Must Love Pasta

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December 22, 2006

They say a boy's best friend is his Mother. Recently, my 18 year-old-son Tony, disappointed with what he'd found so far, asked me for help finding 'a gal, just like the gal, who married Dear Old Dad.' There doesn't seem to be one in our town. It's clearly divided between uptight, fundamentalist Christian 'plastics' on the one hand, and angry, emo/goth, vegan, party animals on the other. I like efficiency, so I figured I'd get with the millennium and try the singles ad route, so here goes.

Wanted, single female, 17 to 19 for companionship, possibly romance. Must possess at least average intelligence, a modicum of common sense and original thought, a sense of humor and interests of one's own other than boys and shopping. Open mindedness is vital; actually it's the deal breaker here. Height, weight, coloring, mostly irrelevant. Easy on the eyes is a criteria, but he's not terribly picky about the details. Variety is nice; in fact it's the spice of life. Obesity, excessive tattoos or piercings probably won't work. If you need someone taller than 5'10' you should keep looking. Otherwise, read on, if you can.

If you think free healthcare, college education and public transportation are civil rights, stop reading now. Hire a moving company to take you to California , Oregon , Massachusetts , Canada , or anywhere in Europe . Your dream guy is waiting there for you.

If you're cool with RFID, and constant surveillance by the state doesn't give you the creeps because you haven't done anything wrong, think guns are bad and should only be in the hands of government, stop reading now.

If you vote, think politicians are good and smarter than average people, think voting never hurt anyone, think that anyone who doesn't vote is responsible for the war in Iraq, or if you think, 'there ought to be a law'' stop reading now.

If you think you can own another person: stake claim on his time, money or resources, or think the word 'no' is mean, stop reading now.

If you can't miss an episode of ' America 's Next Top Model,' 'Survivor' or 'Dr. Phil,' please stop reading now.

If you think a boyfriend is someone to spend every waking moment with, if you've already slept with a dozen other guys, or wouldn't consider socializing without drinking or getting high, stop reading now.

If you think it's cute that your cat licks the butter on the kitchen counter, you can't tolerate the smell of meat cooking, or you consider swearing a sin, you can stop reading now. Order another 139 degree, venti, soy, chai, non-fat latte and proceed to the next ad.

If you're an OCD neat freak, a compulsive talker, or spend time planning the color of your next cell phone cover, you can stop reading now.

If you think a boyfriend should start going to your church, serve his country in Washington 's war du jour, or you insist that government education is good for poor people, stop reading now. There is no common ground on which to even begin a dialogue.

If you think taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society, keep looking. There are a lot of people out there who agree with you, and you should have no trouble finding someone. Please think carefully before reproducing.

If you see nothing wrong with government disability payments, welfare, or Social Security and that it will somehow be there for you one day, or if you think working while collecting disability is OK, stop reading now.

If you expect your boyfriend to laugh with your other guy friends when they flirt with you or degrade you, or if you think a boyfriend is your new best friend five minutes after you meet him, stop reading now. Good things take time. You're young; you've got a lot of it. Keep looking.

If you think men with turbans are dangerous or that black people are athletic because they are closer to apes, STOP READING NOW . There is absolutely no purpose to further reading, except 'go directly to jail, do not pass 'go' and do not collect $200,' because, dear, you're already in a prison inside your own mind.

If you can't write a grammatically correct sentence (we don't need a lot of them, just one) stop reading now. Go to the next ad.

If you need dental work, stop reading now. Pick up the phone and schedule an appointment.

There are a lot of gray areas in life ' can you handle this? If you think problems in life are unusual, or that anyone with an opinion different from yours is wrong, this probably won't work. In fact, I'll go out on a limb here, and guess that you encounter a lot of turbulence in most of your significant relationships.

If you can't kiss a fellow who smokes, that's understandable. You can stop reading now; Tony's probably not quitting anytime soon. In fact, expecting to change anything in this world from your eyeballs outward is usually a wasted effort, and Tony is not too big on wasted effort.

He's not a couch potato ' well, not always. He can hustle and work hard when he decides something is worth doing. Tony is a natural born efficiency expert. He constantly makes motion studies to conserve time and energy (especially his own) and believes office chairs with wheels are under-rated.

If you don't know how to twirl spaghetti with a fork and spoon, Tony can show you. If you like when a boy hugs his Mom or his dog, read on. If you think you might like children one day, say, ten or 20 years from now, and you'd like free babysitting from a woman with experience who would love them as her own, keep reading. If you already have a child, that's cool, but if you already have three, that's not cool.

(Ok, so I'd like to be a grandmother some day, is that so wrong? I'm the one writing the ad! He wants a girl like me!)

If you like to eat and especially enjoy hot, home cooked meals, keep reading. Tony enjoys special requests; they give him ideas. He can even handle dietary restrictions and modify recipes for preference. However, garlic is a non-negotiable 'must-have.' I guarantee that your verbal skills and wit will improve after spending time dining with our family, or your money back.

Be warned: Tony has an advanced case of 'stick-it-to-da-man-osis' (see School of Rock.) If you too love freedom more than anything, and understand that responsibility is the key to it, he'd love, more than anything, to meet you.

If you're still reading, if you don't mind a fellow who fills any room he enters with his personality, if you insist on excellent hygiene, if you like to laugh, discuss problems simply and intelligently, and have a kind, gentle disposition, this could work. If you think life is a grand experiment, send me an email and I will forward it to Tony. Maybe it's time to take that long awaited trip to Michigan ! All that's required is one good sentence, and a picture, of course.

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Retta Fontana's picture
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Retta Fontana is an atheist, anarchist, baker, potter and parenting teacher.  Children are her favorite people.