48. Find Something Better
You’re not right for each other. It’s only been ten minutes but you know this. You KNOW this. But you’re already here and you’ve already committed your night/afternoon to this. You have two options: you could [one] be deeply rude and cut the whole thing (super) short, or [two] spend the rest of the date plotting how exactly you are going to let this person down (if they’ve still got designs on you).1 Except I lied!/: you have a third option: pop the question: well, statement really: Let’s Find Something Better.
Step one: admitting you have a problem
Trying to find something better is going to work best if you are both disinterested in each other. If one party is still interested, they may play along in the hopes of using the process to change your mind. They will attempt to charm you, directing comments and compliments past their something better to their something best (aka you). They will either tank their picks for you or, if you insist on someone worthwhile, try to bring out the worst in them. They will attempt to leverage any interest they receive to get you to reconsider your (correct) choice. They will bank your image and it will collect interest. Enjoy it. This person likes you way more than anyone should ever like you and, more importantly, way more than you like them; you have won. Flawless Victory. Retire a champion. Your belt will arrive in 4 – 6 weeks.
But before all this, you first need to acknowledge the 800 lb Elephant in the room. Duchess– what happened? You look so sickly. You used to weigh two-and-a-half tons, and now, so weak. So frail. Duchess.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, time to tell this person you don’t even give a fuck:
First, gauge their disinterest. As previously explained, depending on your tolerance for a real shitshow / your love of sweet belts, you want to ensure they are equally indifferent to your sweetmeats. By observing their body-and-mouth language you should be able to figure out whether you make them consolidate blood.
- – Are they staring at your fungibles? Bad sign. Are they staring at your soft/hard parts but making a face like they just ate a wax grape they thought was a real grape? Better.
- – Are they laughing at your jokes? Good sign! Are they laughing with your jokes? Bad sign. The English language, ladies and jellyspoons.3
- – Can you count the syllables when they laugh? Most likely a good sign.
- – But are they the kind of maniac or affectful person who would have a discrete laugh? I can see what you don’t see in them. But, bad (bad) sign.
- – Do they look at you with longing? Bad sign. Unless that longing is for someone else. Is it? Ask them. Ask them “Is the longing in your look for me, or is it for someone else?” If they say “you,” shit. If they leave, fuck. But if they say “someone else,” perfect– you now have no obligation to reciprocate. Unless of course they chose this place because that is where s/he works. Shitfuck/you are officially an accomplice. Try to make the most of it!
- – Are they listening to you at all? Test them. Admit you love them. Admit that. They say they felt it too but were too afraid to god do they ever shut up. Ugh. Looks like it’s option D. See you in 15 to 60 years!
With your date’s disinterest appropriately gauged, or your insensitivity to their feelings thoroughly girded, it’s time to break the news. For all the cutenesses of the previous step, your best bet in this situation is to just brooch it. Remove from its dust bag your Pin of Disinterest.5 For etiquette’s sake, make sure it has been thoroughly polished beforehand– you would not want to further shame your detrothed by rejecting them with tarnished indifference. Carefully affix the brooch to the chest of your date, on the heart-side. If you are unsure which side the heart is on, feel for your heart. Theirs should be, from your point of view, the opposite. Say the magic words “I’m just not feeling it” and the ceremony complete.
Now remove the Brooch of For The Most Part Untenable/Non-desirable Date Ideas that came free with purchase of this book…6
Step two: finding something better
What do you like in a potential partner? You’re going to need to know if you expect to get some help that’s worth a damn.
Protip: consider the jabroni you just rejected. What are the qualities that they have that caused you to not ever be able to love them? Ok, now what are the opposite of those qualities. Tell them those while looking straight in their face. See if they pick up on what you’re doing. Oh, they did. Sheepishly add an aspect that has nothing to do with them. Did that throw them off? No? I guess it’s time to come to terms with the fact that you are a bad person. No? Ok. Continue apace then. Maybe there is some kind of negative mirror you can taunt them with.
Take turns listing off qualities. It’s nice. Sharing in this way is what friends do. You’re friends now! Are you starting to change your mind about this person? Too late — Friends!
Once you’ve got a good idea of what each other is looking for, time to find it. Ideally neither of you should be doing all the work yourself. Try to work out a few signals before going ‘on prowl’. Some suggestions:
one finger sliding into your cupped hand while pointing your hand in the mark’s direction = hey, how about this one?
thumbs up = I accept
Joan Rivers style throat points and noises to accompany = skip it
finger back and forth between you and your date with hip thrusts and steadying hand in direction of mark = I think we would make a good team
thumb-threaded dove behind head of mark, big eyes = look at this bird I made
How does this help? – you’ve got some options. One, your date approaches this person on the sly, strikes up a friendly conversation, then says good things about you / invites them over / invites you over. Classic, a little junior high, but probably if you are reading this you aren’t exactly making $100,000.00 a year. That’s the qualification for being an adult right? 100 grand? Household or self. Though, I mean, if you have ‘household’ income, you’re already older than I’ll ever be.
Two, speaking of junior high, your date fronts for you through more indirect channels. Perhaps the two of you write up a note and your date is the one who fake coughs it in their lap. Or, more strategical, a telephone campaign to generate buzz about you that will eventually reach your intended.7 You can achieve this either through unwelcome ear whispers, or actual phone calls. Keep trying numbers until you get someone who is in your vicinity. Hope your fav five is ‘times 10 to the 9th’!
Three, you don’t actually do anything, you just commiserate about how pretty ladies are. And/or men. Pretty Ladies: too pretty? An article you write together and post on the internet, paper telephone poles with, publish in a middle-reputation academic journal, give to Arianna Huffington for free.
Four, your date does not actually help in the procuring of a suitable replacement. Instead they provide moral support, soundboard your plans, punch up pick-up lines, offer advice, provide the perspective of their entire gender (more fake relevant if you are straight), and – most importantly – make sure you don’t wimp out. If they’re good at it, or you at least enjoy their company, you can make a date of making dates of it. How delightful your life is right now. Make sure to appreciate that. Most moments aren’t so socially validating for extracting such a low price. You Are Totally Taking Weaving The Human Fabric Right Now. No, wait. That’s probably a euphemism for fucking. Still– it’s nice, right?!
Five, plays the heel. You’re the face. Works best if you are trapped in the 1950s, desperately trying to avoid sticking it inside your hot, hot mom. Here, I wrote a song about it:
You know your body’s like a tiiime machine
I don’t understand what day it’s been
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thurs-day
Thursday Tuesday Friday Sat-urday
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Tuesday again
I stick it in
And when I come around again, you won’t forget it
And when I come around again, I won’t regret it8
1. a) agree to plans for a next date and then cancel via text; b) be hazy on your avails, don’t commit to anything, agree to getting back to them, never get back to them; c) tell them straight to their stupid face; d) just play out the string– hopefully they’ll get bored and cheat/leave; otherwise, start sizing wedding dresses/blackening your best tux2
2. With tuxes, as with rouxs, you need to cultivate a true darkness. http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/chimu/sacrificial-knives.htm Time to break into the museum!
3. Are there actual jellyspoons or do they exist only for this dumb joke? If so, why? I’d like to see one if you could point me in the right direction. Are they just small spoons with a bowl the perfect size for scooping an english muffin’s worth of jelly? Or is it more like jellyshoes, a signifier that these ladies are down to-and-for jam.4
4. My new screenname is jellyshoesdtf. Tweet @ me! Facebook!
5. a gold-colored 3 x 3 inch square with a single fake pearl in the middle-ish
6. float like a butterfly weighed down by lobster claws / float like a butterfly, sting like a lobster [tie]
7. frequent claims: geniticular incredibleness, orificial immaculacy, nice smile, multi-phalangasmic
8. “Lea Thompson (Time Machine),” Actresses of the 90s EP (secret track), me