The first man to ever make me scream and subsequently, run, was the Ice Cream Man.
I remember chasing after him in bare feet, down my quiet dead-end suburban street. I’d often have tons of change in my hand, as I ran, yelling for him to stop and hoping I wouldn’t drop my money.
It was the first, but not the last time I chased a man in pursuit of something wonderful and tasty. Ah Ice Cream.
There have been quite a few men in my life–professional men, (not male hookers, but men I worked with) romantic men, sexual men, friendship men, and father-like figure men. They all did something different for and to me; some of them added, while others subtracted from my life. This is a blog about a few of the men I felt shaped me or shaped an experience for me.
The Southern Gentleman
A friend of mine, whom I met in my late twenties-early thirties, is a guy unlike many I have met. It’s not that he did anything specifically for me that left a great impression on me, but he seems to get me and wrap up basically all of my sentiments in two sentences. I just feel like he’s listening. Women often say how men don’t listen, and this guy does–even to the things I don’t say. It’s almost a bit scary how he kind of nails down what I am thinking or doing. Sometimes, he calls me on my shit. A lot of times.
He met me during a time when I was pretty much trying to ravel myself together. I was a hot mess, but a sweet hot mess, and coming together, but still grasping quite a bit.
Even when I was a pain in the ass, he didn’t stop being my friend or understanding who I am.
I’m supremely grateful for this. I can call him randomly at any point and catch him up, and he still gets it and understands me.
There are still some men who listen ladies.
The Hot In the Pants Dude
Okay, so there were quite a few of these dudes because hey, it’s not uncommon to meet horny guys when you are in your twenties, and sure, most of these men were assholes. However, despite some of the utter shittiness and cocky attitude of this one particular Hot in the Pants Dude, I learned a lot from him.
I didn’t fake it.
Just saying. And a girl needs that, so she knows what to look for when she decides to settle down or be in any relationship. You need to know your own body. If a young Brad Pitt look-alike wanted to teach me, I was okay with this. Sign me up today, thank you.
He also exposed me to some different practices. I will leave it at that. I may not have liked every experience we had, but it was certainly interesting. I’m glad I have the memory of an elephant sometimes!
Pardon me while I take a cool shower.
In college, I had the best guidance guy and advisor ever! When I met him, it was like meeting a very empathetic, kind, funny, and life-sized Bear. Not a Bear that would claw and kill you, but like a neutral-colored gigantic Care Bear. You kind of wanted to tell him what you wanted for Christmas, except for that wouldn’t be normal or appropriate I guess when you’re in college!
He was always patient, and helped me to make some good decisions when I really struggled. Even though he knew I was trying to juggle a lot as well as deal with some hard things emotionally, I never felt like he treated me like some “emotional woman,” which I’ve been passed off as before. He was also very honest, and I never felt like he sugarcoated things unless it were absolutely necessary.
Most importantly, he believed in me when I didn’t.
I am grateful for having met him. It takes one person sometimes to make a difference, and he always did.
The Doubter, The Skeptic
This man falls into so many categories, that I am not quite sure I like the above description. He was a myriad of things to me, both good, and god awful. We could have an amazing time, and then in the same night, he would lash out at me or do something absolutely rude and unkind. We were never partners, but rather partners in crime.
I remember during one of his angry mood swings, for some reason or the other, he told me I would never graduate from college.
“You can’t graduate from college…no. You’re not a good writer either.”
I don’t believe he ever graduated from college or even went, but I still felt crushed. I had dropped out of school to act, and was considering reapplying to school to finish my bachelor’s. I guess he found the idea ludicrous for some reason or the other. Maybe it’s because he had never finished, or that he only thought of me as the wild card he hung out with. A sexy girl, but not much else. We had conversed plenty about deep subjects, but I don’t think that was how he viewed me.
A year or so later when he came to visit me at Columbia, he sat in a chair and looked around my small dorm room.
“I’m proud of you. I really am.”
He may have, but I hadn’t forgotten what he had said. I wanted to thank him. Thanks to him, I was inspired to prove him wrong, and I am grateful that I did.
The Bi-polar Coke- head Boss
Everyone has had a coke-head Bi-polar boss, right? Okay, so hopefully no, but this dude was certifiably both an unmedicated bi-polar coke-head, and apparently, a relationship expert.
He asked me if I had ever been engaged. Apparently he had broken off his 5th or 10th engagement, no doubt due to one of his manic or narcissistic mood swings. I was 27 at the time, and hadn’t been. When I expressed this, he told me how fucked up I was…and a nobody. He liked to insult me, and then compliment me later, when he was feeling less manic.
Really, he was a no-good jerkoff who didn’t care about anyone else but himself, however, I really enjoyed the few times I told him off. It felt good to put the little bastard in his place, and taught me that I am capable of not taking shit.
Little Boy at the Mall
When I was about 18, some little boy came up to me and asked me if I had a boyfriend. He was three years old approximately, and he approached me outside of a department store. His mother stood close by.
“Excuse me,” he said, in this squeaky but well articulated voice,”do you have a boyfriend?”
“No,” I said, being honest. I doubted I would find one anytime soon also.
“Well, can I be yours?”
I said yes, when he was older, and just ate up his little smile. It made me feel so good, and I thought it was so sweet, that I still remember this to this day.
Look, I couldn’t have ended my blog with the coke-head, so little boy had to do.
Until next time, when I will discuss more influential men from the past…
For now, I will be running after my Ice Cream Man. How many of you think he might dare to take me home?