A long-winded attempt to steer you towards a cool television channel and speculate on whether weird hobbies could derail a budding relationship.

I spend a little time each day watching Current TV. If you’ve never seen Current, it is a citizen journalism outlet that lets pretty much anyone submit small videos, which they call pods, of 2-5 minutes about just about any issue. Some pods are about serious matters like the economy, the war on terror, or child labor while others focus on cultural or technology issues. Check your local listings to see if it’s available in your area.

Last week I came across a feature on Geek magazine. The reporter interviewed the magazine’s publisher, some employees, and some people who have been seen in the pages of the magazine. They also followed one of the editors out as she was doing research for a story about a maid cafe. Maid cafes are an Americanized version of Japanese bars where the waitresses dress up as their favorite anime characters.

The young lady the editor interviewed explained that she got connected with the maid cafe from her other hobby: dressing up as Disney princesses. If you watch the clip, you’ll see that they display a photo of the young lady dressed up as Belle from Beauty And The Beast.* While it is a bit shocking to see a 20-something woman dressed up like a cartoon princess, here’s the thing: she’s kind of hot.**

(* I know 800% more about Disney princesses now than I did a year ago. I had no idea who Belle was this time last year.)

The maid get-up didn’t do much for me, but the Belle dress did. What does that say about me?

”What did you think of that Dorothy girl?”
”The whole Judy Garland thing kind of turned me on. That doesn’t make me some kind of fag, does it?”
No, baby, you’re money.”

All this got me thinking. What if, back in my swinging single days of my 20s***, I had met a young lady at a party, a bar, or other social gathering. We talk, we get along, hit it off a little bit, and make arrangements to see each other again. Somewhere along the way, whether during date one or sixteen, she admits that on weekends she likes to dress up as a Disney character and go to parties. I wondered if I would be embarrassed to introduce her or talk about her to my friends.

(Please, friends who knew me in my 20s, keep your comments to yourself.)

“So, tell me about this new girl.”
“Well, she’s smart, she’s funny, she seems to like my jokes. She’s into art and going to interesting places. And she’s kind of hot.”
“Very cool, when do I get to meet her?”
“Well, here’s the thing….”

We’re talking about the early days of a relationship, here. Not someone you’ve fallen in love with and decided to accept, no matter how many warts, odd hobbies, or strange habits they might have.

Dressing up like a Disney princess would be a deal breaker, at least for me.**** I had a hard enough time finding women to date and then trying not to screw it up without having to deal with baggage like that. Of course, the fact that I wouldn’t be able to get over something like a Disney princess dress says a lot about why it took me so long to have a relationship that lasted more than two weeks.

But, come on, dressing like a Disney princess?!?!?

(I tried to think of a corresponding deal-breaking hobby that would be an automatic deal-breaker for women and couldn’t come up with one that seemed to match dressing like Cinderella. Ladies, what would it be? Playing Dungeons & Dragons while dressed like your character, perhaps? Relating every aspect of modern life to The Lord of the Rings? Yelling at the TV during sporting events in the belief that you can affect the action on the court? Help me out here.)