Below is another excerpt from the forthcoming book, due early next year…
As my mid-thirties approached and I was still unmarried – hell, I hadn’t even strung together more than six months of dating one person in years – I began to feel isolated from the friends I had cherished since our time in college. The friends with kids weren’t going to leave the house when weekend nights came to pass, and the friends married sans kids weren’t very keen on going to the kind of places single people wanted to go – namely, places with lots of other single people. Thus began the cycle of having to make a choice each weekend – you could make solitary attempts at finding love, or spend the time enjoying friends while acknowledging you implicitly signed up for one more week of being alone.
No anecdote better summarized the ridiculous hopelessness of dating than the girl who told me the tale of Remote Guy. It was our second date; the first had gone well enough, and we were exchanging stories of frustration about being thirty-something and single, the well seemingly run dry for the lot of us. She told me of a guy she dated earlier that summer who sat across the table from her in a bar overlooking Woodward Avenue during the Dream Cruise, a Detroit tradition where classic cars cruise the street one weekend each year. Looking over the sea of antique steel and car guys, he asked my date “Hey… do you have DirecTV?”
“Umm, no,” she answered, assuming the catalyst for his question was that some obscure channel dedicated to classic cars was only on DirecTV and he wanted to watch it at her place.
“Dish Network then?”
“Nope, not that either.”
She sighs. “No, not WOW!” she was now terrified that he was using online dating as a cold call method to sign people up for whatever shitty cable service he was hawking for a living.
“So, Comcast then?” he ended.
“Yay! You got it!” she exclaimed in mock exuberance.
“Well, then let me show you what I’m workin’ with here…” he cooed as he pulled out his phone and began to swipe through his gallery of photos. When he arrived at the right one, he turned his phone around and slid it across the table to rest in front of her.
On the phone was a photo – of his dick next to a Comcast remote.
Putting aside the frightening hubris that would lead one to think this was a good idea in the context of courting someone; the mind reeled at the logistics behind this methodology. Did he truly have a photo of his penis next to the remote control for every major cable provider in the metro Detroit area?
If he did, how did he procure them? Did he visit the homes of his friends, casually scanning the coffee table for their remotes, seizing the opportunity when a new one welcomed him? Did he excuse himself to the bathroom smuggling said remote with him, only to hurriedly fluff his penis erect for the photo op? Aside from a tinge of jealousy that this guy had a penis whose length compared favorably with the rather elongated Comcast remote, I actually respected his dedication to the concept. Nonetheless, this was my competition out there, and people like Dick Remote Guy were out there poisoning the well; girls I dated probably only heard half the words I said as they braced themselves for cock selfies juxtaposed with household appliances.
Frustrated with the slow march towards loneliness, I began to feel a sense of urgency to change something. I wasn’t sure what, but something. While I waited for inspiration to strike, I poured more energy into my career. That, I reasoned, would at least yield some sort of return on investment.