Well it's been almost 20 years since Consumer's Reports reviewed girlfriends (CR, Aug 1972). Since then, styles have changed, new features have been introduced, and the market for girlfriends has changed substantially. So we here at CU decided another report was needed. As in a car or a computer, you should ask yourself what you need a girlfriend for before obtaining one. This will, in large part, dictate the final product which you should consider. Do you want an intellectual companion? A baby factory? A hiking partner? Or just lots of good, old-fashioned sex? Identifying your needs is the first, and most important, step in selecting a girl- friend. The second question which needs to be addressed is, of course, how much you are able to spend. This is largely determined by your physical and personal characteristics--if you are good looking, have a commanding personality and a good sense of humor, you will have the resources to obtain a fancy, high-end model. On the other hand, if you are ugly, smell bad, and wear polyester clothes, your choices are more limited. Keep your purchasing power in mind when considering your selection. Although the salesman will tell you that a girlfriend can be financed, CU does not recommend this practice; due to inflating expectations, the required monetary outlay will actually *increase* with time. Used vs. New? ------------- A question many girlfriend seekers have to address is whether to get a new or a used girlfriend. The answer to this question will, roughly speaking, be determined by your age, as shown in the following table: Your age Used or New -------- ----------- 1-12 years (see note A) 13-16 years New 17-21 years Used, but not used up 22-35 years Used heavily 35-60 years New (see note B) 60+ (see note A) Notes: A: Seek psychiatric help B: Only "new" if income > $100,000/year. Otherwise, "divorced". New girlfriends have the advantage that they have no previous bad experiences to project on you, but the disadvantage that they will rarely be old enough to open their own checking account. Used girlfriends, on the other hand, may be steady, reliable performers, with the initial problems worked out, but CU advises that you avoid models which have much more than average mileage (2.1 SO's/yr). Much greater than the average may be an indication that the girlfriend was a professional. Accessories ----------- Often the potential girlfriends you see on the lot or in a tavern will be loaded with accessories, as the dealer gets a high markup on such items as large bosom, long legs, green eyes, etc. Other accessories will only appeal to fringe markets, such as models which come pre-equipped with children, or the ability run 10 miles while chanting sanskrit. In such cases you should make a list of accessories desired, tolerated, and disliked. Note that some accessories (such as children) can be added later, while others (such as a large bosom) must be factory installed. The Test Ride ------------- When evaluating a girlfriend, a test ride is essential. The test ride ritual begins with the so-called "pickup line", which can range from the simple if dull ("Can I buy you a drink?") to the aggressively hip ("dance with me or I'll kill you") to the arcane ("You're my Camus comrade, and I want to leap you, Faith!"). CU rates as Not Acceptable "Smile, you'll look better." Once on the test bed, evaluate handling, stability, and acceleration. The two questions you want to answer are: how fast, and how far? Examine the detailing. Does the bosom sag? Does the heater warm adequately, or does she remain cool? Ordering vs. On-The-Lot ----------------------- Finding the right girlfriend can be a frustrating experience, and many potential customers find it hard to get the exact model and accessories wanted. In such cases ordering from the factory is an option. Delivery time, however, is from 14 to 16 years (depending on the state you live in), and CU questions the usefulness of such a practice: if you have access to the baby factory, you should reconsider your need for a girlfriend anyway. Methodology ----------- Girlfriends were evaluated by a dedicated group of 10 test engineers, selected to typify the average seeking population. All tests were performed at CU's specially constructed test facility, which included a bedroom, kitchen, and living room, and at a number of bars and taverns surrounding the facility. A series of seven tests were run, evaluating each product according to the following criterion: intelligence, wit, humor, empathy, initiative, looks, and performance. Results ------- Girlfriends are grouped together in categories by similarity. Within each category, variation is not statistically significant. Category Comments -------- ---------------------------------------------------- Goddess This is the woman of your dreams. She comes equipped with all the options you want and none of the ones you don't. She can argue subtle points of philosophy, give you a stiff game of racquetball, understand what you mean even if you don't say it, and break a bed. No mental or physical hang-ups. The drawback is that this model is not actually available. Goddess-in-law This model is similar to the goddess, but comes with contractual retainers, such as a psychotic ex-husband, a spiteful mother, an alcoholic father, and a bratty kid. This model tends to generate grey hairs. Ms. Right The best all-around choice for most girlfriend situations. Has most of the characteristics of the Goddess except possibly in the wrong size or hair color. Other than that, an excellent long-term investment. Availability is extremely limited but can occasionally be found with luck. Babe This is the flashy, fully-loaded variety with all the options. Unfortunately this model lacks cognitive powers and empathy. Showy, and suitable for a parade or for impressing your friends, but not for your long-term girlfriend needs. Friend The model with the most empathy. Caring and kind but you wouldn't be caught dead in it. Availability is poor to fair, depending on quality. Yeah, Her The Ford Escort of girlfriends. Widely available, but useful as a girlfriend only in a pinch, if no others are available. Tends to be spiteful or unreliable, or have a dull finish. Until you find her, we at CU wish you Happy Hunting!