Category Archives: Dating
“My name is Katy and I’m a zookeeper from Alabama” I say with my best southern drawl. Across from me was the thirteenth guy from Wall Street that I had already declared to be a douche. He leaned into the table ready with three minutes of questions before the bell would ring signaling that our date was over. The next guy sits down and I introduce myself as “Katy, the Gemologist from Egypt.” The next guy met “Katy, a Political Adviser for the Tea Party.” The girl sitting next to me couldn’t help but stifle a laugh after every introduction, as we had discussed and determined together that speed dating was the absolute worst. 50 dates in two hours had crept by and I had only circled three names. One of them I was sure was gay. He and I would later go on to be in a relationship for six months.
I have approached my journey for love as if it was a fifth grade science fair project. I have not ruled out any opportunity or venue as a possible meeting place. I have gathered intel from my friends on how they successfully snared in a mate. I have listened to the advice of my friends on how I’m doing it all wrong. Each guy has brought me a lesson, if I am in the mood to learn it. I throw a few variables into the mix in case my control group continues to strike out. I, by no means, have drawn out a conclusion but I have had a great time on singles cruises and meetups. My hypothesis has always been: try anything.
I recently read an article on how subcultures values are revealed by the first introductory questions asked when meeting a person for the first time. In the southern states of the U.S. it can be quite common to meet someone for the first time by saying “hello, how’s your mother?” In Northern California, one might jump to ask what someone does for a living. In NYC, people are immediately interested in what judgments can be made by the neighborhood they reside in. During my speed dating experience, I was able to test this theory. When I immediately opened with asking what people do for a living, these New Yorkers became slightly weary about what my intentions were. Asking New Yorkers “how’s your mother” threw the entire conversation into an immediate dose of awkward, which made it my favorite leading question. I also found that, although extremely entertaining to me, follow up questions requesting a complete list of their medications and police record were sure to send them into fits of nervous sweats across from me. With 50 first dates in three minutes or less, you can really try just about any approach. I found my favorite question was to ask them what they did on their last birthday. It was original, light-hearted and showed me what they value as a good time. When the question is flipped back on me, I watch their faces as I tell them about myself taking body shots off of a drag queen at a gay bar. This story has proven to be a valuable litmus test for whether this guy can hang or not
Through my experimentation, I have also found that I attract the most men when I’m in costume. Lucky for me, I’m often in costume. I was brandishing a rubber chicken while struggling to drink my wine wearing redneck joke buck teeth, when Bam!…guys are buying drinks. It’s possible they are attracted to the confidence I’m wearing, but I also have my suspicions that I am the freaks Pied Piper. Testing this theory even further, I decided to drag my friends out to a singles BINGO event in my neighborhood after attending the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. I was dressed up as Ursula from The Little Mermaid, but my makeup was inspired by the drag queen Divine. The bartender immediately took notice of our group as I gathered my tentacles to sit down. Scanning the room, we all came up short for any potential suitors, so I gave myself a weave-pat and focused my energy on the game. It wasn’t long before I noticed the severe case of side-eye that the moderator was giving my group. Within a few short moments, the mermaid at my table had drawn up a classic diagonal BINGO win. A table of boys next to us gave us a congratulatory high five as the moderator declared it to be a mistrial. What immediately transpired was a verbal altercation between the moderator, the mermaid and Ursula over the rules of BINGO. “BINGO can only be won if it is vertical and goes through the middle” she said as she stamped her feet. “In what country?” I would ask with a lifetime of refined sass technique. “Well, maybe if you guys weren’t so drunk, you would know the rules!” She had us there. We were drunk. Drunk and now riddled with injustice. Standing up for our rights as knowing and consenting BINGO participants led us to
leaving/being kicked out of the event. We had a series of high fives on our way to the bar as we shouted “Shenanigans!” several times. The night didn’t end as a bust, as a few of my friends actually met some cute guys as I put out a small fire caused by the s’mores kit on the bar. “It’s the costumes!!!” I say, pointing a stick with a burning marshmallow on the end of it at my friends. I squish the gooey mess into my prepared sandwich and mumble to myself “It’s always the costumes.”
A few weeks later, it was theme week for our Bocce Ball league. My team had chosen to dress up as characters from Clue. I was assigned to be Colonel Mustard with the wrench. As we got to the beer garden where we play our Bocce games, I noticed several people dressed up and wearing name tags. “Is this a reunion, or something?” I ask the closest person as my fake mustache drips beer on my chin. “No, its a Match.com event.” I immediately turned around and walked up to the table, grabbed a name tag and wrote “Colonel Mustard” on it. I made a quick pit stop by the table to eat some of their food before I zoomed in on my first targeted couple. “Excuse me, I’ve heard reports of illegal fire arms over here. Sir, I’m gonna need to see your guns!” I would stare at the man in the couple until he would show me his muscles, then I replied “Very well, carry on” and walked away only to repeat the very same dialogue to several other couples. I offered no explanation for my outfit or my line of questioning. I found my roommate, Miss Scarlett, roaming the party saying she was “looking for a rich man.” As we walked back to our Bocce game, we discussed the uncomfortable looks I was given when I rolled up on people holding a wrench in my hand. Not to stray from my theory, two different men told me that they loved my mustache and that I had a nice “cake”. One even offered to buy me a drink. For a point of clarification, these were straight men. I was dressed up… as a man.
I’m still working out the details of my dating thesis, but I have determined one route of meeting potential men as in desperate need of retirement…my online dating profiles. I found myself, as my friend KL calls it, “suffering a case of low standards” and I also found it distracting. I’m trying to go back to basics and meet people in person. Dating events and speed dating offer me to many opportunities to make trouble, but I won’t completely rule them out in the future if I happen upon one. The beauty of New York City is that most of my friends are in the same warped boat, each one of us encouraging the other not to throw in the towel. As I deleted each of my profiles, I said goodbye to the memories and failed romances. I lit my candles, initiated a seance and had a serious sit-down chat with my guardian angels, “In case there was any confusion, I have compiled a list of the qualities I’m looking for which I will read out loud now. Number 1: No weird body hair; Number 2: A touch of gay; Number 3: diplomatic immunity….”
I was sitting in the middle of a group of lesbians on the ferry while I applied sunblock. We were all heading to the Cherry Grove part of Fire Island where I would meet up with some of my friends, but I allowed myself to imagine that I was on my way to a casting call for the “The Real L Word”. I took a minute to savor everything about this moment as I snuck in a head pat on a nearby Chihuahua when it’s owner turned her head. Life has been beautiful for me recently. Sitting on the boat, I closed my eyes and allowed myself to feel all of my senses come alive. The wind was giving me Beyoncé hair and I could feel the sun warming my skin. I went back to a similar moment last year when I was sitting alone on top of a volcano in Nicaragua and I found myself connect with the earth for the first time in a long time. I slowed my breathing to coincide with the wind gusts and I visualized myself pulling loving energy through my crown and then down each chakra. I spent the boat ride in silence, just living in the moment with an intense gratitude all while visualizing the same.
As the ferry was docking, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. As is completely typical of my life, all of my serious moments are immediately followed by the reality that I am, in fact, Katy and this absurd life I have been given never fails to amaze me. I exit the ferry under rainbow flags while two swans swam along side me as I walked down the pier. I waved at my friends and yelled “hey, bitches!” three times before they could hear me over the flute music that was being played for my arrival about ten feet to the left of me. I had arrived in my paradise.
Fire Island is nothing short of perfect. Beautiful beaches, nude men, gardens full of creepy doll heads. We walked along the guest houses as I started visualizing my potential retirement plans. I could see the place where I would gossip with all of the sassy geriatrics while we throw shade at the youngsters. I could see us all lined up in rocking chairs on the pool deck while our helper monkeys fetched us our cocktails. “You call that dancing!” I would say as I cued the music. My arthritis will have restricted my ability to twerk, but it won’t stop me from schooling them in vogueing. I caught myself mumbling to myself “move over Betty White” as we chose a spot in the sand for our picnic.
As we poured our first pre-noon cocktails over ice, we ate cookies my friend flew in from his mother. As the powdered sugar got on our chins from the snowball cookies, it dawned on us that we were celebrating Christmas in July together. We spent a good while discussing Santa’s inevitable retirement to Boca Raton and we wondered about the fate of the elves. We laughed together for hours until I dropped my glass full of fruit and vodka. There before me was what I thought was a hallucination. I worried about telling the others until I knew for sure what I was seeing. I pointed my finger down the beach and yelled “it’s Rudolph!” as cookie crumbs were launched out of my mouth. Approaching us was an adolescent buck, who had walked right up to us looking for the Christmas cookies. My mind could not compute what I was seeing.I felt the little child inside me do back flips as my faith in Santa became re-ignited. Lymes disease be damned, I could not walk away from this deer. I had seen monkeys, dogs, horses and donkeys on a beach, but a deer on a New York beach was way out of the realm of what I thought to be possible. This deer, I felt, was there to deliver a message to me. After careful deliberation, I drunkenly concluded that he was telling me: “bitch, you’re gonna be late for the drag show!” This deer was the reality alarm clock I needed to get me to become re-acquainted with the time of day. I wrapped myself with a sarong and we hustled to the Ice Palace for some afternoon drag queens as was fated by the stars and Santa, himself.
Immediately, I was embraced by a group of deaf lesbians. As is truth in many languages, I only retain a few choice phrases to use in prime opportunities. I signed to them that my sign-name was “Brooklyn k” and that my “boyfriend was in jail”. They all laughed and let me stand in the front for a better view of the show. Performing in front of me was Logan Hardcore, aka the drag queen featured in my kitchen. She was no less than seven feet tall and quite terrible at lip singing. I pulled up a picture I had on my phone of the painting that was hanging in my kitchen to show my new friends. A colleague of mine had inner-officed me a giant print of a photograph he took of Logan Hardcore taken sometime in the 90’s. This piece is the first thing you see when you walk in my apartment. “Um, what is that?” my landlord would ask when he comes in to change a light bulb. The joke has always been that I had really no idea who this queen was, that was until that day when Rudolph delivered me a July Christmas present. As my ass was being handled by deaf lesbians, I watched in envy as this queen performed the very routine I practice in my bedroom almost daily. That envy was quickly set aside as I remembered that I would have my own show here when I am in my 80’s.
After a waterfront dinner, I changed into my night time dancing outfit so we could get in a few minutes of shimmying before the ferry came to bring us back to reality. I pulled on my rainbow leg warmers and plumped my eyelashes. I could feel the pulse of the dance floor calling to me, so I ran to clear my way through the crowd to the stage where I belong. It wasn’t long before I was dancing in the middle of a group of boys and then ultimately sandwiched between two shirtless hotties. It didn’t matter at the time if they were gay or straight. It also didn’t seem to matter that they were likely 22 as Iggy Azalea was our cultural equalizer that night. One guy turned around from his grinding-on-my-hip pose and started making out with me in a moment I am sure he will describe to his therapist as “confusing”. I’ve been told many times that I am the gay man’s exception as I am pretty close to being a gay man myself. I touch his cheek to reassure him that I would be leaving soon and things would go back to normal for him. He shook his head and asked me “why are you even single?” Saved by the horn of our ferry, I laughed and jumped off of the stage for the mad dash for the late ride back to the city. I turned around for my parting sassy blown kiss as he stood dumbfounded under the strobe light.
Back on the boat, I sat again in silence while I communicated with the endless stars that I never get to see in the city. I reflected on the question I had been asked. Why am I single? I get asked this question a lot, mostly by one of my assigned Jewish mothers. The last time someone asked me this was by a group of men who came up to me on Pennsylvania transit while I was dressed up as a sock monkey. At the time, I was struggling in my seat to find the most comfortable way to sit on a tail. I had to explain to them that I was coming from Philadelphia’s only dance party for gay Furries, while wondering why that seemed to attract them to me. I did not have a good answer for their question as to why I am single then, and neither did I that night on Fire Island.
So, why am I single? I searched my heart for an honest answer. I thought back to the few times that I could have married someone. I thought back to all the reasons I have broken up with people. I thought back to all the times I have had my heart broken. Memories and lessons flooded my brain. I realized that I have been in a relationship for the past 3 years. A relationship with myself. I have worked on my issues and learned to love myself. I have learned how to fight through my fears and how to be the best person I can be. I have dated every color of the rainbow. I learned how to accept people for who they really are. I learned how to work through a fear of abandonment. I got therapy and addressed my insomnia. I faced my darkness and laughed my way into the light. I learned that good isn’t good enough. Love alone isn’t good enough.
I guess the answer is that I am not really single. I don’t have a void in my life because I am not married. Children smell funny and are not in my immediate plans. I have love all around me. I have friends who I am convinced are the best people in the world. I have a sister who keeps it real with me. I have future Fire Island pool boys to look forward to. Most importantly, I have myself. I really can’t wait for the day that I have a partner for this ride. But, that person has to be really special. They need to love everything about me, sequins and all. Who knows, maybe Rudolph has a big package on his way for me come December. 😉
New York City. The land of the quick fix. By the click of a mouse I can have cat litter, craft beer and my folded laundry be delivered to my apartment. Human contact has become optional, if you so choose. Within the hour I can have weed and pad Thai at my door. In that order, obviously. Applications can tell you the exact minute your train will arrive and exactly how many feet away your next sexual tryst is standing. Disputes are settled with instant access to Google and my bank checks are deposited by my camera. It’s a beautiful time to be lazy, indeed. It is also a beautiful time to be productive. I do all of my writing on my smart phone during my daily commutes as well as practice my foreign languages and learn new things through my beloved TED talks. Some of my friends have tried to sway me from using technology to meet men. “You don’t need it, you can find someone easily” they say. I argue that dating aps are just another tool I use, not exclusively, to meet people. Sure, I have met some creepers and crazies, but I’ve also had a lot of fun.
Today my employee was teasing me about my shoes. “You got a hot date?” I laughed as it is not uncommon for me to wear cute shoes to work. My nurse chimes in “you look so good these days, you must be in love!” The assumption that I am the type of person to be positively giddy in love made me laugh even harder. I caved and told them that I did, in fact, have a date tonight. “Oooh is it “Scorpio”? Is he cute?” People in my life sometimes forget that I long ago stopped being excited about dates, but their excitable faces made me satisfy them with “it’s a new guy and I can’t wait!”
I know I sound pessimistic, but I prefer to see myself as a realist. I am a career-driven 30-year-old who doesn’t count chickens before they hatch. If I base my life on my current working theory that I will keep dating until I find the “one”, my math says that I will have dozens of break-ups under my belt when that day comes along. Forecast for a potential break-up? Likely. I have not completely thrown in the towel, as I do put my best foot forward on every date and occasionally my heart melts a little revealing my abandoned romantic side. Unless someone really special comes along who is worthy of my monogamy, I typically do date multiple people at once. This way I keep my heart and expectations in check. I also have noticed that I wax and wane through dating phases. Sometimes, I want a real boyfriend. Other times, I participate in what I refer to as “expiration dating”.
“Expiration dating” is reserved for that hot guy from Barcelona who is in New York for the summer. My mind is in a completely different head space when we get together. We will never work out long term, but we can have a blast in the here and now. “Expiration dating” is reserved for the guy you really don’t like, but you got drunk and invited him to your cousins wedding. “Expiration dating” is for the summer flings, winter spooning partners and anything with a limited shelf life. I have dated many men solely on the prospect of a good story. I even dated a guy once because he crafted the best date scenario ever: a library date where we make pop-up books, eat apples, duct tape each other to rolling chairs and push each other down the aisles.
I caught myself fancying another “expiration date” the other day. Kendall and I were discussing a recent date with a man that I hated within the very first sentence I knew him. There was literally nothing redeeming about this guy. I had gone against my better judgement and agreed to a date with an “actor”. I have learned this lesson one to many times, but I went anyway. He met me at a nice-enough bar and said “you are four minutes early, you couldn’t wait to meet me, huh?” He then talked non-stop for two hours. He spent the first thirty minutes telling me about staring contests he had been in and won. The rest of the time was spent telling me about how his dad was killed by an oncoming train, his pituitary gland issue got him bullied in grade school and about his intolerance for tickling. I had been double fisting red wine and shots of whiskey and decided that I was drunk enough to stick it out. As he was later walking me to the train, we took a shortcut through the park. It had rained that evening and the grass was so slippery and sloped that I was falling down constantly. He pulled me close for a hug and whispers in my ear “I had a lovely time. Did you know that touching is my love language?” I saw his wet lips coming at me for a kiss as I pulled away. I yell “no touching” as I belly flop on the grass and slide down the small hill. It was, truly, a new low for me. I had ran out on dates before, but this was the first time I would have road rash because of it. This guy asked me out on another date, and I got my ass back to my apartment. Kendall asked “so, are you going on another date?” Without thinking it through, I responded “ugh I hated him. But, probably.” I knew that I was on the verge of a story-date situation and I had to resist the urge to drink that Kool Aid again. Just because I hadn’t dated someone I hated before doesn’t mean that I should. This newfound logic is one of the only signs that I’ve grown-up a little. The “I’m dating this guy because he has gun shot wounds” attitude was super fun for a while, but it’s also gotten super old.
Currently, I am somewhere in-between the land of “expiration dating” and wanting something real. I find that a summer romance is exactly what the doctor has ordered, and if something grows from that then all the better. My heart vacillates between the land of the living and the land of the dead, but I am just fine with that. My favorite thing about being in my thirties is that I don’t have room in my life for shitty relationships- friends, lovers or family- and I’m ok with walking away when needed. I’m happy just where I am in life and don’t really give a damn if I’m following some arbitrary time-line for my love life. I may still enjoy my “expiration dates” from time to time, but I let go of my own expiration date on love. One of the most inspirational people in my life, Anne, told me about how she didn’t find her “honey” until later in life. She looked over a table at me and my single friends and gushed over pictures of her husband on her phone with the enthusiasm of a schoolgirl. If that kind of love is worth waiting for, then it’s time I throw my “egg timer” out the window and stop stressing so much. I can always adopt if I want to, and my life is fantastic without a perennial plus-one. Who knows what tonight will bring, or what will happen with the Scorpio, or if I will live as an international woman of mystery for the rest of my life. At least I know I have cute shoes and can handle my liquor. So, off I go….
A few years ago, I was the focus of an intervention. “You’ll never get a boyfriend when you spend all of your time at gay bars!” The look of genuine concern radiated off of about five of my friends. I stopped laughing once I realized that they had put some planning behind this ambush. I had my stock arguments against their logic, but recently I started thinking honestly about their words. Sure, I love the dancing, music and cute bartenders at my favorite gay bars. I dance on stages with my few friends and dozens of new friends. I never have to worry about getting rejected or impressing a potential date, and these beauties let me touch their luscious abs. For a few hours, I feel completely free and exceedingly fabulous. Above all, it was a guaranteed good time and it was safe.
Safe. That was the word that made me wake up. I had found another cynical bone in my body. I reviewed my dating history and realized that at some point I had unknowingly thrown in the towel. I spent quality prime dating years in my twenties prioritizing funny dating stories and my gays over finding a good match. I don’t regret this in the slightest, but it made me look at dating under a new micro and macro lens.
New dating expectations show a scary glimpse into the state of our social society. In the past, I would look forward to a new prospect with as much anticipation and anxiety as a child looks forward to Christmas. The first flirtation usually contained compliments and coyness. Getting asked out was like winning some sort of lottery and the first phone calls leading up to that first date would last for hours. Discussions about each other’s family, vacation history, dreams, and sharing each other’s interests paved the way for future meaningful conversations. I would spend hours choosing the right outfit to match the right venue. His choice of activity or restaurant usually translated into how hard he would work to win your love. It would also show a peek into whether they were traditional, creative or lazy. My prepping had to be perfect, from the right scent to the outfit that shows that I am dressing up just enough to impress, but casual enough to seem down to earth. He would come pick me up and I would get butterflies the instant I opened the door to see a put together man, complete with a smile. Sometimes there would be flowers. The date would be an experience including nerves, opened doors and pheromones. He would grab the check and I would offer to help pay as he would tell me not to be silly. A sheepish thank you would escape my mouth as blush spread over my face. As the night would wind down, the biggest questions I had were: is he going to kiss me and will he ask me out again? I would immediately phone my friends and dish on every last detail such as what he looked like, his hobbies and if he went in for the kiss or not.
Believe it or not, these dates weren’t fifty years ago. They were less than ten years ago. In such a short while the dating experience has changed so drastically that it is no wonder many newly divorced individuals are in a blind panic when they get back into the game. Not all change is bad, as progress is progress. Gays can now date openly in most places -hell- they can even marry in some states! Women have not broken the glass ceiling, but they have gotten closer. Alternative relationships are no longer taboo, and in some cases will earn you a special on TLC. If the 1960’s were the decade of love, then are the 2010’s the decade of “love everything, kinda”?
We whole-heartedly operate within various degrees of FOMO, aka “fear of missing out”. We are so engrossed in technology and possibilities that it has become part of our identity. Don’t believe me? How many times did you check your Facebook today, even for a few moments? Did anyone comment on my photo of last nights dinner? Why didn’t that witty status only get two likes? Why hasn’t he responded to my friend request yet, it’s been three days! Did Kimye leave a new tweet? Did anyone send me a new life on candy crush? Is it time to become “official” with him by updating my relationship status, or will that scare him off? Should I take down my dating profile, or will he think I’m moving to fast? With all of this self-chatter happening in the space of a moment, the only way to cope is to convert it to white noise and take a deep breath. If you aren’t a slave to the cyberworld, then congrats! But, your next date only communicates with text message and status updates… So good luck!
Technology isn’t the enemy here. Without the convenience of Facebook, I would have lost touch with most of the 800 friends I have known in various capacities during my life. I don’t need to communicate with answering machines when I want to talk to my friends. A simple text or email will be answered when they have a quick second. An instant posting to social media and my photo/video capabilities on my smart phone save me from having to describe with words the crazy guy I sat next to on the train. “Here is a glimpse into my life” I portray to my network. Online dating has opened up a world of opportunity as well. I don’t NEED to meet the drunk guy at the same bar I go to every weekend. I can meet the guy outside of my territory and comfort zone who does something exciting that I know nothing about. By process of elimination, theory has it that I can choose someone whose values match my own in a matter of minutes. This, of course, is depending on their capacity for honesty. I am not cool enough to be above social media and I am usually the first to download the newest app. But, I would be remiss to overlook the temperature reading I feel after each first date. I feel an overwhelming sense of “meh”.
I often coach my managers to evaluate performance issues with our staff on a simple graph. Are they failing due to a lack of effort, or a lack of skill? With effort issues, can they be counseled into an attitude adjustment? For skill issues, will extra training and support help them learn the skill sets to perform to my expectations? I have learned so many useful life lessons from my work that it is practically embarrassing. I find myself using a similar graph to handle personal problems every day. Am I failing because of effort or because I need to learn a new lesson? This has helped me make hard decisions about my life path in everything from weight management to professional aspirations. This becomes even more complex when you add another human to the mix. Their level of performance in the relationship is based upon their own issues regarding effort and life lessons. Success is met when both parties are aware of where on their own graph that they reside and what they are willing to do to change that. This is much harder than it sounds. Self-awareness is a scary reality to live in. You can photoshop and edit the way you want the world to see you, but in real life you do yourself a disservice if you don’t take a hard look into the mirror to fix your true self. Admitting that you might be a “princess” who needs people to do everything for you, is not something anyone wants to do. Realizing that you are lazy in relationships and that the other isn’t acting “crazy”, but neglected…is not easy to admit to yourself. Your baggage isn’t going to disappear magically, and remember that every one of your friends relationships that seem to require zero effort…is a myth.
Our generation has become so dependent on instant gratification that the majority of us have become quite lazy. With our social interactions, you see this by birthday cards replaced by wall postings and showing up to a first date in a sweatshirt. Why place a large amount of effort into a stock without a guarantee? I still dress to show my best side when I go on dates, but when I feel a lack of effort on their part, either in wardrobe or in lazy conversation skills, I will admit that I feel less inclined to show my full effort. Why choose to care about someone, when they are busy wondering how many dates until intercourse. Why spend another drink with him when he is distracted by answering text messages -possibly sent by another potential date. No stock, no loss. We split the bills, feel pressured to sleep with people too fast in order to just maybe keep him around, and we drink to many beers. My follow-up gossip sessions are about who paid or and about what red flags I found. It’s not that women are losing the dating game, men have it hard too! There are men out there that genuinely want to take a girl out properly, but the girl is in it for a free meal or to buffer their heart while they are trying to snare the guy they really like. More possibilities can equal more dates. By sheer numbers, if a guy pays for every single first date then it is no wonder that dive bars are en vogue for the locale. Even break-ups have become lazy. We simply stop texting back. From the jump, we have a potential major effort issue to hurdle over, even before the baggage is exposed.
What if we stopped dating by quantity and considered quality? What if we considered our own graphing prior to going out with another? How can we be our best, balanced self? If this happened universally, we would have everyone showing up ready to make a real effort and ready to work on their daddy issues. What do you think, dear readers?