Tooth Fairy In The Making

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Real Man

A friend got exasperated and said,"You talk too much about what constitutes a real man. You do realize he does not exist, right?"

I've been wanting to write on this subject for a long time, but as it is a rather delicate topic, I've been putting it off, fearing to offend someone who might take it personally. So before I delve deeper into this subject, I must state here and now that I do not consider myself a real woman, and that in no way am I saying that I'm better than anyone or anything like that. I'm just outlining what an ideal man would be like in my opinion. Some other people will have other ideas, I'm sure.

Firstly, I know several guys that I would classify as real men, which means they do exist - in very limited quantities. Secondly, if you are not a real man now doesn't mean you can't become one in the future - I have seen guys grow into real men over the years.

So. What is a real man by my definition?

My non-serious requirement is that he must know how to fly a kite. In reality, that's pretty low on the priority list. There are lots of other more important things.

1. Integrity

I guess the easy way to say it would be someone who is a nice and honest guy. Not niceness to people he likes, but particularly to people he dislikes. In my opinion if you want to know what kind of person you're with, just listen and watch how he treats the waiter or the people around him.

We were at my apartment one day and on one of the doors, a notice was stuck telling the tenants that the property managers would like to have inspect their apartment at such-and-such a date. My friend ripped off the notice and threw it away.

"Why did you do that?" I asked, slowly.

"For fun." He chortled.

Not a real man.

2. Humility

Confidence is one thing, arrogance another. The real men that I have met are willing to listen to criticism, admit that they're wrong and most importantly - change. For example, if your friend says you really need to stop boasting about your accomplishments, consider if it's true before just ignoring the statement and refusing to address it.

3. Protective

A real man would not hesitate to ensure a woman is well cared for. Period. Maybe feminists out there are probably outraged that I would even suggest that women need protection and care, but this is my opinion.

One of my most memorable occasions was when I was at a chinese dinner seated with strangers. The guy next to me took it upon himself to make sure that I could get all the food that was on the table. When he asked me if I wanted some prawns, I declined (as many of you know, I do not eat seafood). He didn't know that and said,"Is it because you don't want to peel the prawn? Because I know lots of people avoid eating prawns because of it. If that's the problem, I'll peel it for you."

So yes. Walk the girl home. Hold the door open. Get rid of that inquisitive spider in her bedroom. Help her move her bookcase. If you go to the gym and spend hours lifting weights, surely that isn't too much to ask? If the girl says, "No, wth do you not think I can do it myself???" at least you offered - which is all that you have to do.

4. To pay or not to pay

This is one of the most highly contested subjects. Many a heated discussion has transpired over this. When a girl and a guy goes out - how does the bill get split?

As friends I think going dutch is perfectly acceptable, although I have had friends who will not let a girl pay, even in a friendly outing. I guess it really depends on what culture the person was brought up in. But in general, if you're just friends, going dutch doesn't make one lose one's manhood.

But if it's a first date and you intend to pursue the girl further, not taking up the tab is going to suggest to the girl that you just want to be friends and her company is not worth whatever her share of the tab is.

"I just want to make sure she's not taking advantage of me."

"I don't want give her the idea that by paying the first time I will be paying forever."

If she's what you thought she was (a nice person, which I am assuming is the reason why you decided to go after her), she'll probably offer to pick up the tab the next date or the date after. If she doesn't, blame your poor judgement.

That's the main general idea. I guess guys reading this are now thinking, "It's all very well that you expect us to be such-and-such, but why do guys have to soldier on with all these ridiculous requirements? What do we get out of it? And what about girls?? Don't they have to do something too?"

Well, for one you will be respected and trusted for it. No girl that has been treated well will ever forget it. Similarly, it's probably unlikely that a girl will forget a negative experience.

Secondly, of course girls have to do things too. Points no.1 and 2 are equally applicable to both men and women. What's no.3? I'm not particularly sure.

Perhaps a guy can come up with his list of what makes a real woman and enlighten us all.


2 comment(s):


By Anonymous Ann Gie, at 7/19/2008 7:18 PM  

I think that is all great advice. Thankfully, according to your list, I don't have to worry about much since I do most of it instinctivly.

By Blogger Orhan Kahn, at 7/29/2008 1:33 PM  

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