Hooking Up

“Follow the Bouncing Body-Part” I should have called yesterday’s post. Don’t they have some amazing ways of dancing these days though. And how on earth do people hear each other at the noisy clubs? How can they even begin to size each other up when all they have to go on is what meets the eye?

Or maybe the point really IS to just the quick ‘hook-up’, a phrase that always sounds  very painful and fish-hook-like –  with a barb on the end to wound you in your tenderest parts -and also sadly mechanical, like those long, dull docking sequences from The Empire Strikes Back.

Neil Paumgarten wrote a piece for The New Yorker earlier this summer about online dating sites, sites that one handsome, single friend just told me he wouldn’t dream of using since in his mind they smack of “desperation”.

Boy is he wrong. As Paumgarten put it,  “The process of selecting and securing a partner, whether for conceiving and rearing children, attempting motel-room acrobatics or merely  finding companionship in a cold and lonely universe” is really “consequential. 

“Lives hang in the balance. And yet we have typically relied for our choices on happenstance – off-hand referrals, late nights at the office, or the dream of meeting cute.”

College campuses and cities  meanwhile he calls great “habitats of abundance and access” when it comes to meeting possible partners  “but as people pair off, and as they corral themselves, through profession, geography and taste, into cliques and castes, the range of available mates shrinks. “We run out of friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends. You can get to thinking that the single ones are single for a reason.”

Which is nonsense of course. Few people are single because they deserve to be. My Great Aunt Mame used to say it about pairing off: “For every old sock there’s an old shoe.” All people really need is the help of the complicated algorithms so painstakingly perfected by sites like e-Harmony and Match.com and OK Cupid. You need the pre-sorting that they do. How are you going to avoid getting in too deep with a Tea-Party-when you’re a Socialist, if the best you can do is read lips at some noisy club?

As for Joe Nichols here, well we all know this: getting a girl out of her clothes thanks to alcohol is pretty much the last thing any woman wants to remember having done the morning after, however coyly cute Joe looks singing about it.