I’m laying here on the bed, looking up at the ceiling, and I can’t move. Not after what some chick named Lady J just put me through. My body is beaten. My back is battered. My biceps are bruised. Physically, I am a broken man. But mentally? Well, that’s a whole different story, now. Mentally speaking, I owe Lady J for that little show-and-tell thing she did for me after physically having her way with me like she did for 2 whole days. I suppose I also owe it to my fellow man to share her tricks as well. It kinda makes me feel my suffering was not in vain if we can salvage something out of it and make the world a better place, ya know.
So yeah, Lady J happens to be a dear friend of mine who moved out of her old place into a much better one and I’m damn proud of her. I also happened to be the only person who showed up to help her move, so I’m feelin’ it today. I single-handedly packed all her furniture, beds and belongings out of her old place, loaded it into a U-Haul truck, and then lugged it all up 3 flights of stairs to her new place.
What? How did you think I got so roughed up by a chick named Lady J?
So we get it all inside and start the task of putting things where they need to go. While I’m in her kids’ bedroom putting their beds together, she’s engaged in the important business of getting settled into her nice, new place. After hearing several “Oh my God!” and “Is he serious?” comments coming from the living room, my curiosity got the better of me. I dropped my tools and wandered out of the bedroom, down the hall, and plopped down onto the very couch I was cursing an hour ago as I tried to get it through the doorway after lugging it up 3 flights of stairs.
“What are you looking at?”
“Oh my God, these guys online. It’s like…DAMN!”
Well now, it appears Lady J is taking a break from moving and decided to try checking out all the new and nearby dudes on whatever site it was. I seriously needed a break and couldn’t pass up the chance to sit with her and listen to her side of this sordid story. No way was I missing that. Her kids can sleep on the floor tonight and I’ll come back and finish the job later. I’ll even bring some Twinkies and Twizzlers with me, so it’ll be fine.
So we’re sitting there and she’s looking at all the various men on display and it’s not looking like she likes what she sees. I mean, she’s got this look on her face like she’s looking at a toilet that needs to be flushed. I ain’t gonna lie, it was kind of amusing, looking at her as she looked at the men. I glanced down at the screen and asked what the deal was.
“Look at these guys. All lookin’ hard and street and thugged up. They look stupid.”
Again, I ain’t gonna lie. She was right. It looked like an array of mug shots from Crime Stoppers. I was tempted to call, just to see if there was a reward for “SexyRomeo” or “heetseeker”.
I’ll turn them in and take the money for it; no problem with that on my part. Then, I’ll just turn around and use it to hire movers next time she decides to put me through that mess again. They can deal with her stuff. Better them than me, ya know. So, sitting there lookin’ at these guys, ya know what it reminded me of? This one time I was holding The Houston Chronicle and accidentally dropped it on the floor and it scattered everywhere. As I was picking it all up again, my eyes just happened to catch the sex offenders notification shoved way in the back and then I stopped, stared, and started laughing hysterically at what I saw. Now, don’t get me wrong here – there’s nothing funny about registered sex offenders and the section devoted to making the public aware. Nothing funny about that at all.
It enters the realm of funny when you personally know one of the guys whose mug shot you’re looking at and suddenly realize when he left work for 2 years and then came back it wasn’t to start his own business like he said it was. He got locked up and here’s his mug shot to prove it. Whoa, man.
So yeah, she’s lookin’ for men to date and I’m having a flashback to when I found out my coworker was a registered sex offender. Hey, mug shot/profile pics have a way of haunting you like that.
Now see, I’ve got my own personal theories when it comes to us men and our profile pics. Check out my avatar sometime when you feel the need to punish yourself and you’ll see what I’m talkin’ about. It pretty much personifies all that I deeply believe, cherish and hold dear when it comes to profile pics. Anyway, all my theories and pontificating aside, I kept my mouth shut and just listened to what she liked, and far more interesting, what she didn’t like. Yeah, I’m kind of a cyber-sadist when it come the online suffering of others. I’ll let these guys suffer while she lays it out for my benefit.
And yours too…heh heh.
“What’s wrong with these dudes? They look okay to me.”
“Okay. First thing, keep your damn shirt on. No one wants to be lookin’ at you all half naked in your bathroom. ”
(That was the censored version.)
And yeah, she’s right about that. I lost track of how many dudes had their shirts off doing the bathroom mirror selfie thing. Lots. It felt like I was in a locker room seeing so much bare man all up in my face like that. Except they all had smartphones in their hands and hung out by the mirrors, but we ain’t here to talk about the nuances of locker room culture do’s and don’ts.
“What’s wrong with that? He looks decent enough. He’s not some big fat stinkyman.”
“Those guys are the worst kind. They don’t have anything else going for them so they just take off their shirt and think your gonna jump all over that.”
Yeah, I see what she means there. If he wants to intrigue you, captivate you or pique your interest, chances are he’s gonna come up with a pic that can spark a conversation or reveals something about himself. I guess if I had nothing beyond that to bring to the table, well…when all else fails take off your shirt and stand in front of the mirror in your dirty bathroom.
“OK, so shirts need to be on, huh? What else is stupid here?”
Lady J then proceeds to tell me about the “mean mugging sexy-ass wannabes”. Heh heh…I like the way that sounds. I think I’ll bust that one out next time I see someone who makes me think they are trying too hard to look hard and sexy all at once. Like the next time I see this guy…
The funny thing, it’s like I saw the same damn face show up on a great many multitude of different heads. I mean, like…all these guys have the same face! Seriously! Is there a course being taught out there on how to do this? Is there some sort of living meme here? Cuz it was rampant. That sexy-ass wannabe face just wouldn’t go away. And trust me, I tried! I tried so hard! But the worst part was the shirtless sexy-ass wannabe. For God’s sake, for Lady J’s sake, please put on a shirt and get rid of that face! It’s not a mug shot. Lighten up, relax and try to look like someone a lady would like to get to know.
Aside from that, everything else was rather mundane and boring when it came to pointing out profile pics. An old blurry pic that was next to worthless. A group pic where you’re supposed to play “Guess The Guy” and hope it’s the cute one.
Hint: It’s not. It never is.
Cute guys don’t wanna share the spotlight while the homely guys are hoping to ride the coat tails of their better looking compadres in the hopes of scoring something they wouldn’t achieve on their own otherwise. Then we had the guys with pics of them partying with a bunch of chicks or crappy crop jobs of pics of them partying with a bunch of chicks trying to look like they weren’t partying with a bunch of chicks. Yeah, I sat and looked at all that with her. Hey, it was either that or go back to putting the kids beds together. I maintain the smart thing to do here is chill on the couch and listen to Lady J preach the gospel of profile pics.
By this time I was curious to see what Lady J’s “do” list consisted of. I had a wicked idea I wanted to try so I tossed out:
“How about I pick 5 guys I think you would like and see how it matches the 5 you pick?”
“You’re gonna pick the ugly ones.”
(Again, that was the censored version.)
“No, I just wanna see how close we are here. Come on, let’s do it!”
So we had 5 minutes to mentally pick out our “Fab Five” for her. I was done in 2 but I gave her the full time allotment. I wasn’t gonna deny her the chance to pick her true love out of this mass of manly mess.
As for me, I went with the smilers. The decent dudes who looked relaxed, happy and like someone who had the ability to not only carry on a conversation, but could also make you laugh as they did it. Well, like they could make you laugh for the right reasons, ya know what I’m saying?
When time was up I made her sit there and check out my matches for her and listen to why I picked them. We broke these dudes down like a football coach reviewing game video. We went all the way from usernames, attire, writing ability and array of pics. Nothing was random. I was a man with a plan and that plan was pick a man for Lady J. She agreed, nodded, shrugged and was overall just kinda “meh” about it. My stable of stallions didn’t exactly wow her but they didn’t disgust her either. I came up with 2 that she thought were okay, and one of those just barely.
Now for her picks – and I was dying to see this!
Pick #4…you little perv.
Pick #5…I never saw this guy coming.
I never saw any of them coming. She definitely established a trend that I was not aware of but it made sense to me once she explained it. And after she did, I was damn proud of her. See, the guys I picked were all her age within a year or so. (I shall not divulge the exact age of Lady J but suffice it to say she’s a bit younger than I am. Like…more than 15 years.) The guys she picked, they were mature men. Established men. Reliable and responsible men who brought something to the table, or at least communicated that they did in a way she picked up. Lady J is done with a certain type of guy and I’m sure the ladies amongst us are aware of who that type of guy is. She’s ready to move on and is looking for someone she can count on. A man she can count on. After knowing her as long as I have, rolling my eyes at her as long as I have, pouring her Crown while trying to talk about 401ks with her as long as I have, I didn’t know she had made that transition from Shirtless Selfie Sexy-ass Wannabe Guy to Mr. Established Man. Like I said, I’m damn proud of her!
So…we all know what she didn’t like, but on the other hand, what drew her in? What pics caught her eye and communicated to her what she wanted?
So I asked.
And she answered. Sadly, I have to paraphrase her answer, but I think she’s pretty clear on this…
Men who looked like “men”. Not a kid, thug, douche, or convicted felon, but a man who was aware of and cared for his appearance, whatever it may have been for him. Their age was not a factor here; they ranged from early 30s to late 40s. Her determining factor was how this man presented himself as a man. She was drawn to a subdued and controlled confidence that denoted maturity and not an overstated macho display that took the opposite path. She was drawn to a man who gave the impression that he was caring and responsible and knew how to handle himself in public and private. The type of man whose priority was a provider and protector, who would comfort her rather than cause the problems that grieved her.
I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I sat there thinking, “Hmmm, ‘manly men.’ Now, where have I heard this conversation before?”
So gents, when Lady J and a great many others like her are looking at the pictures we choose to portray ourselves to strangers, they see intangibles that reach beyond the visual of the picture itself. We guys don’t always pay as much attention to the details that the ladies do, but we should. Or at the very least make an attempt to. They see what we say about ourselves without us even uttering a word. They see exactly what we tell them and the camera don’t lie. They have a way of seeing things we don’t – looking beyond our eyes and smiles and seeing the spirit that lies beneath them, the manner we choose to present ourselves to the world, our surroundings and the emphasis we likely place upon them – and get a pretty good idea of what our priorities are. These intangibles show up in ways we aren’t even aware of and ladies can and will pick up on them quickly and make her decision from there.
Now, excuse me while you guys go and put your shirts back on, step out of the bathroom, and ditch the Crime Stoppers mug shot face. I’m gonna go check my avatar and critique it Lady J style. Gotta make her as proud as she made me.