You can probably even list the attributes, qualities and qualifications that your future husband needs in order to apply for the job of your mate. I had a three-tiered system myself. First, there were the requirements: an interesting profession (preferably in the arts), a great sense of humor, a sterling character, financial security. Next, there was the frosting (as in, wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if-he-were
…): over six feet tall, devastatingly handsome, a cat lover. And finally, there were the deal breakers: children, difficult ex-wives, bad toupees. Of course, like you, I fancied myself to be magnanimous and flexible in as much as I was willing to overlook certain undesirable traits – say, thinning hair and a few extra pounds – for the perfect guy. Now, even if your list is different from mine, I think you know what I’m talking about.
Here's some advice: Lose your lists now, Ladies! Mine almost kept me from getting to know my husband. and I were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. We were both divorced and practiced daters, and knew the rules of the game. We met at a conveniently located wine bar and immediately set into the first date volley of get-to-know-you-questions: Where are you from? What do you do? How many siblings? My first impression of Tim was that he was utterly unobjectionable: nice, attractive, smartly dressed, well mannered. But something was missing . . . .
Let’s revisit my list. First off, Tim’s "interesting profession" was in finance, which to a writer like me seemed like a big snoozer of a job. Next, he was a listener, so at first glance, it didn’t appear that he had a "great sense of humor." As for the other two requirements – a "sterling character" and "financial security" – both are tough to determine on a first date. What he did have in spades were deal breakers – two sons (teenagers, no less) and a horrific ex-wife. My thought bubble at the time? Check, please. What to do next was a no-brainer: I finished my glass of Shiraz, graciously declined his dinner invitation, gave him a peck on the cheek and thought, Nice knowing you, Buddy. I went home, curled up with a book and didn’t give Tim or our date a second thought.