Every Sunday, I can’t wait to read The Boston Globe Magazine‘s column “Dinner with Cupid.” Globe staff set up blind dates from a pool of folks who apply to eat supper with a stranger. The participants get asked a set of questions: if you were stranded on a desert island, what would you want? what was your best date ever? why are you a catch? when are you happiest? The answers to these questions are up top. The blow-by-blow of the actual date follows underneath and ends with a post-mortem. The daters grade their experience.
The grades aren’t usually very high — usually in the B range. Participants don’t usually want to go out again — or, if they do, just as friends. It’s obvious up top why staffers make the matches. You know — the guy markets wine, the woman is a chef…the man’s a grad student, the gal’s a teacher. Even with the similar interests, the participants almost always say the chemistry just isn’t there. One date, and it’s over.
My refrain most weeks is that these people need to go on a few more dates before they give their final answer. I met my husband on a blind date — the only one either of us had ever been on. He knew right away. For me, it took a while. (Maybe it’s still taking a while….) I’ve thought as I’ve read these weekly date reports that the reason things never work out is that this generation expects things to move fast or not at all. I changed my mind, though, this past Sunday. The participants finally clicked. The guy (internet ad exec) and gal (asst food and beverage mgr) both gave the date an A+. But why? Was it just instant “chemistry” — or something more?
Just read the participants’ answers to those up-top questions, and it’s clear why things worked. If stranded on a desert island, the gal would want: “Peach Snapple, sunglasses, and a bathing suit.” The guy is happiest when “Riding his bike up a hill or surfing.” If all it takes to make ya happy is a Peach Snapple and pair of sunglasses…it’s a hell of a lot easier to find a mate. The guy reported seeing the gal and concluding that she was “stunning and confident.” I looked at her photo — in the magazine, online — and though she’s nice enough looking, I wouldn’t call her a stunner. But if you’re the kind of person who can be made happy by a bike ride uphill…why not?
So, it’s not just sticking with it, not just giving it time. The key to happiness is low expectations, so say the wise. The key to happiness is wanting what you have. The key to happiness is Peach Snapple.