The Power of Positive Listing

It’s been about 48 hours since I started watching “House of Cards” and I made it through all 13 episodes of the first season. I think I’ve lost my mind. Yes, season two beckons. I’m still in my pajamas, so what the hell, right? My phone hasn’t rung. No one’s invited me to do…anything. I gotta say, though it may sound a little like I’m feeling sorry for myself (’cause I am), I expend a whole lot of energy planning stuff to do and inviting my friends to do it with me. It sure would be nice if they’d reciprocate occasionally. Instead, I’m staring at the prospect of an entire weekend passing by with accepting a bag of take-out from a delivery guy as my only human interaction. (It’s not helping much that my neighbors are having a party.)

Soon I’ll be staring at my iPhone screen, starting in on season two. Before that, I thought it might be a good idea to expend some creative energy. Hats? Oh yeah, in my kitch — er, millinery studio — I have three in the works at three different stages and sent two off in the mail early yesterday. So don’t think I’m just sitting around doing nothing. I’m productive even in the most dire circumstances. How’s about a bit more productivity?

I recently had coffee with an old friend and was whining about being single. (I know; when am I not whining?) Well, more like the horrors of online dating. She told me how she wound up in her current relationship, describing a particular process she went through: getting specific. Very specific. “Make a list,” she told me, “of the things that are ‘must haves’ and things that don’t matter so much.” She told me about her “mood board” for a man. Time passed. And when she wasn’t paying attention, that man came along. They’ve been together for a few years now.

I have more than a nodding acquaintance with the “power of positive thinking” and all that other new age claptrap. I recently read an article that goes somewhat against all the rainbows and unicorns bullshit: The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking. I felt vindicated. But, well, here I am, alone on a Saturday night. What’ll hurt? I make my list. I create my “Man Mood Board.” I get specific. Very specific. The worst that could happen is that I’m still sitting here next Saturday. And the following one. But that’s bound to happen if I do nothing. Or watch another dozen episodes of everything.

So here goes. I’m not gonna say this is about The Man of My Dreams because this guy had better be made of flesh and blood. Not rainbows and unicorns.

The Easy Stuff
I don’t really have a “type” when it comes to physical appearance. I’ve had shorter and taller, light haired and dark, eyes of every color. I will say I want my man to have hair. No balding, no radically receding hairline, no combover. I realize this is more of a long shot at my advanced age than it was a decade or two ago, but there it is. I’ll also say I can’t do fat. A few extra pounds that we could both lose together? Sure. But any belly oozing over his belt or chipmunk jowls or an ass that droops down to the back of his knees? No thank you. I also can’t tolerate hairy backs, pockmarked complexions or weaselyness, which is difficult to describe but I know it when I date it.

I’ve been in love with men whose teeth left much to be desired, so I guess I’m not as picky about that as I think I am — and my teeth aren’t as pearly and perfect as they used to be — but since I’m making a list, I’ll add nice teeth. On the whiter side of yellow, please. And a full mouth of them. Capice? Oh, and why not ask for a man I can look up to? I’d like to drape my arms around the neck of a man significantly taller than me. Again, a tall order. Guffaw.

So that’s the physical, for the most part. Oh, you want specifics? Hmmm. My friend said to pick movie stars or models I find attractive. Seems silly but why not? I’ve always loved the looks of  Jeff Bridges. Even at his most slovenly in The BIg Liebowski, he’s got a certain je ne sais quoi, but I loved him best in Starman. That face, when he eats the pie? Oh my. I think Jimmy Stewart is about as handsome as a man can be. (I’m watching “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” as I type…how’s that for a comparison with “House of Cards”?) Gregory Peck is divine. Louis CK is the sexiest man alive because he has a brilliant mind. Okay, I think those few are enough. You get the picture.

The More Obtuse
Personality? Hmmm. I’ve been with men who were my gregarious equal, those who were antisocial and a few who fell somewhere in between. I would prefer someone who can socialize easily with my friends and family but definitely not a pushover. I enjoy a verbal spar but don’t want to constantly fight. I don’t care enough about politics to be too particular in that area but pro-lifers need not apply. (Not that I ever meet any…) I’d also love my man to enjoy costuming as much as I do. I promise never to turn him into a Sad Etsy Boyfriend. I just want a partner in crime. Er, partying.

Which leads me to: I don’t think I can do sober. I can go days (and have gone weeks, even months) without drinking but as one of my prospective OKCupid dates observed: “It appears you like to party.” He saw a beer in my hand in more than one profile photo and correctly pigeonholed me. Obviously, I don’t post photos of myself in my flannel pajamas, noodling a blog post on a Saturday night while watching Antenna TV. But he was right. I require a fellow traveler. A partner. And as I told the saggy-ass khaki-wearing Republican banker from Connecticut, I want an equal, not an escort. He was offended, of course, though I hadn’t intended to offend. I’m not an old stick-in-the-mud, that much is for certain, and having someone to act like an eternal adolescent with is pretty much imperative. I don’t want it to be a “Dance, clown, dance!” arrangement. This clown’s gotta dance with me.

What else? Well, how about money? I sure do think it would be great to find someone who is financially secure. Ideally I’d like a country home and a city home, both with crafting rooms and loads of storage. I mean, if you’re gonna go pie in the sky, why not shoot for the moon? Sorry to mix metaphors… I don’t care about cars or boats, although both would be pretty okay. The ability to tie a tie might be nice.

And In Relation to Moi?
He’s gotta be someone who’s comfortable with weird. And off. And earthy. As cool with not showering for a week as really turning it out. Tolerant. Patient. Oh! And smart. Yes. Smart is probably the most important thing. I don’t do dumb. Someone who can converse on a myriad of topics, who picks up on things quickly, witty, resourceful, skilled at deductive reasoning.

I want someone who can artfully give and gracefully receive. Someone who enjoys surprises and celebrations. A man who embraces spontaneity but doesn’t mind planning. Dog lover. A cook. I don’t mind scrubbing bathrooms but I don’t scrub pots and pans. If he can’t clean up after cooking he’d better be okay with ordering in.

Yes, it’s gonna take a damn special man to make me happy. This is probably only a good first draft. I’ve asked before and although it sounded vague — loves me like X did, kisses me like Y did and fucks me like Z did — I still feel the same. I may have my many, MANY doubts about his existence, but if I don’t ask, I’ll never get what I want. I’m asking.

12 responses to “The Power of Positive Listing

  1. I love you but not that way Abby, this post brought a smile to my face which on this night I needed as my heart is shattered in the name of love. Thank You for being you and letting it all hang out 🙂

  2. Send up them “rockets of desire.” Tall order, but I’m sure the Universe has answered taller. Here’s hoping it gets answered.

  3. Hey man there’s a beverage here!

  4. Just don’t let the guys know you ha a “grocery” list.

  5. It is so hard to know, even at this age, what we really need to make us happy. I feel blessed to have someone, on an online dating site no less. I had a “deal killer” list, which was pretty short, but other than that, I was open. My partner is nothing like me, either in background, religious beliefs, education, or interests. But she makes me laugh and I go downstairs and listen to Duke Ellington while she watches Survivor upstairs. I don’t say anything about her weight other than to tell her I love a woman with meat on her bones and she overlooks that my knees are starting to go. 6 months ago we got her through breast cancer. She takes care of me and those few extra pounds are sure warm on a winters night. Find someone to care for you, all the rest is gravy.

    • I’ve tried being “open” and all that has been is a waste of time. Republican banker? What was I thinking? Though, truth be told, I didn’t know he was a Republican and probably didn’t pay attention to his job because that stuff doesn’t really matter to me. I’m open when it comes to background (I’ve been with total trash, upscale San Fernando Valley and in between), religious beliefs (Jewish, mostly, but I don’t really care), education (high school drop outs to college graduates) and as for interests, I’ve had so many myself I can’t imagine ruling anyone out based on “interests.” With the possible exception of my college boyfriend, none of my partners have been at all like me, which has always worked fine. And I would hope that anyone’s anything “starting to go” wouldn’t be a problem for me or my potential mate, since at an advanced age, one can expect pretty much everything to go eventually. Anyway…yes, find someone to care for you? That’s the goal. I wish it were easier. I wish I were less particular. I wish…I wish… I guess wishing is the reason I posted the “qualifications” anyway. Wish me luck!

  6. You don’t want to treat them like a carton of milk or vice versa. Letting them know it is going no where is OK.

    • I’m not sure where this is coming from or what it’s in response to. I haven’t treated anyone like a carton of milk or led anyone to believe I was interested if I wasn’t.

  7. I don’t think you have or would, but I have been on dates in the past that have with this kind of shopping list. But it was out of line, especially since I know you.

  8. You deserve better…..TAG…..You’re IT!


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