I’m generally accepting about my single life peppered with random dates. It’s the social pressure to be in a relationship that really gets to me. This usually happens when I spend time with my 4-year-old niece.
First, there was our visit to the children’s museum. That’s where I first felt left behind. Over a course of six hours I watched my niece accumulate an entourage of little dude admirers while I stood by shrugging my shoulders at parents. No kidding, girls can take the lead these days. I tried to keep a maximum distance from her overt flirtatiousness but from what I could hear her little pick up line was, “Hi, you like dinosaurs?” It was all downhill from there.
She must have noticed my situation because, one day, while firing up the bubble-monster (cappuccino machine) in the man cave, I hear a “Johnny, you need a girlfriend.” Thanks, really needed to hear that. Then, she started trying to set me up.
There’s the park. I noticed her glancing back while struggling to hold on to her beagle’s leash.
“Hey, Johnny, let’s walk slower,” she says. I follow her gaze and see two attractive girls behind us. I have to hand it to her, they’re always cute. “No,” I say. That’s the oldest trick in the book, they’ll catch on. I don’t think she quite realizes that I’ll probably go to jail if I date someone in high school. “Keep walking.”
Then, there’s the swimming pool. “Hey, Johnny, what’s her name?” she asks, pointing to a lifeguard a few years older than our park friends.
“No, I’m not going to ask. You ask.”
“I’m scared, come and ask with me,” she persists.
“Ok.” We swim over and get the lifeguard’s attention. The next thing you know my wing-girl’s head is under water and I’m left alone awkwardly asking the lifeguard her name with no plan ready for follow-up.
Finally, one day she managed to set me up with someone close to my age, but it was hardly what I was hoping for.
“That’s Johnny. He’s got muscles. Look at his muscles.”
At that moment I wished I were back in California, and that an earthquake swallowed the whole state and ocean, along with me. Ya, sweetie, I know you think muscles are cool but bigger girls don’t really care about those things anymore.
For some reason I get the feeling my niece won’t be single very long and I’m beginning to feel the social pressure to settle. It wouldn’t be fair to just stop spending time with her, however, even if it means eventually being the third wheel on a trip to the zoo. So I’ve decided not to compare myself with a cute, smart, mega-personality 4-year-old and really just go at my own pace. Maybe there’s even something I can learn from her.
“Hi, I’m Johnny, do you like dinosaurs?”