A girl has got to have standards .

That's what my Aunt Lila used to say, and considering she was a twice widowed (and twice wealthy) lady I am one who would say she has grounds. She explained this to me one afternoon over lemonade and shortbread cookies when I was home from Easter break.

It's easy to find a boy, that's not hard. It's not even that hard to find a wealthy boy or a good looking boy- your father is one of the latter.

She sort of looked the other way as I pondered her silence, then I realized she was being polite and not mentioning that he was not one of the former. I was at school by virtue of a local businessman's generous scholarship and our complicated state loan system. It was a subject my Aunt did not speak to, but her lips would purse when someone else was tactless enough to mention it at family functions.

What you need to do, what you should set out to do, is put your mind to it the way you do your studies. You need to select a type of man, in the same manner you have selected your major or your field of study.

After a few semesters of misadventures at the state college I knew she was right, as always. I would need to plan this out and put my mind to it. This is where it gets tricky. I started thinking about men I knew-both real and fictional. A bod like Brad Pitt wouldn't hurt-but could I really deal with the rampant paranoia that would lead to? (Nope) A mind like one of my professors? (Dr. "I think-would-be-OK-to-date-since-it's-just-a-lab" comes to mind) Still, the whole Lolita thing probably wouldn't go over well if I would choose to teach myself. So, if not looks, not brains maybe money? (not yet-I am hoping that is an option to be considered later-the whole quaint matron thing appeals to me)

What you should see is a set of criteria, a list of characteristics that you should not vary from, you need to create some boundaries and stay with them.

It was while I was considering all of these parameters that I was talked into subbing for a graduate assistant -a week of Intro. A week of Catcher in the Rye. That is when all my questions were answered. There he was in black and white-an archetype, yes, but MY ARCHETYPE.

Cocky, but humble-capricious, but tender. My kind of man. Was he dangerous? Of course. But he was no wondering head in the clouds kind of guy. He has a plan, no doubt. And he needed the right kind of woman to make it happen. I could be that woman... No, I was that woman. What a relief to know who I was looking for, finally, with clarity.

No, I did not tell my Aunt.

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