Monday, March 12, 2012

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

NOTE: We planned to post Chapter 4 of the Avaloner novel, ALONG FOR THE RIDE, today, but you know what they say about plans - even the best laid ones go awry. In other words, we've run into a small glitch, so be patient, stay tuned; Chapter 4 should be here next Monday (barring another glitch). In the meantime, here are some thoughts from Carolyn Brown that are sure to make you smile.

by Carolyn Brown

When we are writing about the male character we expect different things from say, a twenty two year old hero than we do a fifty year old character. This, along with the fact that my granddaughter is approaching 22, got me to thinking about what we expect in real life from our real life heroes.


For sure, we expect different things from the opposite gender at different times in our lives. For instance what my list of definite qualities I would or would not accept in a fellow was somewhat different when I was 22 than it is right now or will be when I am 72. The expectations for a perfect man changes just about every ten years, and down through the years this is what the ladies in my family have come up with.

When I think about the list of the ten attributes I made when I was 22, all I can do is laugh. Talk about naive! At that age the first thing on the list was that the man should be handsome. That established early in the game, he then had to be charming. Yes, I did expect both in the same critter. Innocent as I was, it never dawned on me that handsome usually meant egotistical which knocked charming out of the game. But in those days I wanted both and they were the top two items on the list. Then I wanted him to be financially successful, a caring listener, witty, in good shape, to dress with style, to appreciate the finer things in life, to be full of thoughtful surprises and absolutely had to have an imaginative, romantic side to his nature.

Reality jerked me back into the real world by the time I was 32. My revised list looked a little different than the one I had made at 22. I still thought he should be somewhat handsome or at least nice looking (prefer hair on his head). But charming went to the wayside and I followed nice looking with opens car doors and holds chairs for me in the restaurant, has enough money for a nice dinner which meant in a place that did not have brown bag specials or kid’s meals, listens more than he talks, laughs at my jokes, carries bags of groceries with ease, owns at least one tie, appreciates a good home-cooked meal, remembers birthdays and anniversaries and seeks affection often.


That seemed like a more realistic approach to a mature young man. Then I reached 42 and revised the list again. This time I began with not too ugly (bald head not prohibitive). I followed that with he doesn’t drive off until I’m in the car and the door is shut, works steady and splurges on dinner out occasionally, nods his head when I’m talking, usually remembers punch lines of jokes, in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture, wears a shirt that covers his stomach, remembers to put the toilet seat down especially at night, and shaves most weekends.

At 52, I held a family caucus of female relatives. Handsome, charming and even “not too ugly” were too much to hope for. We decided on the following ten things. He must keep the hair in his nose and ears trimmed. He shouldn’t burp or scratch in public; ogle other women at the mall; nod off to sleep when we are venting; retell the same joke too many times; is in good enough shape to get off the couch on weekends; usually wears matching socks; appreciates a good TV dinner; remembers our names on occasion and shaves some weekends.

This past fall it was time to revise the list again. I called in the sister and female cousins. We bypassed “not too ugly” and didn’t even mention the nose hair business. We decided the top ten things on the list were: he doesn’t scare small children; he remembers where the bathroom was; doesn’t require much money for upkeep; only snores lightly when he sleeps; remembers why he is laughing; is in good enough shape to stand up by himself; usually remembers to wear clothes; likes soft foods; remembers where he left his teeth; and remembers that it is the weekend.

The rest of the relatives who were at the 72 and beyond mile marker said our list was entirely too long. No one who’d reached 72 would ever expect to think up ten positive things to expect from any man. No siree! They only had two things on their list. The first one was that the man should be breathing and the second was that he didn’t miss the toilet.

Past, present, future.

Naiveté, fact, reality.

When you are writing about men of different ages, do you remember that they are far different critters at 32 than they are at 72?

9 comments:

Sandy Cody said...

Thanks for coming through for us, Carolyn. I always love it when we have a post from you to start the week - nice to begin with a smile.

Vicki Batman, said...

Carolyn: this is hilarious! Thank you for sharing. I still have a thing regarding excess nose and ear hair, tho. lol

Carolyn Brown said...

Any time Sandy! Ahhh, the truth...it does make us smile! LOL

Carolyn Brown said...

Vicki...glad to share a giggle with you this Monday morning. Thanks for stopping by!

Sheila Claydon said...

I can't even comment on this Carolyn. Partly through laughing so much and partly because I now have to go away and revise my list:-)

Kate Gallison said...

Good. But you forgot Still Able to Drive at Night.

Carolyn Brown said...

Shiela, wouldn't you just love to know what's on the 82 year old list. It might have only one thing...breathing!

Carolyn Brown said...

Kate, that is a major requirement isn't it, but then if he doesn't have nose hair and scare little children, I might be willing to drive!

Beate Boeker said...

Hilarious! Now we need a man to write this thing about us women! :-)