We all know about beer goggles. You're at the bar whirling around on the dance floor and suddenly the crowd parts and there they are: THE MOST ATTRACTIVE PERSON EVER, except they're not. Bam, beer goggles. But that's a little too simple — not all beer goggles are created equal, and there are many other types of goggles that we may (accidentally or intentionally) wear, causing us to want to hump someone who we really shouldn't want to hump.
So how to deal with this? When it comes to protecting oneself against unfortunate goggle-based decisions, knowledge is power: Be aware of the goggles that you have a propensity to wear, and recognize the early warning signs of goggle-wearing. If you find yourself putting on any of the following, remove immediately.
You start chatting with someone who is moderately interesting; as the conversation progresses you suddenly realize that he or she might be richer than God and has the Pope on speed dial. Almost without noticing it, you have begun thinking how attractive this person is, particularly when they casually mention their place in the Hamptons with a helipad. You're not normally a golddigger, but wouldn't it be nice to not worry about money? You start to wonder if maybe he or she got facial reconstructive surgery when you blinked — suddenly they look different — but then you realize that you can't see for shit because you have your chedda goggles on.
It's the end of the night and you don't want to go home. You know the lights will come on in the bar any minute and you will be forced to address what happened to your eye makeup. You unexpectedly start to believe that you have feelings for one of the folks at your table and that your life would be better if they would just head home with you. You have never been attracted to this person before and typically only refer to them by their last name, but suddenly all you can think about is what they would look like lying naked on your taupe IKEA sheets. There's nothing else going on back at the ranch anyhow. Why not?
This is when your package hasn't gotten the memo that you hate your ex and never want to date anyone like them ever again. So instead you keep trying to hook up with people that look/talk/dress like them. Your romantic life looks like Mister Rogers' closet: you may have it in different colors, but it's still the same sweater.
There's some sort of big event looming on the horizon, like a marriage (not yours), work party, or some other kind of social function that you are worried about attending alone lest you be mistaken for a loser. You start to panic. You cannot go to your high school reunion without a date because that bitch from the debate team will be there and of course she'll say something underminer-y. You've forgotten that you are an adult who can, in fact, go to events without a date. You start developing attractions to people who you never would have considered before while trying visualize them in formal wear.
Everyone loves to eat things that they shouldn't; generally speaking, this extends to sexual attraction. Many of us like to sleep with things that are bad for us. For example, I have a particular fondness for people who are emotionally unavailable. At this point my libido could probably double as a therapist's diagnostic tool. Other people always seem to be attracted to the girl who can't get a real job or the "bad boys" (also known as "guys who are constantly cheating on them"). Whatever your vice, it's like late-night snacking when you're not hungry. Just like a bag of Cheetos, it will make you hate yourself in the morning.
Suddenly it occurs to you that your uterus is aging faster than the skin around your eyes. You are not married and you don't have a baby. Sure, you still have problems remembering to water your houseplants, but YOU NEED TO SETTLE DOWN, BUY NICE DISHES, AND HAVE A BABY NOW. It's no longer acceptable to date the guy with the unreliable income or the one who shares an apartment with seven other people. They probably won't share your taste in dishes anyhow. Going forward, you are immediately attracted to anyone who might look nice waiting at the end of an aisle, and whom you believe to be fertile.
Sarah Hall is a writer in New York. She doesn't think she's wearing any goggles right now, but goggles are tricky like that. Follow her on Twitter: @sarahh314.
Image by Steve Dressler.