January 8, 2005

My dream is to find someone who feels lucky to have me. Someone on death row would be ideal.

Going out with someone worse off than you has its advantages. When you complain about him to your friends, they'll nod their heads and tell you that you can do better and that you deserve more. It's very affirming.

So is contributing to dinner. I've gone out with men who don't earn a lot, and when I've offered to pay my own way or, better yet, the whole cheque, I immediately become the ideal woman. The problem is, then I assume my contribution gives me the right to be as miserable and difficult as I want.

If someone is worse off than me, it's not like he'll be the one to leave, right? Wrong. I was seeing someone who had no money, no job and no ambition. Three weeks into the relationship, he dumped me for someone "more upbeat".

Finding the right mix of loser in a boyfriend is tricky. He has to have enough sex appeal and confidence to be desirable to me - just not to others. I went out with someone like this. Whenever he was dressed well he looked way too attractive. He'd put something cute on and ask: "Does this look good?" And I'd say no, so he'd change into something disgusting and I'd say: "Perfect!" He was clueless.

The fatter he got, the happier I was. When we broke up, part of me was at least relieved that he was so big that no other woman would look at him.

Until, right after we split, he started to train for the New York Marathon.

Recently I heard news of a former loser boyfriend. He was a Jewish Mick Jagger who'd fooled around behind my back, broke my heart and later married. The news was he'd divorced, was out of work and living in his brother's basement. Instead of thinking, "Serves him right," you know what I thought? "I bet I have a shot now."

My dream would be to find someone who feels lucky to have me no matter what. Someone on death row would be ideal. He'd always look forward to seeing me. And he'd stay on the phone as long as I wanted. What else would he have to do? Plus he'd be all ears, because the only thing he could do while he listened to me talk was pace. He wouldn't be able to say: "I have to go." And who's he going to cheat with? The more I think about it, the more appealing it sounds. We wouldn't have to worry about a future together.

But then I'd get attached. I'd forget he was on death row and be upset every time he brought it up. He'd tell me I was in denial and our visits would be spent arguing. So to get back on his good side, I'd try hard to get him pardoned: it would give me a purpose in life.
Except as soon as he got out of prison, he'd be bolstered by his new-found freedom and dump me. Because then he'd be a winner and see me as a loser girlfriend for having gone out with him in the first place.