For the past five years or so this is what I thought of when I heard the word date.
Or, more correctly, this.
But last week something interesting happened. I was asked out on a date… you know, the social interaction kind. I had forgotten they even exist. The even more surprising thing is that I found myself actually considering it. You see, whenever anyone asks me why I’m single, I usually laugh and say, ‘because it’s safer for everyone that way.’ (which is funny because it’s a little bit true).
But here I was, considering making dinner plans with a perfect stranger. As a matter of fact I was seconds away from sending him an email with my available dates (the kind found on the calendar) when I thought, maybe I should Google him first. (I use Google in general terms here, as the search engine I actually used was Yahoo, but I digress.) The second link down the line was very telling. It was a site where people air grievances about dates (or, more correctly the people they had dated). It looked to be run by a small group of young women and it read like a high school slam book written by the mean girls. There he was, with photos and everything, the guy who had asked me out. He was accused of all sorts of unacceptable behavior. Now I usually like to get to know a person before I begin to believe gossip and rumours about them, so I didn’t judge the man on the alleged misdeeds.
I deleted the email I was about to send him because he comes with a lot of young girl drama and I am too old to be dragged into that quagmire, thank you very much. I was likely saved from having to wade through a lot of crap because of these girls, so I suppose I am thankful that they chose to air their personal laundry in public. I also suppose that they are achieving their goal in some small way in that I chose not to pursue even a first date (the social interaction) with this guy because of something they had published.
Some small part of me is relieved that it didn’t go any further, but I have a feeling that I may be ready to unleash the havoc that is me onto the dating world (even those who eat dates while on a date on any date the calendar deems appropriate) sooner than later. I may have to question the sanity of this… just when everything in my life is settling down and going well, I’m ready to muck it up with the whole dating conundrum?! It might not be smart, but like Amy Farrah Fowler before me, I must follow my endocrine system… but this time my brain comes along for the ride.
Since the dawn of time there have been good girls and bad girls. Since the dawn of time, men have been asking each other which they prefer, virgins or sluts… or to put in terms of the complex, Madonna or Whore. This question has had many faces over the years. Two of the most famous are Ginger or Mary Ann.
There have been magical choices like Samantha or her cousin Serena.
There has even been a cartoon choice with Betty or Veronica.
The faces may change but the question remains the same, would you rather be with a virgin or a slut? On its face, the question is highly insulting, as it only takes into account a woman’s sexuality (or lack thereof). As a feminist, the question is offensive… but it’s hard t be offended when… women are guilty of the very same behavior.
We choose between the nice guy and the Lothario. We have made this choice since the dawn of time. This question has had many faces over the years. One of the most famous examples is Danny or Tom.
A very young Lorenzo Lamas as Tom in the movie Grease.
Of course Sandy picked the bad boy, Lothario, Danny and she changed for him, even though he was willing to change for her. The better choice would have been Tom because neither of them would have had to change who they were… but it wouldn’t have been as entertaining. There is a correlation between a woman’s age and the choice she will make when faced with these two stereotypes. When a woman is under the age of 35 she will be much more likely to choose the bad boy. Some young women choose the bad boy because he represents danger and adventure, some will choose him because they have this delusion that they can change him or save him from himself. Once a woman is past the age of 35 she is far more likely to choose the nice guy because she has known nothing but heartache at the hands of the Lothario and she now sees what should have been obvious from the start, that a more quiet life with the nice guy who will treat you well is a better long-term bet. Excitement and danger is fun for a while, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
I wonder if the choice between virgin and slut also has an age correlation? Do younger men prefer the virgin because they too are inexperienced? Do older men prefer the slut because they are looking for someone with a more open mind, sexually? Or do men just like what they like from cradle to grave? I would be very interested to hear thoughts from some of my male readers on this topic. Please feel free to post a comment below.
Lately, I have been hearing far too many men and women use the saying, “Happy wife, happy life.” Men say it in front of their wives, who, in turn, nuzzle into them and agree with a smile. Women say it to their husbands who then, roll their eyes and shrug with a grin. What are these idiots grinning about?
As far as I can tell, happy wife, happy life is said when the wife wants something that the husband doesn’t really want or can’t really afford, but acquiesces because he doesn’t want to hear his darling spouse harp on it any further. This saying is incredibly insulting to women because it is akin to saying, SILENT wife, happy husband. But apparently married women these days don’t care to notice the insult as long as they are getting granite counter tops in their new dream kitchen.
The husbands won’t be happy for too long if they find themselves frequently chanting this mantra either. If you treat your wife like a petulant child and continually give in to her demands, not only will you lose respect for her and yourself, but your bank account will soon be as empty as your head for thinking that this kind of behavior is a good idea.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t marriage supposed to be an equal partnership where both the man and the woman are working towards the same goals in life? Maybe that’s where my expectations are too high. I am assuming that people who get married are fully grown adult MEN and WOMEN and not boys and girls playing house.
I have never understood why men always seem to want their wives to shut up. Why would you marry someone you don’t want to talk to in the first place. And why does it seem that women are intent on pushing their husbands away with constant nagging for ever more expensive things? If he is not enough in some way, isn’t that your fault for marrying him in spite of this shortcoming?
Instead of spouting cutesy sayings that belittle each other and the marriage itself, perhaps you should try thinking of yourselves as allies that help and support each other and see how that goes. Just because something rhymes doesn’t make it a good idea upon which to base your marriage.
Fathers are often taken for granted. They are expected to be excellent providers, but not to spend all day and night at work, to be strong and brave, yet vulnerable and in touch with their feminine side. These mixed messages that we send our men are unfair. We should be praising them for what they are doing in the midst of all the nagging about what they aren’t doing. After all, for all of our complaints, isn’t it easier to be a parent with them there?
This Sunday is Father’s Day and to mark the occasion, I thought I would post some tender moments between Fathers and babies. It’s not just Mothers who are capable of loving and nurturing their children… and besides there’s nothing sexier than a big, burly man holding an innocent little baby.
Yes men holding babies is truly a wonderful sight, that is until baby needs a diaper change and Mom is nowhere to be found. Then Dad is running to the next door neighbour with the baby at arm’s length and a diaper in his back pocket… or maybe that was just my Dad and this guy…
I’m a rebel *(and I’ll never, ever be any good). Which basically means I don’t do what I’m told and my opinions usually differ from those of society at large. Politically, I lean more left than right, but my feet are not firmly planted on either side. I prefer to make up my own rules than go by the ones the government, (either a conservative or a liberal government) has laid out for everyone. Spiritually, it’s the same thing. I do not need some made up man in the sky threatening eternal damnation in order to be a decent, if a little odd, human being.
Even my taste in celebrities isn’t what the media touts as desirable. I’ve never gone for the traditionally handsome leading man and the seduction fantasy.
George Clooney- leading man
Or the non- threatening, baby faced teen idol types and the adoration fantasy.
Justin Beiber- teen idol
Instead, I go for men who can be the on screen personification of evil with a sly smirk that belies a filthy secret.
James Gandolfini and his naughty smirk
Not your typical brooding bad boy, more like evil with a touch of dangerous insanity thrown in.
Malcolm McDowell from A Clockwork Orange
Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear
Michael Clark Duncan in Red Scorpion
Don’t get me wrong, these are not the type of male characters I would enjoy spending time with in a real life scenario of any kind. They are simply some of my on screen fantasy men. I think the fantasy for me is the challenge that getting such a dangerous man to fall for me would present. It would be akin to breaking a wild stallion. Although, once broken, the attraction would be gone.
Yes, I am a rebel, even in my dreams.
*Refers to lyrics found in the song He’s a Rebel by the Crystals
Love songs, poetry and Valentine’s Day cards are all considered romantic ways of wooing a woman. These things might work on girls, but women want more. Well, actually, women want less. Less crap. We all know that when you say, you’d climb the highest mountain, or swim the deepest sea, just for one touch of our hand that it’s a line of crap. Those types of sweet nothings mean just that to a woman… nothing.
If you really want to impress us, instead of promising to cross a desert why not promise to leave the toilet seat down? Instead of saying you’d walk 500 miles for us, how about picking up your dirty clothes off the floor and putting the in the hamper… or (gasp) actually washing them yourself? You tell me that you’ll give me the moon, when all I really want is for you to listen to me.
Men spend a lot of time working on their “game” in order to get a woman. And women, I’m not cutting you any slack here either… you’ll believe anything as long as it’s what you want to hear at the time, then wonder why your relationship isn’t what you want it to be. I have news for you. Once the wooing is over, real life begins and no amount of roses will make up for the fact that the dishes need to be done.
For you married couples out there who wrote their own vows years ago, don’t you wish that instead of promising each other a lifetime of eternal love, you’d promised to always put the cap back on the toothpaste, promised to share the carpool duties equally or promised never to go into more debt than you can realistically handle? I know that these things may not seem like romance, but in the long run they mean so much more.
Romance is for teenagers who are too naive to know better, but when we reach adulthood, romance becomes outdated and impractical. If we entered into our relationships with even half the amount of thought that we entered into choosing what car to drive, we’d all be having much longer relationships.
So don’t tell me how much you love to cuddle, tell me that you know how to fix the plumbing… now that’s romantic!
I grew up in the Disney era when little girls were taught that, if we were good little girls, someday, our prince would come and rescue us. All the movies of my childhood preached the idea that girls needed a handsome prince to give them a happily ever after. My grandmother used to tell me, “It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man” over and over again. All this preaching didn’t sink in, however. I was a rebel and the feminist movement was the female voice that was speaking directly to me. I had a long string of relationships with men who were not only, not rich by any means, but not ambitious either. I was the bread winner and the caretaker until I realized I wasn’t getting anything out of the situation, lost all respect for my partner and eventually moved on. I have become the man I want to marry and I never wanted children, so marriage has now become a moot point for me. I firmly believe that marriage is for people who are planning on raising children. But lately I’ve been thinking about the message that society has been sending women about love and marriage.
As I mentioned, the Disney movies of our youth told us to wait for that handsome prince to rescue us. From what? From getting a job, standing on our own two feet and realizing that we are strong enough to take care of ourselves?
I guess there’s a shortage of princes and rich men now because it seems lately the romantic movies are preaching to successful women that we should go for the sweet poor guy rather than the rich guy who’s married to his career. Movies like Sweet Home Alabama, Letters to Juliet, and Leap Year illustrate this message. Of course the message is wrapped in the delusion that it’s only the sweet poor guy who could ever REALLY love you. Don’t rich men have feelings too? Apparently, if we are successful women, we can’t have a successful man because that would throw the earth off it’s axis or something. The movies of today are also telling men that they are spending way too much time working, money is not what’s important and they should be home with their families more. Movies like Liar, Liar and Click illustrate this point.
My question is, if no one is working, who is earning the living that’s needed to raise a family? Kids are expensive. So then we get back to the women should marry rich message again, but that’s bad. If you do that then you’re a gold digger, which is the societal equivalent of being a whore, which is also bad. After all marriage is supposed to be about love, pure love, true love. Scientists have found that this thing we call love is simply a chemical reaction in the brain caused by hormones and neurotransmitters… romantic huh? Maybe my grandmother had it right all along… it is just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man, when you look at love in terms of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Let’s go back to the gold digger label for a moment. It used to be that women sought out a good provider to mate with so that their children would be well taken care of. These women weren’t called gold diggers, they were called smart. Now that so many women are a success in their own right, they are looked down upon for seeking out a good provider. In my opinion, gold diggers are getting a bad rap. In the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe has a great little speech where she defends herself against the accusation of being a gold digger. “Don’t you know, that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but, my goodness, doesn’t it help? And if you had a daughter, wouldn’t you rather she didn’t marry a poor man? You’d want her to have the most wonderful things in the world and to be very happy. Well, why is it wrong for me to want those things?”
So, which is it? Do we marry for love, marry for money, make our own money and marry for love, marry for money then force our hard working husband to spend less time working or just say to hell with it all and try to find happiness no matter what it looks like?
This week, perhaps the most brilliant mind of our time, Professor Stephen Hawking gave a short interview to New Scientist magazine. See the interview here In it he talks about String Theory (or M Theory), the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), quantum gravity and his thoughts on black holes. The last question of the interview was “What do you think most about during the day?” Professor Hawking’s response was, “Women. They are a complete mystery.”
Every online news outlet picked up this story and gave it headlines like, Women are a mystery to British physicist Hawking and What mystifies Dr. Hawking? Women. Now I understand that news outlets have to create the most interesting headline in order to get the most jaded of us to read the story, so I really don’t blame them for taking the answer to that last question and turning it into a headline. That being said, his response reads to me as a cute, funny reply. Likely meant as a joke. Dare I say HOPEFULLY meant as a joke.
If it wasn’t a joke, the implication here is, the smartest of men is still stymied by women, so what hope does the rest of the male population have in figuring them out. Even if it was a joke, the same implication is there. Women are a mystery so impossible that no man will ever solve them… so why bother trying?
This implication is insulting because it diminishes women as a gender. It’s akin to saying, “Don’t worry your pretty little head” or “Shhh, men are speaking.”
Let me give you a small bit of wisdom, men. I’d ask if you were listening, but we know that not listening is the problem. If you really want to figure out and solve women, all you have to do is LISTEN TO US. Let me go one further, listen and really HEAR what we are saying. I know that this seems like a lot of effort when you could just build cities, fast cars with cool technology, explore the earth, explore space and spend your time thinking up new and clever pick up lines to impress us. Women are always saying they want a man who is a good listener, yet all men hear when we speak is their own voice, saying ‘I hope she shuts up soon so I can get some food/sex/sleep’. How many fights do you have with your partner where she says, “YOU NEVER LISTEN”? You expect women to listen so closely to you that we can read your minds and cater to your every whim and you can’t afford us the same respect? Understanding that women are PEOPLE same as you, and not a Rubik’s cube to be solved will go a long way in achieving a peaceful end to the battle of the sexes.
So until men get the message, I guess women will remain the world’s most unsolvable puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in the arrogance of men.
It seems there’s been a rash of celebrity engagements this past couple of weeks. Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Drew Barrymore, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Mario Lopez, John Legend and even Aretha Franklin all announced engagements. Even Sinead O’Conner is staying married, after announcing a split. With all of this attention put on marriage, I thought I’d take a look at who really benefits in a traditional marriage.
The institution of marriage predates reliable recorded history. It was the norm for all marriage to be arranged, sometimes at birth. The parents would pick a spouse based on purely economic factors. Families joining to become financially and socially stronger. Whether the groom’s family paid a bride price, or dower, or the bride’s family paid a dowry, the melding of families was very much for power and economic reasons and had nothing to do with love. It was a purely secular union put in place to help each family move up in society. Brides wed out of obligation and duty and were expected to be virtuous and faithful to their husbands, who, in turn were expected to provide financially for their wife and children. However, sexual monogamy was never expected for the husband. It was assumed that his sexual needs would be met both inside and outside the marriage bed. Great deal for him, but what about her?
These women went directly from their father’s home to their husband’s home and were expected to be obedient in both surroundings. They never enjoyed the luxury of personal freedom and exploration. Even in North America, women weren’t able of choose to be single without fear of societal backlash until the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. Women were expected to subjugate their personalities in favour of the path their husband chose… even when marrying for love. It was 2006 when the Church of England officially took the word OBEY out of the marriage vows. Yes, women were expected to OBEY their husbands. That one four letter word gave men all the justification they needed to abuse their wives for centuries.
In the 1960’s women in western civilizations seemed to have had enough. There was an uprising of women who were demanding their human rights. The right to choose what to do with their own life. It sure took us long enough, but once we started tasting freedom, it became more and more widespread. The church was still doing everything in its power to keep us barefoot and pregnant, from not allowing birth control use and abortion to shoving the institution of marriage down our throats at every opportunity.
There was a perceived danger in women choosing to be single. The erosion of the family unit. Traditionally, parents would take care of their family, then later in life, the family of their children would take care of the parents. If a woman chose to be single, how could she possibly afford to take care of her parents in their declining years? Would she even want to? If she is choosing freedom, what does obligation even mean to her? These were some of the questions at the root of society’s fear of the Women’s Movement.
Indeed marriage rates did decline and divorce rates went way up. Men went from “Honey, I’m home. What’s for dinner?” to wondering when the delivery guy was coming. Something else of importance happened during this time. In 1965, in the United States, medicare and medicaid became available. This took away the need for children to take care of their elder parents. This changed the economic family dynamic.
Unfortunately, there was a backlash to the feminist movement. It seemed to create a generation of men with severe Peter Pan syndrome. These adult men, not only want their wife to be a partner, but also a mother. It seems that these liberated feminist mothers didn’t think to teach their sons how to be liberated, strong men. This, along with the media (magazines, movies etc.) telling women that they are not complete without a man, created a surge in marriages. .. marriages that didn’t last. After all, what liberated woman wants to be mean mommy to her husband? And let’s face it no man (unless it’s his fetish) wants to have sex with mean mommy.
Women who choose to be single, have reproductive freedom like never before. Now medical science has made it possible for women to have babies without benefit of marriage, or even a relationship. It’s easy to understand why there are so many heterosexual men out there who seem to genuinely hate women. They fear they are being rendered obsolete, and that is a legitimate fear. Successful women are choosing to be single mothers.
As Gloria Steinem once said, “Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.”
Yes traditional marriage was great for men. They had a subservient wife who took care of hearth and home, their every need and want, with no expectation of sexual fidelity. The pendulum travelling inexorably to the other side now. Even in the non western world we are seeing another women’s revolution. Here in the west, there are women who choose marriage just to have a companion, knowing full well that it can be as permanent as they want it to be.
This attitude has spawned another type of man. I have seen it in generations Y and Z. This young man is looking to be kept. They are male gold diggers, looking for an older, successful woman to marry.
I suppose marriage hasn’t changed that much after all. After a brief flirtation with love, it’s still all about money and power.
I can only speak for myself, but I am willing to bet that there are quite a few women out there who would agree with my answers here. Although it’s nice to look at a great body, the abs and pecs fade with age. What really holds my interest are qualities that go a little deeper.
Intelligence is sexy.
As a fairly smart woman, I need a man who can carry on an intelligent and interesting conversation. I have a very eclectic list of interests (from music and the arts to science and politics) and the man who captures my attention is well versed in all, or at least most of them. It’s a bonus if he’s passionate about what he does. Passion is infectious. I love listening to a man talk about his job with excitement. After all the biggest erogenous zone is between the ears.
This is the famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He is my ultimate example of sexy intellect.
Charisma is sexy.
Charisma is borne from confidence and there’s nothing sexier than a confident man. A knowing smile, the ability to hold center stage, to seduce the whole room with the raise of an eyebrow, yes charisma is as rare as it is sexy. Not to be confused with arrogance, true charisma/confidence comes from just being yourself, unabashedly, without shame or fear of the opinions of others.
This is Mick Jagger, not the world’s best singer but, for me, the epitome of Charisma.
Wit is sexy.
Wit is another rare commodity. A man who can make me laugh has got a shot with me no matter what he looks like. I respect humour as a means of communication and seduction. Wit cannot exist without intellect and a keen sense of perception. Only an observant man is a witty man and there’s nothing sexier than a man who pays attention to who you are.
This is the author, Tom Robbins, famous for books like Still Life With Woodpecker and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I have yet to read another male author who understands women more fully, or loves them more transparently than this man. Oh, and he can make me laugh so hard that I wet my pants with one simple sentence.
Style is sexy.
A man who dresses for himself and not in the traditional male uniform is very sexy to me. It shows a lack of conformity that I relate to as a rebellious spirit. Some may call it peacocking, but when done to please yourself and not in order to attract female attention, it’s sexy as all get out.
This is David Bowie, a true icon of style, then, now and forever.
The Renaissance Man.
Or the man who I define as the embodiment of all of these qualities simultaneously, is indeed difficult to find. But, as a woman who possesses those qualities, I will settle for nothing less. The common thread that links all of these men is that none of them are afraid to be who they are… no apologies. I’m not saying you have to be a genius like Neil deGrasse Tyson, or have the charisma of Mick Jagger, the wit of Tom Robbins or the style of David Bowie, there is only one man I can think of that is the personification of all of that, just be you and don’t try to impress me.
In case you were curious who I was referring to when I said there was only one man I could think of that personifies the intellect of Neil deGrasse Tyson, the charisma of Mick Jagger, the wit of Tom Robbins and the style of David Bowie, this is my ideal Renaissance man.