I can’t recall which birthday this happened on, but one year when I was a little girl, my mom thought it would be really funny to have my aunt and my grown male cousin call me and pretend they were various characters and celebrities that I admired.
I received birthday wishes from the following:
The Wicked Witch of the West
My Imaginary Friend Jenny (I was not fooled by this one. I knew Jenny only spoke in my head.)
And this last one, which really rocked my (maybe five year old?) world:
Johnny Gage from the show Emergency
I must have had a wicked crush on Johnny Gage, because this is the very first time I ever felt butterflies. I didn’t want to come to the phone because I was too nervous. My mother had to coax and cajole me. Then, when finally on the phone, I uttered a few words and had to give the receiver back to my mom. I think I remember crying because I was so upset and embarrassed.
I couldn’t understand why someone so handsome and awesome would call me, and I felt incredibly confused and unspeakably shy. I remember allowing myself to feel very special for about one minute before completely caving under the weight of my own nerves and tossing the phone at my mom.
Today if some handsome celebrity crush were to call me (heh) I would feel the same butterflies, but now I would have the adult ability to picture him in his boxers (or briefs? I’d bet on boxers…) and this would give me the edge I needed to carry on a semi-intelligent and definitely witty conversation. Celebrities are people too, right?
What the hell was my point in all of this?
Briefly today, I allowed myself to reflect on my ideal man-mate. He looks a bit like this:
Stylish in a very casual, effortless way that makes a statement about his personality
Mad about music. If he can sing or play an instrument, this is a plus. Also, his musical knowledge should span several decades, and he should have a thing or two to teach me
Passionate about his work
Eager to share the things he loves with people he gets excited about (imagine late night vinyl listening-parties interspersed with fierce make out sessions)
Hungry for the world
Independent – values the hell out of whomever he decides to love, but has his own very full life, circle of friends, favourite motorcycle routes (he’ll go for really long rides and come home smelling like sweat, leather, and road dust)**
Thirsty to experience as much as possible
Active in arts and culture
Vibrant sex drive
Slightly rough around the edges – bad boy with a heart of gold
Smart – not necessarily book smart, but quick witted, clever, and hungry to learn more about interesting thing and people
Loves animals and nature
Healthily (mostly) in touch with the Dark Side of the Force
** I still firmly believe that men who love motorcycles have a deep, restless spirit, and this should be seen as a flag, because I believe part of them really wants to just take off and never return. I secretly love motorcycles, but they also terrify me.
So, the above list is great, huh? Well, here’s the thing. It occurred to me today (and not really for the first time) that although it would be great to be happy-ever-after with such a dude, it would be even better to BECOME that dude. Obviously, I’m not talking in the literal sense. I quite enjoy being female, thank you very much. What I’m suggesting is that by using this as a checklist of things that I myself wish to embody, I will likely end up feeling more fulfilled. I mean, I’ve got a real handle on most of those things. It will just take a little bit of focus to really fine tune, and beef up some of the others.
I’m going to embrace my own inner dude. My own XY who is kind of aloof, and sometimes complicated. Who prefers to be alone, but likes to share his space with someone every now and then. Who can date any chick he wants, so is in no hurry to settle down because there is no ticking of anything except the engine of his (insert bad ass motorcycle brand here) as it cools after a long ride chasing the sunset. I’m adjusting my package, cracking my neck with a good shake from side to side, and jumpin’ into the ring.
I’m not going to date you. I am going to BE you.
I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I’ve done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself up in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to think as I come and go
That I’m bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see,
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself- and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.