The Avocado Theory
Avocados and men looking to date have a lot in common.
Avocados are probably one of the greatest fruits-that-moonlight-as-vegetables ever invented. It’s like nature woke up one day was like, “I do a lot of annoying shit (tornadoes, earthquakes, hail storms) so today I’m going to make up for it and give you guys the avocado.”
The only caveat about avocados is that you have to be a total produce ninja to know exactly when they are ready to eat, as evidenced by an Internet meme making its round on Instagram:
EAT ME NOW!
With a banana, you can tell what’s happening on the inside thanks to a peel that changes from greenish to yellow to spotted brown. Not an avocado, where the whole ripening process ranges in mind blowing shades of the same color: very green, to green, to army green, to…I think this is still green, but it might be brown, and does that mean it’s ready to eat? Everyone who has ever waited an entire week for an avocado to ripen to make guacamole knows the horror of realizing that the specimen — perfect just one hour ago — has suddenly gone rogue.
So too goes the adage for men under 30.
Take your average guy in his early to mid-twenties. (Let’s call him Lev in honor of my roommate because it’s such a funny name and I’m going to have to repeat it a lot to make my point. That’s what you get for leaving the toilet seat up!)
Lev is 25, attractive, conceivably successful. Lev knows these facts about himself. Because of Lev’s self-awareness and heightened LEVel (hehe get it?) of self-esteem due in large part to a still-strong hairline and a metabolism that has yet to decline, he is in no rush to enter a relationship. He is playing the field and murdering dance floors. Lev is taking out every pretty girl in a ponytail that deems him a non-serial killer and therefore will exchange her number for his pick up line.
Girls will fall for him. They will try to date him exclusively and will collectively lament when their efforts fail. They will wonder if it’s something they did or something they said, if it was the risky color of their pants or the fact that they ordered salad instead of a burger. But Lev just isn’t ready yet. (It’s not them, it’s him.)
At age 26, he’s still not ready.
At age 27, he’s still not ready.
28? No dice.
Then 29 arrives and one day out of nowhere our every-guy that I’ve monikered as Lev meets a girl. Maybe she’s not particularly special, not the “prettiest” nor the brightest nor the one he’s had the most in common with but because Lev is essentially an avocado he has decided that in this very second, he is READY and she is IT.
However, if said girl is not ready at the very same moment — (girls follow a similar pattern though I’d say despite the fruit’s phallic nature we’re much more like bananas) — then things get weird. Lev becomes overripe. In his desire to secure a mate he becomes too mushy both figuratively and literally, suffocating her with his need to settle down.
I’ve found that this stage tends to hit right around the big three-oh: his friends are getting married, his parents are starting to ask annoying questions, and the timing just seems “right.” It’s the ideal situation in theory, but if our lady in waiting is still a green banana, the whole recipe is off and the relationship inevitably fails.
My friend Lisa had just gotten out of a relationship (24, total babe) and while she was into the idea of dating, she wasn’t looking for anything serious. She was then set up with a guy in his early 30s who fit all of her criteria. They had a ton of fun, she was into it, and then, as though struck with the force of Cupid’s post-twentysomething arrow, it suddenly became apparent that he was looking for The Relationship.
“I don’t think there was anything special about me that he liked,” she said. “He was just so ready to have someone to move on to the next step with. It could have been anyone.” They ended it and a few months later, he was engaged to someone he met online.