the revised version.

Last night I was sitting at Cat‘s with a glass of red in my hand and I started talking about writing a list of what I want in a man. I wrote 4 things down: 1. Laughs. 2. Thinks I’m beautiful and sexy. 3. Likes country music. And Clemson – even if it’s just because of me. 4. Snuggles.

I got stumped after that. Back in January of 2009 I wrote a blog post called “This may be why I’m single: The official what I want in a man list. (To be added to at any time.)” I hadn’t read through that list in quite some time so I pulled out the original list and began to read it out loud.

The girls agreed that from here on out I need to stick with the list. I figured I’d make some additions, print it, sign it, and frame it in plain view.

1. Be funny. I don’t care if your jokes are corny. In fact, the more better to run in stride with me. But laughter? Laughter’s key. I love to laugh. Laughing at yourself? Even better. Because isn’t that what life’s all about anyway? Don’t take yourself too seriously. Make a fool of yourself. I promise I will love you anyway – and probably more.

2. Like the outdoors. I don’t mean you should regularly use a latrine or holler at me “hey baby let’s go camping every damn day.” I want you to like it. In a conventional sense. Don’t be a lazy dud. Like the prospect of hiking. Tennis and golf. Football. Be the kind of guy that wants to get up early and get outside. I want to go paddle boarding. Take me. I want to go to the zoo and to Frankie’s Fun Park. Let’s go.

3. Yea, let’s get this straight: must love football. MUST. College football specifically. I don’t care what team you cheer for but cheer on. And none of this “southerners think too much of their college football teams.” I don’t want to hear it. Love it. And go to games with me. And drink beer. Mmm. And whether or not you grew up immersed in Clemson football or not, learn to respect it because it is such a big part of me. But, and there’s just one but, if I have a wedding I have to go to on a college football Saturday (gasp) and I want you to go with me, just do it. For me. Because I’ll have a hard time missing kickoff too.

4. Respect me. Not that you can’t slap my ass when you want. But I want respect. As in, listen to what I say. Don’t push me. Don’t take my feelings and toss them aside. And don’t be a jerk to me in front of others. Or in front of anyone. When I’m thirsty in the middle of the night and I say “water, please”? Please for the love of God just get it for me. When I ask a question, don’t make me feel dumb. Give me an answer. Don’t tell me that I should Google before I speak. Don’t make me feel small for not knowing something you think I should know.

5. Respect your family. I once, about a year ago, sat at dinner with a guy who told me about how much of a slack ass his brother was and how trashy his brother’s girlfriend was and yada yada yada. And you know what? It didn’t matter about anything else he said. Because it was not a friend talking casually to another friend about the same old shit. We were on a DATE. A first date, no less. And dating someone means dating their family. (Kind of. You know what I mean.) And he was just losing in all sorts of ways. Families can be tricky, I know, and they can affect you in all sorts of ways. But be kind to them and when you spend time with them, spend time with them (and not your phone).

6. Respect my family. Because I can tell you all sorts of stories – craaaazy stories – about my brothers, but you should know above all else that I love them unconditionally. And there’s a fine line to draw between sticking up for me when I’m in a verbal disagreement with my mother and making sure you don’t ever say anything negative about my wonderful mom. So I would start practicing tightrope walking now. Understand that my family may not be perfect, but they’re my family and even if you have the attitude of “this is who I am, love me or hate me” recognize that when you’re with my family you ARE supposed to try to impress them. And not use foul language in front of them. And say more than “oops” if you do. Please never make me fight my family to stand up for you or to make you happy.

7. Be accountable. This is big. If you say “let’s go to dinner next week”? Best take me to dinner next week. If you say “let’s slow down”? Best not mean let’s stop this dating-like game we’re playing and I don’t ever want to talk to you again. I am not a mind reader. And I don’t like having to overanalyze situations or read between the lines. With guys I want to take things at face value. So just freaking be accountable, be someone I can call so I don’t for the next 20 some odd years bug my brother in Gvegas when I might potentially have a nail in my tire or am running out of gas and need to find the location of the nearest Exxon. Or maybe don’t know what temp the thermostat can reasonably be on because I’m freezing and the roommate’s out of town. Be accountable to me. Please. If you tell me that it will work, that it’s the best thing for us, that all I need is strength and faith, know that I will take your word on that and give my all and please, more than anything, mean it and give your all too. I don’t need perfection all the time or everything at once, but I just want the promises to be kept.

8. Don’t drink too much. I mean, drink, and if you want to get drunk atleast be a fun drunk. Because there’s nothing worse than a guy with an alternate bourbon personality. Sketchiness while overindulged? Totally entertaining. Knowledge of what wine I should order or beer I should venture to equals an added plus. Also, the 5 to whenever happy hour? Big fan. Not every night, though. Particularly on the random weeknight.  Lots of points if you support this desire. I don’t need a drink with every meal. I don’t need a drink with most meals. And if you tell me you’re too ill to go to and party we’ve been invited to and I go alone and afterwards you want to go out to eat and order a beer, know that that will hurt my feelings, even if I never say it out loud.

9. Dance. Dance. Dance. Because I’m going to totally need a guy to lead me. To every kind of music.

10. Have your head on your shoulders. I’m really not into that “ooh I’m still coasting my way through Midlands Tech” guy. Or the one that wants to meet up at Sharky’s. Nor the guy that thinks I’m eager and willing to meet him at a friend’s house for a bonfire 30 minutes away from where I live every Friday and Saturday that he asks. And I mean EVERY. Nor even the guy that each time he sees me tells me about all his prospective job opportunities and how busy busy he is at work. Because I really don’t care all that much. Or – oh my – the ones that seem to think I give a damn that they know or work in some fashion with my father. Really, that’s awesome that you think he’s so awesome but he is my dad.  NOT IMPRESSED. Don’t get lost in work. I’m a girl that 100% believes that love conquers all and while I love ambition and success and security, I really do believe that when you love someone, when you have love in your life, when you put your faith in that and in God, all the rest will work itself out. What’s success if you’re alone, anyway?

11. Please be able to atleast grow facial hair. That is all.

12. Understand my need for J.Crew and Anthropologie as a part of retail therapy. And the occasional high Target expense. Which is why right now I am restricting myself from Target. As well as Barnes and Noble. Too bad I can’t seem to restrict myself from online shopping. Damn computer. Bonus points if you surprise me with gifts from any of the aforementioned stores (or others) sporadically. You should know that “I don’t know how to shop for you” doesn’t get you very far as an excuse.

13. Have religion. Because, and just personally, the whole apathetic/agnostic/atheist stuff does not go far with me. I’m not requiring you to pick a political party (though small judgements can be made if you favor certain politicians over others). But I do think, that for a relationship’s sake, I’m going to have to ask that you love sweet baby Jesus. And no, you best not expect me in church every Sunday morning. At some point you’re going to learn that I struggle with finding my place in my church but I am still unwilling to leave my church home. That’s something that you’re going to have to understand about me and be with me on.

14. Take my good with my bad. Take my insecurities with my sometime edginess. Take my bad clothing combinations with my great outfits. Take my need for Pizza Man alongside my love of Mr. Friendly’s. Take my laughter with my tears and my increased volume with my silence. Take my love for romantic comedies right up there beside my total obsession with the Bourne Trilogy and Superbad. Take the fact that sometimes I don’t want to leave the house and would prefer to watch movies, order in, and play games and love it just as much as the day when I have decided TONIGHT I AM GOING OUT. And I will be overserved. And then blame it on the bartender. Or perhaps you. And on those nights, the wild nights and the calm ones, the boring ones and the fun ones, want to be my sidekick. Care when I want to go home, work hard to make me smile all the time, and don’t pick fights with me and sleep 3 feet apart from me.

15. Be able to safely get me home. Then I can get my mom to quit saying, “Kristin, you have to be more careful when you go out and drink than I do because I have your dad to look out for me.” When it comes to picking me up for our first date? Come to the door.

16. Appreciate the people around me. Because the people around me are, well, not all that much like me. I want a guy that can hang out with my married best friend in Charleston and her infant baby and great dane, go to Greenville and visit my insanely crazy turned somewhat settled college friend who is soon to elope with her live in boyfriend, go to the least classy college bar in Columbia to say a quick hello to a lunatic childhood friend who gets drunk in under an hour and has the most unholy hookup history, take a trip to Atlanta with me to visit my old bible study leader and her husband, have a drink with my boss, dinner at my grandparent’s, and never once question why they’re all in my life for keeps. When I tell you something about one of them (and I’m telling you because you’re the closest person to me) never ever repeat it and never ever hold it against the person and, really, for that matter, just forget I told you about it immediately after I said it.

17. Let me win. For the longest time I would have said “fight with me.” I was feisty once and I would have said “I want a guy that likes to argue.” Um, scratch that. I want a guy that doesn’t argue. At all. That when I say, “No, never met them,” doesn’t say, “Yes you have.” And doesn’t say “I told you so” when I call and say, “Actually, you were right I have.” Just says, “Yea, I know.” And smiles. Pretty simple. Let me win. And if I tell you that if I’m fighty and the best thing you can do to keep me from being more fighty is to grab me and kiss me and I’ll forget why I’m mad at you in an instant – LISTEN. And PUT THAT TO PRACTICE.

18. Do not have vanity issues. I could care less if you have a receding hairline. Don’t be that guy (I actually know) that drinks special nasty smoothies his mother gave him the recipe for that are supposed to help with hair growth. Also, I will break up with you the instant you touch hair gel to your head. Be able to throw on clothes without thought and make my heart melt in whatever they are. Be able to dress for yourself and buy for yourself (and me) just like my father does for himself and my mom. Know that I don’t spend a whole hell of a lot of time in front of the mirror and therefore you should spend way less. Be easygoing even about yourself. When it comes to me, know that what I want, more than anything, is for a guy to look at me from time to time when I’m all dolled up or when I’m in sweatpants and just say “Wow.”

19. Have the normal family thing going for you. Not that my family is normal. At all. But normal by my standards. Um, please keep in mind that when dating I not only judge you, I also judge your family. And I want someone whose family is fun! With fun family traditions! (Perhaps so I can someday make them my own. Oh well.) But I want someone that maybe believes in and knows what love is just as I do. Because I can see it in my parents. I sort of kind of want someone that has that too. Bonus: I used to also say that the guy I ended up with needed to have a sister. Weird, maybe. But Gvegas brother once said to me that having me as a sister really helped him understand where his now fiance was coming from a lot of the time. And I really think there’s a lot to be said for that. Also, how cool would it be to finally have a sis?

20. Be my friend. My best friend, really. Let me be able to tell you anything and everything I think and still just love me. Unconditionally. Be my friend in a way that I have always been searching for. The person to whom I can say the first thing out of my mouth to before I can even think it through. Miss me when I’m out of town. Miss me even if we’d never met. Tell me you wish I were with you when you’re gone. Want me on the driving range by your side, out every now and then when you’re with your guys, there with you when you’re nervous or anxious and especially when you’re your happiest. Kiss me in the morning even with our unbrushed teeth. Want me. And love me. That’s all I ask. That and that one day you get down on one knee for me.

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