By Amy Shearn
The 14.5 Percent Tip
Dinner was lovely, and he made you laugh and, as promised, the chicken mole was nothing short of revelatory. But then, as you noticed and tried not to notice you were noticing, he was snippy to the waitstaff and left an underwhelming tip. Yes, you can spin this into a playful little debate about whether tips ought to be performance-based, and maybe it will be amusing in a Seinfeld-y way. Still. Think it through. He might have made charming conversation and looked meaningfully into your eyes, but if this relationship progresses, sister, someday you’re going to be the one bringing him a plate of spaghetti and getting the stink eye.
Bertha. His Pet Boa Constrictor
If life were a movie, a pet boa constrictor would read as “quirky.” But this is no Wes Anderson film; this is a life you have to live. And boa constrictors live up to 30 years and keep growing that entire time. That’s three decades of feeding a snake live rodents. In your home. This is someone who did not think things through, who was not able to reconcile in his imagination, when he bought old Bertha after sophomore-year finals, the possibility of his future children and how they might not enjoy watching the daily devouring of rodents. You’re a grownup. You need someone who can think like a grownup, which sometimes involves looking 30 years into the future.
He Can’t Hook Up the DVR
We all like to believe that we have no gender-based expectations. We are modern people, of course we are, and we don’t need any man to build us a fire or change the flat tire anymore than we need someone else to bring home the bacon! But you do have to be honest with yourself. What do you really, really expect of your life partner? Like, I think of myself as someone who is independent in most factions of life, but let’s be real, I need someone else to be the one who knows how to tame the technology-cord-snake-Medusa. If it weren’t for my husband, I would live in a house without Internet, cable, music or, probably, working electric lamps.
By Amy Shearn