Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Praise And Awe Of Bad Boys Everywhere

Sometimes the things we want are the worst things for us. Case in point - there's a boy. Doesn't every story start that way? Isn't there always a boy?

This boy is a friend. Granted not a great friend, not the kind of friend you call when you're stuck by the side of the road or just need a guy you can count on. So really he's more like a good acquaintance. And though he's not the kind of friend I'd count on in a tight spot, I like hanging out with him nonetheless, because for all intents and purposes, this guy is like Kryptonite for my weak less than Superwoman nature. He's lethal, but in the most "going out with a smile on my face" kind of way. He's smart, crazy smart, and funny in a dry, witty kind of way. And he's charming, and knows how to make me laugh, and I can tell he likes to do so. He's cultured and we can talk about books, or music, or movies, or beer, or sports or anything really. Anything that is, except God.

You see, because for all of his good qualities, this guy just doesn't share a common faith, or any kind of faith with me, really. I'm not quite sure if he believes in God at all, but it's not just the belief factor that is a glaring difference between us. It's that he's opposed to the whole concept of religion and faith in general. He has the cynical dismissal that only comes from being burned by either church or church people. Ironically enough, I see so much of myself in his stubborn bitterness, because I was there once before too. I have to wonder if the more religion or faith is pushed at him, and the more he sees people who's empty faith only wounds with self-righteousness and ignorance, the further he's walked away from the concept altogether. And with experiences like that, who can blame him? Granted, when I was at that place in my life, I didn't have the same reaction as he did, choosing to get back in the ring and give my faith another try, then finding that choice justified in God's goodness and grace. But I can see his point, all too clearly, when it comes to this subject, and I would never fault him for the doubts and fears that he has. Sadly though, it still presents itself as a chasm between who we are, as two different people.

Now you might wonder what the problem with this lack of connection is? Why are his beliefs such a big deal? Well like I said, this guy is just like Kryptonite to me - in a very dangerous, very "bad boys are the hottest" kind of way. Yep, I've totally got a crush on him, and though we haven't seen each other that much in the last year or so, the frequency with which we have seen each other has increased a bit lately, and I can't get him out of my mind. I find myself wanting to see him more and more. And let's be honest here, I find myself thinking about him a lot, and sometimes that thinking is about how much I want to make out with him, just as much as how much I want to ask him if he's read anything good lately.

Now, I've never been the girl who goes for the bad guys! I've even gone so far as to defend, in male/female debate, the viewpoint that not all girls do like the bad guys, using myself as a case in point. Yet, for some reason, this guy, let's just call him C, gets under my skin, and sometimes for all the wrong reasons. His temper, his roughness, his plain old manly aggressiveness - instead of being great big warning signs, sadly these qualities are a huge turn-on. He's got the whole rough and tumble, devil may care, hockey player fighting up against the glass thing down pat. Yep, he's got it down good! And he seriously makes me want to catch a case of whatever he's got. Like right now!

Don't get me wrong though. Wasn't it Mae West who said "I generally avoid temptation, unless I can't resist it."? Well, that's not me. For as much as I am attracted to him in a primal, rush-of-danger kind of way, my heart and my conscience are winning the battle against my mind, and always will. The fundamental differences in our faith are overwhelmingly more important and more influential than any attraction ever could be. And the fact is, at the end of the day, it's only a little crush - and that's all it ever will be.

As far as crushes go, I've already been down the road of falling for the best guy I know, despite the fact that he never felt the same. At the end of the day there is no one I trust, respect or admire more than the best guy I know, nor is there anyone I would ever recommend with higher praise. But C, he's not that guy, nope, not even close. Sad though it is, he couldn't even hold a candle to the kind of honorable, kind man that is the best guy I know. And yet I still can see myself falling hard, and fast, and well dangerously hard for him. On paper there is nothing about him that would sell him, in comparison to the kind of guy that is the best guy I know. Matter of fact, when you put it all down, it's an easy win for the best guy I know. But who's looking at paper when you're strapped to the back of a motorcycle, wind whipping through your hair, throwing all your cares away, and riding away into the great big unknown? Paper, what paper?

Funny thing is, from a different perspective, from the viewpoint of a woman who's not at all concerned with faith or spirituality or God or virtue, this guy is a great catch, even for all his faults. Because, for all his faults, he's still pretty much an okay guy. He's got a stable job, is intelligent, and charming, and witty and talented and nice. He doesn't beat women, or rob convenience stores, or kick babies and he's not a total jerk. Yeah, he's got some issues, but really who doesn't? From any other viewpoint, women are probably out there looking at him and saying "Wow, what a catch" and they're absolutely right. I had a conversation with a mutual friend the other day, someone who's worked with both of us, and who knows him pretty well. I told her about this crush, and my attraction to him, and she said that he's definitely crush-worthy, and an awesome guy, and I should pony up and ask him out, and then make out with him. Oh how I wanted to take her ill-formed advice, but I digress.

Anyways, all this brings me to the question "What is it about bad boys?" Why do they hold such a deep, carnal appeal? For all their rebellious, heart breaking ways, why are us women so attracted to them? Moreover, if you were to line 'em up next to the best guys we know, despite the good guys being the cerebral, obvious choice, why is it that it's the bad boys that we want to run off with? They are not the best guys we know. Not even close. But in a hotness contest, could the best guys we know sweep us off our feet the way these bad boys do? Not likely.

Without getting too deep into the subject, I think a big part of it is that sometimes bad boys are willing to act. Willing to do. They are men of action - Straightforward, brave, bold, and brazen. The bad boys are the ones who will tell us our ass looks good in those jeans, and elicit a smile that we know we should probably hide. They're the ones who will dare us to follow our dreams (or sometimes theirs) leading us down a path - albeit even an unknown, scary and potentially dangerous one. They're the ones to do the things that the good guys just won't do, to take the action that the good guys just won't take, and to live the adventurous, exhilarating, thrilling life that the good guys just seem unwilling to live. Unlike the good guys we know, they're not paralyzed by some unnamed and unidentifiable fear or issue that keeps them just acting, well nice and good. They may steal their household paper products, but at least they don't have their mom buying that stuff for them still. Part, and this is just part really, of their great big appeal is just their willingness to do something, to put it out there and live with intention and passion, , and quite frankly that is just hot. Women like men who take life by the horns and ride it barebacked and bucking for 8 long seconds. Women like men of action, and of initiative, whether that's for the good, the bad or the ugly.

So, tonight, as I wrap up this post and head off to bed because the last of my White Russian is turning milky amongst the melted ice cubes, I raise a toast, no, a great big hearty "yeehaw" to C and all the other bad boys of the world. Without you guys our sense of adventure would lie dormant, our choices remain unchallenged, our raw womanly appeal would be under appreciated and our lives would be boring. Without you guys, we'd forget what it is to be desired, pursued, or to crave something we won't allow ourselves to have. Moreover, without you there'd be no standard to dare the best guys we know to live up to, no leverage to throw at them in a challenge to surprise us, nor anything to make us appreciate just how wonderfully reliable and nice they are. After years of denial, I can say truthfully I'm a fan of the bad guys, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. And that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

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