"Does he have hands?"

That was Lora's first question when I asked her if she wanted to meet my new boyfriend.

Well, alright, so I had to make hands for Admiral Creaky (aka Mr. July 2007), which prompted the question. But Hottie (aka Mr. December 2007) *does* have hands, although I have to admit he doesn't have all ten fingers.

And while Creaky prefers sitting on his bony ass ;D , Hottie is at least portable. Too bad, I can't put him in a tux to go dancing with me. But he does tip his hat for the ladies. (You think I have a thing for top hats?)

(More pics at http://wildopallei.fotki.com/friends/hottie/.)

Anyway, that brings me to a conversation I had with Howard a few nights ago. He asked me what my criteria were for an SL relationship. And, on the spot, I came up with the following (now edited, of course):
1. Must not be in a committed relationship irl or in SL.
2. Must be an interesting conversationalist with a healthy sense of humor. That implies having intelligence and giving me his full attention at least most of the time.
3. Must be mature, not necessarily in age.
4. Must be willing to lose sleep once in a while just to spend more time with me. Extra points for missing a flight, because he can't pull himself away.
5. Must be a GREAT cyber-er.

Am I asking too much? Probably. Most men don't even pass #1.

The thing is that, when it comes right down to it, I forget about any criteria. Anna asks me where my integrity is if I can't even stick to what I say. On the other hand, I question where my compassion is if I can't love people for who they are, with all their flaws, their fallibility, and their humanness.

So I weave in and out of relationships, savoring the sweetness of a man for a small bite of time, before moving on to the next flavorful dish. And that's okay. It's kinda like dim sum -- a piece here, a piece there, and pretty soon, you realize you're full. All those bites adding up to a satisfying meal that eventually meets all your criteria.

Is it the right thing to do? I dunno. I know the pain of being just a morsel. I know the pain of not being good enough to be someone's full meal. Do I hold out for someone who meets all my criteria? Or do I ignore my list and call it "good enough"?

But, hey, whether I go by my list or not, hands will always be optional.

* Yes, Hottie has a brother. An infinite number of them, actually. Meet one at Pannie's. ;)
** No, Nexus. This one isn't an avie either. It's a scripted snowman "pet" that follows you around and does tricks. :D
*** Yes, Jimmie, I know you can do better tricks, but I still will *not* make anybody my pet.