When I was sixteen years old, I desperately wanted to date Eddie Hackenlacker; as did every girl in our high school. Eddie was the most gorgeous, popular human being we had ever laid our eyes upon. With jet black hair and long dark lashes, he was president of student council and–by far–the best quarterback in the state of Kentucky. I used to sit on the bleachers every Friday night watching his massive, beautiful arm throw touchdown after touchdown. I would fantasize about Eddie carrying my books to class and my heart would literally flutter as I imagined us sitting under the magnolia tree during lunch as he would express to me how positively stunning I was. Unfortunately, those moments were reserved for Savannah Winslow. I hated her with every bone in my body. Not just because she had won Eddie’s heart, but because she was the biggest…jerk on the planet. The only people she associated with lived in million dollar homes, whose parents had more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers and Kenny Rogers combined. Savannah wore her way too short cheerleading uniform to school, even when the other cheerleaders did not, claiming ‘entitlement’ as she was head cheerleader. She made fun of the theater, chorus and band students and…was graced with enormous breasts. Need I say more?
My best friend, Tom Landover had only one arm, but it didn’t bother him and it didn’t bother me. I admired Tom, as he was brilliant with an uncanny depth and understanding of life at his young age. He would actually carry my books with his one good arm and in the presence of this sweet little guy, I could be myself, flawed and all. One day, Tom and I were walking down the hallway when a pencil smacked him in the back of his head. We both turned around in shock to see who had thrown it. Standing several feet behind us was Eddie Hackenlacker accompanied by his beloved Savannah.
“You might actually have a shot at being popular if you would quit hanging out with that crippled nerd.” Eddie said to me with a repulsive smirk.
I walked right up to the now, ugliest human I had ever met and kicked him right in the….knee cap. Eddie was the first of a long list of “wants” that I was wrong about. As I became an adult, I still seemed to have similar mishaps and was always perplexed as to where I kept going so terribly wrong.
Take Tony Martin, for example. I dated him because I wanted a guy who was “Laid Back”. Well, as it turned out, if Tony were any more laid back, he would have been dead.
So, I then decided that it might serve me better to want a man who was “Highly Driven.” And I found him in John Clark. However, I ended up spending more time alone throwing tennis balls across the living room to my poodle, than eating lobster bisque with John. We did go on one vacation together, which I really looked forward too. Because he worked all of the time, I hoped this would be a perfect opportunity for him to relax and for us to spend quality time together. We ordered dinner and a bottle of wine to our five star hotel room and for the first hour it was just lovely. An hour and five seconds later, John Clark passed out from apparent sheer exhaustion and slept the duration of our trip. I spent the entire weekend hearing him snore and watching him make strange faces with his mouth while he slept.
After watching my best friend’s husband cheat on her multiple times I was definitely, wanting someone “Sweet and Faithful.” And poof! Eric Mattingly was in my life like a puppy dog wagging his tail, willing to sit, lie down or roll over at my beck and call. Not flattering. I finally took some time away from the dating scene and lived out my relationships vicariously through Sex in the City and threw my want list into the wind. I would wait until I met someone who was good for me, with no predetermined requirements. To my credit, I always tried to find the exact opposite trait of the latest disaster, nevertheless neglecting to realize how contrived my approach to dating was. Either out of maturity or frustration, I finally came to a profound epiphany.
On my first date, over coffee with my now mister man, who happens to be just perfect for me, he proposed an ironic question. “So Buf, what are you looking for in a man?” I smiled and took a sip of my double grande skinny latte on ice and replied, “I don’t know what I want, but I damn sure know what I don’t.” He replied, “Yeah. I know exactly how you feel.”