…or so the aphorism goes. The advertising business loves nothing more than shorthand ways to get to your credit card.
Want to emulate sports stars? Here’s what you wear.
Need to feel powerful? Sit in first class.
Squirrely in the trouser? Watch this girl ogle your car while she dreams of oral.
Sex isn’t what sells; what sells is approval. When a man buys a car, he isn’t actually thinking of the sex. Sure, in the cloud computer of his brain it’s there somewhere. But the tangible reaction he wants to that shiny new BMW is more subtle, along the lines of…
…wow, nice car.
…gee, I like this color.
…great, the mirror on this side shows all my zits. God, where did they come from?
At which point he will inevitably ask:
So, you like it?
Translation: Do you like like me? There’s a possibility here?
In a male’s mind, a date who likes the car is on the road to sex, because even BMW owners aren’t dumb enough to think she’s gonna get down right in the parking lot.
The triumph that biology wields over our logical selves is the gnawing feeling we get that the perfect person is out there…somewhere…if only we could find them.
Yes, I am writing about that elusive person who will fill our desires and fulfill our needs. He or she is right now working, or working out or cleaning their bathroom or cooking or walking the dog or doing just whatever it is we think the dreamboat partner would be doing. Every breath they take makes us happy. We could have such a life together!
Which makes them a dream and not a dreamboat because this person does not exist. We know this truth intellectually, but choose to ignore the cold reality to indulge the fantasy.
There is no perfect person out there. No. One. And yet every day we deluded singletons harbor a flame of hope that somehow this person will turn up in our lives. All we need do is look harder, or go to the right bar or discover the right dating app or attend the right party etc etc.
This is the cereal aisle problem. Because the choices are apparently limitless, there must be just ONE pre-packaged breakfast food that meets all of our requirements, right? It’s not too much to ask, is it?
Just one. Just the one. Just the one I am looking for.
In business they call it a beauty parade.
I have a product or service I’d like your company to buy. Others offer a similar product or service. The purchaser arranges what amounts to a play-off, pitting likely suppliers against each other – not directly, but in some quasi-civilized lions and gladiators way.
As it is with dating. The twist in dating is that it is (almost) always the woman who must be wooed. She advertises for suppliers for the contract that any number of blokes might want to fulfill. Few are likely deemed acceptable to even bid. Depending upon the factors involved, maybe none of them will make the grade.
At which point the request for tender/contract application cycle begins afresh.
This, single men, is the beauty parade of which you are a part. Is your PowerPoint presentation up to snuff?
Along with my second half-century maturity (!) came a little insight.
It arrived in the mail along with my application to join some kind of “Seniors” organization. Bah humbug.
The insight should have occurred to me long ago, but youth has blindness to such matters – species continuation relies upon ego and lack of self-assessment.
Anyway. The point I’m circling is best defined with the following question:
Would I date me? (If I were a woman, that is.)