I’m not much older than the two employees who work for me. Maggie and Annie are only separated from me by a four year gap. That being said, the things they teach me aren’t typically age related. Learning from them is just one link in the long chain of capable, intelligent women teaching a clueless man basic life lessons. A chain that began the first time I talked to a girl in
elementary school high school and continued through college when my roommates, Christa and Sarah, showed me how to properly live on my own and dress like a man with the potential of finding a mate.
Driving back from lunch one day, Maggie and Annie continued this tradition by slapping me in the face with an obvious mistake I had been making since moving to Ohio.
“How do you not have a spare key to your apartment?” Asked Maggie.
“Better yet, how does somebody else not have a spare key to your apartment?” Annie followed up.
To me, the answer was obvious. I don’t like giving people the ability to touch my things. A year ago, my girlfriend at the time couldn’t stand my messy living quarters and would attempt a full cleanup every time I left her unattended. This meant dusting my new 60 inch plasma screen, my video game systems, and my various Apple devices. The thought of a cheap cloth rubbing all over my toys was enough to make me go gray. These spontaneous fits of cleanliness often ended with me prying the duster out of her hand and screaming that this was bad for feminism.
“But what if you die?” Maggie asked, taking the conversation to a whole new level of grim that I didn’t think was possible to top until my intern spoke immediately after.
“Nobody will know until the smell of your dead body reaches the hallway.” Annie chimed in with her naturally gleeful tone. “And even then they might just think it’s your messy apartment.”
They had a point. Anything is possible. I could always choke on a Pop Tart or slip in the shower. I could adjust the wires near my Playstation and get electrocuted or crushed by my television. I could be robbed at gunpoint which will, without a doubt, lead to me taking a bullet for my iPad. And then there’s always my biggest fear of surviving the next eighty years and dying of old age in my Ohio apartment with nobody there to notice or care. I’d rather be struck by lightning with my hands in my pants.
By the time we returned to work, Annie and Maggie had already moved on to asking me why I don’t clean the spiderwebs off the windows in my office. I didn’t have the energy to explain the difference between a happy homeowner spider and one that’s out for blood and vengeance. My mind was still on the spare key dilemma. I thought about it for the rest of the day, right up through returning home to my empty apartment.
I was in the shower, sitting for safety reasons, when I came up with a solution. I wasn’t going to trust anybody with a spare key. Instead, I decided it was time to try my hand at dating again. I would put myself out there in search of companionship.
Over the past few months, I had mostly been using my online dating account to look the profiles of girls in the area and rate them. I would rate them based on their looks. I would rate them based on their personalities. But in the end, I did nothing more than rate them and move on. When I tell friends about this in person, I really annunciate the word “rate.”
But on this particular night, I took it a step further. I put myself out there. I started sending messages. I started making the effort to talk to girls. I started to step up my game. Hoping that I may someday find a woman to call my own, to hold at night, and to call the police if she ever finds my lifeless body on the kitchen floor.