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SINGLE IN THE CITY

Her dating goal is one guy, five dates: Can she do it?

June 19, 2003|Samantha Bonar | Times Staff Writer

My friends are trying various methods to help me with my spotty dating pattern. I generally date a guy once, maybe twice. Then I seize upon some little, stupid detail -- something he does or says or is -- that makes another date an impossibility from my point of view.

Describing me as "picky" would be a gross injustice to the basically nice guys I date. More like incredibly, neurotically squeamish. As one of my ex-boyfriends says, I have an "extremely narrow range of what I consider tolerable" when I am looking for a boyfriend. Of course, he means that in a bad way.

In an effort to help, my pal Steve has offered me a twist on one of those "buy-10-drinks-get-one-free" cards. He says he'll give me a little laminated card and he'll punch a hole in it for every date I go on. After 10 dates, he'll buy me a Coke. Ten dates with the same guy.

Make that five dates and a rum and Coke and you're on, I tell Steve.

I have some new prospects, so here we go.

The nice young man takes me to brunch. I try to listen carefully to all of his stories. Do not let your mind wander, I tell myself. Concentrate on your waffle. I do not have much of an impression either way. He seems innocuous enough.

But after brunch, as we are walking around town, he drops a bomb. We have just passed an art gallery where he says he saw a friend's show several months ago. His friend paints pictures of hot rods. Yes, hot rods. That's cars.

"My God!" I exclaim. "That sounds like something a wealthy bachelor with no taste would buy."

"Er, I bought one," he says. "It cost quite a bundle too."

I cannot date a guy who collects bad art! My gay pals will mock me to no end. Proof: Here's what my gay pal Petey has to say about this tidbit:

"You cannot be caught dead with anyone with a framed painting of a hot rod. That's borderline lewd. Think of what it'll do to your crown chakra. Talk about complete and instantaneous nausea. There are soooo many goofy, WASPy guys out there who just wanna play golf, collect Jerry Bruckheimer DVDs and come home to the little wife who's making him the meatloaf that he knows so well because it was his mom's recipe. Sam, you don't want to be that woman."

I can see that if I continue to date this man, I am destined for a Stepford wife nightmare followed by a Madame Bovary-esque breakdown.

But still ... I want that rum and Coke. So I decide I've got to come up with some dating rules for myself.

From Date No. 1, I devise Rule No. 1: I cannot discuss these dates with my gay male pals, because they just live to make fun of the ways of hetero guys and to feed my histrionics.

Later, I proudly presented my little laminated card to Steve, who dutifully punches one hole. He smirks, though.

"It's gonna be a long five dates," I mutter as I walk away.

"Yeah, for you and him both!" Steve yells after me.

Times staff writer Samantha Bonar can be contacted at samantha.bonar@ latimes.com.

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