My Friend Jay

I should have written this last month, but I’m not much for Hallmark Holidays. My friends and I celebrate our own weird little set of holidays- last year we held the First Annual Spanksmas!, which is not nearly as kinky as it sounds.
But enough about my strange holidays and more about love.
I don’t understand how the world has so many single people in it who want to be part of a pair. While I never particularly cared if I had a boyfriend (is that the appropriate term for me to use as I stomp into middle age?), it seems to me the world is riddled with singles who want, more than anything, a warm hand in the moonlight and a pair of lips on New Year’s Eve.
Take my friend Jay (yes, that’s his real name, largely because I’m too lazy to make one up but also because he doesn’t care.) Jay is, by anyone’s definition, a Good Guy. By that I mean the sort of guy who hears you like Snuggies and buys you one, or makes you a CD of music he thinks you will like. These things tend to creep women out. I wish I could explain it to him, because it’s like watching a puppy get kicked over and over and over again. Jay decides what he wants. Quickly. From that point, he’s rather intense about it. Since this intensity strikes well before the object of his affection has a chance to come to the same conclusion, she usually backs off. Which, of course, perplexes Jay, a logical sort who accepts but does not understand irrationality.
Jay is a computer type and yes, Jay is a little esoteric and snarky and often a little too intellectual in his cultural references, but he’s fun to be around, makes a decent living and, while he’s not exactly a hardbody (see “computer type,” above) he’s not about to collapse because his muscles have atrophied, either. He has no open sores, no ex-wives or children and doesn’t live with his parents. He’s marching to his own drum, yes, but I wasn’t aware that mattered after high school. So why, then, do all of my single friends—many of whom desperately want to marry and reproduce at some point—eschew Jay and all men like him? Is it simply his intensity?
I think it’s more because Jay simply doesn’t fit a woman’s expectation of what she’s going to get in a man. Why will an otherwise sane and lovely woman spurn the Good Guy and go after the one who uses the back room of her apartment to build a meth lab?
Perhaps most women who date with the idea of a prize at the end (marriage, child, house on the water, whatever) also develop a picture in their heads of the person with whom they will share those things. Which is a shame, because it leaves a lot of lovely women single indefinitely or settling for someone they don’t love.
It’s a dangerous thing, this notion of placing your dreams in the hands of an imaginary man. I’ve always preferred to count on myself to make my dreams come true, but then I’ve never really had a desire to have children, so maybe I’m not being fair to those ladies whose uteri (is that the proper plural of uterus?) scream for motile, potent sperm. And in the process, while the Universe has passed several “creatively” successful men through my life, I’ve managed, eventually, to ferret them all out and decide that I can go broke and make mistakes very nicely on my own, thank you.
The phrase “Good Guy” is really just another word for “man.” After several decades of —let’s call it “misguided”—dating, I stumbled upon a decent man, and I do mean stumbled; I’m so incredibly clueless that I’d still be having adolescent fantasies and trying to figure out how I could get this man’s attention had it not been for Mr. Nice Guy Jay and a savvy girl friend. It’s divine to not be with a man who cleans out your savings, uses Theraflu as a recreational drug, or cheats on you with your best friend.
I suspect that women who find Good Guys, or “men,” focus more on how they feel with someone instead of what their partner should look like or act like or do for a living. While my friends and I may think forearms or backs are sexy, we don’t plan for it. We also don’t say we’re going to date a man who make six figures and plays in a band. That’s because we’re really not into imaginary men.
For the record, these friends aren’t ugly, either. On the whole, they’re thin, toned, gorgeous women with good careers, interests outside of makeup and shoes, and IQs higher than most. When I look at it that way, I’m not actually sure what they’re doing hanging out with me. Maybe I’m the funny one.
I suspect the men they’re with care more about their brains than their bodies, though. Of all of them, Shelly’s the one who gets the most attention from guys when we go out. Shelly, the lesbian, has more men paying attention to her than the rest of us put together. She’s beautiful, yes, but… how do I put this? No one finds out Shelly is gay and expresses shock. Stacey has a lithe dancer’s body; Leah’s hair would make Vidal Sassoon weep. Amanda has the bone structure of a Greek goddess. But Shelly… well, she’s not going to win any abs of steel contests. Her favorite shirt in the world is a green checked thing that we’d all love to burn, and if you look up “cargo shorts” at, you will see her picture.
But drop her in a nunnery and you’ll find Shelly surrounded by men instantly. Why? She accepts people without expectation. If you have something interesting to say, she wants to hear it. Shelly, I think, would date Jay. You know, if she were attracted to men.
Of course, that doesn’t help Jay. Look, despite his affinity for karaoke, Jay’s a lovable guy. He’s not Harrison Ford; he’s more of a cross between Rick Moranis’ character in Ghostbusters and Eugene Levy in American Pie. Like most men, Jay can be obnoxious. But I’ve dated men who thought the Jackass movies were something to aspire to and “didn’t get” the “intellectual” elements of Frasier. Hell, I’ve dated men who barely spoke English. How fussy do we have to be to remove a well-read, highly intellectual, fairly open-minded IT director from our dating pool?
Because we have GOT to be running out of losers here soon.

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.