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Claire goes shopping for a Man
Clearance Rack of Life

It's been a while since I've had a boyfriend. After my last one gave me my walking papers, I did what many rejected women do. I ate. And I ate. And I ate some more.

I added a nice, protective layer of fat around me to shield me from future hurt and to give me time to heal - kind of a cocooning effect. Man repellant.

Now that I've been dieting and stripping off that protective layer, I think (hope) I've healed enough and I'm ready to try again. At the very least, I'm tired of moping around feeling sorry for myself.

Shopping for a new boyfriend is not a totally unpleasant task, although not particularly easy at age 46. My first problem is that I'm not sure where to shop. I've changed since last time, so who knows what will fit? Plus, I can't say for certain what it is I want, so I guess I'll be browsing for a while.

Where do you get a nice, lightly used man these days?

It's no secret that by this age we aren't new merchandise. We are definitely all past our season and should be in the clearance section, if not the second-hand store. That's not to say that we are less than desirable. It just takes a little more time to sift through what's hanging around to find that gem.

Internet shopping is always an option. There are certainly a wide variety of men available through this method, many who appear to be a real catch. Unfortunately, the ones who write to me are old enough to be my father, or I'm old enough to have dated their father, or they are just looking for a little "how's your father".

Maybe a personal shopper is the way to go. Someone with a knack for pairing people up, sight unseen, based on cryptic criteria they made up. It worked for Janeane Garofalo in "The Matchmaker". (Great film, by the way - my favorite part is the relationship pie chart.)

My fear is where this person may be shopping. While I'm anticipating Saks or even Kauffmans (heck, Target would do) he may be rounding up men of the dollar store variety.

What would be most convenient for me is if they would add a section to the grocery store, maybe near the dairy case, for finding men. That way when I'm in buying more yogurt, I could browse the man aisle. A contents label would be nice. "Contains abrasives" "No artificial sweeteners"

Nothing is ever quite that easy.

QVC would be smart to have a man show. Maybe right after Quacker Factory. I could tune in to watch Jeanne because she's a hoot (quack?), buy a bedazzled t-shirt, and then stick around to pick out a man. I would be just one express checkout away from love. Quality, value, convenience.

Finding a swimsuit that fits is much easier than this, although the processes do have some similarities. You have to find one you like the look of, one that you feel comfortable with out in public, and one you can stand being that close to you. One that protects your backside, makes you feel sexy, and doesn't give out on you.

In shopping for men, it's not money that you spend; it's your precious time. Money you can always get more of, time is something once used can never be replaced.

I am forever giving my time away to men who have rejected me. It's a pointless activity. I can't change the past by throwing my future at it.

From now on, I'm putting my time to better use. It's silly to give it away to someone who doesn't want it in the first place. I'm putting my time toward finding someone who does.

I'm looking forward to the shopping. Checking out the merchandise, trying to find a good fit. Finding out what's inside, trying something new. The process is just as important as the end result, because all that comes before is what leads you to where you need to be.

Can't wait until I find him. I'm sure the search will be time well spent.


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