Not-So-Instant Gratification

At 1 p.m. today, unshowered, covered in dust from our old floors, my clothes spread out about my bed as I haphazardly packed for my trip with Mr. Possibility, I no longer could ignore my hunger pains and decided it was time to eat. I scrounged our kitchen, attempting to put something together that would resemble a meal, but I couldn’t find anything that fit my fancy.

I was still pretty full from an evening with my good friend M, where we drowned ourselves in a family-size $10 bottle of Merlot, a hunk of Brie cheese, cheap (and gross) crackers, oranges, and icing. The icing, though, only came until later, when frosting the cake we made, realizing we had far too much décor and not enough cake. But eating icing with your fingers sounds reallllly good when you’re had far too much wine.

Glad I didn’t have a hangover, I considered ordering in sushi when I saw a carton of eggs. And suddenly, I decided it was time for me to learn how to poach an egg. Since I moved to NYC, I discovered brunch which means I discovered Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine, which means I now officially love poached eggs instead of scrambled.

As anyone my age or generation does, I Googled “how to poach an egg” and found an easy step-by-step guide. I looked around to make sure it was the best way and to verify the methods with other sources and then when at it. Within ten minutes, I had two poached eggs, a piece of toast, glass of orange juice and Hulu cued up to watch the ANTM Season 16 I missed.

Excuse me for being overly cliché (isn’t the first time, won’t be the last), but to play off Staples: that was easy. And often, doing what I want to do, learning what I need to learn, and getting to where I want to go is really that simple. Mainly because of Google.

Intrigued by Google’s effect on my life, I went back through my search history and found the following:

“The Vow” movie, was it first a book?

How many calories in Brie cheese?

Cheap vacation packages to Greece

John Edwards indictment

NYC restaurant week 2011

Airline checked baggage dimensions

“My Hearts Will Go On” lyrics

Elephant necklaces on Etsy

Asheville Nature Center

How long do you let a cake cool before frosting?

Women and vitamins

Submissions for New York magazine

Now, these terms are only from the last 24ish hours and don’t include what I’ve searched for at work. Basically, anything I’m interested in, anything I’m curious about, anything that I need to know, or advice I want to read – I use Google. I have a few trusted resources/website that I will always come back to but the majority of my Google traffic is just random. Whatever pops in my head, I type it, find what I need to know, and move on.

It’s instant gratification. And I’m used to it. So why would I think in a relationship, in dating, I’d want anything other than that? Or maybe the better question is, why would I think instant gratification is realistic when you’re in love?

I don’t think it could be any further from the truth, actually. Sure, when you first meet someone or you go on a few dates, the tension is high and the chemistry is brewing. But unlike a computer that does as you say, gives you what you want when you want it, people aren’t like that. You can’t push a button or say a phrase and get the response you want. And maybe, you can change the terms you use or ways to approach the question and see if you’ll craft a new response, but most of the time, you’ll just end up irritating the person who already answered you once.

Too often we search for what we want to hear with guys. We throw out lines, we try to bait them into saying the words we think we need to hear, and we hope they’ll be everything we them to be. But men aren’t Google. They don’t give us a collection of personalities and we pick the one that’s best for us. Instead, they are one person and though they may change, if you can’t accept them and what they think for who and what they are, then you’ll find yourself going in circles, searching and searching for something you’ll never find.

And instant gratification isn’t what it’s cracked up to be in love. Sometimes, actually, the dial-up speed gives you the chance to really get to know someone. And months down the road, you may discover you are satisfied, you are in fact happy, even if it wasn’t gratification at sight.