“dating sucks”

datingsucks.gifI don’t want to mislead anyone, so let me put my cards on the table right from the start. I’m married. I’ve been married to a wonderful man for seven years now. We have a beautiful daughter, a lazy dog that acts more like a houseplant, and a stubborn trail of ants that I can’t seem to get rid of no matter what I do. But just because I’ve promised to love, honor, and pick up my husband’s dirty underwear till death do us part, does not mean that I got to this point easily. In fact, as you’re well aware, finding a man who you want to share the rest of your life with is like finding a piece of hay in a needle stack. You know it’s there, but to find it, you have to go through a lot of little pricks.

So why, you may ask, is a married woman writing a book about the perils of dating? That’s a very valid question. For one thing, I have a great deal of experience in the dating milieu. In fact, I like to think of myself as an M.D., a master dater. I had my first date in the seventh grade when Michael Kratchman asked me to hang out with him at the All-American Burger after school, and my last date at the age of thirty-five when my then-boyfriend, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. So when you do the math, I’ve had a total of twenty-three years of on the job training. If dating only had a 401K program I’d be set for life!

Also, it’s not as if I dated only one man for all those years. I’ve dabbled in every species of man from the smart ones to the dumb ones, and the cute ones to the not so cute ones. I’ve gone out with ones that smothered me and ones that couldn’t commit. I’ve dated men who put me on a pedestal and others who put my heart through a paper shredder. I’ve been through more men than the U.S. Marines.

And finally, not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty much an expert when it comes to complaining. In fact, I’ve written books that focus on how unfair life can be such as Pregnancy Sucks and Pregnancy Sucks for Men. When you think about it, dating is a great way to prepare yourself for pregnancy. In both instances you have to endure months of pain and awkwardness in order to achieve a wonderful goal. With pregnancy, you have to battle varicose veins, constipation, and hemorrhoids. With dating, you face rejection, low self-esteem, and hours of waiting by the phone. And in both cases, after all the hell you endure, you end up sharing your life with a gassy, whiny, demanding baby.

The process of dating encapsulates so many horrific aspects to it that bookstores have devoted shelf upon shelf to the process. The titles assure you that the how-to’s of dating are as easy as planting a garden. Problem is, with dating, there are a lot more bad seeds to sow before the flowers bloom. Most books out ther deal with tricks and games on how to find him, how to keep him, and how to get him on one knee within six months.

So what, pray tell, does this book promise? Absolutely nothing. No husband. No fiance. Not even a guy who’ll drive you to the airport. Nothing, that is, but compassion, a good perspective, and a much needed shoulder to cry on.  Well, not an actual shoulder really… more like an absorbent page to dry away your tears. And, if you do find a wonderful loving man to be with, promise me one thing: If you can ever figure out how to get him to pick up his own dirty underwear, please let me know how you did it! Thanks!