To quote drunken Ted Mosby from one of my favorite episodes of How I Met Your Mother, I’M BACK, BABY DOLLS! I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year’s and got at least one gift that truly pleased them. (For those following my new TV saga, I pulled the trigger last night and ordered a 46″ Samsung 1080p/120Hz LED.)
While I was home, I got to see the sad state of Midwestern male fashion, which seems to consist of fat guys wearing Bears sweatshirts and baggy stonewashed jeans. Hipsters don’t really exist in the Midwest, probably because very few adult men in the Midwest are actually thin enough to fit into any hipster clothes. (Exceptions include youth pastor types trying to stay ~relevant~ to the kids**, and college grads who live in Chicago.) When I mentioned the sartorial downfalls of men in the area, my mom immediately turned on me and said that women have a duty to look good, too. Thanks, Mom! I know I keep beating the fashion drum here, but seriously, men, dressing well, especially in an area where all the men look dumpy, will make you stand out to women. You will seem better-looking, more interesting, and more intelligent, and women will be more interested in talking to you. (**But if you look like a member of MercyMe or a guy from Rascal Flatts, then you have probably failed in that endeavor.)
Also while I was home, I gleaned more manly insight from my dad, who complained about men who hold their wives’ bags while shopping and men who let their wives lead the way in the movie theater. Recalling that this is a topic that has come up more than once in the manosphere, I formulated some guidelines and decided that there is only one scenario where it is appropriate for a man to hold his lady’s shopping bags: where he takes the bag from her in a display of manly authority. By this I mean that he does it because he wants to as a show of courtesy and caring, not because she expects him to be her bag carrier. This is akin to the ’60s stereotype of carrying a girl’s books to class. If a woman just hands you her bags so she can be free to go buy more stuff, then she thinks of you as her personal manservant, not a man she respects and admires, though she may tell you otherwise. As for men letting their wives lead the way in the movie theater (or anywhere else), the same principle applies. If the man, out of courtesy and generosity, lets his wife or girlfriend pick their seats, that’s fine. But if she naturally charges ahead and decides where the two of you are sitting because she’s the decider and you’re the follower, then there’s a problem.
Yesterday my eHarmony-using friend picked me up from the shuttle center and told me about two dates she’d been on with two different matches. One acted like he was God’s gift and couldn’t be bothered to make conversation or show any signs of courtesy that a man would normally show on a date. This is probably why he is still single at age 40. The other was very, very nice and gentlemanly, but he is suffering from extreme oneitis for his ex-girlfriend, who left him after seven years for a thug who beats her. (Insert Roissy post about nice guys and thugs here.) Lessons learned: (1) There is a difference between being alpha and being rude. DON’T BE RUDE. No one likes to feel like their time is being wasted, and no one likes to feel like they are dirt on the bottom of someone’s shoe. (2) Don’t be a nice guy to show her you love her. Be a man.