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The List

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Do you have a list? Not a to-do list. A list of qualities you’re looking for in your future partner. Some people have a list and swear by it. One person I interviewed in the process of creating the script for my one-man show “What They Said About Love” told me, “You should make a list of what you’re looking for—and then the universe will provide.” Me? I kinda think the universe should know what I want; I shouldn’t have to tell it. Let’s let some of my interview subjects weigh in:

Wayne says, “Some people are like, I want someone who’s like this. And like that. Not things like hair color and height. You know—good qualities. But I’ve never wanted to do that. Because I always felt like that would make me compare what’s happening with some idea in my head. But whatever is happening here, with Claudia and me, is beyond my wildest dreams. And I dream very wildly.”

Bridget, part of a pair of motorcyclists, tells me, “I had a list. Of what I was looking for. I still have it. It was just a little piece of paper in a box. I carried it down the aisle with me. I had maybe 30 things on it. I was looking for someone that could fix my bike. No, I was looking for someone that was beautiful in a non-traditional way. Which to me means like tattoos and piercings and funny hair. And many years before I met Rick, a girlfriend of mine said that the perfect guy would like Lionel Ritchie. And the first mixed tape—or I guess it was a CD at that point—he made for me, had a Lionel Ritchie song on it. So, I called my friend and said, ‘Hey, guess what? I found him.’”

Gabby, who grew up in SoCal and spent a few years living in NYC, doesn’t mince words: “Take that list and throw it away. And I know some people still follow a list and it works for them. But, like, for me, this is what worked. It’s like take that list and throw it away because this person totally defies all the expectations I wanted. Like, I never would have pictured myself with, you know, the fact that he’s in software. And, of course, you want to find someone who makes you laugh and treats you well. But things like ‘reads the New Yorker and is well-traveled’? Those are silly little things. Take that list and throw it away!”

Enjoy stories like this? Book a performance of “What They Said About Love.” The script is also available as a play that can be performed by a full cast.

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