August 29, 2012

Why Men Are So Dastardly Fetching. ~ Anne Clendening

The irresistible, untamed animal attraction of The Alpha Male. Guys, we dig it.

The cedar-scented masculinity, the rugged voice, the Steve McQueen of it all… It’s all so utterly compelling. It’s the uninvited grey in the three-day beard, the biceps, the bed head, and all those deliciously alluring things about men that chicks like me just live and breathe for.

Every girl has in her mind (or on a much cared for piece of paper) a list of definable qualities she’s looking for in a man. I know the perfect guy can’t be custom ordered from your favorite Etsy store; I’m just here to tell you what I find to be the most delicious, ultimately fascinating characteristics a man can have.

He has a great relationship with his mother, and his ex-girlfriends. (Now I know what you’re thinking, and don’t be an insecure little she-wolf.) Doesn’t it say a lot that his past relationships didn’t end in slashed up tires and restraining orders? It’s rare, but a man without malice is what I’m talking about. Would you like to hear a classy move? Joe Dimaggio sent fresh flowers twice a week for over 20 years to ex-wife Marilyn Monroe’s grave.

Boys, believe me, even a flower or two for no reason is all it takes to make a girl feel like a goddess.

There’s a twinkle in his eye when he smiles, and he’s quick to laugh. He’ll watch I Love Lucy with you. He doesn’t order Fuzzy Navels, drink Diet Coke or eat veggie pizza with soy cheese and a gluten-free crust.

Uniforms. My dad was in the Air Force, and let me tell you about how handsome a man in a uniform looks. Fireman, baseball player, sailor. Don’t kid yourself, it’s all hot.

He has a job, and doesn’t complain about the price of a $22 hamburger when you’re in a fancy restaurant (even if it is ridiculous). He always lets the lady order first, opens doors and walks on the outside of the street with his hand on the small of her back.

He would never water down his single-malt whiskey with Coke, or, worse, Red Bull. (Whoever made up that combo should be ashamed.) He can shoot stick (and so can you), and he’s good. He’s no angel, but he’ll never fuck you over.

Cutting to the chase, here’s some words of advice for you, Daddy-O:

Learn an instrument. Players may only love us when they’re playing, but we don’t care, because a man strumming a guitar that’s strapped around his back is like live pornography for chicks.

Be confident. Not necessarily James Bond confident; take it down a notch or two, maybe more like Jimmy Bond.

Keep it old school. Drink Manhattans, listen to jazz, play poker with the guys, wear three-piece suits and pocket squares, and never underestimate the scent and spicy pungency of an expensive cigar.

My first crush in life was Scott Baio.

I was obsessed. Every Tuesday after 9th grade I would go see “Happy Days” being taped, and my infatuation was fed. I knew I had to get creative if I wanted anything in life, so one night, when the time came, my friends and I somehow finagled our way backstage. I came face to face with Chachi Arcola. I have a vague memory of throwing myself at my idol, trying to hug him, all the while crying like a hysterical teenage girl in the throes of Beatlemania.

And, on that Hollywood sound stage, at the age of 13, thanks to Scott Baio, I unknowingly sparked a life-long appetite for east coast Italian men.

I always secretly wanted to be a mob wife. (Am I the only one who watches too many Robert DeNiro movies?) They just seem to be able to handle things and take charge. They never take no for an answer. I really dislike guns, but there’s something about an Italian with a piece. Grazie, Don Corleone, for showing men the way.

I got fired from a job once. My guido boyfriend at the time drove over to my boss’s office, stormed in and told him to let me finish out the week. It was unbelievable; I was horrified, and found myself wanting him more than ever. That guy was from The Bronx, wore linen suits and never seemed to go to work. Oh, and yeah, I got to finish out the week.

Men who take charge. Isn’t this what we crave/love/won’t say out loud? Get over yourself and admit it—you wish you were Pretty Woman, and a handsome business man would rescue you from all that boring self-sufficiency and take you on a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.

Feminists, I can actually hear the hair bristling on the back of your neck. Cool it.

Question: When did some men become women? I’m hearing about guys who are taking virginity pledges, going to Pilates and LOL-ing. I really don’t need any new girlfriends. I like the manly man who wears a tool belt, races cars named Bullitt, watches Quentin Tarantino movies… Okey dokey, doggie daddy?

It’s possible we’ve gone too far. I think they invented “the metrosexual” back in the 90s so guys didn’t feel stupid ordering strawberry-nutella crepes and sugar-free caramel lattes. Hey guys, you can moisturize, it’s OK—just hang onto your balls.

And the androgynous, black eyeliner wearing bullshit. Is this an L.A. phenomenon? David Bowie is laughing at you. The one exception: Tim Curry was all man when he wore a dress, pearls and a pound of makeup in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Even when he’s prancing around,  dancing and singing about transvestites, there ain’t nothing girly about it.

(I don’t know who’s more of a psychoanalyst’s dream, Tim Curry or me.)

Speaking of which, according to Freud, we all have tendencies to gravitate toward certain people depending on what our relationship was like with our father. A girl with a negative (or nonexistent) experience will basically be afraid of men her whole life; if her father figure was a stand-up kind of guy, that’s what she’ll want for herself, but may never find it. Shocker.

This, of course, is a fancy way of describing good old-fashioned daddy issues. (Whatever you do, please do not scroll back up to my comment about uniforms.) Ever heard of the Electra Complex? It’s the flip side of the Oedipus Complex, where little Johnny wants to murder his typically overbearing father and whisk mommy to bed. As far as the female persuasion is concerned, the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung explained someone with an Electra predicament is a girl who has, shall we say, deep-rooted feelings for her father, and searches for the same type of man her whole life.

Look at the diminutive maniac Charles Manson. He actually studied this type of phenomenon when he was institutionalized as a teenager, and figured out how to manipulate impressionable young women to his advantage. The dirty little troll got every daddy-issue having hippie chick he met to worship him like a God (with the help of a little LSD). And he played guitar. You see my point. I’m not making this stuff up.

Jung also developed four male archetypes, or predictable patterns of behavior, that can be found in every “mature masculine” on the planet. Men exhibit all four, in different stages of their life, in this order:

Boundary-less, passionate, and compassionate. Dionysus (also known as Bacchus), the personification of The Lover, was the Greek god of wine, art, ecstasy, sex and all the über-fun parts of life. He was a free spirit, a party animal and kind of a man-slut. The yearly festival held each spring in Athens is inspired by the Lover archetype. There’s a ton of booze, dancing, theater, and lots of sex… Damn, I wish I could find my passport.

This aspect of men is all about youth and develops early, and is ruled by the passion, excitement and all the intensity you can imagine in a hot-blooded 17-year-old boy.

The knowledge keeper, and knower of secrets and wisdom. He’s like a sage, connected to his spiritual life, and can fix things around the house after his morning meditation. He is a master of technology and an awesome chess player. He creatively uses words and sounds smart. He’s probably looking up at the stars right now, contemplating the vastness of universe.

The protector and enforcer. He’s courageous, and emotionally detached. The Warrior is the archetype of destruction. He’s the defender of truth and beauty, and will fight to the death to save your honor. He “needs room to swing his sword,” because his main thing is action, as opposed to thinking. Physical and psychological pain are his best friends; these things are challenges to be conquered.

The authority figure. He keeps order. The King is the most important of the four mature masculine archetypes. He is a harmonious blend of the other three, and his entire life experience culminates in the strong personality of this powerful man. He isn’t a tyrant or a weakling. He rules over his land, his people and his kingdom. The King is typically the last of the other three to develop in a man’s life.

My father was a lawyer who married my mother in 1959, and they stayed married. She was a housewife, and they were very happy. When he came home from work every night at 5:30, she would have a cocktail and the evening paper ready while dinner was cooking. And that’s how you treat a good man.

I have an old-fashioned side. I think loyalty and trust are important. I live with a man who has loved me, taught me, fought for me and ruled our domain like the fierce protector he is. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bled for love in the past… some of the guys out there have some pretty sharp teeth. Sometimes in life you have to endure a few puncture wounds.

And you know what? I’d do it all over, all for the chance for us to find each other again, and go full-moon crazy and prowl together and howl together like two feral creatures basking in the dusky glow of night.

My grandparents are buried in a little cemetery tucked away in an L.A. suburb. When I was young we would visit sometimes on Sundays, and I usually found myself wandering off to look at the movie star’s grave marker on the wall. And my mother would ask me, “Did Marilyn Monroe have fresh flowers today?” And the answer, well, you already know… yes, the fresh flowers were there, sent by the man who loved her.

A scientist in the 70s named Ronald Ericsson came up with a way to separate the X chromosome carrying sperm from the Y carriers, making it possible to predetermine the sex of your yet-to-be-conceived-in-a-test-tube child. Sounds like we don’t need you guys anymore, doesn’t it? On the contrary. We still need you to do what you do best. We need you to make us feel safe, and cared for, and protected by you. And maybe even your Smith and Wesson.

I look at my boyfriend, my love, a man who traveled here from an island half a world away to end up with an L.A. hippie chick. He’s real, that supposedly unattainable man from all those silly lists in the world. He’s looking at Porsche’s right now on his computer. And he’s not wearing a shirt.

I find it hard to behave. I’m waiting for the moment I can move toward the other room, and he’ll look up and smile… and I’ll give him a glance back that says come on, baby, fetch me if you can.



This piece is an answer to Anne’s How to be a Fierce Little Hottie, a guide for chicks.

Editor: Lori Lothian

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