Picky, Picky

Must love cats: Denisa Canales, 23, broke it off with one boyfriend because he was allergic to her cats.
Must love cats: Denisa Canales, 23, broke it off with one boyfriend because he was allergic to her cats. (By Linda Davidson -- The Washington Post)

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By Libby Copeland
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 6, 2006

Falling in love has never had a reputation for making much sense. Dante glimpsed Beatrice a few times and wouldn't shut up about her for decades.

Why should not-falling-in-love be any more rational?

It comes down to the deterrent power of a Phil Collins CD in a woman's car. Or, a guy who habitually sticks his tongue out while eating, like a lapping dog. His girlfriend returns him to his cage, permanently.

Centuries from now, scientists may point to this as the moment in time when the pickiness gene became dominant. In the end, it will come down to one really old, lonely guy and his list.

"She must have blue eyes. She should like animals, but not in a weird way. No thin lips. No lawyers," he'll be writing, just before he keels over and the human race comes to an end.

* * *

As the measure of a relationship, the taquito is greasy and capricious. But there it was late one night, warmed over countless times, poised to destroy a budding romance.

They'd been out with friends at a few bars. She was hungry. She wanted 7-Eleven.

"She said, 'They've got the best taquitos in the world,' " says Joe Peters. "I said, 'Are you serious?' "

Peters, 28, is not a 7-Eleven kind of guy. More of a distance-cycling, marathoning, healthy meals kind of guy. She insisted. He accompanied her in.

"She even said, "Pick out any one, it's on me,' " Peters recalls of the incident, which wasn't even really a date, and acquired great meaning only afterward, after everything else had happened, with the mayonnaise and the brie. But anyway, there he was.

"It's 3 o'clock in the morning. You can tell these taquitos have been the taquitos nobody wanted and they've been sitting out all day."


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