Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why I Don't Date

Dear Cub Wannabe (You Know Who You Are),

The flirting was kind of fun. 30-something single moms of four little critters don't generally have much flirting in their lives, mostly from lack of opportunity, and also because the overall insanity of four little critters + work + school + church + staying up late to finish laundry & dishes just pushes everything else out of the brain and sometimes they don't even remember what flirting is or what it feels like.

So, THANK YOU for reminding me. 'Cause that was fun. Even if your attempts to hit on me were pretty hokey and lame ("No, really--I'm attracted to older women. Really."), hey--it's more action than I generally get.

But because I am a maternal soul, I'm going to give you some big sister-style advice, because maybe your big sister never told you these things.
  • Women aren't impressed by stories of all-night video game marathons. Especially if you brag about spending every weekend that way. This is especially true for 'older,' grown-up women.
  • Women aren't turned on by lists of all the toys you've bought, especially when followed by comments about how it's a much more productive use of money than dating. No. 1, I'm turned on by responsible money management, like saving and investing and frugal living. No. 2, --and I think most women would agree with me here-- I happen to think that spending money on dating ME is about the best use of financial resources any man could hope for.
  • Never, EVER hock a loogie in front of a woman. Especially a woman you want to impress. NEVER.
  • If she winces when you cuss, and a few minutes later tells you how much she really hates that particular crude word you've dropped a few times, the best possible way to attempt salvaging the situation is to immediately apologize and make sure you never use that word around her again. The best way to destroy any chance with her is to childishly begin repeating the word and throwing it into the remaining few seconds of the conversation every third or fourth word. Trust me on this--she'll be out of there fast, and she won't be back. See, she just learned two very important things about you: one, you don't care about her feelings at all, and two, you are crude, rude, and immature.
  • If her arms are loaded with books and bags, and you are walking together, it would up your odds if you offer to carry some of her things, or at the very least, make sure that you open every door between here and the parking lot. It will be a decided black mark against you if you amble alongside her, watching her struggle with the books and bags, waiting for her to kick all FIVE doors open with her foot so the two of you can go through. I mean, seriously--missing one door is absentminded, but actually WAITING for her to fight her way through four more---buddy, did your momma drop you on your head when you were a baby or are you just that self-involved? Chivalry is sometimes nice, but common courtesy speaks volumes about a person of either gender.
  • Telling her that your shared religious beliefs are important to you is somewhat undercut when you go on to brag about frequently missing church because you "usually" sleep in.
  • Being cool with four kids is huge plus; being positive about the fact that they are adopted is even better. Using derogatory racial epithets commonly reserved for those who share the racial heritage of said kids is decidedly un-cool. Consider yourself lucky that you got away with a withering glare and a few sharp words. Supreme self-control kept you from a pointy-booted kick to the crotch. We mommies just don't see the humor in trash-talking our kids. We're funny that way.

Scarily enough, in a younger, more naive part of my past, I would have tried to look past these things and find the diamond presumably hidden far away beneath your sooty exterior. I used to be stupid. In that past chapter of my life I fell for dumb Jane Eyre & Mr. Rochester stories.

I'm smarter now, and I know that 99.9% of the time, Beauty's beast is just plain a beast. In that sense, THANK YOU for revealing so much so early and saving me the time of actually dating you.

Sincerely,

The Almost-But-Not-Quite Cougar

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Drooling a Little Bit: My Not-so-Secret-or-Guilty Crush on Hugh Jackman

Maybe crush isn't the right word. For starters, I don't want anyone else's husband. At all. Ever. And secondly, I don't even know Mr. Jackman, so basically I'm crushing on a PR version of a Hollywood ideal, and for all I know he's a belching couch-potato who would be a total turn-off in real life.

All that aside, this past week I've had the opportunity to reflect on Hughie-boy. And by 'reflect,' I mean "stay home sick from work and relive HJ in all his Wolverine glory." I must point out that, given hours at home in bed, I didn't pick up any of the several Jane Austen books I had lying near the bed, nor did I beg the Divine Ms. B to bring me made-for-BBC versions of JA books. Nope, it was all about Hugh Jackman. Thanks to her extraordinary kindness, I had my X-Men fix.

I'm not sure what it says about me that I would GLADLY watch any of the X-Men movies over again, but I'm not sure I ever want to see most of the many Jane Austen films I've managed to miss thus far in life. If this is evidence that I'm not a real girly-girl after all--well, I can live with that.

However, hours of meditating on Hugh Jackman's merits have done more to help me finesse my quest for my own Perfection Himself than all four of the Jane Austen books I've schlepped through so far. Here are the things I like about HJ, that just possibly might show up in my Future Guy:
  • He's talented AND smart. I first noticed HJ years ago when his acting ability caught my attention. I didn't particularly think he was sexy; I just thought he was really good at what he does. He's surprisingly well-educated for a Hollywood leading man, and his range of skill is impressive. Smart is always sexy.
  • He's funny and he doesn't take himself too seriously. Just watch any interview with the guy.
  • He's an adoptive dad to two gorgeous kids who don't share his DNA or even his ethnic heritage. Okay, that's a huge one to me, for 4 rather obvious and adorable reasons.
  • He's been happily married for 13 years to a stunningly beautiful woman 13 years older than himself. That age gap doesn't mean much of anything to me; however, I do arbitrarily extrapolate from it that he A.) is confident in himself, as that choice had to have raised some eyebrows, B.) he's not afraid to go after what he wants, because most men would lack the nerve to go after a gorgeous older woman, and by his own account he was 'planning the proposal within three months of meeting her,' and C.) he's capable of sticking to a commitment.
  • Related to his marriage, yet another reason he's on my list: he had his wedding rings engraven with a Sanskrit phrase that translates to "we dedicate our union to a greater source." I like that. It reminds me of something I journaled awhile back, about there only being a point to remarrying if marriage allowed me to serve the Lord better than I could alone. I like the idea of synergy in marriage, devoted to a higher purpose. Hugh Jackman can be my proof that there are men out there who agree.

Just so we're clear, I'm not really in love with Hugh Jackman. If he popped into my living room I'd shake his hand, get an autograph, and happily send him home to his wife and kids. I DO, however, want to find someone with the values and attributes I find admirable in HJ. If the Future Guy just happens to have a heartbreakingly-beautiful smile like Hughie-boy, well--that will just seal the deal.