I’ve seen the shirt/bumper sticker/mug which reads “I need a man like a fish needs a bicycle”, and – while it gives me a giggle at the imagery and a chance to be grateful for my suffragette and feminist forebears - I don’t agree. Well, not wholeheartedly. I don’t need a man. But I sure wouldn't mind one.
Since my Segullah post two months ago, a phrase has been bumping around behind my eyes – “A hard man is good to find”. I've been thinking about it, trying to clarify and distill my reasoning, attitudes and motivations behind the sentiment. So here goes.
First, I like physically hard men. No, no sniggering thanks – I mean the physically fit and muscular variety. Case in point: Jason Statham.
Yes, I realise he can’t really act (unless he’s not actually that frowny, stern and cheeky in real life, in which case he’s an impressive actor) but I don’t watch his movies for the acting. What I like about him (and Marky Mark and Dwayne ‘Used-to-be-The-Rock’ Johnson) is the amount of work and dedication they have put into getting their bodies into such incredible shape. I have had people openly scoff when I’ve said it, but it’s true. I know, from Kung-Fu, BJJ and my nursing studies just how much goes into creating a physique like that. You can’t cut corners, or take an easy route, or get in a body double – it takes daily, repeated and determined effort to make it happen. It involves pain, isolation and breaking of barriers (physical, mental, social and emotional) to keep at it, and pure stubborn determination to do what is required over and over and over again. A movie goes for what, two hours? Some movies require months (meaning over four at least) of all day, every day training and insanely strict, clean eating to get the beginning of results like Statham shows. I watched Death Race, and had to stop the movie when it showed Statham doing the reverse hold pullups.
See the definition in all those muscles? That takes more work and determination than I can get my head around ANYONE doing. For that movie Statham trained daily, and only ate proteins, veggies, some fruits, berries, nuts and a little dairy. That’s IT. For over four months. That’s dedication to a goal. (He was also a member of the British Olympic Diving Team. The guy is a machine. A very nicely packaged and accented machine.)
And I can appreciate that effort - and the results - both intellectually and aesthetically. You know about late November, with the new James Bond movie? Yep, I will be there, ready to enjoy the view. And Daniel Craig's accent. A physically hard man is good to find.
I don’t imagine what it’d be like being with the guys on the screen. Not a kiss, not a dance, nothing. (Actually: I would like to poke Dwayne “Was Once The Rock” Johnston’s bicep, now that it's bigger than my head, because I’m intrigued to know what the composition of such muscle hypertrophy would be, particularly due to the anaerobic exercises used to create it and the lack of natural use for the muscle grouping. So that’s the only thought I have about actually touching any of the guys I cheerfully watch on screen.) Again, people have openly scoffed, saying “Yeah, RIGHT!” but it’s true. I truly – and deeply – appreciate a well-defined male body. And, not to put too fine a point on it, a screen is as close I’m getting to action (fictional or otherwise).
I'd written all that, was still trying to work out something which was scratching insistently behind my ears, catching my earrings in its claws, demanding attention and naming. It wasn't working. But I was still trying to identify what my problem was. Shortly after I wrote it, during a conversation with Tasha, a mention was made about sex, and we began giggling. Gasping, Tasha squeaked “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m here moaning about having to wait a couple of days while you” and here we both cracked up, hunched over the kitchen sink we were laughing so hard.
“I just have to wait a little bit for dessert-“ she tried again through her giggles.
“-while I’m looking at another bowl of nothing.” I gasped out, laughing so hard I was crying, “Going home to a BIG bowl of nothing.”
We sniggered and snorted and carried on for a bit longer, then wiped our eyes, fanned our faces and tried to act somewhat mature and intelligent when Arn ventured back into the kitchen. Eventually, after playing a couple of rounds of Mhing, the boys and I returned home. Scripture reading, family prayer, then the boys tumbled into bed, sleep tangling their limbs amongst their sheets, doonas and dreams when I kissed them both an hour later before I gave the day up as done.
Wandered into my room, into bed, thinking about the evening and the sometimes ocean vastness of my bed. In the middle of my prayers, musing about what “my type” was or is, when HA! Your type is who I show you it is curled around me, cheeky and comfortable. Suddenly realising that what I want in a man is different than any other time in my life. The truth foamed up, filled my sight, sleeked the ragged edges of my worrying, catastrophising mind.
I want who the Lord is preparing for me. And I know whoever he is – and everything associated with the mad, stupidly insane adventure – will work out just fine.
I want to have a face as constant and welcoming as a sunrise on the pillow beside mine. I want someone who wants to share my life, my faith and my pillow, and my kids, and wants to share their own life, and their faith and family with me. I want to be familiar with the scars, preferences and sprawl of the man I share myself with. I want to know the whorl of the hair on his arms, the scent of his skin, the sound of his laughter and the warmth of his kisses.
I want a hard man, who will stand up and say “No.” To state no for my own good, or the good of my sons, or about the decisions I may be considering. A man to tease me with his “no”, based firmly in his understanding and love of me, and my (in his eyes) misguided appreciation for a product, or movie, purchase or idea. Someone who will stand up for me, defend me, insist that I be treated well by friends and family alike. Someone who will argue with me, get annoyed and frustrated with me, then pray with me, for me, beside me.
I want him. I want that experience, all of it.
And from that moment of realising that’s what I wanted, I felt the push to ask the certain guy out on a date. In no way am I saying, hinting, insinuating or implying that this date is of celestial import and significance. It’s more that God was just waiting for me to see a little clearer, the better to discern for myself what my secret hopes and desires are, so He could then step in and let me watch a tiny miracle unfold right there in the creases and surprised open arms of my own life.