In conversation with my friends, the subject of men often comes up. I am willing to
argue there is no such thing. I have never encountered a Man in my whole life. I have met
many people that call themselves Men. Smart women that I admire call these irascible
critters "Men", but in using this language they perpetuate a myth that has been
passed down from our fathers and our father's fathers. Let's call them what they really
Boys: all male humans are boys. You call female humans "girls" and no one's panties wad into a bunch. Watch: when you call a physically mature male human a "boy", both girls and boys alike gasp in horror. You mean "Man", they have said to me. I feel like Copernicus this is a truth too plain for all humans to cognitively register, so it's considered heresy. Are they worried the male species will finally see they are forever doomed to be boys? Are they shocked that the secret is out of the Pandora's Box, and it will lead to more boyish behavior? Or is it a ruse for women to not feel duped by the belief that there is actually growth potential for this race?
Since women for all time have been trying to turn boys into something else, an entire industry has spawned with self-help books, therapy groups and the like. I suspect a conspiracy to propagate this industry and make women feel forever inadequate about not being able to turn their selected boy into what society has named "A MAN", much like the fashion and beauty industry makes mega-billions dangling a similar carrot on a stick with computer-generated body types and retouched photographs (but that's another rant).
Here is a list to recognize these false signs of anything other than boyhood in your chosen male:
Identifying characteristics: Nondescript manner of dress, mainly seen cavorting with others of same type, speech is transmitted in one-word answers or other monosyllabic grunts.
Clothing: Promotional T-shirts, jeans and other articles of clothing too nondescript to waste time with.
Hangouts: Pool halls, video arcades, frat houses, Sports Bars and clubs without women (not including gay bars), unless they have a wet T-shirt contest
Favorite TV shows: Shows? There are only games! Only scheduled event is Monday Night Football. Everything else is on an ad hoc basis, according to the season and proximity to the playoffs.
Positives: Doesn't try to be anything else.
Advice for females: He will never notice when you clean his apartment, so don't go fishing for complements. Will woo you when you are the one with the remote. If you are lucky, you may get sex once a month the day the Playboy comes in the mail.
Identifying characteristics: Battle cry of "dude!" to other like characters, Shows increased interest in the opposite sex, more effort put into dress to communicate "dude" badge.
Clothing: Rock-related T-shirts or short sleeved button-down shirts his last girlfriend bought him, fashionable or black jeans, silver jewelry or black belts with silver hardware.
Hangouts: Bars with pool tables, Rock concert parking lots, the stoop.
Favorite TV Shows: South Park, Simpsons and all other cartoons.
Positives: Will wear anything you give him.
Advice for females: Though more social than The Guy, the dude is a "Guy" who cares about his looks solely to impress other females. Will tally up interaction with females and publicize it to increase his stature in the eyes of other "Dudes".
The Sensitive Guy:
Identifying characteristics: Bad or non-threatening posture, college degree framed in bathroom, precedes statements with, "I think" or "I feel"
Favorite TV Shows: Ally McBeal, ER, will not wrench the remote control from your hand if you are watching Lifetime channel
Clothing: Baggy pants & Dockers, wrinkled linen shirts, suede loafers, or brown shoes and belts.
Hangouts: Starbucks, book stores, coffeehouses that have acoustic music, Lilith Fair
Advice to women: "Sensitive Guy" is an oxymoron. Treat this one as a sociopath or borderline personality. This guy is either a mama's boy or using this "sensitive guy" stuff to get in your pants, or worse, your best friend's. This is one of the most delusional of all boy types and may become violent if his lack of sensitivity is suddenly unmasked. Either that, or he will whine and grovel. Both require that you flee to safety immediately. Better to find yourself a "Guy" and know exactly what you are getting.
The Bad Boy:
Identifying characteristics: Tattoos, motorized vehicles, either long hair or no hair at all, usually a musician to avoid collecting a paycheck, or a mechanic to get dirty and get paid for it. Usually consorts with other girls, as there is little room for other males in the bad boy's life. A Bad Boy knows where his meal ticket is.
Clothing: Harley Davidson shirt whether he rides or not, leather pants
Hangouts: Bars with Pool tables, bars with bikes parked out front, bars with jukeboxes, bars with lots of neon signs, dark bars, bars with live bands
Favorite TV shows: Hocked the TV for dope. Watches "The Sopranos" at other people's houses.
Advice for females: He will never make money from music, so supporting his career is as gratifying as buying cosmetics. You are better off spending money on changing your locks. Trying to break up with this guy is just giving him a license to steal your records and electronics.
Identifying characteristics: Obsession with status symbols and material objects, calls himself a "professional" or a "manager", matching luggage, reads New York magazine.
Clothing: Suits, bar mitzvah pants or "slacks", long-sleeved button down shirts only, hard-soled leather shoes with laces, never without a belt
Hangouts: University Clubs, time-shares in beach towns, bars with stock-tickers, health or golf clubs, "The Track" in Central Park, bistros and cafes.
Favorite TV shows: Crossfire or The Capital Gang, 60 Minutes, Golf tournaments and tennis matches, anything on The History Channel.
Advice for Females: This boy will expend all his energy trying himself to reach the unobtainable goal of being a man. Maintaining this persona is a 24/7 job. You are in his life because The Man Handbook says that he must acquire a female in her childbearing years at some point in his life to create yet another boy. If you stay with this obsessive/compulsive Man-type, you will be bored to death. Manly monomania is tiresome. You sex life will also suck if you make more money than he does.
Though there are shades of grey, you will find that most boys fit into one of these schemas. Some never overlap. The Bad Boy is the antithesis of The Man, as The Guy and the Sensitive Guy are polar opposites. The only one that seems to have a bit of each is The Dude, because that is the definition of his persona. The Dude desperately needs to be liked by everybody and mines an ever-expanding circle of other boys to whom to shout out, "Dude!'.
Once you recognize what kind of boy your male human is, and that he will always be a boy underneath the facade, you will be much happier. No more fighting, no more bemoaning his lack of development and self-actualization, no more questioning your lack of love in your inability to transform him from one of the above archetypes to a Man. Enjoy you boy for what he is, and stop kicking yourself for what he can never become. I love my boy, and I ain't gonna change him!