Thursday, January 24, 2013
And now for your reading pleasure, a bit from Suzanne Finnamore Luckenbach's Add to Cart: A Memoir of Loss, Lust and Securing My Second Husband Online
Suzanne Finnamore Luckenbach's written some of the bravest, smartest, funniest books around, chronicling her marriage (Otherwise Engaged), her baby (The Zygote Chronicles) , her divorce (Split) and now, Hot off the press, from "Add To Cart: A Memoir of Loss, Lust and Securing My Second Husband Online." I also have to say you can't hope for a better friend. Suzanne's the kind of person who somehow knows you were thinking about the stars, so she goes out and gets you all of your favorite constellations and then throws in a few planets, too.
Read. And love this sneak peek.
Chapter X A Lifetime Supply of Men: The Ten Commandments (Featuring Special Guest Star Augusten Burroughs)
I signed up for a year contract on Match.com. By now it was becoming obvious from the screaming on the redwood deck and the progressively apocalyptic engineering reports that my house was not going to whisk off the market anytime soon. Additionally, the monthly rate for Match was much lower with a longer contract. With a yearlong campaign, and if I applied myself, I could as Lulu promised acquire a lifetime supply of men.
They are as follows:
The Ten Commandments To Online Dating
1. Thou shalt lie.
Pretend to love men unreservedly. Pretend to be a few years younger and much happier. It will show on your face. Everything shows on your face.
2. Do Not Be All Things To All People
Your goal is not to cast a dragnet and get as many men as you can shovel into your pit. Your goal is to be yourself, only better, and have that stance draw a stable of good matches.
3. One Log Won’t Burn
Date as many men as you can handle. If you meet someone you really like, throw another log/man onto the fire and watch it blaze up. If you meet a man you really like, do not focus on them, they will sense this and run for the hills. The more men you date the more attractive you are to the men you date, because they are animals. Animals and rogues. It would be nice if they weren’t but they are. Act accordingly.
4. The Man Pays
He always pays, especially in the beginning. If he doesn’t pay in the beginning he will never pay, and he probably doesn’t care either. When the check arrives, do nothing. If he doesn’t pay, fuck him. He is either poor or he thinks he is a woman. Please.
5. No Soliciting
You’ve gone online and you’ve put up an ad for yourself, essentially. This is enough. Do not sell yourself past this. Do not ask him how he feels or tell him how wonderful he could be if he buys into you. That’s the job of a bible salesman. You are not a bible. You’re the opposite of a bible.
6. Be Particular
Jerry Hall once said that choosing a husband is much like choosing a diamond: “You don’t want the one with the obvious flaw.”
My friend Augusten Burroughs further expounded on this in a timely email to me when I announced I wasgoing online, which he fullu supported and said, in essense, Finally.
“Bwabee? Here are the ONLY requirements:
1. Must have own source of income.
2. Must not be a criminal
3. Must not be married
4. NEED not be handsome but you MUST find him attractive, more so on each date.
6. Is patient, non judgemental and has no history of mental illness -especially manic depression, chronic depression, treatment-resistant depression or any other fucking flavor of incurable depression.
and that's really it.
7. Do Not Call Back
I’m not saying you shouldn’t call him back if you like him and he calls. I am saying you shouldn’t run to the phone singing that wonderfully deranged song from the seventies that we all saw ourselves in:
“...Let it please be him, Let it be him. It must be him, it must be him.... Or I shall die”
Let him marinate. Men are animals, and animals need to marinate, to tenderize. Wait two days, even if it fucking kills you. It won’t. In fact it bring you thrillingly to life ---you will begin to feel as if you are in full control. It’s an illusion, but it’s a good one as illusions go, and terribly useful.
8. Demand Flowers Without Seeming To
Once again I envision with icy clarity a battalion of women, this time in motorcycle boots and long batik patterned skirts, telling me I am wrong to want flowers and that this is an outdated notion that degrades women. This same task force already had a cerebral contusion when I suggested that a woman shave a few years off her age.
(But where are those women now? I will tell you: they are making cheese in California and attending consciousness raising groups. Tra la.)
To demand flowers, simply ask the man what his favorite flower or plant is. Then tell him what your favorite flower is. Then change the subject and visualize those flowers hurtling toward you. The flowers will come; bonus points if they are delivered to your door. Oddly enough, the direct approach can also work. I have been known to say; “I would love to get some flowers, baby. That would be terribly exciting.” Men want to please someone they know is capable of being excited, someone who never demands but suggests exactly what she wants and then doesn’t harp on it. They have been married before, most of them. They fear the Continuous Loop of a woman saying “I shouldn’t have to ask you. You should just know.” Which is a patent falsehood: You do have to ask, and they don’t know.
9. Go Ahead, Have The Sex
Why deny yourself the pleasure of sleeping with a man until the third date due to a fear of being cast aside? Fourth date sex is no guarantee of longevity. (There are commandments in love, but few rules. Disavow yourself of the notion that there is a formula to true love, like baking a pie. The formula doesn’t exist.)
I had sex on the first date sometimes. I may have regretted some of the men, but I never regretted the sex. John Updoke said, “If I had my life to do over again, the last thing I would give back is the fucking.” It’s an old wives take that a man disrespect and dislike loose women. They actually don’t. Well, some do, but not the kind you should be interested in. You should be interested in the kind of man who not only has a hard time keeping his hands off of you, he can’t wait to see you again. You want a man who is addicted, not a man who is totting all your sexual favors in a ledger and cross-referencing it with a social sanctioned timetable.
10. He Doesn’t Exist
When you are not with him, your life goes on. He doesn’t exist unless he says or does something that brings him to center. Sadly, if you immediately make him the center he has an excellent view of all the other women clustered round him who have also made him the center. You want to be the one offstage that he wonders about. The one, whom he suspects, at first, doesn’t know he exists. So don’t know it. Don’t Facebook friend him, don’t Tweet him, don’t text him or put him on your speed dial or Favorites, because he doesn’t officially exist, until he does. Keep your mitts off the steering wheel. Men love to drive; they become upset when they are not driving. They don’t think we can see a parking space in full view, they never have. Allow him the continuous opportunity to recall his existence to your attention. Is it a game? No, it’s a life strategy that I plan to employ well into my hundreds, with my next husband. Even if you are crazy about him, do not show the crazy. Let him drive, let him park, let him wander through the dark. You’re the light.