I am a fan of the hilarious Sweet Potato Queens and aspire to their philosophy of living life like royalty every day.
One interesting piece of advice that author Jill Conner Brown offers is that every woman should have five men in her life at all times. They can sometimes be partially combined into fewer men with more skills, but she believes you’ll never find them all in the same man. Here’s her list:
A man who will take you dancing.
Apparently the Sweet Potato Queens like to go dancing. A lot. And from their stories, it seems that male dancing partners are optional, they’ll dance alone, with each other, or with the guys if the music is good. I admire their zest for life.
Personally, I don’t need this guy. I’m not at all a dancer or club-hopper. I wouldn’t be averse to an occasional slow dance or even a basic ballroom class, but in general I don’t need a dancing buddy.
I could use a fishing buddy, a travel partner, a road trip friend and a movie companion, though my boys fill most of those roles admirably now, while theyr’e still at home.
A man to talk with.
Not only does she recommend a man to talk with, but this man must be unflinchingly supportive and always agreeable. Listening skills are essential; talking skills not so much.
I’m not sure why this particular one needs to be a man, because women are far better companions in verbal analysis. I do have a couple of men friends who are great at this too, but it’s usually not a native skill. Also, if you need someone with great listening skills who will unfailingly agree with you, a dog is lower maintenance than a man. (Murphy even tilts his head at me when I talk to him, as if to say “Tell me more!”)
A man who can fix things.
She likes men who can fix plumbing, cars, carpentry, etc., and feels that having one or more of these in her life is pretty essential.
I’m personally a fan of being able to fix things myself. The ability to do so, learned from my oh-so-capable mother, is a point of pride for me. My youngest son also inherited a fabulous fix-it sense and regularly assembles Ikea furniture blindfolded, without instructions, and with one hand tied behind his back.
Also, fix-it capabilities can be hired from the yellow pages or Craigslist. I’d actually prefer a man who helped with housework and yardwork. (I had one of those, Bryan was a total gem.)
A man who will take care of you.
Apparently a man who will pay for things, who has sugar daddy tendencies and likes to spoil a woman, is high on the author’s list.
Bluntly, the hell with that! I can take care of myself just fine, enjoy providing my own security and prefer my independence, whether I’m married or not. The myth of the knight in shining armor is highly overrated.
I’m not averse to a dinner out, random flowers or shiny gifts, but I can provide those for myself. My awesome UCF friends keep me pretty happy on the flowers and random cheerful stuff front.
A man to sleep with.
I’d argue that this can be found on Craigslist or in a specialty electronics store as well.
Seriously, though, what women need is someone who makes them feel adored, respected, beautiful & special, whether in a platonic relationship or a passionate one. Friends and a healthy dose of self respect can provide most of that – and, well, the rest is private.
So, of the “Five Men” that are recommended, I don’t need any of ‘em. And yet, I like men a lot! I adored my husband, I think my sons are made of awesome, I have several wonderful male friends and I enjoy working in a male-dominated industry.
I’ve actually been thinking about this subject a bit lately – what I miss about being married, about having a partner and best friend in the home, and rereading the Sweet Potato Queens gave me a great sense of perspective.
What men – or women – do you need in your life? Or more importantly, what do you want? Please keep it to PG-13 or better.