and non-romantic activity, I’d wished that I could have pulled off such a coup whenever I’d found the Dating Couple, of which I was, presumably, 1/2, to be wanting, of many things, but, most of all, of a reason for me to remain wherever it was that I’d unwillingly placed myself.

I was, in short, a horrendous date. I felt irked by the oppressive expectation by others that I engage the opposite sex as if the activity was a polite encounter. In reality, the staged rendezvous was, for me, an enormous and colossal bore. Being provided with forged identity cards so that We could get into an R-rated film was, for me, utterly tedious. I immediately grew tetchy.

“I don’t have to go see one of these sick-flicks. I live in an R-rated movie!” I protested, and not too much. The stupid boy thought that I was joking! Needless to say, the so-called date ended before it began.

Word got around town, and elsewhere, that Debra was not nice to date. And I truly was not. In my own defense, I must say that I was acting in my own defense. An adolescent girl without a father, and with a harridan mother, cleared the dating-field of the patient cads. Only the brave needed to apply for my ardent attentions, and so none did! I had to move West to locate any valiant desperadoes with hearts-of-gold.

No matter where I went, however, my peevish dating problem remained:

The entire contrived set-up of two people officially and obviously pre-arranging to meet — who can fall in love within that scenario?

How does kismet occur on a digital clock time-frame?

Where is the thrill of fascination and the ecstasy of a chance encounter when the ticking of the timepiece is pre-programmed? No spontaneity, no sparkle, no sizzle, no trip to the moon on gossamer wings can exist as a scheduled event.

For me, during one long-ago ho-hum of the hum-drum that was supposed to make my heart beat like a drum, or — battre la chamade — the bungled trip to the franchise-restaurant was the most exciting part of the nocturnal appointment. His car ran out of gas and we had to walk several miles in the dark. Now there’s romance!

The disinclination that I felt toward choreographed socializing was more than palpable. The guy usually felt unwanted in my presence because, well, he was. What I wanted was a meeting of the minds that would, somehow, supernaturally encourage or, at the very least, lead to a meeting of the hearts. Such miracles are never planned. You can pray for them, and they will more reliably arrive. But on-the-docket dating is a bore, a snore, and a phony chore.

“I shaved my legs for this?”

Furthermore, my view of dealing with the opposite sex, way back when, and, now, is that for the assignation between male and female to be even minimally jovial, the romantic rendezvous must involve confined, limited warfare, and not necessarily on a small-scale. The zero-hour all too often was a zero for me. During one dinner date, I observed the Mr. Suitor cutting the fat away from a pork chop and then eating it. Right then and there, I thought: It’s over. Get me out of here.

I endured the meal through to dessert, which was probably also unpalatable.

What is unpalatable in today’s world of “dating” is the idea that the old ideas are dead. The way things were — are no more. Everything has changed between the male and the female of the species because all of that social engineering has triumphed.

The only things that have triumphed — due to the silly overplayed neuroses from upper-middle-class brats, from the 1920s onward, and probably backward — are those basic and audacious forces of nature, and the bare necessities of life.

The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.

And, as time goes agonizingly by . . .

Unmasked, you daringly make your way to Aisle 7A of the Grocery Store. You bump into the only other person — in the entire corporate food-pen — who is not wearing a mask. Your eyes, or rather your noses — lock.

Fate, Providence, and the Wheel of Fortune have brought your hand and hers together in the tomato products aisle . . . as you reach for the same bottled jar of spaghetti sauce.

Obviously, neither of you knows how to cook.

Dating yourself is the newest wave of the future. Ride that wave all the way to the shore of harmony and love. Maybe by then, the beaches of America will be opened for beach babes and dudes after Big Brother and Big Sister have . . . .

ha ha ha ha ha, wiped out.