Shallow Hal

online-subscription-services_colorcorrectedWe have become spoiled with too many choices. I have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime, HBO, Showtime, Moviepass, and a Redbox membership. Damned if I can ever find a thing I want to watch. I have spent more time looking for something to watch than I did watching whatever I chose. Remember those days of our youth? We had 7 channels to choose from and the wacky stuff on UHF. And maybe there was one or two things that would hold your attention for a few hours, maybe Creature Feature or Abbott and Costello. And sometime during the night the network would stop telecasting. They’d put up a test pattern. I spent some time looking at that test pattern. We had limited choices and we made do and we were somehow satisfied.

The pool of eligible girls was limited too.  I had a graduating high school class of 300. If i do my math correctly, about half of those people were girls, so about 150. Except, I wasn’t a jock or one of the cool guys. Not all 150 were available. I was just your average sort of Joe. So of that 150, there may have been 30 who I kind of liked and I thought I might have a chance. Every so often I’d screw up my courage, go down to the basement to the only phone that had a little privacy in my crowded house. And I’d dial. I can still remember listening to the other phone ringing through the landline. Anxiety mounting, hoping she would answer, so I wouldn’t have to go through: “Hello,” a very masculine voice would finally pick up. “Hello. Mr. Lindstrom, is Sarah home,” I’d reply, a little light-headed. “Who’s calling?” Now I didn’t even have the element of surprise. I had to tell him my name. He would tell her and I could picture her waving her hands like the phone carried the plague. And yet, I chose Sarah. She was the girl for me. Limited as my choice was, I liked someone enough to go through the terror of calling.

I flick up the choices on my Netflix, flick, flick, flick, until I flick myself right to the bottom of the list, never finding anything I like. Hundreds of choices, thousands even when I go through the other services. How is that even possible? I go through the pics on PoF, flick, flick, flick. Woman after woman, no, no, no. Sometimes, I think, who the hell do you think you are? Making a split second decision on a woman who probably was trepidatious about putting herself out there. She goes through all her pictures and puts her best one up as her main profile pic. Maybe she’s just as nervous as I was calling the Lindstrom house. Maybe she imagines a guy swiping left. And he’s not even that good looking or appealing. And he is swiping left.

I have a pool of a thousand women. I don’t need a thousand women to choose from. It’s too many. How can I choose? What limits do i set upon myself? At first I put the age range from 35 to 65. I am 55. I can tell you, nobody in their 30’s is looking at me. I raised it to 45. At first I put in a distance limit of 10 miles, but I raised that as well. I prefer women without children or grown up. With the thought that everybody downplays their weight, I don’t tend to look at those who say they have a few extra pounds. “Thin” is thin, “average” may mean a few extra pounds, and “a few extra pounds” means fairly overweight. I’m okay with a few extra pounds. We are all of us getting older. There are wrinkles, sagging, less hair in some places, more in others (that’s God playing with us btw). With a pool of a thousand women, however, I find myself terribly picky, rejecting a fairly attractive woman for the flimsiest of reasons. Too short, pass. Too tall, pass. A little thick in the upper arms, pass. Good looking, but apparently unemployed, pass. I see some I like though. I’m attracted enough to send a little message. And the tables turn and I hear myself saying into that phone once more, “Hello, is Sarah home?”

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