10 Key Pointers For Picking A Mate

How to pick a mate – from the fairer sex perspective.

1)  Pick someone bigger than you.  It doesn’t matter what size you are, it matters how big you are compared to the person next to you. If  you are 4′ 8″  and 79 lbs, you pick someone who’s at least 5′ 2″ and you’re good.  If you’re 6′ 3″ and 330 lbs, go for the 6’5″, 440 pounder.  If you aren’t sure if your choice meets the criteria for being enough bigger than you, refer to the spousal proportionality index (I’m sure it can be found on Google).

2)  Pick someone who looks like they could be related to you.  Just because it seems to work out well, usually.  Bonus:  This same rule applies to picking out pets!  Ignore this rule if you hate your family.  Then pick someone with exactly opposite features.  You have big, round eyes?  Pick someone squinty.  You have darker skin?  Pick someone who burns after 4.3 seconds of Sun exposure.  Hate communicating with your mother?  Pick an English language learner.  You get the idea.

3)  The hairier the better.  Even if you are a hairy brute, if you pick someone with 342 hairs per square inch more than you have, you’ll look delicate in comparison.  You will, however, have to invest in laser hair removal for your children, in lieu of a college fund.

Notice how my ooly warms appear relatively  dainty?  This is how you do it.

Notice how my wooly arms appear relatively dainty? This is how you do it.

4)  You need one nag.  There has to be one person who cares passionately about the lights being turned off, the counter tops being cleared, and the organization of the shoe rack.  Passionately!  If we do not all pair up to ensure this 1-1 nag ratio, the Earth would implode while simultaneously being taken over by an evil cat dictator.  At least, that’s the general idea I’m getting, based on Mr. Grouch’s feelings towards lights, counter tops and shoe racks.

5)  Pick a boozer who isn’t too much of a boozer.  You don’t want someone who doesn’t like to drink.  That’s boring.  But, you also don’t want someone who’s going to ruin the office Christmas party by signing photocopies of their ass and stuffing them in the decorative stockings on the walls, either.  Helpful Hint:  If you can find someone who truly drinks socially, as in 1-2 drinks max, then you’ll always have a designated driver.

6)  Pick someone who will let you complain.  You need someone to vent to about your stupid job, to side with you when you get pissed off at your stupid cousin, and someone to lean on when your stupid dog dies.

7) Pick someone who will tell you to shut up.  You don’t want to become some bitter, self-righteous harpy.  Even when your cousin is an asshole, or your cat chokes on a hairball (his, yours, or your mate’s) and bites the dust.  You need a kick in the pants every once in a while to regain some grace and put things in perspective.

8)  Make sure you can put up with their most annoying habits.  Because they aren’t going to go away.  The snoring and the loud chewing and the good morning farts will actually increase in intensity 20-fold. At least.  Learn to deal, or get out now, before your ear drums burst from the sound of Honey Nut Cheerios being munched, or you’re suffocated by cockcrow fumes.

9)  Pick someone whose family members you don’t want to punch in the mouth.  I mean, sometimes you will want to give a quick little sucker punch.  Pow. But, to be fair, you also want to give a little tap to members of your own family from time to time.  In some ways your in-laws will never really understand you, but in other ways you will be closer to them than your own blood.  Even though they are not yours by ancestry, they are now yours by proximity.  Don’t foolishly think they will go away – relatives love to stick nearby one another and drive each other batshit crazy, until the day they die.

10) Pick someone who gives you your space.  In the honeymoon stage all you want to do is cuddle and kiss and pet each other.  Once you’re over that sweet little hump you’re still going to enjoy spending quality time together, but you’ll no longer be willing to give up your weekly coffee dates with your friends, book club meetings (aka wine drinking and laugh-fests) and you are absolutely not going to want his foot to touch yours when you’re sleeping.  Trust me.  I have never understood how a King sized bed is the largest bed they make. There is so not enough space for two people who have been together for more than one year.

Any other tips for long-term couplings?

Couples at square dance, McIntosh County, Okla...

Couples at square dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Camping Trips As Spousal Screenings

Mr. Grouch and I met in 1997, my freshman year of college, his sophomore year.  It didn’t take long for me to fall head over heels.  At 18 years old, I knew he’d probably be the one I married, but we were young and foolish and we used to drive each other batshit crazy.  We broke up a few times and after 4 years of mostly-together-but-a-little-apart, we thought we might have broken up for good.  We were separated for  3 1/2 years before getting back together for ever-ever.

Within The Hiatus, we each dated other people.  I briefly kept company with a guy we’ll call Featherweight.  Featherweight and I decided to go camping for a weekend, and visit my friend Nic, who was in the middle of a months long hiking adventure on the Appalachian Trail.  I called Nic the day before we left so we would know his exact location on the trail.

Before hanging up, I asked him, “Have you seen any bears?”  I was expecting him to say no.

Nic is a tall, lanky blonde, who was dirty and smelly and scruffy from months of hiking along the trail.  He also pilfered 3 rolls of toilet paper – by unrolling them by hand – from the stalls at Applebees when we took him there at the end of the trip. The look on his mangy bearded face was priceless when we pointed out that we could have just given him several rolls we brought. But, that is completely irrelevant to the story.  Back to the phone call.

Apparently only one day earlier, he had been walking briskly, arms swinging, with his 40 lb. pack on his back.  He was listening to music and was so comfortable on the trail that he was paying more attention to his thoughts than the scenery, until he noticed a dark image out of the corner of his eye.  He turned his head to the left, threw his arms up and let out an “Ahhhh!” when he realized there was a large brown bear standing at close proximity.  He discovered that bears take loud yelling, accompanied with raised arms, to be an aggressive posture.  He told me, “Everything you learn about what to do when you come across a bear goes out the window.  I just started running”.

Nic started trotting down the trail and the bear started galloping after him.  A couple of trail runners were jogging in the opposite direction, and when they saw this chase, they turned around and started running the other way.  Three people in a row, sprinting as a brown bear followed.  Eventually the bear swiped at Nic’s pack and then stopped the chase.

Brown Bear in Spring

Brown Bear in Spring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember, this was the day before we were going to meet him on the trail.  My panicking-about-bears problem was born.

So Featherweight and I start hiking on the “trail”.  You can’t follow the Appalachian Trail by looking down at your feet because there aren’t clear paths worn away by walkers.  In order to make sure you stay on the trail, you have to look for white swipes of paint, called blazes, on the trees.  You scan to the left and to the right and when you see a blaze, you know to walk in that direction.  Then you scan again and search for the next blaze.  This is what they look like:

English: A typical white AT blaze along the tr...

A typical white AT blaze along the trail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After 3 miles of walking, Featherweight and I realize we had been walking in the wrong direction.  Crap.  We turned around and after 6 miles of hiking, we were back at the beginning.  The beginning of the end.  We were now going to arrive later than we thought, and later in the day meant closer to darkness and I now knew that darkness was full of bears.

I started walking faster.  It started getting darker.  I started walking FASTER.  Featherweight started lagging behind.  Featherweight started whining about his pack being too heavy.  Featherweight started whining about night-blindness and was all “I can’t see any of the blazes”.  Featherweight started whining about me going to fast.

I stared at him incredulously.  Darkness.  Blindness.  Bears.  This is when I knew for sure he wasn’t the one.  The proverbial straw on the camel’s back, if you will.  I will not be slowed down and potentially end up lost in the woods, in the dark, with bears.  I. Will. Not. Be. Slowed. Down. Even though Mr. Grouch and I never went camping, I knew if I needed him to keep up, he would.  He wouldn’t let me get eaten by a bear.  Even if he was tired, and hungry and couldn’t see, he’d at least protect me by making sure to keep up, you see?

Needless to say the camping experience with Featherweight was tense and awkward and we were so clearly OVER.  I advise all couples to put themselves in a few stressful situations before picking a mate, otherwise you might not realize you’re dating a Featherweight until it’s too late.

Mr. Grouch and I are now older and we still drive each other batshit crazy.  But, he can keep up with me, which makes him a keeper.

If you liked this post you may also enjoy An Open Valentine To Mr. Grouch