Friday, December 16, 2011

When Harry Met Sally

Harry: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally: Which one am I?
Harry: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally: I don't see that.
Harry: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry: I know; high maintenance.

I had an epiphany today: I am Sally.

That might not sound like an epiphany to anyone who knows me. Actually, that's probably the least news-worthy headline any woman has ever spawned. WOMAN BELIEVED TO BE "LOW MAINTENANCE" IS ACTUALLY "HIGH MAINTENANCE" - NEWS AT 11!!! Not very realistic, I know. Still, I have been under the delusion all this time that when men say they're looking for a "down-to-earth girl," they're referring to me.

I don't have grandiose expectations, you see. I'm not one of those girls walking around with a Coach bag on my arm, driving a Lexus, and sipping my custom blended Italian roasted macchiato. Not even close! I'm happy with my wardrobe from White House / Black Market, my Chrysler, and my Starbucks. I don't need to live in a mansion on the coast, I'd be very happy with a quaint Victorian or Tudor home where I can raise my little family, plant a garden in the backyard, and clean the toilets myself. I don't even have high standards when it comes to the men I date! (Harsh, but true.) Right now, all I'm looking for is straight, single, and preferably taller than me. This doesn't sound very specific because it isn't. I can't pretend my next boyfriend will look like Matt Bomer, Josh Dallas, or Michael Buble. All I ask for is someone who's nice to me, who'll provide a life for us, and be a devoted husband! Is that too much to ask???

Yet these are not the questions a potential mate wants to know the answers to. In a recent email exchange, my suitor asked me three banal questions: What is your favorite breakfast? What are your favorite flowers? Where are your favorite places to travel? Here is my actual response:

Flowers: NOT red roses, carnations, or anything with baby's breath or leather leaf (that fern crap they put in every stinkin arrangement!)

I love all other colors of roses, especially really unique ones or the kind where the tips are slightly different than the petals. Like orange & yellow or pink & white. In solid colors, I love classic yellow, pink, peach, purple, or white roses.

Also love Gerbera daisies, any other kind of daisy, stargazer lilies, sunflowers, and stephanotis. Snap dragons, sweet peas, gardenias, and gladiolas.

Breakfast - I enjoy anything with melted butter and / or maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, or brown sugar.
Pancakes, French toast, Dutch babies etc
Eggo waffles, but only Nutri-Grain
I like my toast slightly underdone and I don't eat the crusts
Fresh fruit, but not fruit compote
Fresh whipped cream, not whipped topping
Eggs I like scrambled, preferably with an interesting cheese.
Bacon I like crispy but not burnt.
I drink tea, but only herbal or decaf and I take sugar.
Love fresh orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, or any kind of juice...except grapefruit.

Travel: I lived in Europe and could absolutely do with another five years there. I want to go back to Italy, mostly Tuscany, Rome, and Sicily. I would visit France, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland. I have very little interest in Amsterdam, Prague, or anyplace too cold or mountainous. I like history, architecture and culture but there should also be a sense of adventure. I want to experience the food, local atmosphere and people to get a good pulse on the place but am uncomfortable if I don't speak the language. I try to speak the language whenever I can but secretly hope there is an English translation as often as possible.

I am SUCH a Sally!!!

The most intimate relationship I have right now is with my Starbucks barista. He knows, from the second I walk in the store (usually to write this blog, and chat with his girlfriend) that I am having a Venti Soy Chai Latte with Hazelnut. Why does this matter? What small difference does this make in my life? It has the same impact as when anyone recalls the minutiae of our private selves - it makes us feel special and important. And isn't that what dating is all about? Letting the other person know that they are special and important to you! It's our way of saying You Matter.

The thing about dating is that it's a process of "getting to know you" which can be the best - or the worst - part of your day. Imagine the morning after your first night together, you want to make breakfast for your partner, but you have no idea how they take their tea or coffee. This is a very intimate detail, how someone takes their tea or coffee. Sugar? Milk? Decaf? Strongly brewed or two dunks of the bag and a squeeze of lemon? There are so few people who know these benign details of our daily existence. We all want what we want the exact way we want it and we don't want to have to explain to anyone why we want it that way. We just do!

I want a man who remembers the in's and out's of me, who cares about the details, who says with every fiber of his being: You Matter. You are worth the effort. You are special and important to me.

I want what I want, not because I'm demanding or high maintenance or a snotty bitch - just because it's who I am, how I think, and what my needs are. I love my birthday and hate Valentine's Day. I take my water with three cubes of ice. I sleep on the right side of the bed. And I won't apologize for any of it!


  1. "I want a man who remembers the in's and out's of me, who cares about the details, who says with every fiber of his being: You Matter. You are worth the effort. You are special and important to me." I wish my husband could understand these few simple statements. It's like it's a foreign language to the male species. Once you get married, any of the fluff "your special to me" stuff goes out the friggin' window.