Saturday, April 19, 2008
Nothing’s Sexier than a Guy Who Wants You
Warning, 4/17/08 “The Office” spoilers to follow!
First a bit of back story: A couple weeks ago my daughter broke up with her boyfriend of two and a half years. It was their second break-up: the other time was a year ago when her boyfriend called it off. It only took him like two weeks to beg her to take him back, to give him another chance, which eventually she did. He made a lot of promises, everything from quitting smoking eventually to marrying her eventually. Well, a year went by of her waiting for that ring, hoping he would change his various ways, and while at first it look promising, time told another story. Finally, when pressed, he admitted he didn’t really want to get married at all.
The “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” rule went into play, and now my daughter is single again, and surprisingly happy. There are worse things than being single, and one of them is being with a guy who doesn’t truly want you—at least not enough to compromise his other wants.
So, this past Thursday night my husband and I were watching “The Office,” and our favorite TV couple, Jim and Pam, were up to their usual charming hijinx all episode. Finally Jim mentioned, humorously, that he intended to propose to Pam—not right then, but eventually. This was the same line that had been used on my daughter, but somehow coming from Jim, we knew he meant it down to the soles of his feet. Or so we hoped, anyway.
Next scene, Jim is talking to the “fourth wall,” the cameraman, and tells him he really means it. He whips out a small black box, flips it open, and there’s the ring! He says he bought it a week after they started dating and is just waiting for the perfect moment.
Wow. If you’re wondering what my daughter thought of this, she hasn’t yet seen the episode as of this writing. But David and I couldn’t help sighing and wishing it had been Jim who was our hoped-to-be son-in-law.
My daughters’ generation abounds in commitment-phobes, much to the dismay of both my girls (the other one is just looking for a nice guy to go out with once or twice and they even balk at that). Too many of these young men simply don’t want to grow up and be responsible for a wife, a home, and possibly even children. They need their time for playing computer games, hanging out in bars, or watching sports. They need their money for iPhones, trips to Europe, and lots of beer. One figures they will eventually develop different priorities and start to see the value of nurturing a relationship with a long-term companion, building a home, and setting goals for significant personal achievements.
There’s that word again: eventually. Meaning not now, maybe later, maybe.
These same guys don’t have a clue what being a real man means. Masculine virtue—the kind that makes a male attractive to the opposite sex and admirable to his own—lies on the other end of the scale from “eventually.” It encompasses qualities like determination, responsibility, reliability, devotion, maturity and discernment. The virtuous male also recognizes the value in a good woman, a woman who has the qualities to make a happy and secure home with him, and wants her in a proactive way. Not just in a “hey, it’s cool, we’ll just hang out” way, but in a “let’s take the steps to make a real future together” way.
Which brings us back to Jim. He knows Pam well enough to have figured out the two of them can be happy together. His conclusion: Why not get married? Why not promise to spend the rest of their lives together? In fact, his excitement at the idea is obvious and infectious. Who can help but envy Pam, that a good man like this wants her so bad?
Jim Halpert has been pretty damn sexy for the duration of this show’s four seasons. But I think he reached new heights Thursday night.