Thursday, January 12, 2012

Match Point

I watched Siggy Flicker yesterday.

Sigh.

For those of you who don't know, Siggy Flicker is a matchmaker who has a show on VH-1 entitled, "Why Am I Still Single?"

Sigh.

As if Patti Stanger isn't bad enough.

I have several reactions (obviously). On the one hand, I'd really like to see somene finally answer the question "Why am I still single?" with some hard demographic facts.

The idea that women "shouldn't" be single has been around for a couple of centuries or so. And for well over a century, critics have been pointing out that, given that women have a longer lifespan and generally outnumber men, it is inevitable that quite a few women will live out a major portion of their lives "single."

The problem for me is the way in which it has always been chalked up to being the woman's fault--and never identified as a viable choice (and one that has a LOT of perks, in my opinion).

I'd really like to see a redefinition of the term "single," but I know I won't get that any day soon. The tendency to equate "single" with "unloved" is problematic to me--especially since I've seen marriages in which everyone would be better off "single" because there's definitely no love lost.

Okay, so there's that.

Then, there's the advice. It seemed to me to boil down to making women act like they've always been told to act: a little flirty, a little brainless, a little touchy-feeley.

In short, helpless and kinda silly.

Siggy Flicker told one woman to "twirl her hair" while on a date. Second-grade girls twirl their hair.

Of course, I may just be jealous because my hair is all of about 3 inches long at its longest. A serious twirling is only going to make me look like the lead singer of the 80's band Flock of Seagulls.

She told another one to "touch" her date repeatedly on the arm. Again, I can't speak for the rest of the world, but I kinda hate it when people do that.

My feeling is, "I'm listening. You don't need to touch me."

Funny story: I was once talking to someone and they did the "touch" thing and, because I wasn't expecting it, I actually jumped back. (My friends tease me that I have "personal space" issues: my sense of personal space extends 3 feet outward in every direction.)

Siggy Flicker also advised the person to "smile and laugh" a lot. I definitely can't argue with this one, only it seems to me that, if you're discussing Nietzsche's theory of eternal return (for example), twirling your hair and giggling may seem slightly inappropriate.

I guess my main objection is, why can't people just be themselves? If you're a bit balls-to-the-wall in your approach to life, it seems to me that people should just know that right up front, and if they have a problem with it, they can go on to lead a rich, full, happy life elsewhere.

If you haven't twirled your hair since second grade, I say, don't start now.

And if someone isn't genuinely making you laugh or smile, then I say, stare at them blankly. We human beings do each other no favors by pretending that we're more interesting or funny than we actually are.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for putting your best foot forward when you want to make a good impression. I wouldn't show up in my jammies for an interview, and similarly, I probably won't cuss like a sailor on a first date. (Although I reserve the right to do so, obviously, if circumstances warrant such a reaction.)

But I really object to the idea that anyone--man or woman--has to be something they're not in order to impress someone else.

That's not "finding love." It's called "bait and switch." And it's very annoying.

I dated someone once who claimed to have all kinds of interests. Actually, he still claims to have all kinds of interests, and interestingly, none of the interests he claimed to have when I was dating him are on his list anymore.

Really, though, he just liked to doze off on the couch and stare at the TV for hours on end. I don't know whether he thought that I thought he was all kinds of wonderful (he seemed to think I did), but I didn't.

I really resented slowly realizing that he wasn't ever actually going to want to go to a movie. Or travel. Or go anywhere, in fact.

If I knew then what I know now, I'd have never given him the time of day. Yeah, the first date or two was fun, but that wasn't who he really was and it didn't take long for me to figure that out. When I did, I felt like he had royally wasted my time--and the fact that I couldn't seem to convince him that I wasn't madly in love with him didn't make me any more pleased with the experience.

So when Siggy Flicker advises women to go on dates no fewer than two times a week, all I can think is, "Oh, HELL no."

I have things to do with my life, thank you.

Meeting people who are interesting and fun is, of course, interesting and fun. Meeting people just to meet people, on the off-chance that they'll somehow prove to be interesting and fun, is counterproductive.

If I don't love my life and find myself busy and interested and engaged by all that's going on in it, who will?

Energy and confidence and a love of life: now that's attractive.

Twirling your hair and patting people on the arm and giggling? Not so much.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."