I was finished grocery shopping and waiting in the checkout line to pay for my stuff, when browsing through the periodicals I saw a staple bound mini magazine titled, "Why Am I Dancing Alone?" in italics next to the title was the phrase "how to find - and KEEP someone to love!"

I know that a scowl had to have materialized instantaneously on my face. At once, I felt sorry for the people that this book was directed toward, and angry at the people who would peddle such drivel. I firmly believe that the stupid publication had every right to exist, but that doesn't make me any less upset at its existence.

I felt saddened by the idea of homely women coming through the checkout with their Tyson drumsticks and small boxes of cereal, seeing this book and thinking it could have some wonderful new revelation for them. The "if-only" statements pile up for them, if only they had thinner ankles, or better hair, or a rounder bottom... and this book (admittedly judged by its cover) seemed like a new arsenal for the if onlies.

As far as the people who peddle this crap, they're just turning a quick buck by telling people what they want to hear - which is that external changes and forced behavior changes will make one more attractive. While this theory is great for attraction, it doesn't work for love. When you bait and switch a person that you hope to have a relationship with, you usually end up holding nothing but the stupid hook you fashioned to catch that person.

I didn't bother to look at the book, and bought a Betty Crocker holiday recipe book, but I felt terribly incensed by that book. Two years ago, I'd have probably picked that flimsy thing up, trying to figure out where I'd gone wrong. It wouldn't have enlightened me. The problems that people usually have that hinder their dating prospects are internal. Self esteem, self respect, and a sense of what your goals are in a relationship won't come from side bends, sit-ups, new shoes, a winning smile, or the clever use of body language. People need to get to know (and love) themselves, and figure out what they want, and how they want to live by themselves, honestly, before they can try to mindlessly incorporate another person into their little world.

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