Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Romance: A Dictionary

Schistosoma mansoni worms, the most romantic of all parasites. These worms cause schistosomiasis, otherwise known as "snail fever." According to the Carter Center, snail fever is "second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic disease in tropical countries." Male and female schistosoma mansoni worms mate for life, causing the production and release of hundreds of eggs that lodge into the host's organs. Like any other romantic encounter, theirs is followed by swelling and an enlarged belly. Sometimes you get lucky and bleed profusely from your urethra. It's like watching The Notebook. [Photo credit: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences]

It's difficult to witness the commercial spectacle of Valentine's Day and not turn one's thoughts towards the subject of love, especially if, like me, you carve out a solitary existence within the shadows of others' affection. The common lament of the perpetually single is that we want to find someone to love us, so I gave it the best shot I could. In one year, I went on 21 first dates. I can't say for sure if it's harder to believe you are unloveable or to have it confirmed for you on a weekly basis by the only single women within 50 miles of you who will begrudgingly accept your invitation for coffee, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the latter.

However, it was not all for naught! In addition to a large credit card balance, I also produced this very short dictionary of romance that documents the wisdom that I went so far into debt to obtain:

af – fec – tion. n. Costs about $100 at a strip club but $15 in some alleys.

court – ship. n.

  1. The process of wooing someone with a view towards a long-term commitment, usually marriage.
  2. The process that a woman initiates in order to woo me away from my thoughts of a romantic connection, towards a long- term commitment to friendship, unrequited affection, and most significantly, no touching, except for those unsatisfying friend-hugs a woman gives you when she wants to make sure you understand that there will be no other touching and certainly no touching when either one of you is in even the most insignificant state of undress, e.g. missing a sandal or not wearing a watch that day.

dat – ing. n. A series of events with two possible outcomes. The first: she decides that she doesn’t enjoy my company. In these cases, I never see her again. The second: she decides that she does enjoy my company. In these cases, I never see her again, because how long could that possibly last? I don't know how or why it happened in the first place and I strongly doubt I could make it happen again.

love. n.

  1. What naïve people claim everyone is entitled to, regardless of their appearance, age, or character.
  2. An exchange of sex for security between two young, attractive, financially secure people.
  3. An exchange of credit card information for virtual affection between me and CCBill, typically on a monthly basis.

third date. n. An asymptotic boundary which my romantic relationships approach but never touch.

un – date – a – ble. adj.

  1. How to tell a guy that it’s not him, it’s you, before you’ve been out on an actual date.
  2. An evolutionary change undergone by well-adapted females upon hearing I was dating again.