My List

Recently there have been a lot of events supporting peoples’ right to love whoever they love.  Something that we here at It’s My TV, It’s My Peanut Butter totally support.  I personally am a heterosexual spinster, but that doesn’t mean that even I don’t have a romantic streak.

Back when I used to teach Intro to Literature, I taught a short play called “Sure Thing.”  One of the central themes of the play is the idea that women have a mental list they look to check off when they meet a prospective suitor.  I’d like to put my feminist hands on my hips and deny it, but it’s fairly true.  At least for me.  I don’t want to speak for the entire female gender.  Contrary to what I suspect a lot of men think, however, my list has little to do with physical appearance and a lot more to do with other types of attributes.

I don’t think any prospective suitors are reading this blog, but just in case, off the top of my head, here’s my list:

He must know what continent Argentina is on.  (Yes, I once went out with a guy who didn’t know that.)

He must have read the United States Constitution.  This one is negotiable if he is not a US Citizen.  He doesn’t have to agree with me on interpretation at all, he just has to have read the thing at some point and made some kind of attempt to understand it.

I would love to make it a requirement that he have to know what year and place the United States won their independence.  But I have come to realize finding that is only wishful thinking.  So I will let that one slide as long as he’s not a US History teacher.  (Yes, that’s based on another personal example.)

In my youth I would have said that I wanted to date a guy taller than me (I’m 5’8” tall, but not super tall).  Now more mature, I don’t give a damn how tall he is so long as he isn’t insecure about my being taller than him.  And please not that no matter how short he is, I’m not going to stop wearing high heels.  His insecurity is no reason my legs shouldn’t look as nice as possible.

He doesn’t need to be rich, but he can’t be expecting me to be the family breadwinner.  (Let’s face it, I’m a folklorist, if he’s expecting that, we’d be in trouble.)

On that note, I don’t care what profession or field of study he’s in, so long as he doesn’t make fun of mine.  (I can tolerate some good natured poking, but the first time he says, “You majored in unemployment,” it’s over.)

On much the same lines, he doesn’t have to like the television shows I like, but he has to understand that my television is very important to me and many of those shows have been in my life much longer than he has.  He doesn’t have to watch with me so long as he doesn’t interfere with me watching.

Though I really think it’s important to be open-minded, I have to be honest and admit I’m not sure I could date a vegan.  I could date a vegetarian no problem so long as he wasn’t self-righteous about it, but a relationship where I had to feel awkward eating cheese or ice cream?  I’m just not sure it could work.

He has to be comfortable with the fact that I sometimes go to places in funny clothes; again, doesn’t have to do it himself, just understand that I am that particular brand of attention whore.

No guys in bands.  I keep caving on this one and then remembering why I created it in the first place.

He can’t (in seriousness) denounce all southerners as ignorant and backward.  That would officially make him a guy I can’t take home to Momma, and while that has its merits, I think it would be a problem in the long run.

He can’t be a push over/let me win every fight.  It’s boring and insulting.  Like I need his help to win.

He has to be willing to dance with me, even if it’s only when no one’s looking.

He can’t spend too much time telling me how beautiful I am.  A) While I’m not a dog, I’m not all that B) it makes for boring conversation.

I’m willing to negotiate on the issue of children so long as he understands I’m not physically having them.  And would like to keep my DNA out of the picture for the child’s sake.

He can’t be a smoker.

I don’t want to completely rule out guys with dogs, but if he does have a dog he can’t be one of those jackasses who brings it everywhere.  And he must understand I’m not walking it, scooping poop, or sharing the bed.

I’d like to say that’s the extent of my list, but there’s probably more (let’s face it, I’ve just been stalling till my internet connection came back) but we’re going to wrap up there.  I’ll get back to you, if I think of anything urgent.

More Twilight: The Difference Between a Hero and a Stalker

I was told by more than one person that Twilight was a romance and that Edward Cullen was just the most romantic thing since Mr. Darcy appeared in print. Now, I know that every woman’s got a different ideal man, but, really, Edward is, by most measures, a stalker/potentially abusive boyfriend. There’s romantic, and then there’s creepy. I definitely see the creepy, and I’m totally not tuning- in to the romantic.

You start with the fact that, by his very nature, he wants to exsanguinate you. Sure, he’d feel bad about doing it and all, but that doesn’t change the fact that your blood = world’s best chocolate malt to this guy. Creep factor? High. Romance factor? Zilch.

Then there’s the lurking. Yeah, theoretically it might be kind of romantic to entertain the thought of a hot guy pining for you so much that he hangs around outside your window, waiting for a glimpse of you (although, to me it shows that he doesn’t know how to use his time constructively–why not take up a useful hobby?), but in practice, it’s generally a criminal offense. Especially when you take it as far as this lad who, you know, was looking into a second story window. Honestly, think about your reaction if you see a face–hot or not–outside your second story window, at night.  After you regain control of your bladder and identify the face, maybe you’d be oddly pleased, but before that you’re just someone who wet herself in fear. Again, I’m missing the romantic aspect here.

And this is just the things that were” romantic” before Edward and Bella came to their quasi-relationships understanding. Sometime after the second rescue of Bella, the two become so attached at the hip that I started to wonder if she was allowed to go to the bathroom alone. I kind of pictured Edward skulking outside the ladies room between classes. And thanks to Mr. Mind-Reader, even girls night gets a male invasion. A guy who’s there for you is romantic, but a guy who’s never, ever gone starts to grate.

But hey, maybe you’re down with the lurking and the cling. However, you’re an independent, empowered woman, so if nothing else has been a turn off, dealing with his bossiness ought to douse some of that romance. “Go here.” “Don’t go there.” “Do as I say.” Oy. Seriously? That’s not romantic, that’s annoying at best, and controlling at worst. And when you combine this with that tenuous control thing where he’s always a half inch from violence? Wow. Can you feel the love tonight? Because I’m mostly feeling like I’m in an after-school special about bad dating relationship warning signs. Or possibly a Lifetime TV movie.

This leaves looks and hormones and a seemingly endless amount of money. Edward Cullen’s not romantic, he’s just a hottie with coin, and Bella’s teenage hormones are in working order. However, my well-past-teenage hormones are way to practical to dismiss the inherent character flaws this guy has.

Or am I just missing something? Is my romance button broke?