I have decided that since I had the rant about how hard it is to be a woman these days, I thought I'd try my hand at a counterpoint. Not necessarily a post about how "its equally hard to be a man" or "why are all the good ones taken" or "what the fuck has happened to the Y chromosome?" just some thoughts and ideas about the men of 2012, the good, the bad, and crazy.
Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?
A couple of weeks ago I went downtown to go dancing with some of my girlfriends, and looking around all the dance floors we invaded I couldn't help but wonder where all the "Guy's Guys" were. Every boy we saw had a deep v-neck, over gelled hair, and a boy BFF to grind on. I couldn't figure out if it was the last night of Pride, if all the men in town were overly in touch with their feminine sides, or if I was just finally too old to party in a college town. I remember leaning over to one of my friends and saying wistfully "Remember the days when men weren't so secure in their masculinity and would sit a seat apart at the movies and would lean up against the wall in a club until a girl that they wanted to dance with walked by? I miss those days." I know that sounds mean. I know. Its a double standard... Girls grind on each other all the time and its cute and fun, if I demand equal treatment from men, I should be prepared to grant them equal treatment. The thing is, if I was able to be attracted to someone who behaved just like me, I'd be checking out the skirts myself.
I read an article on Jezebel.com this morning that was about how we as a society need to redefine the term "manly" it was written in response to a NY Times article stating that men need to rediscover their inner Don Draper. I think they both have valid points and that they are both silly at the same time. Maybe we do need to redefine what it means to be manly, but defining it as a male who gets manicures/pedicures and his chest and eyebrows waxed isn't going to do it for me. Give me Paul Bunyan over Paulie D any day of the week. I like that the general hygiene of males has significantly evolved since cro-magnum days, but I don't want to share my make up remover with my lover. I want to feel safe and secure with my guy, I want to know that even though I can take care of myself, he wants to take care of me (I'll be loving and supportive of him, I want that in return). I like guys with calloused hands, who are gainfully employed, guys who will open the door for me, who respect me and my opinions (even if said opinions differ from theirs), laugh at awkward situations, are secure in their own skin, and don't need to be drunk to have a good time. The rest of the stuff is just details. Doesn't seem like a lot to ask for.
What I don't want is someone who lives on his parents' couch, who's never had a real job, and would rather get loaded than become a contributing member of society. I'm not in college anymore, that is no longer how I define what it takes to be a man. Pay your bills, show up to work on time, and have your own place (or at the very least have roommates that didn't participate in your conception). Also? Have a valid driver's license; DUIs aren't sexy. They don't make you look cool, they make you irresponsible. I'm not saying you have to drive a Ranger Rover, but you won't be impressing anyone if you roll up on a BMX.
I guess my best definition of what a man is to me is some who has outgrown his little boy stage, someone who loves his mama, but doesn't need her to cook him dinner every night.
Please Don't Accuse me of Emotional Terrorism
I had an ex years ago who would say mean things to me, make me cry, and then accuse me of using my tears to make him feel bad. He called me a manipulative emotional terrorist, because my reaction to his asshole behavior was to be vulnerable.
Emotions are not a bad thing. Be emotional, at least its real. Don't be a jerk and expect me not to react. If you're sad, stressed, upset, happy, whatever, let me know, don't be the King of Stoicism and think that I'll be able to read your mind and understand what you're going through. I'm not telepathic, but I want to be there for you, it's your job to decide if you're going to let me.
I'm Sorry if I'm Sending Mixed Messages
I know women say they want a man to be able to be vulnerable with them, but get weirded out if their man cries around them. It is a weird moment, but that doesn't mean it's bad. I'm glad that you trust me enough to let your guard down.
Just because I like kissing you, doesn't mean I'm ready to be naked friends with you. Kissing is fun and playful, but I might not be ready for the kind of emotional attachment that sex might bring. One does not necessarily lead to the other. I might not ever be ready to be naked with you just because I really like kissing you. It might not even be you're fault that I'm not ready for sex. The last person I was with hurt me pretty bad and I had rushed into sex with him before I knew where I stood and I'm a little gun shy. I understand that these are my issues and I shouldn't punish you for other men's sins, but it's still my body and my feelings and I don't know that I want to share them yet. You have the option to be patient with me, or you can walk, but please don't try to pressure me into having sex because you think I'm being a tease.
I know you're out there--you can't just exisit in my imagination, because what would be the purpose of having all these feelings if I can't share them. I guess it's just my turn to be patient.