Dear old sports:

I went on an Internet date last night with a dude who has dated lots of writer-types.* "My sex life has been described in at least two short stories," he told me, laughing. I responded: "That must mean you're good in the sack, right?" "That means if you want to blog about me, I'm cool with it."

Well ... all rightie then!

We had a fun night at this wonderfully inviting Italian place, Saraghina, full of chirping, smiling Italian servers who were saying buona sera, buona sera. Among the topics of conversation: Muhammad Ali (whom I love); The Beatles; and the poet Theodore Roethke. As we were sipping wine and I was explaining that I don't drink very much (because it screws up my already sub-par sleeping abilities even more) what also came up was that he "smokes grass," as he put it.

"Just every once in a while," he continued. "But I wanted to mention it right away, because another woman I dated for a bit got pissed and accused me of trying to hide it from her, when she found out. The truth is, it's so not a big deal to me that I didn't even think twice about mentioning it, or not mentioning it."

Is it a big deal for me? Not so much--Haile Selassie knows, I did more than my fair share of bong hits in college.

(Plenty of us go through stoner phases in youth. Even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, or so it would seem from the screen-grab of him, below, from the body-building documentary "Pumping Iron." )

I do avoid the stuff these days, however ... and I can see how someone else might be turned off by that kind of thing. For one thing, it's illegal. For another, it causes a ton of gun violence. It's bad for your lungs. And while I think the guy from last night legitimately doesn't do it often, I would probably think twice about any grown man who was getting high with any frequency.

Anyway, folks, what think ye? Is cannabis--or Mary Jane, weed, ganj, 420, whatever you want to call it--a deal-breaker for you? Would you refuse to date someone simply because he smoked it--or simply because he was adamantly opposed to it?

Are you cool with grass--but do you draw the line there? Like, if a guy is doing coke or taking Ecstasy (or whatever you kids take these days), would that automatically eliminate him? Do you think people's flexibility when it comes to drugs has more to do with their age, their place in the socioeconomic heirarcy, or with the part of the country where they live?

xxx!

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*Note to women of New York: The guy said, "I've lived in a bunch of places--Chicago, Paris, the Midwest--and nowhere is it easier to get Internet dates with attractive, accomplished women than here in New York. I've been amazed by the bounty." Which is to say: We New York single women have it tough! We far outnumber the single men.

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dear commenters:

if i seem a little tuned out in the days to follow, please bear with me! i am moving, and discombobulated.

-Jentacular: Love the name. I'm glad you love the blog. I'm not going to rush--very sound advice. And I'm glad you weighed in and let us know about your experiences.

-Amber! Yes, totally--blog is my therapy. Which makes you nice people professionals! (Do I really sound together? Thank you!) Oh, and the joke was great.

-Staci: Checking with your health insurance provider to ask about mental health professionals within the network is smart; thank you for pointing that out.

-Sophia: As a blogger, the opinions of strangers mean everything to me. I"m glad you're commenting.

-Aimee: Neurotics Anonymous--who knew??? That sounds so interesting ... I may just have to check it out.

What Do You Think?