(Im)possible Standards: Part Two

I recommend reading Part One first.

In high school, I refused to date. This might have been just as well, because I don’t know if I could have had I tried—I was just really weird in the there-aren’t-a-bunch-of-other-weirdos-just-like-me kind of way. For inspiration in my commitment to singleness, I relied heavily on Beatrice from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, fully equipped with witticisms and snarky quips. However, as is the case with Beatrice, this was all posturing and had little to do with how I actually felt. I liked boys just fine and definitely wanted to get married some day.

However, there is a kind of power in being flippant and biting. You insert yourself into the human hierarchy this way. Those less equipped at wit must take their place lower than you and remain quiet onlookers to your verbal sparring, during art class when the teacher leaves the room for more than twenty minutes at a time. Anyone who ventures into this foray had best be well prepared, lest she be forced to creep back into sedges and tend her wounds.

Unlike other people who just have a mental list of desirable qualities, I actually wrote mine down and would refer to it if there was a boy who struck my fancy. And contrary to Beatrice’s catch 22, my impossibly long list of essential qualities that a man must possess in order to be worthy of me was made in complete sincerity. Most of the things that made the list were in the interests category: Shakespeare, fashion, poetry, language, dancing. Then there were other things regarding values and the number of children he’d prefer. This list took up pages.

Of course, in the process of growing up and discovering how to be human along with experiencing disappointed expectations, I realized that ideally, it boils down to something pretty simple:

Find someone kind.

(Im)possible Standards: Part One

“…but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that’s certain; wise, or I’ll none; virtuous, or I’ll never cheapen her; fair, or I’ll ever look on her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what color it please God.”
-Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

I often ask myself, why did Shakespeare stop there? Those are but a few of the requirements for any qualified suitor. There is so much more that is absolutely essential to tempt me.

Essential Qualities that a Man Must Possess in Order to be Worthy of Me

He should also have an insatiable appreciation for the arts, like underwater basket weaving and car wash bumper sticker art.

He has to have read The Story of Ferdinand and the entire Curious George canon, every version of The Three Little Pigs, and hate Harold and the Purple Crayon, until he’s read through to the end. He has to love Green Eggs and Ham, until he’s read it through to the end (I mean gross, Sam I am).

He must shop exclusively at Kohl’s and only wear one pair of shoes, except under extreme duress, like when he needs to prove a point or has been captured by dragons who breathed fire on the other pair he had.

He needs to have space monkeys and an Elvis suit for his black Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix. He needs to be a cat person (he only adopted the dog because it looks kind of like a cat and because it belonged to his best friend who tragically died in a freak gasoline fight accident).

When he says he likes long walks on the beach, he had better mean the entire coast of Chile. Or he could just hate beaches and have a really poor sense of direction.

He needs a completely disproportionate hobby, preferably one that takes up the entire guest bedroom and occasionally occupies his dining table, and maybe part of his roof, or a hobby that is a boat.

He has to sniffle with just one nostril at a time.

He must obsessive-compulsively say every word that an acronym stands for three times each, in alphabetical order, uncollated.

He has to be a wizard, or if he’s not he should be descended from one. He should also be descended from some kind of large predatory mammal like a lion or tiger or a cougar or a cheetah or a leopard or a wolf or a griffin or a lynx (this is not even an exhaustive list).

He has to be a master weaver and cottage cheese maker.

He has to know the answer to ALL the riddles.

He has to smell like naked trees shrouded by fog.

He has to pine for the simpler days of his youth, now 197 years ago, when adulthood is just too complicated and hard, even though it’s really just post hoc nostalgia and his childhood was terrible at the time. They didn’t even have summer back then.

He has to pretend to hate most dairy products because of being self conscious about the way they make him smell.

He has to be a chameleon.

He has to own an iguana that just swallowed an entire salamander and is now eyeing his Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix.

He has to think dry elbows are sexy—not the most sexy, just enough.

He has to know how to complete the following sentences:

Since today is our last day on Earth, I hope________________.
Cardboard boxes are best used for__________________.
The main thing cellphones and syphilis have in common is___________________.

Yes. Such a man would win any woman in the world, and I don’t think perfection is too much to ask.