Guest Post: Christian Correa @correacomedy Writer/ Comedian. Moved to LA. Grew a beard. Bought a flannel. I’m almost there.
“I’m looking for Captain Hook in a town of Peter Pans” – Anonymous Facebook Friend
I saw this posted the other day and, overlooking the fact that Captain Hook was a (fictional) murderous, swindling douche, I completely get what this young lady was saying. She want’s a man. Not a boy. Reasonable request, but what does that mean?
To be honest, on the surface it’s hard to tell nowadays. We live in the age of the Man Child, and Los Angeles is the epicenter. Never been to L.A.? Let me give you a quick rundown: Unemployment is the hot new job, not having a car is admired, and looking like a homeless junkie get’s you laid like nobody’ biz. The fact that someone is a successful, stand up guy is no longer readily apparent, and the lines between “Man” and “Man Child” are being blurred quicker every day. (See every musician, comic actor, sports star, etc. Except Derek Jeter. That guy is all class!)
Gone are the days of the muscle man kicking sand in the ninety-pound weaklings face. That ninety pound weakling is now fucking a supermodel. And good for him! It means we’ve moved beyond what a stereotype of what a “man” should be, and that is progress. The fact that your boyfriend borrows your pants and sobs every time Bon Iver comes whining out of his Ipad is no longer a deal breaker, and I’m perfectly fine with that. What makes this town awesome is the inherent weirdness of its people and their ever-amusing fashion choices. So whether you ladies prefer scrawny or brawny is up to you, and I shall not judge.
So how do we separate the men from the boys? Physically, it’s impossible. I do, however, believe there are a few things that, from the ironic moustaches in Silverlake to the sleeveless T’s of the Jersey Shore, should hold true for men across the board. These are more virtue/ value driven traits, and should serve as the frame that your man can then decide to hang whatever costume he wants over the top. It’s by no means a complete list, but it’s a good place as any to start.
Here’s my top 4:
He does what he says, when he says it.
Yeah, L.A. is it’s own little beast of a town, and because of the “time is money” aspect of the industry, and everyone’s schedule being reliant on someone else’s schedule not going off the rails, some flexibility is warranted. But this is getting Goddamn ridiculous, right? Late for everything, last minute cancellations, unfulfilled plans. You have to give this guy a wider window of time than the cable guy, just to meet for coffee. They say “actions speak louder than words”, but this one sure can scream!
I call him “the boy who cried ‘I’ll let you know’ “, for his inability to commit to anything for fear of missing something else. And by him, I mean me. I was the fucking worst, until I realized that some of the people I would continually make and break my vague plans with were no longer around. (And who isn’t more appealing to be with than someone who’s unavailable? Am I right, Laaadiiees!?) Seriously though, once you’ve actually had to watch someone’s trust and respect towards you visibly drain out of their eyes and soul, hopefully you’ll pull a 360 on that shit. Quickly.
Bottom line, if you’re always playing second fiddle, whether it’s to their career, “craft”(ugh. Just say “acting”), or another person, then find someone else’s fiddle to play with. I don’t think wanting your man to be trustworthy, punctual and reliable is too much for you ladies to ask for. Hell, if men were cars, this should come standard in the “base model”, along with manual windows and AM/FM radio. But it doesn’t, and sometimes you have to drive him around for a bit to figure out it’s a lemon. At that point, don’t feel the least bit bad trading that turd back in.
He has goals, is working towards them.
Passion is sexy. Ambition is admirable. That 6 on the street quickly becomes a 9 or 10 the minute he or she gets onstage and does their thing. Your boyfriend wants to be the next Kurt Cobain? Great! Is he out there singing till his throat is raw and being all angsty night after night, or did he just buy the cardigan and forget to shave?
Sure, we may live in a town full of the latter, but the former are not hard to find. They’re the ones living their dreams, not talking about them. The unknown comedian honing his act every midnight, five grueling minutes at a time. The singer bearing his soul for 3 random strangers on a Monday night. Even the Med School student, who hasn’t had time to keep up with the Kardashians because he has to spend every waking hour nose deep in an anatomy book. Whatever their goals or aspirations, applaud them. Compliment them. Know Photoshop? Offer to help make their next show flyer. Because not only is ambition awesome, it’s also contagious. I dare you to hang out with people making shit happen and not get swept up in the current of “I can!”. Build each other up into the successful people you strive to be, because sometimes the act of getting there is the most rewarding part.
Now, can I sit here and promise that in 10 years he won’t leave you for the 23yr old hairdresser he met on his latest blockbuster? I cannot (this is L.A.), but that’s not of your concern right now. Just be proud that you’re standing by your man (or woman. This is L.A.), enjoy the ride, and if he ends up banging his secretary, enjoy the alimony as well.
He stands up for you/ himself / strangers
My buddy Chris once woke up in a grocery store parking lot. Relaxing afternoon nap? Nope. Apparently he had just tried (and painfully failed) to get a very large man to stop fighting with his very small girlfriend. No one was there, he had no need to do it, but he did. Did it all work out as planned? I think his dental bill would say “no”, but it’s not always about results. This guy has a moral code, invisible to you and me, but real enough to provoke action when challenged.
Now, this isn’t just about his willingness to fight for you, and PLEASE don’t be the girl who’s yap trap gets him pummeled because you’re drunk and think Marines are “fags”. It’s about him having conviction, whether it’s over a simple disrespect, social or racial injustice, or anything he believes in enough to take a stand. He doesn’t have to be the caped crusader, or start a neighborhood vigilante club, he just needs to let you, and the people who disrespect/ cross his line, know that it will not be accepted. Even if it occasionally means using his face to block punches. That’s just your perfect excuse to break out that “slutty nurse” costume from last Halloween and tend to his wounds.
He can do at least 1 pull up.
Yeah I said brawn wasn’t necessary, but c’mon dude? You can’t do one fucking pull up!?
DISCLAIMER: (This “Man Test” is by no means the be all end all of manhood, but a good general map to keep you from getting lost in a sea of wasted time and energy. Give it a shot, and soon you’ll be able to spot the “boys” after just a few minutes of pointless banter, at which time you can move on quickly and confidently. Who knows, maybe you’ll find that Captain Hook you’re looking for? Just a reminder, as I covered in paragraph one, he is a swindling DOUCHE, not to mention a bit “rapey”. But you gals sure do like a bad boy, don’t ya? Ahhhh, well that my friends is an entirely different post, one we’re sure to tackle at a later date…)
Christian Correa @correacomedy
Writer/ Comedian. Moved to LA. Grew a beard. Bought a flannel. I’m almost there.