Friday, August 27, 2010

the guy list

I have what I think are compelling reasons to think I will probably always be single.

The idea of being single forever is, at least at this point in my life, not particularly intimidating, but more of an "aw, gee, that sucks" kind of thought. Like discovering that they discontinued my favorite flavor of yogurt, perhaps. (Well, maybe a little more profound than that.) The idea of settling for a guy who is in many or all ways "less than". . . strikes me as burning in a slow hell.

I realized that I have actually developed a fairly long list of traits that a potential Mr. Gochenour ideally would have. And while some of the requirements may change, the probability of one guy meeting them seems slim.

The point of all this is to make an excuse to write up the list of traits for said person that I had unconsciously been cataloging anyway. So, without further ado:

1. He must convey the impression of being a larger person than me. Yes, this is a personal insecurity. I pretty much have always mentally labeled myself "plus-size," and I don't want to be reminded of that with unfavorable comparisons every day. I also don't want to feel like I'm going to break someone if I hug them.

2. He should be in shape. He doesn't have to be ripped, but if I say, "Hey, let's go for a ten-mile hike!" his response should be something like, "Yay, hiking!" (So he could be overweight, but it would have to be paired with a reasonable amount of upper-body strength and cardiac fitness.)

3. Strong jaw line and chin.

4. Strong nose line (is there a word for this?) I don't want him to have my nose.

1. It would be nice if he were not a sartorial idiot. As in, he could comfortably pick out a shirt and pants and shoes that look okay.

2. He CANNOT be the kind of guy that needs a woman to shop for him. Gross.

3. Sagging and wearing your baseball cap at a weird angle while expecting to be taken seriously = automatic disqualification.

4. Clothes should not be his main passion (if only because I would constantly exasperate anyone for whom that was so.) But it wouldn't hurt for him to have an idea of what's current and trendy.

Likes and dislikes.
1. This is a flexible category. But, things he should like or at least have a positive opinion on: Muppets, fresh bread, long walks, dogs, cats, babies, potato soup, Ray Charles, Brad Paisley, big cities, small towns, fresh vegetables, gardening, orchards, photography, traditional Japanese architecture, castles, old churches, M*A*S*H, Monty Python, Lord of the Rings, Aretha Franklin.

2. A good quality in a person you love is for them to be willing to try your cooking and baking.

3. He should like to read. It doesn't really matter what -- fiction, nonfiction, blogs, whatever. Preferably, all of the above.

4. Even if he's not an art history junkie, he should have a basic appreciation of art and why it's important. Same goes for music, architecture, history, linguistics, etc.

5. He must like to learn new things.

6. He must like to discuss various issues, including religion, politics, and culture.

7. I'm not sure if I could fall in love with someone who spent more than an hour a day playing video games or watching TV.

8. He should like to travel -- anywhere and everywhere.

9. He should like the outdoors.

1. He should be very clean and have only brief spells of smelling bad (such as directly after working out, working outside, etc.)

2. Neither extreme sloppiness nor extreme organization is desirable. Somewhere in the middle of the scale is good.

3. He should not "mansplain." This term (not invented by me) refers to the practice of some men to believe they have superior knowledge on a subject by merit of being male. If a guy who majored in business tries to tell me what the best way to design a house for natural daylight is, it's probably not going to make a favorable impression. Likewise, if he's never been to Boston or Tokyo and we visit there together, he should not assume that his guidebook gives him superior knowledge to my experience.

4. He should talk a lot. I feel lonely when I'm the only one talking.

5. He should either not naturally accumulate a lot of crap or consciously throw out stuff every so often.

6. No smoking. No drugs. No frequently getting drunk.

7. Facial hair is okay, but it should be neat and well-kept.

1. He should be reasonably competent in most areas. Fixing a computer, cooking himself food, maintaining a house, finding a new job, keeping a garden. If he doesn't know how to do something he should be able to Google it, go to the library, or call someone and find out.

2. He should have at least one or two hobbies that he works on a lot and is very good at.

1. He must be a theist. No agnostics, either.

2. He should value staying fit and healthy.

3. That should NOT be cover for a belief that there is only one "good" body type. I fluctuate in weight 10-15 lbs. every year; this shouldn't bother him.

4. He must think Peter Singer is a moron.

5. He can be conservative or liberal or whatever -- what matters is that he really thinks about and researches his beliefs, and that the value of other human beings is either central or primary to these beliefs.

5. He must be supportive if I choose to keep my last name or hyphenate my name with his name.

6. He should be open to the idea of children. If we never have any, fine. If we have six, fine.

7. He should be open to the idea of him being the stay-at-home parent, depending on the circumstances at the time.

8. He must believe that all human beings are created fundamentally equal and deserve the same rights.

9. He should not have sexual expectations. He should not expect that any given sexual act will be okay with me, based on his ideas about women or his experience with other women. He should also not expect me to have any given level of sexual experience -- lots of it or none of it.

10. He must be the sort of person who takes personal responsibility. He must be reliable.

11. He must be the sort of person who faces fears, not the kind who hides from them.

12. He must be willing to discomfort himself for gain -- i.e. save for something big, study hard for a test, go through the inconveniences of flight to see something beautiful.

1. He should have a very active sense of humor. He should be silly with some frequency.

2. He should be, for the most part, a kind person. This is separate from being a good or honorable person -- I mean he should be the sort of accommodating person who is okay with giving compliments, giving hugs, picking up things at the store, picking up things that someone else drops, holding doors, making jokes to make awkward situations less awkward, avoiding putting people on the spot, etc. This also means that no significant part of his sense of humor should be composed of making fun of other people.

3. He should never disparage anything that I am excited about, particularly certain sensitive topics (writing fantasy stories and drawing fantasy art come to mind.) He doesn't have to share my excitement, but I don't want to be embarrassed.

4. He should not be the sort of person who, consciously or unconsciously, encourages me to hide one part of my personality and beliefs while prominently displaying another.

5. He should have a good idea of what he likes and doesn't like -- food, music, politics, movies, books. It makes for better conversation.

1. Hopefully he would have a good relationship with his family. He wouldn't have to, but life is so much easier when you have a support system.

2. He should have at least two to three really good friends besides me. More is good. These friends should be basically good people and at least one of them should think I am okay.

3. College degree isn't necessary, but a solid job that he enjoys is.

And this is why I shall be single until I die.

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