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One of the personal questions I get asked most frequently is why I am
still single. I usually dodge the question. Being single has its
advantages, though I am not a good solo act. I am not sure I have a
satisfactory answer, anyway.
I guess the main reason is that I have very eclectic tastes and am
extremely picky. I like what I like. What I don't, I don't. The worst
part is that I am getting fussier as I get older.
I guess it boils down to this: De gustibus non disputandum est.
Having said that, for the eligible women out there, I guess I should
offer a brief explanation of my criteria. The rest of you may find this
Or maybe just odd.
For starters, no, we are not going to go through the "Did you ever
inhale?" thing. Because smoking... smoking anything is more
than a habit; it says something about you. Roughly translated, it says,
Remember a few years ago when women smoking cigars was chic?
Well, it never was around me. Never will be. I never
understood the appeal of tobacco smoke, or people who find it appealing.
You all belong somewhere... but not around me.
Unlike most men, I have no interest in younger women. Never trust anyone
under 30. But, to be honest, this has not been a limiting factor for me.
No woman under the age of 30 has expressed any interest in me in over a
decade. We have to be able to have something to talk about. Deep
discussions of "Friends" and Courtney Love's latest antics (over there on
the right) ain't gonna' cut it.
Music is a huge part in my life. I love the oldies... boomer music. One
of the things I will spring on you on our first date will be to ask you
to name the Beatles... right off the top of your head. If you stammer
with the last one, and finally blurt out "George Hamilton," well, it may
be an early evening for both of us. On the other hand, if you constantly
call the local oldies radio station to request "Bang-Shang-a-Lang" by
the Archies... we may have to go through some behavior modification. And
if you think that Simon & Garfunkel is a new-age salad dressing.... you
may have to spend some time at a re-education camp.
Earrings: Earrings do not impress me, but I have no objection, in
principle. The principle, however, ends at two, one in each ear. I want
to be impressed by you, not your jewelry. Oh, and earrings belong
attached to the ear, not the nose, or the eyebrow, or the navel, or...
you know, anywhere else where they might get in the way.
Tattoos? No. Especially you-know-where. Tattoos indicate an inability to
express oneself in conventional ways. I saw a woman on "The Jerry
Springer Show" who said she had a tattoo on her... right buttock. It was
the face of Donald Trump with the words "Best sex I ever had" etched
below it. No. No! The smiling face of The Donald is not
what I want to see when I am... close to you. No.
The Weight Thing
Let's get this out of the way. I know that most boomers are overweight.
But I have to be honest here... fat women are not a turn-on to me. (To be
fair, neither are fat men, mind you. But that is way, way,
out of my range.) I know that fat women need love, too.
But they're not gonna' get it from me. We can have intelligent
conversations; we can laugh; we can be best friends. But we will never be
busy beavers beneath the bed sheets.
That's just the way it is.
I admit, I am not as trim as I was in my 20s, either. But I am not fat.
(That's me out on my first -- and last -- date with a girl I called
Tupperware Tess. It was a blind date; I was told she had a great
personality.) So here is the test: we'll go to a park and sit on a
seesaw, feet on the ground. When we lift our feet up, I'd prefer that
I go down and you go up.
But if I go up, it had better take me at least three seconds to reach the
top. If it takes less, and you end up on the ground, it's over. You can
just get up and walk away. But do so slowly, please. I have some assets I
wish to protect for the next woman in my life.
Height: Demonstrating that I am indeed flexible, I will tell you that I
have no height restrictions. I'm 5' 7"... on a tall day. If you're 4'
11", you'll make me feel like a giant. If you're 6' 2"..... well, we may
have some difficulties making all the parts fit together. But I'm up to
: you must have a full set
, and they must be your
. (Is that so unreasonable?)
Hair: same thing.
Breasts: I'm a little flexible here, but only on the ownership part.
Children: I like kids; I really do. Well-behaved kids. I suppose there is
considerable variation in the interpretation of "well-behaved." We could
spend a lifetime arguing over that. (Though, the little lady over there
represents my idea of well-behaved.) So... if you have kids, they should
be under two or over 30... just to play it safe. Let's move on.
I like pets. Dogs, cats, and even, I guess, birds and ferrets. But I set
the limit at rats. Who would have a pet rat? Imagine a woman with a pet
rat named Snuggles. I don't think so.
One of my firm requirements is the ability to speak the English
language... clearly and effectively. I gotta' tell you, a woman who
speaks in cohesive, well-formed, grammatically correct, complete sentences
is a huge turn-on! Consistent subject-verb agreement is music to my ears.
Avoidance of the passive voice and proper use of the subjunctive mode...
and we're almost there. And a solid vocabulary... well, it shudders my
loins just to think of it!
Now, one can go overboard.... just like too much cleavage, excessive use
of polysyllabic words is just plain gross. But that is part of the
appeal. Like a low-cut blouse, you need to know when enough is enough.
You must be able to get through an entire evening without using the word
"like," as in, "So I'm like, 'What's that all about?'"
Believe me, it's a deal-killer.
But you get no extra credit for being multilingual. There is no need to
impress me with French, Spanish or Yiddish. (Although, an occasional,
well-placed "Oy, vey!" can be cute.) And if you speak fluent Farsi, the
CIA has a place for you.
So does any inner-city fast food restaurant.
But I do not.
I am an old-fashioned, conventional guy. But if you want to open your own
doors and pay for your share of the evening date, that's fine with me.
Just don't make a big deal of it. And if you should want to pay for both
of us, well... I am flexible there, too. Be my guest... or actually, my
We can go in my car or yours. I will pick you up or you can pick me up.
It honestly does not matter in the slightest to me. But...
Twenty years ago I would have wanted you to be impressed by my car, a
1981 Mazda RX-7. Today, I want you to merely tolerate my
car, a 1981 Mazda RX-7 with 515,000 miles on it. That's right... half a
million miles. (Indy was right; it's not the years, it's the mileage.)
Hey, in another three years, it will be considered a "classic." So will
I. Get used to it.
I like doing things at home... your home or mine. I do not care how big
or small your house or apartment or condo is. But... I do have a few
restrictions. I will not come to your house if you live in a gated
community. A moat? If necessary, yes. A gate? No.
I once dated a woman who lived in one of those fancy, schmancy places. I
had to get a clearance from a uniformed security officer before I could
get to her house. Gees, I think he ran a credit report and criminal
background check on me before he let me pass through the gate. But
perhaps the guard was checking the wrong person. My date turned out to be
a former auditor with Enron. Gees! I should have brought along
And speed bumps are a no-no. (Remember; I drive a 24 year-old car with
515,000 miles on it.) If I have to go over more than one speed bump to
get to your house... our first date will be our last.
So I am prepared and eager for commitment. But it has to be the right
woman, with the right stuff.
Oh... if you know the translation of "de gustibus non disputandum
est" right off the top of your head... well, I have a sparkling, 2-carat
diamond engagement ring (a family heirloom) waiting for you.
Whew! Did we set off a firestorm here! Most comments were along the
lines of this from Shari:
As fussy as Hershel is, that ring may stay attached to the fabric
Though long-time visitor Wayne thinks Hershel is far better off as he
Dont let your hormones make deceisions. You haven't missed a thing but
An anonymous reader gets off to a shaky start... but ends strong:
Like, what does Hershel do for a living??? He looks like a
red-neck deer hunter!
Regular visitor Wmex has the whole thing figured out:
I think you will be able to reprint this column annually for decades to
come...btw,your grammatically-precise dream girl would have
shouted, 'Check,please' as soon as you said 'I gotta tell you'...
Linda, one of our favorite visitors, writes:
Alas, I would not have you for all the money in the world, nor for all
the tea in China, nor for all the coal in Newcastle...
On top of that, Pat finds Hershel to be boring:
I know a couple of women that I do not care for,I think I'll send them
your way. Maybe you could bore each other to death. No ring is grand
enough to put up with that ego!What a pompous [descriptive, anatomical
Claire comes up with her own term to describe Hershel's dream girl:
Hershel doesn't want an equal partner; rather, he wants a BBB - Baby
Boomer Bimbo. Yes, that's what I said, Bimbo. A woman who is dumb
enough to believe HE is good enough for HER. The only marks in Hershel's
favor are a) he lists his requirements, and b) he doesn't ask the woman
Elaine is a tad more charitable:
Hershel seems like an honest guy - he's alone because of it. High
standards, but he's running out of choices because of those standards.
He's no bargain.
One of our younger visitors has Hershel pegged:
You are never going to meet anyone, and may well die alone. I imagine you
over-estimate your own intellectual capacity and aesthetic appeal.
Just to clarify, I'm not some bitter spinster whose comments you could
simply dismiss. I'm actually a 17 year old female student, who's in a
relationship and couldn't sleep.
Hershel replies: "Let's see now... she's 17, she's 'in a relationship,'
and she can't sleep. Nah.... just too easy; I'll let it go."
Nadine does not quite "get" this essay. But she has some serious
observations about Hershel's "quagmire":
Hershel is quite funny. He isn't a liar and says exactly what he
means, there is no game playing involved and this is to be commended. The
sad part about Hershel's views is that he fails to realise that no one
person on earth is perfect. It would be a rather dull and boring place if
everyone were the same with the same morals, beliefs and standards. Maybe
if he compromises on some of his wants/needs he would find someone
Hershel tried to be tactful here; but he has a serious response,
"There is nothing in my essay which indicates I am looking for
perfection. I do not expect everyone to have the same morals, beliefs and
standards as I do. But I do expect the person with whom I intend to spend
the rest of my life to share my morals, beliefs and standards. That is
what is known as compatability."
"Though, I do see your point. I know a lot of people who have
compromised on their wants/needs. I call them "divorced." And
unfortunately, I do not find that 'special.' In fact, I find it
Travis adds some comments from the male perspective:
Seriously? I thought MY expectations were high. You're never going to
find a girl like that because they really don't exist. He is pretty funny
though. If there's a polar opposite of desperate, its name is Hershel.
I'd also like to point out to the Canadian [next comment] who said
he's got the appeal of Ted Bundy. Shows how much you know. Ted Bundy was
regarded as a quite handsome and personable man. So you're giving Hershel
a compliment. Yeah, he's a serial killer, but we know that NOW.
Canadian visitor Nancy puts Hershel in his place; she gets the last
You've gotta be kidding! It's NOT who do you want-it's who would want
YOU! You are a typical, egotistical, know-it-all who has about as much
appeal as Ted Bundy! Thank GOD we are past the age when women 'need' a
man!Hershel,darling, get a clue. Any woman who would have you deserves
everything she gets!
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