>>> Bang for Your Buck
By staff writer David Nelson

September 23, 2007

Essential New Word of the Week: beerometer (definition hint: time to leave…)

I’ve been in a relationship for several months now, and I have to say, I don’t miss dating at all.

I don’t miss the back-and-forth email banter wherein I, as a single male, must engage a girl’s interest by appearing witty and urbane. Most guys try to accomplish this just by quoting Monty Python and making liberal use of emoticons, but I would always put in the extra effort to, you know, communicate. Boy, I’m glad those days are done.

I also don’t miss the actual dates, because they’re like microcosms of job interviews, only they have booze nearby. And while I love alcohol like Louis Farrakhan loves his community, its presence doesn’t help when I’m trying to demonstrate my better traits to a nubile young woman. Or an interviewer, for that matter. Of course, if said young woman looks like Beastor, Queen of the Inhumanoids, I’ll gladly risk being eaten to acquire some kind of intoxicant.

Anyway, as a safely domesticated specimen (read: pathetic schlub), those days are behind me. According to my single friends, the dating scene continues to suck, though. It’s still entirely possible to spring for the lobster and not get so much as a booby-grab in return. Well, single folks need to know that relationships are fraught with pitfalls as well. True, you gain access to the mystical all-you-can-eat sex buffet, but the price is deceptively high, and sometimes, the service is atrocious.

The first few weeks of a relationship are bliss. You’re still learning about each other, and unlike most instances of learning, it’s not completely objectionable. You’re also having great conversations, when you can be bothered to remove the genitals from one another’s mouths. And yes, the sex. Oh, the sex. It’s all new and exciting, and it feels like her crotch was custom-crafted with only your pleasure in mind. It’s enough to make you rethink intelligent design.

Then, the relationship enters a more comfortable phase. It’s still great, only you start to forget your partner is someone you want to impress, theoretically. It’s hard to say just where the honeymoon phase ends and this phase begins, but I think it must be the first time you fart audibly in her company. Bonus points if it’s in a well-tucked-in bed. When you hit this turning point, you unleash a torrent, and I don’t mean that metaphorically.

A lot of girls genuinely want their guys to believe that women lack eliminatory processes entirely. And, truthfully, I’m happier believing that gas and fecal matter are magically whisked away by poo-sprites. But all too soon, the delicate flower you thought you were dating is replaced by a gastrointestinal dynamo, every bit as gross as your worst chili-dog-eating buddy. And you can’t complain, because chances are, you’re even worse.

Another horrifying relationship pitfall is meeting the loved ones. The thought of it fills me with more dread than a room full of hissing spiders. And be sure not to use that analogy when meeting her girlfriends. If you’re the type of guy who enjoys being scrutinized down to each and every boyfriend molecule, then by all means, enjoy this step. I would rather hide under a pile of coats until whatever yenta party I’m at is over. Later, I can just send all these women a copy of my resume.

Meeting the parents is even worse. Maybe it’s the product of too many teen sex comedies, but I just naturally assume that every girl’s father is a maniacal ex-drill sergeant who’s likely to follow us home and make me run laps at gunpoint if I so much as give his daughter a peck on the cheek. So I know that a threesome with her sister is right out of the question that night.

After you’ve been dating for a while, you start to learn about all the things you do wrong, and have done wrong all your life. This voyage of discovery is made possible thanks to your girl, who will helpfully remind you at every opportunity. As for me, I’m told I ogle women inappropriately, get antsy if I’m not on time for something, and wear my hair too long. Apparently, she’d rather be dating an inconsiderate, bald, gay man. And as far as I know, Dr. Phil is spoken for.

I have strategies in place for coping with this. Mostly, they involve adopting the persona of a suave, mysterious lothario named Alejandro. Alejandro can make a woman’s panties moist at ten paces, and he has a mariachi band follow him around to play dramatic trumpet stings every time he says his name. Which is a lot.

Going to these lengths is absurd, and may seem pointless, but it cracks my girlfriend up. I’ve found that as long as your girl is laughing, you can basically do no wrong. Unless she’s laughing at your inability to get an erection, in which case, no amount of fictional debonair Mexicans is going to save your relationship. Um, not that I would know firsthand.

One of the more difficult relationship pitfalls I’ve encountered is the difference in our sleep schedules. I, as a human being, like to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning. My girlfriend, as some kind of undead creature, stays awake until the early hours of the morning and sleeps through the delicious, non-existent brunch I tell her I cooked for her.

To make matters worse, I happen to be a morning person. A morning person who’s extremely frisky when he first wakes up. So, I’m stuck next a gorgeous, scantily-clad girl, but if I touch her in any way, I’m 100% likely to wake her up and incur her formidable vampire wrath.

So I sit there, mentally trying to disengage my body’s involuntary hydraulics. On a good day, I can do it by thinking of ideas for PIC articles. On a bad day, that turns into a vividly-imagined, baby oil-soaked romp with Simonne and Allison. And I get the most feedback comments.

Divergent tastes can also be a danger. Regular readers will know I like when stuff kicks ass and is all BAM MOTHERFUCKER! But what to do when I’m dating someone whose interests I can’t or won’t share? Bluffing is a good option at first, but there’s only so long I can pretend to care about 18th century Flemish poetry or Korean slap-fighting.

A better solution is to get her hooked on something you like. And, no, crack doesn’t count. Now, some might say it’s optimistic to hope your girlfriend will become a huge fan of beer, video games, and running out to the convenience store to pick up more snacks. But it’s not impossible. You just have to think like Pavlov. Reward her with a romantic dinner if she can beat you in Halo, and zap her if you run out of Doritos. Problem solved.

Relationships are tricky business, but with some humor and some forward-planning, I’ve managed to avoid the worst pitfalls. I can honestly say, this is about the best relationship I’ve ever had. All my previous relationships look totally unhealthy in comparison. It’s kind of like Billy Blanks visiting a leper colony.

So now that I’ve covered the pitfalls of both dating and relationships, you might wonder if I foresee a sequel to this article—Marriage Pitfalls. It’s still way too early to tell, but if my girlfriend asks me, I’ll probably just refer the question to Alejandro.

Essential New Word of the Week:

beerometer n (bi’ramEtr)

This week’s word celebrates the fine women who inhabit the oft-overlooked middle ground between hotness and pug-fugliness. Actually, the ones just a notch below that. You see, as one gets older, it gets more difficult to get a fix on the body’s alcohol threshold. Just because you could handle 20 beers when you were twenty, that’s no guarantee the ratio will carry over into your thirties. In fact, it’s downright unlikely. So, if drunkenness is still the objective of a night out, how do you gauge when too much has become waaaay too much?

The answer lies in the beerometer, a girl who is known to you, and who ranks about 5.5 out of 10 on your personal fuckability scale. When she starts to look like she might actually be worth taking home, it’s time to leave, fast. A true beerometer is hard to find. The majority of girls out there are too attractive. Of those that remain, many are beyond the help of fermented wheat. But that rare girl who looks like a supermodel only at a dangerous blood alcohol level, well, she’s worth her (dubious) weight in gold.