Pssst…hey you…yeah, you Mr. GoldChainAroundYourFleshyNeck, with your J.Crew khakis, shiny Italian leather loafers, and pink polo shirt that matches your soft-as-a-baby’s-bottom face that clearly just came back from a facial at the spa. Yeah, you who reek of too much cologne and look at me with such cold disdain and a greasy smirk that says I am so out of your league, lady. I’m Mr. BigCheeseFormerJockAboutCampus. You look like a nobody.
And this because I merely smiled at you, as I often do at people that happen to be standing beside me in line. For one thing, I grew up in the country in eastern North Carolina. That’s the way we were down there—no one knew a stranger. Smiling and saying Hey is just a way to make a human connection. That’s all. Your carefully moussed hair and Rolex watch mean nothing to me. I do not wish to ravish you—I find you less than ravishing.
What is it about some men and their egos? I love where I live now, but I’m afraid there really do seem to be more men like that around these parts. If I had to sum it up in a few words, I’d say, “More macho, less manly. Bigger ego, less to show for it.” They are also overall less courteous, in ways like holding doors for people who happen to be behind them. That is, unless that person is a nubile young chick with big breasts. I’ve had it happen countless times here: a simpering, middle-aged man falls all over himself to open the door for CuteBlondCoedYoungEnoughToBeHisDaughter whom I am right behind, only to let it slam in my face. It’s interesting to note that I moved here from the Big City (Raleigh) and almost never had that happen. In fact, folks regularly held doors for me there.
It’s not just me either. My daughter experienced the same thing with the so-called “popular” guys when she was in high school here. If she so much as glanced at them, they would give her the same contemptuous, dismissive look. By her senior year, she had perfected a look in return that said, “Frankly, prep boy, I find you slightly less attractive than a baboon’s rear end.”
Now, please don’t send me comments saying Go back to Raleigh then, Pruneface. I don’t want to go back to Raleigh. I miss a lot of things about it, but I’m a mountain girl now. I feel at home in the hills here, and I’ve met some nice folks, too. And, no, I’m not bitter because I’m past my prime. I’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that men don’t generally give me a second glance these days. I don’t want those men to simper at me—I’m just looking for a bit of kindness and courtesy. But I’m curious—why are some men like that? Why can’t I just be friendly without their bloated egos convincing them that I’m flirting with them? Because, the truth is, I’m kind of like my daughter. I find them, in general, slightly less attractive than a baboon’s bottom.
A qualification is in order: Not all men are like that here. My husband works with some very mannerly, manly men. Also I should say that I don’t hate men (but I might be a little misanthropic). Some of my best friends are men. Really. And a note to my fellow liberated women: Yeah, I know. I can open my own damn door. But I value the courtesy and kindness behind such actions. You are free to feel differently.
So, Mr. GoldChain, go on thinking you’re God’s gift to women. My husband’s ten times better looking anyway, and he’s toned and muscular from swinging a hammer and hefting wood all day. I like men with calloused hands, not calloused hearts. I like men who open doors for anyone, be they fat or thin, young or old, rich or poor. And, hey, you might want pull in that gut—it’s bigger than your ego. Coeds don’t like men who are soft and flaccid. Oh, and about that facial you got at the spa? Did they tell you it would make you look younger and firm up those sagging jowls? Well, you better go get your money back. You were robbed.