My friend walked me into the house, putting her arm around me, and began thus:

Friend:  Dude asked me about you and I told him about you.  He really likes you.
Me:  Who?
Friend:  Dude, the guy that sat next to you for most of the night.
Me:  (Thinking about the ridiculosity of a guy named "Dude,"  as well as the fact that he never once talked to me, so how does he know me?)  Well, y’know, he’s not really my type.  Like, AT ALL.
Friend:  Well, he’s a really nice guy, and I think you should go out on a date with him.
Me:  *giving her a patronizing look, but inching towards the door*
Friend:  *sees me trying to escape, blocks my exit*
Me:  *seeing she will not let me leave unless I agree*  Well, I suppose it’s always good to meet new people…

She seemed satisfied with that answer.  But seriously folks, I love the movie The Big Lebowski and all, but I don’t date guys who smoke or do drugs, and I sure as hell am not going to date a person who goes by the name "Dude."  Add to that the fact that I am not in any way, shape, or form attracted to him.  Why would she even try to do this to me?!?  I have standards, and he does not meet any of the important ones.  I try not to be elitist, but sometimes you have to draw the line.

And thus I’ve decided to make a list of the really important stuff:

  • No smoking or drugs.  Not a big drinker.
  • Must be able to have an intelligent conversation.  Degree not required, but it helps ; )   Not that I often have deep conversations with men, but if I want to, say, philosophize about the size of the universe or the nature of existence, I don’t want to get a blank look back in return.
  • Must be active in some way.  I mean, he doesn’t have to be on any teams or anything, but sometimes I want to go out and do activities that require some amount of fitness (hiking, canoeing, jogging, ultimate frisbee, etc.)  I don’t want him to die on me.
  • Would not mind the fact that probably within the next year, I will be either living half-way across the country, or half-way across the globe.  I never let my relationships direct where I’m going and what I’m doing in life.  Of course there would be circumstances that could affect this, but in general, just deal.
  • Must be an explorer of something.  I’d prefer someone with Indiana Jones-like skillz, but would take anyone who’s really passionate about a subject and likes to learn new things.
  • Must love history and/or art and music.  Seriously, I don’t think I’d have anything in common with him if he didn’t.
  • Must have excellent calf muscles.  Weird, I know, but I like them.  Bonus points for being good-looking elsewhere.
  • I have to appreciate his book collection.  If he only owns one book, he is automatically disqualified.
  • If he doesn’t like the Beatles, he is likewise automatically disqualified.
  • Occasionally enjoys the finer things in life (good food, wine, music, company, etc).
  • Traveler.  I want to go everywhere.*  Twice.
  • Must laugh or at least smile and roll his eyes at my corny jokes.

So, as you can see, my criteria is strict.  And certainly there are aspects that I have not placed on this list.  But I have confidence that I’m gonna find one, if not more than one, that fits this description.

But tell me, kids, what is (or was) your deal-breaker when dating?

*Not really everywhere.  Really no where in Asia (except maybe India or Tibet), and I’m sure I could make a long list of other places.  But I want to go to a lot of places.