The following is a field report from my recent—and unequivocally unsuccessful--attempt at re-entering the dating world:
I actually had a lunch date--bizarre notion, I know. Turns out it was with "Shallow Woman." We met at a nice restaurant in Bridgeport, WV... the food was plentiful and delicious. Under most circumstances I would have enjoyed it. The topics of conversation were: her hair, her job, her status in the community, and how (financially) successful she was--compared to her siblings and school chums. Also, in much detail, how she was still a size 4 and simply would not, could not "let myself go, like so many women my age." (42)
It took her a good 15 minutes to place her salad order, "I would like the free-range cucumbers on top. I want the balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side: shaken, not stirred. Also, have them remove the stems from my mushrooms before slicing them. The croutons are not domestic, are they?"
When she left to go powder her dainty little nose, I will admit that I was secretly hoping that she would, on return to our table, waltz through the crowded restaurant with the hem of her size 4 skirt wedged in the waistline of her size 4 pantyhose—so that her size 4 posterior would become the butt of many a joke. I know. I am so bad.
My dialogue for the hour:
"well, yes… but—"
"yes, more water, please"
"Oh, I see"
That was pretty much it, as far as I can remember.
It turns out that "Shallow Woman" is actually a member of a sub-species: "Very High Maintenance Shallow Woman" (VHMSW). I recognized this in no time at all, having spent 10 years in suburban Raleigh. In this area (Wake County, NC) the VHMSWs have overrun their ecosystem to the extent that an Open Season on them has been created by the NC Department of Commerce (November and December).
I believe the limit is 4. PETA has yet to register a single protest. There are some restrictions: hunters are not allowed to fire shots into baited areas (Abercrombie & Fitch, Saks, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, etc.). The Wake County landfills are no longer accepting "bagged" VHMSW, due to the fact that so many of their parts are not considered biodegradable. A single silicone boob can take up to 45 years to break down into more natural compounds (such as cellulite).
We were able to keep the VHMSW out of our yard in Wake County by using rather simple repellants: we covered our mailbox with NASCAR stickers and left our Christmas decorations up all year. A team of plastic, roof-mounted reindeer is like kryptonite to a VHMSW. As for overkill, a single 1972 Ford Torino up on blocks can protect an entire neighborhood. Another alternative is the VHMSW "invisible fencing." To manage this, you need to open all of your front windows and crank up any Lynard Skynard 8-track that might be handy. Simply increase or decrease the volume to adjust the diameter of your protected area.
All of this wisdom I am imparting to you, in case you should re-locate to a VHMSW-infested area. You are quite welcome.