This post, like several of my others, has nothing to do with food. More specifically, it has to do with a series of conversations that have taken place between my girlfriends - guys were often present too - that I got nominated to document, probably because I'm the one with a blog & no one wants to try to walk around with this list in their purse. It's not meant to serve as an endorsement of certain males, nor does it take into account personality type, level of function, intelligence, or other factors that need to be considered when dating/hiring/collaborating. It really serves as a sort of Minimum Standard checklist, so we know who we're dealing with in business, relationships & life.
If you think you may get offended, stop here. If you have a comment to add, go for it. Guys - if you choose to read this, you're welcome to argue, but we're pretty sure we're right (of course we are.) If you're interested in knowing what we're looking at, here you go.
Telltale Signs of Manhood, aka: How to Tell if You're Dealing with an Actual Man.
Dress: Men wear straight leg or slightly boot cut jeans, without any bling. If anything about his backside makes you think "Hollywood" - this is not a man. Of course we prefer dark-wash, but light jeans are OK, as long as there's no crazy bleach-business going on. Men also own at least one blazer or sport coat, a jacket without a team logo on it, and they own no more than 12 pairs of shoes unless there's a reasonable explanation (like, he has hobbies/duties that require footwear, he dresses up for work, etc. 20 pairs of Nikes to match his Tshirt collection doesn't count, this isn't the Jersey Shore.)
Grooming: Men have no more than 3 hair-styling products, and no more than 3 cologne options (although we're unanimously fans of the signature scent.) He'll wear enough cologne so that you experience it during hugs, but it never enters the room before he does. A man has a haircut that makes some sort of sense, and unless he's an Olympic swimmer, he manages his chest hair in a distinctly male way - no waxing involved.
Events & Cocktails: Men regularly drink beer, wine or cocktails with no more than 2 mixers (and none of them are grenadine. Omg.) Bourbon + water, vodka + soda, scotch neat = good. Appletini, Midori Sour, anything involving the blender? Questionable. Men should bring wine, chocolate, flowers or some other gift to most anything they've been invited to (it shows appreciation, and we get to think about them standing in line at Trader Joe's.) If a man doesn't know how to dress for something, he'll ask before showing up.
Commitment to Life: Men are aren't afraid to commit to the important stuff in their lives (we aren't talking dating here.) They have career paths, hobbies that require time & investments, they hang stuff on their walls because they're paying a mortgage or are renting a space they intend to stay in for more than 15 minutes - and unless there's some sort of caregiver situation going on, that space does not include their parents.
With Women: Men will judge women based on their actual individual abilities, personalities or interests, not what they "know about women." When a man meets a woman who owns a business, house or a sports car, he won't immediately assume she got it from her husband, boyfriend or in a divorce. Men are comfortable with some level of femininity, and they're willing to let girls be girls. A man will never, ever use the words: "You're too smart" and mean it.
In Dating: Men don't cheat, they have the wherewithal to speak up if something's wrong, and to leave a bad scene without the guarantee of something else. They call if they want to see you. They make room in their already-full life for dating, and they're looking for someone who also has a full life, because everyone needs their own friends & interests. Men know what they want, and they're willing to be clear about it.
There it is, ladies - I think I remembered everything. Much love to Mindy Kailing, our guy friends, brothers, cousins & a couple of husbands for tolerating & adding to this collective thought line - and to our dads, in general.