Don’t introduce me to your new love until after a year.

Posted in blog post on January 20th, 2011 by Merrill Markoe
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I kind of like cooking. Therefore I like cooking dinner for my friends on special occasions.  But on this, the twentieth day of the first month of a new year, I am making a new house rule:

Do not bring your brand new one true love to my house for a home cooked meal until you have gone with them at least a year.

I have a number of friends who are currently engaged in the difficult, sometimes barbaric, seemingly endless search for the right person. They have my sympathy.  I was dating my brains out for years and  am still so so sick of the whole idea that  the thought of having to return to that moment again makes me shudder the way I do when I imagine voluntarily making trips out to the coin operated laundromat now that I own a washer and dryer. Thats not a good analogy.  Dating is so much worse than the laundromat.  Though the laundromat  still gives me nightmares.

But here is what I learned about dating: You can not tell who it is you have become involved with until around month four. It is just impossible.  The first three months are a honeymoon period where both parties put on a great big fake show for each other.  Then, after that, it takes at least another 8 or 9 months to gather enough information to guess whether or not  this new relationship is going to last.  That year will turn out to be a combination of exhilarating (Hey! Hot new sex!!) and frustrating (I can’t believe what just happened last night!)  This is all just par for the course.   That’s the way a new relationship works.

The only thing I am saying is that during this sometimes exciting and frequently tumultuous period, there is no real reason for you to bring this new person over to meet me. Because in at least 90% of cases, it will turn out that you are only weeks away from sitting me down to listen to you deliver a speech where you will want my empathy and sympathy as you explain in detail how the afore mentioned new person turned out to be a total asshole.

Obviously I am going to want to give you that empathy and sympathy.  You are my friend.  I want the best for you in all circumstances.  All I am asking is that you restrain yourself from making it my responsibility  to cook dinner for someone who is about to ruin your life, before the fact.

Its a lot of work cooking dinner. I search through recipes.  I fret. I have to drive to the store ten times.  Then we clean the house and sweep the porch and wash the tablecloth .   Its expensive and exhausting.  And don’t forget all that energy spent dressing up before hand and  cleaning up afterward. And then, of course, we have to lock the dogs in the back of the house so they won’t eat all the snacks or get hair all over the guests. And boy, they hate that.

Though I don’t mind doing it for people I like. Because I love when they do it for me.  But here’s the thing: I absolutely mind doing it for people  I am not only going to never see again, but am going to  later  find out are personality disordered cretins who have treated a friend of mine badly.  Call me crazy but I don’t want to work hard to help an amoral vindictive monster have a lovely relaxing afternoon or evening.  Which brings me to the stress of searching for topics of conversation to engage a person who, in a few weeks, we will all have agreed was mentally ill and all decided we hate. I don’t want to serve them horsd’oevres and wine and find out where they are from.

I guess I should mention at this point that I have several friends who have brought more than four such relationship candidates over for a long long evening. In one case, five.

Or just as bad: what if I end up bonding with this new person? And then later find out that YOU are the one who acted like the big asshole?  I chose my friends pretty carefully. And I don’t need or want that kind of information about someone I thought was my friend.

So go ahead and fall in love briefly with whoever you chose.  Obviously you don’t need my permission . If you want to waste your time and money and  dreams on  fantasies about this new person, before you have any real idea who they are…well, its your life.  You alone will wind up with the cocktail party anecdotes and the short story rights to whatever crazy thing unfolds. Just do me the courtesy of not insisting that I  join you as  captain, chef and entertainment committee on your  voyage before the whole ship capsizes.

As my friend John Hodgman likes to say at this point: That is all.

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5 Responses to “Don’t introduce me to your new love until after a year.”

  1. susanm says:

    I agree. The honeymoon period is over pretty quickly, when you look at it in terms of a long marriage or relationship. It’s not fun making small talk and trying to sound intelligent for someone who may be written up in the tabloids or Fox News later. Get a quick one at Starbucks or Chucky Cheese, then promise to have coffee with them again in a few weeks.
    I actually liked a new guy I friend was seeing, until she told me he was a sociopath, AFTER the horrible divorce. Besides it’s not fair for the dogs.

  2. Marie says:

    Yeah look at all the big shots that got photographed with Jim Jones before he left for Guyana. I think there is an analogy here. And really, the dogs dont like their routine disrupted especially if it has to do with extra smells and being restrained from all the smells and they dont hesitate to make that clear.

  3. Marian Allen says:

    Probably why one of the signs of a controller is a rush to marriage. He or she figures it’s best to tie that knot before all the results are in on the sociopathy.

    I don’t like cooking for people I don’t like, either. Lucky for me, one of the people I liked least wouldn’t eat my cooking.

  4. Tina says:

    In a similar vein, I would encourage everyone to apply your new 1-year rule to newcomers to the neighborhood. Don’t waste time baking cookies or a cake, buy that nice bottle of wine or greet any new neighbors with a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” goodie basket until you’ve had the chance to see how they pan out for at least a year.

    (Reference: My blog entry September 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm in reply to: “Is This Going to Be on the Test?”)

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