The Art of Giftwrapping and Dating

My Note: I had every intention to write this blog before the holidays, when the red cups start making their way to our every day coffee, the jingle bells start…jingling, and the crazies start fighting over the last cart or last parking lot. Needless to say, I didn’t get to start writing until a few days after Christmas. And now, it’s New Years Day. It’s still relevant, though.

The holiday season brings all kinds of emotions within us – of happy times we celebrate with loved ones, of feelings we feel when we see the lights or smell the scent of peppermint hot chocolate, or of memories we once shared with someone we wish were still in our lives. One of the things I look forward to is wrapping presents. A lot of people despise wrapping gifts. It’s definitely not for everyone. Decisions have to be made at every turn. What kind of gift wrapper do you buy? The design definitely matters. It’s the first thing that the receiver sees. Do you go for the expensive glittery kind, or just the regular cheap paper? Then, do you wrap a ribbon around it and go an extra mile with a bow? All of these to wow the person you’re giving the gift to, to make them feel special and deserving of whatever amazing is contained inside. I actually take time and effort into gift wrapping.

When you’re in the dating scene, how you present yourself is the same as being covered in gift wrap. So much judgement is placed based on how people perceive you. Dating, I’m learning, is mainly how people perceive you depending on their requirements and experiences in life. We all try to present ourselves to be as attractive as possible. Physically alone is a big deal. Let’s be honest, we all judge a book by its cover at first. Is his haircut too funky? Why are his eyes not equidistant to his nose? He looks too much like my cousin.

I just recently watched “The Ugly Truth” on one of those late nights you just can’t sleep for no apparent reason and the only options you have on TV are random movies or infomercials on skin tightening or some cookware. For those who haven’t seen the film it’s your typical cliche movie about bad boy guy who teaches good girl how to date, they go through some crap, there’s a love triangle, and everything smooths out in the last ten minutes of the movie for both to fall in love. There is one bit that really caught my attention as I’m trying to resist the urge to look for ice cream. Katherine Heigl pisses off Gerard Butler, who goes on a short rant and says the following:

That’s crap. They say they want romance, they say they want true love, but all they want is a check list. Is he perfect? Is he handsome? Is he a doctor? For you men who fit the criteria, don’t kid yourselves. Cuz they’re not sleeping with you, they’re sleeping with a carefully calculated set of venal choices. Money over substance, looks over soul, polished over principles. No gesture, no matter how real or romantic will ever compensate for a really impressive list of credentials.

That rant basically hit the core. It’s true. Dating is a carefully calculated set of choices, and the choices we make are based on the credentials of the other person. The other person boils down to nothing but a checklist. Only after they pass with flying colors (or no colors depending on circumstances and desperation) do we learn to look past their flaws as they look past ours. I, for one, now admit to this. I am guilty of doing this. Even with first glance of a person I can see my brain zooming through my checklist to make sure they fit a general criteria I have made up in my head. But, I will say this to defend myself: my criteria, my judgements, my checklist, I can honestly say, are not superficial. Rather, they are made based on my past experiences in being in a failed relationship. The ugly truth is, I am who I am because this is who I became. This is not who I was four years ago. Never would I have imagined I would be this, now.

Funny thing about wrapping gifts: so much time is placed on wrapping the gifts, but it only takes mere seconds to ravage through the gift wrap to get to the gift itself. Then, just because it’s been wrapped ever so delicately with ravishing decorative paper does not necessarily guarantee you get what you want. Such, is the ironic similarity with dating. You never know what you’ll get.

Dirty Hot

Work has been busy for me. It seems like I’m turning into a career man to keep myself occupied. New adventures that I’m trying to stay optimistic about. I must admit that’s not how it started out, nor were my intentions for myself. But I’m trying to move on. This isn’t what life has in store for me. I still have a long way to go.
A coworker is going through almost something similar as I am, but about 8 months ahead of me. She’s much better now and actually dating now. She’s my reminder that things will get better. Anyway, there’s this construction worker that’s been on a project at work for a couple of years. He’s not really her type to begin with. He’s usually dirty and covered in dust or paint. But, it’s the ruggedness and dirtiness that makes him look really manly hot. Definitely not your suit-and-tie type, but the get-down-and-dirty-and-sweat-and-build-things type. They’ve just had small talk before, especially since she was married. However, since she’s been single he hasn’t done anything. She’s been trying to hint at things, going out of her way to say hello and try to have conversation with him. She wasn’t sure if she was even putting out the correct signals, or if he’s just reading them wrong. I mean is been forever since she tried dating. And nothing… until the beginning of this week finally. He finally asked her on a dinner date.
She was nervous, of course. But it was a good reminder for her that she still got it. Despite the fact that the last time she was available for the dating scene was 16 years ago, she still has it. She can still attract a man’s attention. This was good for her. A person asking her out on a date in person , not through a dating website. And the best part is – he called her instead of texting. Don’t see that much these days. It’s good to see that she gets attention, and that she’s moving past her past.
I’ll be there soon. I’m much better now than I was before. The holidays will be good to me. Plus, there’s a Vegas trip (yeee!) coming up, which is going to be a very good reset. New year around the corner. I’m trying not to miss him too much just because it’s the holidays. I’m trying to do me. Focus on me and work on me.