Lately I’ve been in a slump. It’s a dating slump. It’s lasted for, oh, about 22 years now. I’ve had a few dates here and there, a few crushes, but I’ve already all but given up on finding “the one.” I’ve always wondered why I was so unmotivated in the love department. Why is dating just not one of my priorities?
Since I don’t, you know, care, instead of going out and trolling sports bars for men on the weekend, I stay home with my roommates and watch DVDs and America’s Next Top Model re-run marathons on VH1. Last weekend my three roommates, two of them single, joined me in what has become a yearly ritual for me: the Sack-athon. It’s a marathon of movies starring John Cusack. We started with High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank, then to Being John Malkovich and Better Off Dead, and we ended it with Say Anything.
It was during the last film, around the time we were all melted into our sectional sofa, eyes all glazed over, huge smiles on our faces, that it occurred to me: this is why we’re single. We have unrealistic standards. Why would we be out trying to meet the kind of schlub that hangs out in the clubs when we’ve got the tall, athletic, awkward, hopelessly romantic "Mr. Lloyd Dobler" right here in our living room?
Mr. Dobler has great taste in music. He’s politically aware. He takes a principled stand against selling, buying, or processing, anything sold, bought, or processed. He doesn’t know what he wants from life other than wanting to be a good date. He’ll be glad to point out broken glass for you to walk around.
"Jake Ryan"- who? I’ll take Lloyd, thanks.
What guy could possibly live up to that guy, though? John Cusack said once that he was in a bar after Say Anything came out, and a girl came up to him and asked, “Are you Lloyd?” He said, “On my better days.” See? Even he can’t live up to the standard set by Lloyd - who thought kickboxing was the sport of the future.
It goes deeper than Lloyd Dobler, though. Lloyd grew up to be the guy in Must Love Dogs, Serendipity, and High Fidelity. They’re intense, romantic, hopeless - and undeniable.