Dating dilemmas

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4:34 P.M.

Anyway, Ollie starts the conversation by asking if any of us likes anyone. Apparently there’s a girl who works at the cheese counter in the grocery store in town who’s the spitting image of Jessica Alba. Somehow I doubt this, but Ollie is insistent.

“I wouldn’t want to go out with Jessica Alba,” Peter says. “She’s too perfect.”

“Also,” I remind him, “you’re almost certainly gay.”

“Hmm, maybe that’s it,” he says.

“Would you go out with Jessica Alba if she was forty?” Ollie asks.

“Depends,” I say, “Jennifer Aniston looked good at forty, but not everyone ages so well. Take my mom for instance.”

“Your mom’s not so bad,” says Davey.

“Stop right there, Davey!” I say.

“How come she never remarried?” Davey goes on.

“Maybe because she’s super-strict, mean, and standoffish,” I say.

“That’d do it,” agrees Ollie.

“Anyway,” I say, “Michelle at the restaurant is the only girl for me.” This isn’t entirely true — the way I’m feeling these days, I’d go out with Ollie’s Labrador if it walked on hind legs and wore a dress — but it pays to look like you have standards.

“I think I’m destined to be single,” says Davey. “Girls don’t go for fat guys.”

“Fat girls do,” I tell him.

“You’re not fat, Davey,” lies Peter. “You’re just . . . height restricted.”

“No, I am fat,” says Davey. “I lost some weight, but then Mom bought chocolate for Easter and I, um . . .”

“Stuffed your face!” I supply.

Peter shoots me an annoyed look. “You know, Davey,” he says, “if there’s something you want to talk about . . .”

“No, it’s okay,” says Davey. “Let’s see what’s on TV.”

We spend the next hour watching a show about people in Australia dating in the dark (a useful strategy for me in the future, possibly), but then Ollie says he has to leave. Before long, the others are getting up to go too.

At the front door, Peter turns to me and says, “You really are an insensitive prick, Josh, do you know that?”

READERS: Do you feel like Davey? Does anything get in the way of dating? Or do you have friends that can be a bit insensitive like Josh? Even without really meaning to be?

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