The Truth Behind Mr. Perfect

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by Anne Walls

Think you’ve met your fantasy guy? Think again. Here’s a list of first impressions that may leave more, uh, lasting ones once you’re IN the relationship with this alleged “Dreamboat.” Learn from the wisdom of your elder-ladies how to spot a cad in babe’s clothing.

First Glance: He buys you a Jameson shot. Then another one. And one more. He’s the life of the party!
Deeper Gaze: He’s a 24-hour-party…who will soon be in rehab. Or jail. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

First Glance: He’s wearing a $3,000 suit. And $800 shoes. And a very, very nice watch.
Deeper Gaze: Sure, he likes the finer things in life. But people who collect showily expensive objects like that tend to thing of everything as an object…including their ladies.

First Glance: Two words: HOT DRUMMER. Bonus words: Tour bus sex!!!
Deeper Gaze: You really want to have sex on a tour bus? Have you ever woken up with a stranger’s hair in your mouth, wearing someone else’s socks on your hands? Do you want to start now?

First Glance: Thick-rimmed, smudged glasses? Check. Three-day-old, insomniac stubble? You betcha. Encyclopedic knowledge of late-1980s German cinema and the passion to discuss it for 75 minutes straight on your first date? Achtung, baby!
Deeper Gaze: What seems like a fiery monologue of cinematic adoration can often belie a level of self-involvement that doesn’t acknowledge your long-empty martini glass and the fact you’re considering popping your own eardrum with your olive toothpick. When people misbehave on a first date, remember this: it will only get worse.

First Glance: Devastatingly perfect hair, two rows of gleaming white Superman teeth, and pores you couldn’t even find with a microscope. This guy is a God!
Deeper Gaze: This guy is a gay. Move it along, Mister Sister.

First Glance: He’s the friend of a friend you meet at a BBQ who dazzles you with his aspirations of teaching English in Cambodia, sheep herding in New Zealand, and hiking the Andes while making a documentary about the unsuitable working conditions in Yerba Mate packaging facilities.
Deeper Gaze: While his passport is yet unstamped, his subterranean basement in Gowanus, mounting unpaid credit card bills, suspect “freelance work,” and permanent fixture at the bar on his corner all point to those seven deadly letters: S-L-A-C-K-E-R.
The bottom line:
Look, I’m not saying everyone in a nice suit or who has travel ambitions is an emotional minefield. You just need to read the signs and proceed with caution, no matter the outer shininess. Because people have a pretty interesting habit of revealing exactly who they are, we just often choose to ignore it in exchange for an arm across our chest when we sleep and someone to go to our cousin’s wedding with.
But look deeper and be open to maybe being wrong sometimes. Because the sooner you extricate yourself from the un-best, you open yourself (and your schedule) up to meeting the actual best.
And that’s what you deserve, Hotpants.

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