REMEMBER that scene from Adventures in Babysitting where the gang had to pick up their car at Dawson’s garage? I don’t know if it’s possible to be in love at 5-years-old, but I would’ve packed up my Care Bears and days-of-the-week underwear and moved to the windy city for Dawson. My dreams were short-lived, however, after seeing the actor who played him – Vincent D’Onofrio – in that batty opening scene from Full Metal Jacket where he’s laughing maniacally on the bathroom floor. That adolescent fantasy was crushed faster than every MTV Real World cast member’s dreams of being an actor.
I’m easily impressed by men who know how to fix or build things. When I see a guy look under the hood of my car (no, that is not a euphemism) and know exactly what needs to be repaired and how to do it, I have to restrain myself from asking him to marry me. I don’t know if this is just evolution in its basic form, but my 23andme genetic test results showing 2.8% Neanderthal DNA seems totally legit. I’m inherently a cavewoman impressed by a caveman carrying a giant rock.
The problem with my inclination to resourceful men is that they don’t really exist in my world anymore. At least not in Los Angeles. This is the land of assistants and easily accessible cheap labor. Need your lawn mowed? Call the gardener. Need a light bulb changed? Call the maintenance guy or tell your assistant. Need laundry done? Leave it for the maid. One time a guy’s car battery died in front of my apartment because we were making out for an hour while listening to NPR or something, and he instantly got his jumper cables and connected them to my car’s battery and solved the problem within minutes. I was so impressed.
From that point on, every conversation with that guy started with, “Remember when your battery died and you jump-started your way into my heart?” Talk about a good impression.
Men used to follow a code. They would treat women and elders with respect, and do anything to protect their families. Now, more men are refusing to grow up. The Internet is making that worse, too. Men no longer have to court women in person. They can flirt with them over a Twitter direct message and make themselves seem smarter and stronger than they really are. If you think you’re the only lucky gal a man is charming via a Facebook message, you have it wrong. He is doing the same thing with multiple other women.
Men can stalk women so easily now. They can be assholes on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. They can call you a c*nt whenever they want. If a woman is out of a guy’s league he can very easily take out his frustration on her, rather than something else. It’s sad and slightly scary.
Disappointment is extremely important for building character.”
This is the age of instant gratification. Men can contact women anytime, and see what they’re doing through social media. If they’re horny, they can watch porn instantly. Anything we want can be found on the Internet, or delivered within 24 hours from Amazon Prime. Men can go through a list of girls and text each one of them, “u up?” with the chances of one of them responding. Men don’t have to feel as much disappointment now, but disappointment is extremely important for building character.
Men don’t get dirty anymore. They are concerned with their shoes and how they smell. Guess what? I love the smell of a sweaty dirty guy. I’m weirdly attracted to men after they play sports. I’ll take a sweaty basketball player over a khaki-shorts-wearing-web-developer from Palo Alto any day. Nowadays, men don’t change the oil in their cars. They invent apps to find someone who can do it for them.
I’m not saying every man has to build me a dining room table or fix my car. I just want responsibility. A lot of men I meet don’t want kids and value their freedom over accountability. They want to make a s**t ton of money by doing the least amount of work possible. They want to watch Teen Mom instead of change a light bulb in their ceiling because it’s “too high” and “I can’t reach.”
Did the founders of our country really work that hard so a 35-year-old man could pay his assistant $400 a week to fix the time on his expensive watch collection and cut the crusts off his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
Yes, that was an actual thing one of my ex-boyfriend’s assistants had to do.
It’s really simple for men to be real men: open car doors, take charge of plans, make sure your lady isn’t cold or hungry (or at least ask), drive places, pay for things, be supportive and not competitive, don’t yell, and definitely do not drink too much alcohol. Oh, and carry heavy s**t.
Do those things, and you’re in the clear.
photo credit: Chris Brown for Tom Rafalovich