I have previously defined what I consider to be “fundamentals” or “essentials” when dating someone. I neglected to note what I refer to as “deal breakers.” These consist of the surface, quirky, and often times ridiculous little traits or actions leaving me running, top speed, for the door. Have you seen the movie “Singles” written and directed by Cameron Crowe? Written in 1992, it is a movie full of witty and truthful insight. I’m sad to say, I identify with the character Janet Livermore, played by Bridget Fonda. Some of her “deal breakers’ are eerily close to mine and they existed for me long before seeing this movie. I say "sadly" because she is a bit nutty. 'Course, I would like to think she and I are similar sans the craziness. For example, there is one scene in which Janet fakes a sneeze to gauge the reaction of her sorta-boyfriend, Cliff. His response is no
response. She delivers yet another phony sneeze and Cliff responds with, “Hey babe, don’t get me sick.” She was looking for his recognition of her sneeze; a simple “bless you.” This is important to me. Why? It’s important because it offers a selfless moment of wishing me well. I bless complete strangers.
I am a sucker for good grammar and spelling. Men, in general, are usually stronger in areas dealing with numbers so it is rare and precious to find a man who knows the word “grammar” is spelled with an “a” rather than an “e.” Oddly, as I’m certain you’ve noticed, I am rather often guilty of grammatical (primarily surrounding punctuation) errors myself. In short, maybe it’s easier to see someone else’s flaws before seeing your own. I always forget words when typing. I see the word in my head but it doesn’t translate through my fingers to the page. I am a victim of my impatience. I should reread my writing more.
Another irk is when a man (or person) enters a restroom, does their business, while returning to the table (or wherever) moments later. The effort it takes to spend an extra thirty seconds to wash your hands is really no effort at all when considering the overwhelming amount of funk you touch while in the restroom. I won’t get into details as it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.
The worst offense of all? Bad kissers. Chemistry is a factor, obviously, with every kiss. What I consider to be a “bad kiss” may very well be another person’s preference. This must be the case. To me, a good kiss should be progressive. In other words, do not jam your little lizard-like tongue down my throat at the raging speed of light. Slow, progressive. Passion is good. Messy, sloppy, kisses that hurt? Not good. There is some good news, however, there is bound to be another you. Find her ‘cause if you’re a bad kisser, I am not your girl.
A few years ago, one of my best friends, Jim, shared a few of his “deal breakers.” One has tattooed my brain and has become one of my
peeves. He said “I have met some beautiful, intelligent, kind women and then discovered they bite their nails. Nail biting is a complete turnoff. Short nails are fine, but nubby, barely-there nails gross me out.” I was a nail biter at the time. It’s been a couple years but I completely kicked the nasty nail biting habit. Jim went on to say, “How you take care of your hands says a lot about you. Nail biting is a sign of stress and a lack of self-control.” I found that to be an excellent point and have since found myself taking note of fingernails as well. Plus, it is gross.
With Jim in May 2008. One of my favorite pictures. Taken by a stranger on the bridge.
My buddy Adam, also known as "Pool Boy", is well known for his dysfunctional relationships. In many ways, he is my male counter-part, except he’s a great deal more animated and witty . Several months ago, the radio station hired a life coach for Adam. They wanted someone to dig through the façade, to penetrate the heart of the matter. In doing so, Adam was required to avoid bars and dating. His feats and breakthroughs were shared on air, and I called him based on his end success. I told him of our similarities when dating and he said, “I know some of it is ridiculous, but it affects me. For instance, if my date yawns without covering her mouth? It becomes all I can think of for the remainder of the date.” As a side-note, Adam is one of the funniest people I know. That said, why was she yawning in the first place? Recently, I asked Adam if he minded my using his name and of course, I shared why. He has since sent several texts noting more deal breakers. “I can’t deal with messy cars or women that smoke immediately when they awake.” My friend Jeff has also made the comment, “You can tell a lot about a person based on the condition of their vehicle.” Good point. Mine is a complete disaster but maybe I should keep that to myself…
With Adam in May of 2008.
Steven, my cute neighbor, had a tough time thinking of a pet peeve. Finally he said, “Women that burn food. She doesn’t have to be the best cook in the world but it is important she not burn everything she cooks. The smell of burnt food repulses me.” I’m a decent cook. Glad he doesn’t feel the same way Adam and Jeff do about messy cars.
When I tossed the “what are your deal breakers” question out to friends, the common responses were, well, common responses. Several stated being turned off by bad breath, people that smack when they eat, or those that don’t close their mouths when eating. Pet peeves, in general, are often universal. Nobody cares for the slow drivers in the fast lane and most don’t like it when people interrupt them while they're in mid-sentence. I am interested in the more bizarre peeves. This has always been a point of interest for me so I look forward to responses.