Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some Of What Makes Mr. Right ...

Last night, I had a dream about my friend Steve. A long, protracted dream. I tend to remember my dreams in great detail, so I was mulling it over this morning and it got me to thinking about his many good qualities, qualities I hope to find in an available man someday. Mind you, if Mr. Whomever doesn't embody every one of these qualities, I won't write him off, but they're nice-to-haves.

Which made me think that Steve's qualities and those of other male friends would make a handy list for my male readers who might be interested in male-female relations and what goes on in our girly heads. They're presented in no particular order, except for the last item, which is the last item because almost no man does it these days and because, for me, at least, it's the epitome of manners.

(I'll add to this list as others come to me. I haven't had any coffee yet this morning, so my brain might be holding back in protest.)

Opening doors/holding doors. Pretty obvious, but even this nicety has fallen by the wayside. And because of its rarity, it's a pleasant surprise when it happens. And it's not just a male/female thing. I routinely open doors for people or hold them for people coming up behind me. Still, when a guy does it for me, I'm touched.

Knowing something about food and wine. Granted, not every woman will care about this, but for those who do, finding a guy who can navigate a wine list and knows what to do when a bottle arrives at the table is pleasant indeed. Not that every guy must become an oenophile, but psst!, wine tastings are a great place to meet women. Beyond wine, though, a basic grasp of basic foodstuffs is a plus. I once went on a date with a guy who didn't know what a cappuccino was. In this Starbucks age we live in, is it too much to ask that a guy knows about cappuccino? He doesn't necessarily have to drink them, but he should at least know what it is.

Walking closest to traffic. While walking down sidewalks, Steve always walks closest to the street. If we exit a building and he's not automatically in the right position, he'll hang back a step and appear on my other side. When crossing the street, he makes sure he's walking closest to the traffic in motion. I've noticed that other guys do this, too. Points for them.

Extending a hand. Whether it's exiting a cab or stepping over a pile of snow or a puddle in the street, nothing beats a guy who goes before me then turns to take my hand.

Being kind. This applies to everyone in my life, because I won't associate with people who are rude. But simple acts of kindness still score big points in my book. Many years ago, my friend Rick and I were headed somewhere (probably to a bar) and a man in a wheelchair asked Rick if he could have a cigarette. Rick not only shook one of out his pack for the man but stopped and flicked open his lighter and cupped his hands against the wind so the man could light it. That moment is forever embedded in my brain. As a general rule (this used to be on my match dot com profile back in those days), you should treat the janitor with as much respect as the CEO.

And here's the swoon-inducer: Standing up when I leave or return to the table. I haven't had occasion to find out if Steve does this, too, but I have another friend who does, and the first time he did it, I nearly fainted it was so gallant. Yes, clearly, these men aren't in their 20s. They're old enough that they were taught such things by their fathers, back when such things were considered good manners.

Ladies, any others you'd care to add? Pop 'em into the comments and I'll amend the list (and credit you, of course) accordingly. Men, feel free to add your two cents, too, of course.


Blogger Tina said...

All of your are on my well as saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes.

I am teaching my son these qualities, so that the art is not completely lost.

9:42 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Your list seems very reasonable. I especially liked "being kind".

5:37 PM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

LOL. You know, I think I fill most of those except the food part (I know about wine and liquor...I am a Southerner after all...but not a thing about food). And I don't stand up when a lady leaves a table. I was taught that as a child (my godmothers wanted to make me the perfect gentleman), but sadly a long list of "liberated" women broke me of the habit...

Anyway, i think it is a fine list. If I were a woman, it's what I'd want in a man (except for the food part--not that important to me).

4:15 PM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

my dad stands up. (and doesn't leave the house without a tie and sport coat - he really is too cute) he is the only man I've met that does. outside of old B&W movies I've not seen it done anywhere else. sad.
my mother tells a story of one time out to lunch with my dad a group of her girlfriends spotted them and came over one by one just to see my dad stand up for each one on their arrival. (that comes out sounding mean, I hope that isn't the way they planned it. hmm)
there is a lot to be said for respect and manners. no matter who you are dealing with.

12:09 PM  

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