Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Turns out, it's because I only ever wanted a man

I thought this was worth a post vs. a passing FB shout out.

What I learned from this little editorial (below)? It turns out I've always wanted to date men and not boys. And I mean always... like since High School always. And in High School it's okay for boys to be boys because they are boys and it's okay for girls to date boys because they're girls. But I've always wanted to date men. My propensity for men was even manifest in the "celeb crushes" I had throughout high school. They weren't yourt your young strapping baby faced boys like Orlando Bloom (I guess he's more of a girl), Paul Walker (circa 1999), or Christian Slater (I'm a child of the mid-90's... clearly). Naw. I liked Russel Crowe or Harrison Ford or George Clooney. And now I can see it was because they represent a manly manness those "pretty" boys didn't have. They were something more adult and controlled and committed versus rowdy and pubescent. Sure I had my Jonathon Taylor Thomas phase - but really - I've always liked the idea of men.

THUS! I'm single at 28 because I had to reach an age where my expectations of dating men ( vs boys) was realistic and legitimate and not creepy (cause I'm not into the whole 18 year old and 35 year old... "thing"). How could I have expected that from an 18... 21... or even 24 year old? I couldn't. It wasn't fair. But NOW... NOW I can. I can expect man'ness from a 26, 30, or 32 year old. It's time! Time for men! Not men-children! The men-children tend to like the immature (different from young) ones like themselves. They're the creeper 35 year old scoping out the 19 year old freshman. I guess it makes sense cause their maturity levels are copacetic ( a great 90's term in my mind).

Speaking of...

I guess the rub is... there's a lot of 18 year old 30 year olds out there. A lot. And there are maybe a few 24 year old 35 year olds out there. A few. It really is a state of mind (and life and choices and emotional competence). I've gone out with a few almost 23 year olds over the last handful of months (my ward is swimming with them!) and truly, it's not the number, it's just where they are in life; somewhere I've already been. They are 23 year old boys and that's okay cause they're 23. I expect 23 year old mind sets and lifestyles and super jumbo nachos for dinner and sleeping in a heap of dirty clothes on a dorm floor. The 26 year old 18 year olds though? Mmmm... PASS. Of the 26+ I expect some leafy greens and a laundry basket.

Enough of my commentary - read the below. It's entertaining and makes a little bit of sense. And how many things during your typical work day do you read things that are entertaining and make a little sense? Yep, that's what I thought. You're welcome.


The Office’s Mindy Kaling on Why You Need a Man, Not a Boy

The funniest woman on TV, The Office’s Mindy Kaling, serves up some astonishingly helpful relationship advice in this exclusive excerpt from her new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Where have you been all our lives, Mindy?

Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer and star of The Office. Her book hits shelves this month, click here to order a copy!

Sometimes I eavesdrop on people.
I could rationalize it—oh, this is good anthropological research for characters I’m writing—but it’s basically just nosiness. It also helps me gauge where I’m at: Am I normal? Am I doing the correct trendy cardio exercises? Am I reading the right books? Is gluten still lame? It was through eavesdropping that I learned that you could buy fresh peanut butter at Whole Foods from a machine that grinds it in front of you. I had wasted so much of my life eating stupid old already-ground peanut butter. So, yeah, I highly recommend a little nosiness once in a while.

Recently I listened in on two attractive thirtyish women talking over brunch. I heard the following:

Girl #1 (pretty girl, Lululemon yoga pants, great body): Jeremy just finished his creative writing program at Columbia. But now he wants to maybe apply to law school.
Girl #2 (tiny girl, sheet of black hair, strangely huge breasts): Oh, God.
Lululemon: What?
32D: How many grad schools is he going to go to?
Lululemon: I know. But it’s not his fault. No publishers are buying short stories from unfamous people. Basically, you have to be Paris Hilton to sell books these days.
32D: For the 10 years that Jeremy has been out of college doing entry-level job after entry-level job and grad school, you’ve had a job that has turned into a career.
Lululemon: Yeah, so?
32D: Jeremy’s a boy. You need a man.

Lululemon did not take this well, as I’d anticipated. I felt bad for Lulu because I’ve been Lulu. It’s really hard when you realize the guy you’ve been dating is basically a high schooler at heart. It makes you feel like Mary Kay Letourneau. It’s the worst.

Until I was 30, I dated only boys. I’ll tell you why: Men scared the sh*t out of me. Men know what they want. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before.

OK, maybe men aren’t exactly like this. But this is what I’ve cobbled together from the handful of men I know or know of, ranging from Heathcliff Huxtable to Theodore Roosevelt to my dad. The point: Men know what they want, and that is scary.
What I was used to was boys.

Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys get haircuts from their roommate, who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys can pack up their whole life and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival.

Continued (page 2 of 3)
Boys can talk for hours with you in a diner at three in the morning because they don’t have regular work hours. But they suck to date when you turn 30.
When I was 25, I went on exactly four dates with a much older guy whom I’ll call Peter Parker. I’m calling him Peter Parker because, well, it’s my story, and I’ll name a guy I dated after Spider-Man’s alter ego if I want to.

Peter Parker was a comedy writer who was a smidgen more accomplished than I but who talked about everything with the tone of “you’ve got a lot to learn, kid.” He gave me lots of unsolicited advice about how to get a job “if The Office got canceled.” After a while, it became clear that he thought The Office would get canceled, and by our fourth and last date, that he clearly thought it should get canceled.
Why am I bringing up Peter Parker? Because he was the first real man I dated. An insufferable yet legit man.
Peter owned a house. It wasn’t ritzy or anything, but he’d really made it a home. The walls were painted; there was art in frames. He had installed a flat-screen TV and speakers. There was just so much screwed into the walls, so much that would make you lose your deposit. I marveled at the brazenness of it. Peter’s house reminded me more of my house growing up than of a college dorm room. I’d never seen that before.

Owning a house obviously wasn’t enough to make me want to keep dating Peter. Like I said, he was kind of a condescending dick. But I observed in Peter a quality that I knew I wanted in the next guy I dated seriously: He wasn’t afraid of commitment.

At this point you might want to smack me and say: “Are you seriously just another grown woman talking about how she wants a man who isn’t afraid of commitment?” Let me explain! I’m not talking about commitment to romantic relationships. I’m talking about commitment to things—houses, jobs, neighborhoods. Paying a mortgage. When men hear women want a commitment, they think it means commitment to a romantic relationship, but that’s not it. It’s a commitment to not floating around anymore. I want a guy who is entrenched in his own life. Entrenched is awesome.

So I’m into men now, even though they can be frightening. I want a schedule-keeping, waking-up-early, wallet-carrying, picture-hanging man. I don’t care if he takes prescription drugs for cholesterol or hair loss. (I don’t want that, but I can handle it. I’m a grown-up too.)

I know I’m only marginally qualified to be giving advice. I’m not married, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Anthropologie sale section. I’m kind of a mess. I did, however, fulfill a childhood dream of writing, producing and acting in television and movies. Armed with that confidence, alongside a lifelong love of the sound of my own voice, I’m giving you this bit of wisdom: When you turn 30—maybe even before—a fun thing to try is dating men. It’ll be like freshly ground peanut butter, times a million.

Here's to men!


Jaime Van Hoose Steele said...

Here's to men!! Honestly that is what turned me onto Scott so much. He owned a home and had a kid...and for some reason I thought that was the sexiest thing in the world! He was responsible and not just trying to get in my pants but actually date me! Men are amazing!!
Also, I'm loving these celeb books I've been reading lately. I really want to get the one Betty White wrote next :-)

Andrea Jolene said...

Men really are the best! Though Scott still has that childish love for BYU. He should really grow up;) j/k. CELEB BOOKS! I need to borrow BossyPants from you.

Jessica said...

Omg YES. I've been mocked for year because of my manly crushes. I can't help it that I'm only attracted to men like Javier Bardem or beefy operatic baritones like Rene Pape.

Although I still say things like "omg" so maybe I'm not quite ready to make the leap from dating boys to dating men...

Thanks for sharing! I love Mindy Kaling! (and I feel like my bedroom probably looks exactly like hers...shame)

Andrea Jolene said...

oh Javier Bardem! Goooooood one!