Since it isn’t wise to build a castle in the sky, I’m going to build a dream man in my la-la-land instead.
The catch is, I will build him only in terms of what he’s not.
First, my man will not be skinny. Not at all. If he were skinny, then his voice would be half-a-pitch higher than it ought to be and I’d confuse him for a woman. He can’t be skinny because then he’d like to dance, and I look stupid doing that. Worse yet, he’d like to dance to Madonna remixes because regular Madonna wouldn’t be good enough for him. This dancing would entail wearing a glow stick around his neck like a ridiculous choker and occasionally shouting, “Yeah, girl!” or “Go, boy!” in undirected jubilation. Nothing makes me puke like undirected jubilation.
No, my man will not be skinny, but he also won’t be fat. Pudgy, sure, but fat-fat, no. He won’t be able to avoid waking up three times a week for a midnight snack of Doritos and Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream, but he’ll know better than to finish the whole bag or pint of either…because he also won’t be a hippy, and hippies live for Doritos and Ben and Jerry’s, even when they are not stoned.
Perfectly fit is something else my man will never be. Mostly, this is to preserve my ego and prevent me from feeling ugly by comparison. But it’s also because being too fit would ruin his personality. Instead of my obnoxious observations about the missing apostrophe in “Caesars Palace” and how I protested the Bewitched movie because they had only one actor play Darren, a perfectly fit man would be interested in protein powders, and rates of metabolic rest–and knowing how many reps of squat-quad thrust-ups I’d have to do to burn off the Doritos and Phish Food ice cream I mowed down the night before. No, he cannot be that fit, or I might shoot him.
But my man will also not like guns!
He won’t be violent, or trashy or racist, but he’ll wear wife-beaters around the house to keep from being stuck-up. (It is very hard to be stuck-up in a wife-beater.) My man will not be stupid, but he won’t be outwardly brilliant either. He’ll be ready with the answer when I get hung up on remembering who the president was when Napoleon died* or other useless trivia that matters only on Teen Jeopardy, but he will not be a know-it-all. Because know-it-alls are cold, un-huggable men who are only to be tolerated if they keep their internal monologues entirely internal and learn to play sufficiently dumb. That is to say I will struggle with that more than enough for both of us.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, my man will not be a flake. He will know that “dinner at 8” means “dinner around 8ish,” but he will certainly not start to nap at 7:30 and then call me at 10 to ask if I feel like doing something. If I said I feel like having dinner at 8, I would mean I expected to meet him around 8ish, as planned. He will never think “dinner at 8” means “wait until you bump into me at a bar to apologize for blowing me off that time we agreed to meet for dinner at 8.” If he thought that, I’d shoot him for sure. But it would be in vain, because my man will not be human, and his chest will deflect bullets.
*James Monroe. Thank you for playing.