Convening the Jury


When it comes to deciding who to love, the only person whose opinion matters is your own.

Yeah, riiiiight.

If my friends and family don’t like whoever it is I’m dating, there are going to be problems. And this in itself creates a problem…because my friends and family are picky, protective and opinionated. They present a juggernaut that no potential Mr. Right could ever be expected to navigate.

Carolina seems all New Agey and spacey on the surface, but will call a man to task about his childhood, his deep-seated psychological issues, or any other cringe-inducing topic that strikes her fancy. Lindsay thinks I should live a nun-like lifestyle for at least a year before going on another date. Lynette has been living with the same guy for four years, but hates all other men and thinks I should become a lesbian. Jenna took one look at my last boyfriend and told me he wouldn’t last two months, because he was boring. I protested. She was right. Sheila is European, and dislikes just about every American man, on the basis that they’re stingy and badly dressed. My sister Sara is so openly skeptical about my boyfriends, I haven’t introduced her to one in two years.

So. In one corner we have East Coast Boy—a man who knows his food and wine, keeps current on world events, and likes me when I’m feisty. In another corner we have The Ten—a man who likes to read, is surprisingly well-traveled, and can melt knickers at 20 paces (to borrow a pithy saying from the Brits). Which will win the friend vote? Let us recap, so far:

Sheila met East Coast Boy before he left, and gave him the thumbs-down. She said this was because he didn’t appreciate me, but I suspect it was also partially because she thought he was too short, and didn’t like the button-down shirt he wore out clubbing.
However, East Coast Boy has a surprise backer in his corner: Sara. This is due to the fact that he has the same birthday as Sara’s fiancé. She figures (as do I, though modern science would disagree) that since they have similar astrology but different birth years, East Coast Boy is probably as decent of a man as her husband-to-be.

Jenna approves of East Coast Boy because of his foodie proclivities. She hasn’t had proof that he isn’t boring, but she’s willing to take my word for it.

Sheila also met The Ten, and she completely flipped out over him. Dragged me into a bathroom stall and downright ordered me to have sex with him the first chance I got. Her boyfriend concurred. He told me that the Ten seemed “so sweet…and smart, too, in a way…and if I were gay, I’d totally want to sleep with him.” He was laughing uncontrollably through the first part of his pronouncement, but still, he said it.
Carolina is in Sweden. I don’t know what side she would preach if she was here, but in reality, when she’s faced with a similar situation, she always takes the Ten (in fact, she’s a Ten herself). So I’m casting her vote on the Ten’s side.

Both my sisters think I’m completely insane to even be toying with a man who considers James Patterson to be literature, and who has an entire collection of Anthrax music videos in his living room. They’re worried that this sudden infatuation of mine marks a rapid downward spiral into Dirty Thirty-ism.

As usual, I’m inclined to agree with the sisterly vote, but to act in accordance with the friend vote. I think. BUT. No one knows me better than my sisters. BUT. On the other hand, they can sometimes behave like the snobbiest of snobby bitches.

But on the other other hand, I have to make my mind up on this myself eventually. And I will do—just as soon as East Coast Boy returns from Europe. Or until he takes so damn long to get back that I forget all about him and give myself over to the pleasures of The Ten: horrible metal music, an amazing collection of surf magazines, and hotness on tap.