I am personally in favor of love, but perhaps you, dear reader, are a contrarian and aren’t buying it.
Maybe you have all the love you need, and are in the mood for some isolation, loneliness and empty evenings.
The media is full of information this time of year about how to have love, keep love, revive love, etc. I’m going to take up the cause of the folks who just want to be left alone. So here is …
JIM’S QUICK GUIDE TO AVOIDING LOVE.
Tired of all the obligations, affection, companionship and politeness that love brings? Prefer to just hang out with your favorite person (Yourself, of course) all the time? Just follow these tips and you’ll be a solitary person in no time!
One. The individual you enjoy the most is You, so make sure You talk about Yourself all the time. Guide every conversation back to You.
Make sure that what You have done tops everything other people might be talking about. Make sure they know how hard-working You are, how much Your feet hurt and how much people treat You rotten.
Two. Fill your home with pets. Nothing says “I can’t relate to people” more than having 16 cats in your house or apartment. Or, possibly, three pit bulls with spiked collars.
If you have cats, give them all cutesy names like Mr. Muffin or Little Pretty Tinkle Tail and insist that your guests remember their names. If you have “pits” name them Ripper, Killer, and FleshEater. Great conversation starter!
Three. Uncover your enemies. Internalize every nutball conspiracy theory you ever hear or read about. Tell your co-workers, neighbor and casual acquaintances that Barack Obama is a Martian, Mitt Romney worships Satan and that Wolf Blitzer is a robot (that last one might actually be true, come to think of it).
Avoid foods that have a “K” in them. Refuse to shop in stores that sell goods manufactured in countries that don’t have strict anti-litter laws.
Four. Kill love at the start. If, despite observing the first three rules doesn’t drive away all potential suitors, you may need to take your game up a notch. Focus on one feature of your date (looks, career, religion, family) and criticize, early and often. Leave your wallet (or purse) at home, especially when going out to an expensive dinner. Cough a lot, whether you have a cold or not.
Five. Maybe you have a good relationship that’s lasted for years and that midlife crisis hits you and you want hair plugs, a red convertible and a blonde (or, alternately, you want breast augmentation, a silver Jaguar and a blond). How do you get your lifelong companion to reject you so none of the guilt is yours?
This is more difficult, and may require a complex and extended effort. To properly destroy a long-standing situation, the trick is to make the other person unhappy and want to kick You out. It’s a form of relationship judo.
Complain constantly, about everything. Make sure nothing is good enough for You. If he/she makes your favorite dinner for You, complain about how uncommon this is. If they rub your back, tell him/her “You’re rubbing too hard!” or “You’re rubbing too soft” or “too fast” or whatever.
Reminisce aloud about old amours in a dreamy voice, followed by a sigh. Dig out old love letters and leave them lying around casually.
Develop a contagious-sounding cough. Ostentatiously read magazine articles about “How to Deal With Strange Infections.” Get caught wearing the other person’s clothing.
Of course, in order to get and keep love, you would do the opposite. But nobody wants advice about that, since each of You is an expert on that subject, right?