Published on January of 2004, "The 29 Requirements" are my list of desireable characteristics in a mate. They were inspired by a journal entry I'd written a year before in the leather-bound book I keep next to by bed. It seemed like a silly exercise at the time, but in the following months, I found myself not wasting as much time dating men who didn't meet the requirements. No more would I spend five years living with a man who wasn't intelligent enough to discern the very complicated instructions on a washing machine at the neighborhood laundromat. The requirements include the obvious "must find me sexy" and the less understood "must not be afraid of bees."
Recently, I had a conversation with a young friend of mine. She's been having boy trouble. I said, "I think it's time for you to compose your own 29 requirements. You are old enough now."
She replied, "I have only two requirements. 1. He has to be intelligent. 2. He has to like me."
Without hesitation, I asked, "What if he was an atheist bisexual addicted to cough syrup?*"
She replied, "Well..." with a long explanation about how he could be godless but not bisexual and that he also had to respect his own life. Suddenly from two requirements, there were four. The conversation didn't go much further than that. But it was a nice reminder of how well the 29 requirements were to me, how they helped me to be patient and not waste my time on big fat losers who couldn't see the fabulous woman before them. These days, I'm dating a guy who so far meets 27 of the 29 requirements. He might meet #12, but I can't tell yet, and #18 is out of date.
* I've dated many atheists, one bisexual, and I was addicted to cough syrup last winter.