The other day, my friend Leslie and I were doing the usual lament about how hard it is to meet sane, available men. Not just straight and unmarried men. But, truly sane men without baggage – no carry-on, no check-through.
“If I have to spend another date watching some guy lick his fingers after eating chicken wings,” Leslie said, “I’ll slit my wrists.”
“You think that’s bad?” I whined. “My last date was in the last millennium. “And, he was my therapist’s grandfather, for God’s sake!”
Yeah, dating is a drag. No wonder so many of us have given up ever again dipping our toes in the dating pool. But, are we doomed to spend our Saturday nights alone, vibrator in hand, sentenced to a life of Haagen-Dazs and Sex and the City reruns? (As if that were a bad thing.)
“Cheer up,”I told Leslie. “There is a solution. Date a monk.”
“What?” she asked.
“Hear me out,” I told her. “You have got to change your attitude about the kind of men you are willing to date. Think outside the box. It worked for me.”
“You mean one of those guys who lives in a convent, making date-nut bread and weaving baskets?”
“No!” I answered. “I’m not talking about scouting for Friar Tuck in the backwoods. We live in a multi-cultural city that boasts men of all ages, religions, and countries of origin. Think about it.”
My saving grace was hooking up with a Buddhist monk. I know, what could a guy like that possibly offer sophisticated urban women like us?
“Those guys are celibate, aren’t they?”
“In theory, yeah,” I replied. “But, don’t believe everything you hear.”
So, what’s so great about dating a monk?
- It isn’t as hard as you’d think to find one. I met my monk while teaching English as a Second Language. I was in front of the classroom, when in strolls this bald guy in a maroon robe and sandals. He takes a seat in the back, then smiles at me throughout the class (but not in that creepy stalker way), then asks if I’d like to go out for tea. I say yes and the rest is history.
- Monks are calm and serene. The first thing that struck me about Siridawi was how mellow he was. He never gets angry and he doesn’t even get aggravated by things any normal person in this city gets annoyed at, like people standing too close to you on the subway or mouth breathers. He just refuses to be neurotic.
- The cuteness factor. My monk is off-the-charts cute, in the way the Dalai Lama is so adorable. A shaved head and a shy demeanor get me hot every time.
- My monk was inexperienced in the ways of love, which worked in my favor, because he had no other women to compare me to, so whatever I did was amazing to him. He was eager to learn and definitely “teachable.” Oh, yeah.
- You don’t have to worry about him being married. Monks are single. No ex-wives, no kids, equals no drama.
- You never have to worry he’ll spend all his money on himself, because he doesn’t have any. My monk owns exactly three robes, a pair of sandals, and some meditation books.
- He’s trainable in so many ways, for example, putting down the toilet seat lid. He got it right the first time. No longer will you fall in the toilet in the middle of the night when a guy sleeps over.
- A great sense of humor. Last weekend, I hid his robes while he was taking a shower, so he just put on my robe instead. Believe me, you haven’t seen funny ‘til you’ve seen a bald Buddhist in a pink chenille bathrobe.
Are there any downsides to dating a monk?
Well, the constant cheerfulness can be annoying. He’s always agreeable, never criticizes, is always open to new things. What’s that all about? I mean, nothing gets to him. He sees goodness in everything and he will not fight. Believe me, that’s not as refreshing as it sounds. I cannot get a rise out of him, no matter what. I mean, what’s the use of having a relationship if you can’t have a good fight now and then?
His calm demeanor was especially annoying because I live in New York City, where complaining and finding fault with people is a way of life. If a New Yorker comes across someone who’s nice, it’s code for naïve and stupid, a pushover. So, I was frustrated because he was giving me nothing to work with. No faults, no drama. Nada.
And, then there’s that damn smile plastered all over his face. He smiles. All. The. Time. Sometimes, I just want to slap the smile off him. Nobody can be that happy!
Another thing: He always listens to me. He pays attention. He supports me. Respects me. Having never come across this in a man before, naturally I was skeptical at first. It got on my nerves. But, I got used to it.
When you’re dating a monk, you have to be careful not to sabotage things. After months of putting up with his happy demeanor, I was beginning to wonder whether we really were compatible. Did he like me or did he just like everyone?
Finally, I just couldn’t stand his “sereneness” any more, so I broke up with him. No more hugs, no more foot massages. No more undivided attention. No more nights of slow, meditative Tantric sex.
My God, what was I thinking? Breaking up with the perfect guy! The next day, I came to my senses and called him. And, you know what? He took me back right away, no questions.
So, despite his sunny disposition and overly positive attitude, I decided to keep him. Because it’s hard to find a good man in this God-forsaken city.
And if you decide to heed my advice and date a Buddhist Monk, I have some tips:
- Plan on spending most of your time at home instead of in clubs or the bar scene. And, always have tea on hand. These guys love tea.
- Keep extra condoms in your apartment, because you will use them.
- Put hair products, nail polish, and makeup in the closet, because you won’t be needing them. Monks are into natural women. That takes the pressure off, no?
- Buy a copy of Buddhism for Dummies or The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism or the equivalent for whatever religion your monk is into.
- Be prepared to laugh often. And, get used to smiling.