If you ever find yourself dating women over 30, you must learn to take into consideration the awesome power of The Biological Time Clock. Probably more disastrous unions have resulted from this seemingly irresistible urge than any other for women in their 30’s. As soon as this internal Big Ben goes off, any source of sperm that comes with a decent five-figure salary is fair game.

I once attended an upscale cocktail party where a woman under this particular spell was introduced to me. The first words to leave this woman’s mouth after she heard “This is Dan; he’s a writer,” were, “How much money do you make doing that?” Taken aback, I replied, “What’s your bra size?”

She became livid and began sputtering, “That is too personal! That is something that has nothing to do with my worth as a human being. How superficial!”

“I agree,” I responded. “Your appearance shouldn’t be the only thing about you that matters, but it is okay to decide whether or not someone is worth your time based on how much money he makes?” “That is not the same thing!” she spat, turning and leaving.

Now, it is indeed serious business looking for a partner who will not only help create but also help raise young ones. A woman is totally within her rights to expect a man to work hard and devote time and money to his children. It’s ironic, however, that when a woman marries a severe Type-A personality who brings in six-figures, she never seems to understand why her golden goose is barely home long enough to fertilize the golden egg(s), much less nurture the brood.

A few tips for those seeking good father material:

A)Does he handle a crisis well? If your weekend at the beach is a disaster movie because the TV in your motel room doesn’t have ESPN, what’s this guy gonna be like when a real crisis arrives?

B) Look back one generation for clues. If he can’t enter a walk-in closet without twitching and muttering something like, “I won’t do it again, Daddy: let me out!” you might have some unresolved family-of-origin issues at work here.

Twice in my life I have been informed by a date that she was a lesbian looking to get pregnant and hoping that I would do the necessary deed. I don’t know if this is flattering or not. On the one hand, I try to imagine what it would take for me to have sex with another man, and I’d like to flatter myself by thinking that my sexual magnetism is powerful enough to overcome a hurdle like that in someone else. Also there’s the matter of being told that in looks and intelligence, you are nearly the equivalent of her partner, which can be taken as a compliment. On the other hand, she’s also saying (in essence), “I would never in a million years do it with you if there weren’t literally a life at stake.”

As always, it boils down to the old saying, “If you’re not selling, don’t advertise.” Guys, if you cruise the meat-market circuit in your power-look suit and go out of your way to flash money and job titles around, guess who you’re gonna attract? And ladies, if personality and soul occupy one of the bottom spots on your “Ten Reasons To Marry A Guy,” be aware that there are such things as sperm banks these days. Use them. Everyone but divorce lawyers will be glad you did.

So, when you're watching It's A Wonderful Life on TV this year, and the final scene is playing, you'll have a different reason for blubbering like a baby. When everyone is smiles and hugs and singing "Auld Lang Syne" to Jimmy Stewart, you'll be crying over what's coming nine to ten months down the line. According to my Gaelic speaking friends (of whom I have heard "Auld Lang Syne" translates roughly into "Get ready for the shaft" Don't believe me? Just look at how the song starts: Should old acquaintance be forgot..."

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