A couple weeks ago I received an email from my friend Huw in London, telling me about a new technique he’s been using in his quest for eternal love. It’s called Listing. He said that physically writing out a list of the qualities you want and don’t want in a partner helps to focus your mind, thus allowing you to hone in on your “target market.” He said that in life we have to dream big, but we also have to be realistic. I said that sounds like the sort of insane, desperate fat girl bullshit one reads in the pages of Cosmopolitan, and where do I sign up?
The thing is, I love lists. They’re pretty much my favorite. I make a To-Do list every morning when I wake up. Admittedly, sometimes it’s not much longer than To Do: Nothing, but still, I get an extreme amount of pleasure in crossing it off. In light of this I asked Huw to send me an example of the list he made, to give me a clear picture of the task at hand (and possibly to steal some of his ideas). His list, however, was total shit. For one the ‘desirable’ column was almost identical to the ‘undesirable’ column, both of which included ‘lesbians’ and ‘pretend lesbians.’ Also number one in the desirable column was ‘easy girls,’ which was an immediate red flag.
Despite his incompetence, I went ahead and made a list of my own. I believe it to be quite good. See below:
1. Boys who look like girls / girls who look like boys
2. Anyone possessing a general air of sickliness / malnourishment / weakness
3. Boys that are too young for me
4. Bisexuals (I’m going to pretend they exist for the sake of this list)
5. Salad lovers
6. Sex addicts
7. Self-destructive tendencies
8. People of immeasurable brilliance
9. People that smell a little bit but not too much
10. People I haven’t slept with
1. People I’ve already slept with
2. People not on Facebook (thus I can not stalk)
3. Muscles (ick)
5. People with “real” jobs
7. I can’t think of anything else
After completing my list I immediately felt like I understood myself better. There it was: everything I ever wanted spelled out right in front of me. Nothing necessarily monumental happened. A naked Louis Garrel did not fall through my ceiling onto my lap. But I felt like someone who knew what she wanted. I felt powerful.
A few days later, after hours of sitting at my desk, working (and by “working” I mean masturbating all day which I’ve somehow convinced myself is a valid occupation), I decided I needed a break. I put on my $10 thrift store wedding dress and walked to the apartment building of Hamilton Morris—a Vice drug columnist who I internet stalked while in London and wrote creepy blog posts about but who I’d never actually met—with a sign that said HI, I’VE BEEN JERKING OFF THINKING ABOUT YOU SINCE 2008. On the walk there I briefly contemplated whether this was perhaps too much, but quickly decided that no, it’s in fact just a really normal, not-at-all-disturbing way of introducing yourself to someone. In fact, you should all try it. (Not being ugly helps.) I then sat on his doorstep waiting for him for the next five hours. When he finally arrived I was so delirious from having been out in the sun for so long without food or water, wearing a deathly hot polyester wedding dress, that I wasn’t sure if it was really him or just an extremely lifelike mirage.
He appeared confused, then bent down and started speaking at me slowly. I’m not sure what he said; I wasn’t really listening. I was too overwhelmed with the sudden desire to put my head under his T-shirt and stay there forever.
“I think we may have met in a past life,” he said after a long pause. “You think it’s possible?”
I said no but I really meant yes.