Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good Advice from a Bad Boy

In mid July 2008 I had a lot of free time.  I lost my job and the kids were spending the Summer in Carolina with their father so I pretty much had one full entire month to sit around, evaluate my life, figure out what the hell just happened, etc.  I was writing some but I had no clue about the blogosphere as I know it today.  To occupy myself, I bought some books.  Novels, humor, entertaining reading.  nothing major.  But one book stood out for me.  The Manual.  By Steve Santagati.

The cover caught my eye across the bookstore.  Hot guy with I-dare-you eyes glinting over a smartass smirk.  hmmm?  what's this?  I crossed the room.  "A True Bad Boy Explains How Men Think, Date, and Mate - and What Women Can Do to Come Out on Top"  is that so, Mr. Santagati?  we'll see about that.  I flipped through some pages.  It looked funny.  Humorous I mean, not...unusual.  nevermind, you know what meant.  Anyway, it looked amusing, and common sensical and...I bought it.  And I ate the whole thing up immediately.

It was funny.  And common sensical.  And unapologetically straightforward.  It was a male point of view I had been missing for a while.  This guy wasn't trying to get me in bed.  He wasn't trying to avoid me.  He didn't know my X.  And wasn't married to a friend of mine.  Or old enough to be my father.  And he was telling me what guys look for in women, dating, sex, whatever.  All the things I'd forgotten.  or had old information about because I was too long out of touch with all the men I used to have as friends for this kind of stuff.

He wasn't some degreed professional quoting statistics and scientific terms about brain chemistry.  His tone was conversational and full of analogies and self effacing humor to which I related and found endearing.  He wrote like someone I could be friends with.

When I read Chapter 47, the Black Widow chapter, I saw myself.  Not myself at that time though.  At the time I read the book I'd put on 8 months of grief weight, just gotten fired and was in this weird victim headspace.  But in that chapter I saw the self I had been before.  The one who, at the age of16 years, wrote "Flirt to Live, Live to Flirt: A Survival Guide to Flirting for the Beginner" for my best friend because deargod she was awkward and she really didn't know how not to be.  That chapter reignited a spark I felt like I lost after life had kind of pummeled me.

Now, Steve's description of the Black Widow is pretty intimidating.  Unapologetically sexual, heavy on the nonverbal communication, excellent navigator of male territory and dressed with the intent to kill.  His version of this personality type is like my personality on steroids because holy crap that's a tall order to fill all the freakin' time.  It doesn't always come through...but my friends these days don't compare me to lava lamps and Venus Flytraps for nothing.  Black Widow.  I love it when things have names like that.

Reading that chapter, that whole book really, reminded me how attractive confidence is.  How it's okay to be unapologetic about who you are.  To be who you are out loud.  and I started to get my confidence back.  It encouraged me to not settle for whoever crossed my path just because I was bored or lonely or it was a slow TV night.  It made me want to invest more time in myself.  To have something to bring to the table if and when I ever did get involved with dating again.  And if the guys didn't want what I had to offer?  then they weren't worth my time.  really?  I don't have to change for someone else...for serious?  experts agree and stuff?  *exhale!*   (really though, that was a serious exhale moment for me at the weird.  anyway)

Obviously, reading that book was not the golden ticket to some crazy amazing dating life, because if you've been reading this blog for more than a minute then you pretty much know I'm perpetually single.  but it gave me a different outlook on being single. 

The Manual was basically a well-timed smack upside the head is what I'm saying.   If you're a woman stuck in a rut and willing to take a look at yourself through the eyes of a guy who is kind of extreme about how much he loves life and women (and himself...which I don't have a problem with) yet is everyday enough to edit a typo you might point out in his blog [skyward looking whistle] ...then you might find The Manual useful. 

Or not.  Really.  Totally your call.  I mean, feel free to fight each other to the death over some idealized fantasyland dreamscape of what romance should be according to whatever Danielle Steele, Nicholas Sparks or the next Twilight novel has to say if you'd rather.  I'm just offering up an alternative is all.

He's got a website Bad Boys Finish First, and if you want to get me something for Christmas, I'll take the Side Saddle t-shirt.  Purple writing.  Size small.  thx.  But mostly I pay attention to his blog, Ask Steve Santagati. Depending on your circumstance, you may think he's oversimplifying, or oversexualizing things, but for my demographic, he's shooting from the hip.  He's talking honestly from a real life single male perspective and I appreciate that.

And he's nice to me.  So I'm feeling pretty loyal.  And even though his blog post today went in a totally other direction from the question I asked, I still feel certain that he will applaud the surgical precision with which I dispatch of the dude who keeps texting me even though I never gave him my number.

Little League field.  Saturday.  3 o'clock high.  It'll be like a movie scene where the guy gets sliced in half but it's such a clean cut he takes a few seconds to slide apart.  Because I'll smile so pretty he won't know what hit him til after the blade is back in its sheath.


Anonymous said...

I'm getting that book.

Silver said...

oooo! yep. you'll like it.