Shortly after New Year’s, three Durham singles met at a bar.
They sat down and started talking about resolutions for 2012 and wound up creating dating resolutions for 2012. The group was comprised of two women and one man, all in their early to mid thirties. Having recently read this cringe-worthy and yet brutal, honest, and overwhelmingly hilarious post over at bitches gotta eat (and obviously being one of the three singles), I was particularly inspired to take things a step further. What would our list of desirable traits in a potential date look like? Well, ladies and gentlemen, the following is our answer:
(Note: Both lists included input from men and women - just to keep it reasonable. For today, we’re sticking with the men. Stay tuned for the lady list!)
- He must be able to cook for himself. It doesn’t have to be gourmet quality stuff here, folks, but it should be non-lethal, inoffensive in taste, and involve more than a box, water, and a microwave. Extra points if it’s delicious and healthy, first (honestly, maybe even second) base if it’s made of locally grown ingredients.
- He must drink beer. Seriously, people, we shouldn’t even have to write this here. We live in DURHAM. Drinking beer is what we do (that, and grow beards, mustaches, and wear hipster glasses). If you can’t man-up and join us in a great draught or bottle of PBR...We. Are not. Interested. With awesome local breweries and bars, there’s really no excuse, men of Durham.
- He must read. As Samantha said over at bitches gotta eat, if he can invest in some characters, he’s got something going on upstairs. And that, gentlemen, is pure sexiness.
- He must be nice to waitstaff and tip well. If he’s not generous there, he’s probably not generous in other locations...
- He must not wear socks at inappropriate times, such as with sandals or in bed. We know, we know. Some of you have lived in Durham long enough to remember when that was actually cool. Still, we stand by this statement - it is not sexy to see socks and sandals together. It is even less sexy to see socks in bed. We acknowledge that some of you live in drafty, historical houses and buildings that are absolute bitches to heat. If this is the case, it is your duty to please that booty to the point that you both are so warm, you don’t even need socks.
- He must not use baby talk. Ever. We want to date you because we think of you as a man. If we wanted to date toddlers...well, we’d be in jail.
- He must drink whiskey. This could technically be combined under one item that deals with alcohol preferences, but it’s separately important. A man drinking whiskey is just plain hot. There’s something virile about it. (And to be honest, we like the way it tastes when we kiss you afterward.)
- He must not order drinks that are more “girlie” or sweet than what we are ordering. If we’ve got a whiskey and ginger or a gin and tonic, we don’t want to look over and see your ass sipping on something that comes with an umbrella (please see items two and seven for reference).
- He must look good in either a flannel shirt or a tux. After all, this is Durham. And, after all, flannel is hot and manly. And a tux is just damn sexy.
- He must watch a sport. We’re not necessarily picky on what this sport is, but he should watch it. Bonus points for yelling at the television, because that’s what we’re going to be doing. (Note: my female partner in crime would like for him to participate in an athletic activity or sport, but that’s not necessarily crucial for me. You know, we’re diverse and all.) We’d also like for him to pull for at least one working-class team. We’re not elitists.
- He must swear and be able to make inappropriate jokes. Now, we’re not asking that you swear in front of small children or make Great Aunt Janet blush in shame, but make us laugh. Push the limits a little. We’ll like it. We promise.
- He must be able to spell, use appropriate grammar, and not use “text speak.” Gentlemen, when “u r” telling us you will “brb,” we are NOT rofl. We will not ttyl.
- This one might ruffle a few feathers, but he must cross his legs appropriately. If you are crossing your legs the same way we are, we’re wondering why...and how. A nice ankle-across-the-knee in a figure-four is always appropriate.
- We don’t want to see your inner thigh or much of the area above your elbow (except in bed...obviously). This means your shorts should come to your knees and that your shirts should hit your elbow area. T-shirts are okay, but if you’re going to wear a button up, we’d like to see you go the long-sleeved route. (Note: There is nothing sexier than a man with an oxford shirt on, sleeves rolled up to his mid forearm. Is it getting hot in here?)
- The following clothing items are always unacceptable: velcro shoes (some vintage exceptions), khakis worn with tennis shoes, pleated pants, and “dress” jeans. Gentlemen - “dress” jeans do not exist. You are either attending an event at which jeans are appropriate, or they’re not - in which case, don’t wear them. (Note: If you need evidence of just how hot flat-front pants are, just check out Clooney and Pitt.)
- He must be willing to dance. Now, my co-writer and I do differ somewhat on this. She would like him to dance in all situations. I prefer that he be able to dance in some ways (say, we take salsa lessons or something of the sort). She wants someone to dance with at a club with a DJ or at a wedding, in addition to the more traditional social dance forms. Take that as you will, guys.
- He must not live with his parents, have stuffed animals, or an inappropriate relationship with his mother. We don’t feel the need to explain this one much, either, and while we understand the troubling economy, we feel that perhaps dating should be put on hold until you can take us back to your place without having to worry about waking up mom and pop.
- He should not be a smoker or a regular user of tobacco. If you want to smoke a cigar with the boys on guys’ night, go for it, but if you need to constantly take a cigarette break, this isn’t gonna work. Smokeless tobacco in any form results in automatic disqualification. (Note: over-chewing of gum can sometimes be a related item. Step away from the Juicy Fruit.)
- "Manry" must be at a minimum. We’re down with piercings and such, but if you are wearing more jewelry than we are...we might get jealous. We like to be the sparkly ones.
- He should take pride in being a chivalrous man (and we hope you know that we do not equate that with chauvinism). We like for doors to be opened and we like for you to pay, at least on the first two dates. You should not only be able to give compliments to a woman but also actually do so. Being chivalrous also means we want you to take care of scary bugs and of our phone numbers. Don’t give us yours - we’re not going to call. (Also, if you leer creepily at women, us or others, we’re not going to answer, even if you do call.)
- We like to eat meat. We’re okay with it if you don’t. If you’re a vegan, move along.
- Tattoos can be hot. Tweety-bird tattoos cannot.
- No Republicans. Sorry, but we’re sticking to our (fictitious) guns here. Our male single friend would like for us to include “no Canadians,” as well. We don’t really have a problem with the Cannucks, but his suggestion is duly noted.
- While the “cat man” living with 30 cats is much more rare a find than the cat lady, we don’t want him if he does exist. A cat or two, maybe. Twenty? Next, please.
- He’s gotta vote. This assumes he keeps up with important issues and actually takes the time to think about them.
- Finally, he needs guy friends. He needs to support them (in whatever manly way he chooses), and they should be supportive of him. He should spend regular time with them. We like our time with our friends and don’t want someone who doesn’t value that in his own life as well.