S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night! for the Dateless

So it's Saturday night, and here I am, drinking a soda, working the Scarleteen boards, and catching up on episodes of my favorite TV shows that I missed while I was out of town. I could be out on a date, flirting and eating a dynamite roll or maybe some chicken coconut korma, gathering up my bravery to give that good night kiss, but my most recent venture into the dating scene ended somewhat disappointingly when he met someone else while I was out of town. Bummer. No hard feelings, but that chicken coconut korma would've been awesome paired with a great discussion about Ann Beattie and Raymond Carver.

For people busy with school or work or...whatever, the weekends are when most people go out on dates and try to form connections, find things in common, or maybe just find someone to spend a few sweet hours with. For those of us who don't have a date, the weekends can be something of a downer as we see couples exchanging awkward glances over dinner (awkward glances we wish we could take part in), holding hands while they walk downtown, or kissing passionately as they hail a cab. Damn them! I'll catch myself thinking sometimes when I see it happening. Why couldn't I be the one smooching that cute redhead?

Indeed, why can't I be the one smooching the redhead? I get down on myself for it, too. If only I was friendlier, if only I was better at flirting, if only I wasn't so darn "picky" about who I dated, if only my shirt showed a bit more cleavage, if only I didn't live where I live but lived somewhere else where there must be more people like me, more people I could date.

But I'm here, and there is plenty of diversity in my city, if only I looked for it. And how much cleavage I have (or really, how I look period) shouldn't matter. I'm pretty friendly, too, and people mistake my friendliness for flirting quite often. So what is the issue?

I guess I am pretty "picky," whatever that means. I know what I'm looking for in a date and in a person. I want good conversations; I want dialogue, discussion, intellectual stimulation, all that jazz. I want someone who gets what feminism is and isn't, and knows that there's more than one branch of feminism. I want someone who has the same religious (or lack thereof) beliefs as me, and similar political beliefs. I want someone who knows what STI stands for and that you should get tested for them at least once a year, or every six months if you change partners often. I want someone who doesn't put up a fight when you ask that they use a condom. I also want someone who appreciates good literature. And I want someone who eats healthy and avoids that "conspicuous consumption" plaguing so many people in our present society.

This is starting to sound like a plea to Venus, or perhaps an ad on a dating website, maybe even a rant against mainstream society. But the point is, I know what I want in a romantic partner, and I don't see much point in getting dressed up and spending the money on a date if I know I don't really want any kind of relationship with them. Have a friendly cup of tea with them? Sure. But dating is a lot different than platonic tea. There's the intent of seeing if you want to pursue any kind of relationship with this person other than friendship. With platonic tea, you are pretty much only going into it to gain a friend (or just share a cup of tea). Knowing what I want in a partner doesn't make me any "pickier" than knowing who I want for President. And anyway, how special is someone going to be if you go out with them because you were afraid no one else would ask you out?

Single Saturdays don't have to be a total bummer, unless you let them be that way. I don't need to have dates lined up to enjoy the weekend. I'm catching up on some work, watching my favorite TV shows, relaxing, and giving myself a little TLC. Next weekend, I'll go out with a couple of friends and we'll wander around at a festival downtown. What about all of you?