Tuesday, April 6, 2010
#44 Expiration Dating
Spring has sprung, and this Single Girl is currently accepting applications for this year's spring fling(s).
The beauty of expiration dating is the pre-determined expected duration of a relationship. (And yes, a "relationship" could spoil after two weeks like milk, or have a much longer "use-by date" like beef jerkey.)
For some of us single girls, our first experience with expiration dating occurred as adolescents at band camp or astronaut camp. We spent one month making out in the woods every night with our camp boyfriend who promised he would keep in touch (KIT) and write, despite the hundreds of miles between us. Guess what? He never did. (And unfortunately, this won't be the last time a boy will disappoint us.)
We got over it eventually by persuading ourselves it would never have worked out anyway. Geographical undesirability can be such a bitch. Plus we were 15 and convinced we'd be the future Mrs. Luke Perry.
Setting a "use by date" on relationships manages our expectations of dudes, allows us to quit while we're ahead and enables us to avoid "jumping the shark." This is perfect for those guys we can't (and won't) get serious about. Maybe he's great in bed, maybe he drives a nice car, maybe we just need him to be our escort for our sister's wedding since he's so photogenic. (And we know how important those pictures on Facebook are.) BUT, he could be an asshole, a borderline alcoholic or a Canadian.
Much like various grocery items, different dudes have different expiration dates. Most of the time, this is established by the quality of the item and how well it will last past the "guaranteed fresh date." Exacerbating factors that usually push a "use by date" closer to the "best if used before date" include sunlight, alcohol, cigarettes and general douchiness.
Contrary to urban legend, even Twinkies have a shelf life of 25 years. And we all know products are best enjoyed well before their expiration dates.