Saturday, February 20, 2010


Nothing can quite bring you down to earth and remind you of your humanity like straight-up attraction to another. In our core, we are animals, after all; scientifically we are classified homo sapiens, a scratch and sniff away from the wild animal kingdom. But how distant are we really from our nearest primate cousins? And what exactly separates us from their instinctual animal ways?


Attraction, and the rituals that pass between people in its clutches, are primal. Who among us hasn’t felt that fever at one point or another, when you feel taken over, out of sorts and like access to your usual common sense is simply out of order? The matchmaking skills of attraction defy logic, drawing us toward people that are clearly wrong for us in a myriad different ways. But, when you’re in it, it feels nearly impossible to resist. I cringe to think of the mating rituals I’ve engaged in, dancing around another trying to dazzle and impress, shaking my tail feathers and batting my eyes. A sensible man will swagger to impress a girl, working the room to make her laugh, seizing opportunities to flaunt his burly strength, and engaging in one-upmanship with other men, like rams fighting for dominance in the herd. It is dizzying to watch people walk the tightrope of attraction, reason on one side, crazy abandon on the other.

Now, I’m a pretty solid person these days. My head’s on straight, and as I’ve said before, I'm on a no-compromise man diet, patiently waiting for the right one to come along. Period. It’s funny how easy that is to live out when no one passing by causes a stir. It’s another thing altogether when feverish attraction walks through the door and commands your undivided attention.

I’ve been taken over and filled with that fever as of late. My vision’s out of focus and my mind is consumed with ideas that make no sense. Last week was a climactic point in a distant crush I’ve harbored longer than I’m willing to admit. With each interaction the heat increased my flush, my heart tip-toed towards my throat, and I began to consider breaking every dating rule I’ve so carefully constructed. Besides wanting to stare into those lovely dark eyes, and draw that face close to mine, I wanted to talk all night, drink good wine, and laugh until my belly ached bad.

Well, that’s what I wanted, before; before he shared the dilemma. The one I didn’t want to hear. A girlfriend. A recent commitment, yes, but a good woman expecting nothing less than to be honored and respected by this man. How did all this fever get passed back and forth, you might ask, if a girlfriend is waiting in the wings? Engaging conversation, curiosity…a hesitancy, perhaps, to blurt out “I have a girlfriend” before knowing for sure that attraction was coming his way.

By this point, a dangerously blessed amount of intimate conversation had been shared, and the interactions that followed this confession only intensified things. Before you jump ahead, hold on. No lines were crossed, the man was honorable and the woman clearly stated that for her, platonic friendship was unrealistic with this level of attraction to contend with. The conversation ended with no talk of future conversations, just a plan to let it go for now, and allow things to evolve as they are meant to. Healthy. Grounded. Mature. Reflecting the wisdom homo sapiens were named for. However…I am humbled by how difficult it is to fight off my most primal instincts, and I’ve never felt more cognizant of my animal impulses than I do right now.


Every other day we hear of yet another person in the public eye who has crossed the line, having given in to the impulses that come with that primal level of attraction. I don’t think anyone is above the discomfort of being attracted to someone when it isn’t appropriate or convenient. We seem to be able to find attraction with more than one person at a time, and as someone wisely said this week, we connect with different people in different ways. Yet, the bottom line is this: We can choose how to respond to our impulses, and it is our ability to reason, and to make choices that separates us from our wild animal relatives. So, I’ve made my choice, and if it’s not going to be those eyes and that face, then a good flick, a spoon and the best cookie dough ever will have to suffice...until this fever breaks.

*Follow the fever links to all sorts of great versions of the old classic song.


  1. I love the tie to recent celebrity activity. More people should spend more time thoughtfully reflecting on the type of life they wish to lead and the type of person they wish to become.

  2. Jennifer,
    I am sorry you were disappointed in your attraction (thank God not fatal!) You made the noble decision. How can any good from betraying your own integrity? You are amazing.

  3. I finally have a gmail account! It's about time. I love reading your blogs. They are always so interesting and thought provoking. And, of course, I love the recipes. :) Looking forward to your next blog.