(@LA.COM)
June 28, 1998
Free Ramen, Perfect Scares, and More Dating Blather

Remember when I mentioned Top Ramenís going rate of $.18 per packet?  It was on Key Buy this week for $.13.  Iím telling you, soon it will be free. 
And then thereís the matter of Mr. Ismael Valdes.  Heís the Dodger pitcher who threw the near no-no the a couple weeks back.  Against the Pirates the other night, he did it again.  Perfect game in to the eighth inning.  Leadoff batter for the Pirates got a single, and Valdes retired the next six guys.  One-hit shutout.  28 up, 27 down.  Thisclose to immortality.  Izzy, youíre starting to scare us.  Next time, if youíre going to give up a hit, make it a single in the fourth inning.  My stomach couldnít take it. 
Now, a quick update on the whole "Reverse Dating" phenomenon thatís sweeping the nation.  Some of you seemed confused.  My favorite was this letter from a long-time reader, who asked:

"Maybe I'm just dim or something but I just don't get the "Reverse Dating" concept.  What's it supposed to do for you?  What's it supposed to prove?  Have you been a "victim"?"

Next time, Iíll try to make it a little more clear.  I donít consider myself a "victim" of reverse dating, but certainly an unwilling participant.  Call me a traditionalist, but I like progress.  Whatís Reverse Dating supposed to do for me?  Thatís the question I keep asking myself over and over again.  My guess is, "nothing."  (And by the way, those are quotation marks, not parentheses.  Thanks for catching the punctuation fumble, Julie!)

I promised weíd discuss the whole guy/girl thing yet again, but it seems like I have little to add on this topic that canít already be found in a previous column.

I will say this, however.  There are plenty of single people in the world who are good, normal, nice, fun, and cool.  It would be easier if there was some secret signal or sure-fire sign for us to track each other down, but that takes all the challenge out of it.

Strangely, though, I sometimes think Iíd rather feel loneliness than not have the ability to feel anything at all.  And while loneliness is much to strong a word to describe how I feel these days, at times, there certainly is an element of begrudgement.  I find myself trying not to stare at the obviously happy couples that pass by me, day after day, on their way to a movie, a show, a Dodger game.  But I always end up wondering, "How did they get together?  How did they solve this unsolvable (to me, for now) puzzle?"

Today, as I sat at work, I listened to two previously childless co-workers discuss the big changes in the lives.  (One has been married for a couple of years, and recently gave birth to a remarkable baby boy, and the other has been married for several years, and is just about to become the father of twins.)

I mean, these are two people for whom kids were certainly on the back burner two years ago, and today they were quite vigorously discussing the relative merits of paint colors for their childrenís rooms.  ("Moonlight Yellow is a bit darker than Sunny Beach," seemed to be the conclusion they came to.  I was more than a bit lost.)

It just goes to show you how life can and often does change.  Just when you think youíve got it all figured out, something new comes your way.

I guess thatís one of the cooler things about life.  Iím not a big fan of unpredictability, but damn if life wouldnít seem a bit more empty without it.


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©1998
Colin Campbell - jenolen@earthlink.net
Last updated June 28, 1998