Staying competitive in the dating world required maintenance. Perhaps this is why I'm so bad at finding the right girl, and dating in general. I really hate maintenance and I don't like having to do things to stay competitive.
I've come up with a list of "necessary evils" that I'm required to do to remain attractive and competitive in the dating world. Sadly, if I didn't have to date, I wonder if I'd even keep up with all these things:
Going to the gym
I hate every minute I spend in the gym, from the locker room full of naked old men to the treadmill where I feel like I'm going to keel over, to the weights where I feel weaker than all of the giant meatheads with no necks. While I'm torturing my body, I am thinking of all of the better, unhealthy things I could be doing: eating fast food, or partying in the bar with my friends. Of course I could just be lying there watching TV which is one of my favorite activities. But, if I don't go to the gym, I get kind of soft and flabby and I just feel gross. I will never understand those people who "love" working out. It's a punishment to the body-albeit a punishment that makes it healthier and stronger. If we were still hunters and gatherers, I wouldn't have to go to the gym. But I sit in a chair from 9-5 during the week, so I guess I should move once in a while. Plus, I'm a huge hypocrite if I don't go to the gym when I expect women to.
Cleanliness and Hygiene
It's no secret: when I don't see anyone in public for a few days, I let myself go. I don't shave, I barely shower, and I revel in my body's "natural chemicals and odors". My mom apparently doesn't like it when I let myself rot like this. This past Christmas, amongst my gifts, I saw a random bottle of hydrogen peroxide. My mom explained, while handing me a thing of Q-tips: "now, just dip this Q-tip in the hydrogen peroxide and swab out your ears. You know you're single and lame when your mom is still teaching you things that you should have learned when you were ten years old.
I look for intelligent women to date, so I should be intelligent for them too. This means, reading and research. Now, I do love to research certain things: true crime, nature, sports, random tidbits on Wikipedia. I like my information to come to me in little compartmentalized bits, and I need to be able to click off of it when I'm bored. But I guess I would be even smarter if I read smart-sounding books like "Of Mice and Men"-the kind that occur as answers in Trivial Pursuit. Sadly, reading more than 1/3 of a book is a necessary evil.
I'll need to have money to take a girl out and have some fun. Also, I will have to be doing something so I have to answer that ever-popular question that usually pops up in the opening five minutes of conversation: "what do you do?" So, I have to work, I have to succeed at that work, and I have to try to enjoy it. I wish I was still in college though.
My friend at work, Margaret, has invented a term: "The Santos Follow Through." Unlike Watt, Ford, Columbus, or Pythagoras, I don't have something useful and cool named after me. I have a sarcastic swipe at my lack of follow through as my name-sake. Yes, I have had amazing ideas: I was going to give my buddy's girlfriend a calendar of just me and him (we tend to take a lot of pictures together as if we were boyfriends), I was going to give Margaret a "Rich's Thought of the Day" calendar to help her improve, and I made up this amazing idea called E-Z Loo: sanitary, luxurious bathrooms throughout the city that would cost $1.00 to access for jumpy crappers like myself. But all my ideas never leave my mind. Dating requires effort and follow through...yeah, still working on that.
This list could also be a list of necessary evils of self-worth. If successful dating depends on putting one foot in front of the other, then perhaps I should use these necessary evils to get myself attractive and ready to date...and the rest will just fall into place. So, perhaps we work on ourselves first, then we date.
What necessary evils do you hate? Wearing high-heels? Makeup? Having to behave "like a lady?"