Comedians reduce the everyday to absurdity. You know the deal. A visit to the doctor becomes an exercise in competitive illnesses. We spend ten minutes at the convenience store arguing whether it’s a refill or a new cup. Xerox salesmen move up from selling fax machines. Cellphones shrank for years and now are enormous again. Etc.

Coupling and dating are a rich loam for this kind of treatment. Stereotypes and faux stereotypes make us laugh because we recognize ourselves being mocked. It’s a combination of embarrassment, humiliation, desperation, quirkiness and misunderstanding. Hmmmm. That’s not a bad description of relationships.

How about this: a comedic stereotype is that women are the demand, and men are the supply. Brutalizing the intricate dance of men and women like that hurts a bit…but more or less gets to the point. Reduction to the absurd, you note.

We could further distill this down, by saying something like, oh, the smart men find a way to turn themselves into the demand and the women who chase them into the supply. These men are the bad boys. Whatever else they are, bad boys are in fact in demand, the trick being how they reverse the stereotype.

In life apart from comedy routines, matters are more murky. Women want men, and men want women, so we’re both supply AND demand. My opinion is that we want each other for the same reasons, but prefer to approach the, shall we say congress, in different ways. Think of it as your on-board navigation system. I might choose a fast route utilizing HOV lanes, toll roads, ferries, tunnels and bridges. She probably wants a scenic country road with stops at antique stores and cute cupcake stands…and cares not what time we arrive at the hotel.

Until she, too, changes her route options. Then supply and demand are both satisfied.

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