I think I would make a really good man.
Well, in most ways, I probably wouldn’t. The idea of watching sports or an action movie for longer than 10 seconds makes me contemplate taking a blazing-hot iron to my face. If I see a mouse or rat in the house, far from stomping on it and tossing its feebly stirring body in the trash like my husband has done, I will seriously consider moving out over killing it or living with it. I like to take a long, meandering, psychologically revelatory time to say what I mean. I live in fear of having to fix a car or computer, carry something painfully heavy, punch someone, or threaten anyone with a weapon. And if the man I am in this hypothetical universe happened to be particularly attractive, the amount of time I would spend ogling myself in the mirror would probably lose me points with the other guys — and girls, for that matter.
But when Valentine’s Day rolled around, I would be the best dang man you ever saw.
I say this not to guilt men into doing more for their significant others on Valentine’s Day, or to imply I know what their wives and girlfriends are hoping they’ll do to mark the occasion, or even to give my endorsement to the frequently superficial, consumerist trappings of the holiday. And yes, I know that, as a woman, I too can and should get romantic and creative once in a while. I just think I personally would really get into it if the same expectations were placed on me that are traditionally placed on men for Valentine’s Day.
In the event that I’m already in some degree of commitment with the woman I’m spoiling — let’s call her call her something new-agey and unnecessarily spelled, like Kryss — and am confident of her returned affection for me, I’d like to think she wakes up to a flurry of fresh, multicolored roses and a fat, fuzzy teddy bear sitting on the foot of her bed, holding a 10-page, handwritten, largely fictionalized (in that it’s true, but metaphorical, with her ex as an ax-happy psychopath) account of how we met.
I see Man-Me not having to cook as a win for everyone, so when Kryss comes into the kitchen, she sees a lavish spread ordered to go from IHOP, drowning in various flavors of syrup and fruit compote. While we eat, I let her energetically analyze the infuriating actions of her co-workers, occasionally contributing with my own mind-blowing insights into the situation. This takes many hours, but the time seems to melt effortlessly away like the butter on our French toast.
When we finish psychoanalyzing everyone we’ve known in the last five years, because I called us both in sick, I take her to see a play about the complexity of human interaction in which at least one person dies poetically. And she can pay for the tickets if she wants, because I respect her independence. We order popcorn just so we can pelt the junior-high kids going to see Twilight with it. Then we take what she thinks is just a walk in the park, but, after stumbling upon a box of hand-picked See’s chocolates on the bench, she realizes it’s an elaborate scavenger hunt I’ve laid out.
Later, I take her to dinner at a restaurant with a dance floor, which we don’t utilize (it’s more about the atmosphere), and we get appetizers, lobster entrees and our own decorative dessert each. We accidentally (I paid them) bump into a horde of people we know there, in front of whom I present her with a pink-sapphire pendant.
And, after that awkward moment where she asks if I’m actually gay or a woman because I’m way too good at this not to be, I assure her I’m not and ask to borrow the pendant sometime. Now tell me I’d make anything but a stellar man.