Communication

Wandering Around The Desert (Or, How ‘I Have Mono’ Isn’t a Great Pickup Line)

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Lately I’ve been going through a bit of a dry spell. And by this I mean sometimes I think I see guys that I’d like to date, but they end up being urban mirages of eligible men (translation: crushing on boys from Tumblr), because my Sahara Desert of a dry spell is forcing me to create these dream images in the vain hope that I might someday make it through the desert and find some sort of dating oasis (the analogy got away from me. I tried to save it. Did it work? Your call).

I could just sit at home, talking to my cat and catching up on Hunger Games fan fiction, waiting for something to happen. I really could. My home is comfortable. My cat does backflips. These things pass the time and don’t actually require me to make eye contact with people I think smell nice.

However, since hermitism isn’t really my style, I recently decided to actively attempt to leave the desert. For many people, this is an easy journey. Many women are, shockingly, able to say interesting and compelling things in complete sentences to men they find attractive.

I am not one of those women.

For example, last week I went to the doctor. And the doctor was gorgeous. Gorgeous. I was smitten even before the appointment. And while I know it’s hard to come off attractive while telling a man that you’ve been sick for three weeks, I decided to take the challenge. I decided to flirt. It went a little something like this:

Joy: I recently did that thing, 23 and me? Where they use your DNA to tell you what diseases you might get?
Doctor Hotness: Now, take a deep breath.
Joy: And it’s great because I learned that I won’t pass any diseases or genetic issues onto my future children.
Doctor Hotness: And out.
Joy: They also tell you what famous people are similar, in a genetic sense, to you.
Doctor Hotness: Another deep breath, please.
Joy: And I got Marie Antoinette! Which at first I thought had to do with how much I like cake!
[Pause for laughter. No laughter]
Joy:… And since my family descended from the Huguenots, it’s just really crazy!
Doctor Hotness: It’s actually easier to perform the exam if you’re not talking.

And boom. There go all of my matron Jewish Auntie’s dreams of me ever connecting with a doctor.

Not only was the flirting aspect of the program completely disastrous, so was the diagnosis. Doctor Hotness proceeded to tell me I have the least attractive disease known to man: Mono.

I don’t know how you get mono when you haven’t kissed anyone since Justin and Britney wore matching denim outfits (slight exaggeration), but I managed to secure it. And when I’m not falling asleep in the middle of eating dinner or at my desk or in my car or standing up or walking down the street, I’ve tried to be social while getting over mono. It’s gone a little something like this:

Cute boy: Why aren’t you drinking?
Joy: lalalalalala, well, I have mono. (actual quote)
Cute boy: Oh. (walks away)
Joy’s friend: Congrats. Even if he sees you three years from now, he’s still going to remember you as “Mono Girl” and never make out with you. You really have a gift.

I wanted to be insulted by my friend, I did! She should be supportive and other things that friends do. But instead I just ended up falling asleep at the bar.



Joy Engel lives and works in Portland, Maine where she tweets far too much and solves the occasional murder-mystery while riding around on a bicycle. Everything she writes is her personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of her employer or its clients.