March 2, 2008

Last week I was watching George Clooney walk the red carpet at Oscars. As he stopped to do interviews, everyone would ask his stunning new girlfriend, "What's it like to date George Clooney?"

What answer is there to that question? She's not likely to say: "It's OK but he's no Brad Pitt." Or "Other than the bad breath, it's good."

Once you date George Clooney, the bar's set pretty high. And the Oscars are the summit of glamour. How do you top that? There she was in her couture gown, arm in arm with the most handsome movie star on the planet.

Most women probably envied her. Not me. I saw a recipe for disaster. If she doesn't end up with him she's ruined for life.

Can you imagine? After they break up and she has to start dating again, where's the next guy going to take her - the moon? The only way to go would be the opposite end of the spectrum. A bald man without charm, looks, or a libido. That can't be too hard to find.

She needs to start looking at the down side now. Just in case. But that's tough. What's the down side with George Clooney? He'll only fly premium economy to the house in Lake Como?

Maybe he snores. She needs something to cling to. He's got to have some bad qualities. Focus on those.

Everyone has their flaws. Some people choose not to look at them but that's a mistake. When a relationship ends, no good can come from romanticising. The other day my friend Heather was talking about the last guy she went out with. "He's a hard act to follow." Really? An unemployed former drug addict who cheated on her. "Yeah," she said, "But he had a big heart."

That's like saying: he had a pulse. Why does that deserve credit? I always thought generosity should be a given. Then again, I tend to set the bar pretty low. The last time I got a bouquet of flowers from a boyfriend the card said: "Sorry I called you a moron."

I'm inclined to like guys who will spend an entire weekend watching TV. As long as they're in front of the TV, I know where they are.

My friend Liza likes men who watch football because her father watched football so it's nostalgic. When I asked if she was ever bothered about the fact that they choose the game over her she looked confused.

"I can honestly say I have never had that feeling," she said. "I love watching football with them." Suddenly she looked outraged. "How can I still be single? I'm every man's dream!"

This got me thinking. Whose dream am I? Someone who doesn't mind giving things up. Like fun. Someone who likes to stay home, make toast, and go to bed early. I'd be perfect for someone in their nineties.

I'd also be the ideal girlfriend for someone who has just been released from having spent 10 years in solitary confinement. He'd be desperate for a conversation. Someone like Papillion. I don't care if he doesn't look like Steve McQueen. As long as his ears work.

People might have the impression I'm hard to please but I don't need a lot of perks. I don't need a date to the Oscars - or a house on Lake Como - just return my phone calls and I'll be delighted.

Whoever I date has it easy. Just showing up goes a long way.