First, a word about salmon: I don't like it. And, I suspect, a lot of other people don't like it either, but very few are brave enough to admit it.
Why? Because salmon is like opera. People think they should like opera, so they suffer through it. My mother buys me season tickets for my birthday every year. Some gift! During a performance of Madame Butterfly, which dragged on miserably for nearly four hours, I had to restrain myself from shouting at Cio-cio-san to shut up and die already. Instead, because I was at the opera and people expect you to suffer in silence, I wept in boredom. ( When someone tells you that they always cry at the opera, they are not weeping because they have such a sensitive soul. They simply are bored to tears. The only time I cried at an opera from genuine sadness was when the mother fox got killed at the end of The Cunning Little Vixen. )
Operas were written at a time when people had nothing better to do than waste eight hours going numb as some screeching fools bumbled their way through really silly plots. Now we have television, so we really don't have to put up with this crap.
When I glance around the packed opera house, I wonder how many people in the audience are as miserable as I am. From the pained expressions and the amount of snoring, my guess is that about 99 percent of the audience wishes they were someplace else, like in a dentist's chair. Yet, when I suggest to my mother and her friends ( who spend the interminable hours that we are trapped in our uncomfortable seats gaily chatting or napping and totally ignoring the tragedies playing out on stage ) that we stop attending, they place a protective hand on their bosoms and exclaim, 'But we love the opera.'
OK, back to salmon. So, I don't like it and I think a lot of people quietly agree with me. And yet-and yet!-salmon has been served at every goddamned dinner party I have attended in the past year. The host appears with a platter full of the disgusting creatures and everyone's eyes get wide with delight as they coo: 'Oooh, salmon!' Diners spend the next hour filling up on bread and artfully pushing the fish around their plates in an attempt to fool the host that they are actually eating it.
What I'd like to ask is: 'Whatever happened to chicken?'
The question you might be asking is: 'What the hell does any of this have to do with dating? This is supposed to be a dating column, right? This publication pays you tens of dollars a week to write about dating, correct? And, instead, you're writing about salmon? I feel gypped!'
Well, let me fill you in on something, my pets: some days I have absolutely nothing new to say about the ladies. Oh, sure, I could make up something like I do in most columns. For instance, this week I was considering fabricating a tale about how I tricked a woman into kissing me through the clever ploy of mistaken identity ( a plot I stole from Rigoletto ) . And it would have been really funny, too. But, sometimes, just the thought of writing about women—even make-believe ones—gives me a headache.
Women, you see, are a lot like salmon and opera. As a lesbian, I'm supposed to get giddy with joy every time I see one. But, more often than not, they just make me want to bury my head in my hands and cry in despair.