I passed my hunter's safety course last weekend. In New York, as in many states, you must pass a 9-11 hour course in order to purchase a hunting license of any kind. Most future hunters, it seems, take the class when they are eleven so that they may begin shooting animals the minute they turn twelve - if they are blessed enough to be born during any of the hunting seasons.
My sister, as I may have previously mentioned in this blog, is a vegan. She's a "double-whammy" vegan, at that: she doesn't eat meat because she doesn't like the taste, and she also doesn't use any animal products because she has love for the furry and the feathered. She isn't burning down leather stores or throwing blood on people wearing fur coats, but I'd say it's possible that's just because she's too busy.
When my sister heard I was going to be learning to hunt and getting a license, her first reaction was to say (via a text message, which is really irrelevant information because I know my sister well enough to transpose her voice, tone, and facial expressions into every type of media, including text):
"WHAT boy is ever going to marry you if you are always covered in beer and BLOOD?"
Oh yes, the age-old question. WHAT member of the opposity sex will EVER marry someone like me? Does the single 20-something change who they are, what they are interested in, their personal style and lifestyle in order to hook a man? Or do I sit calmy, continuing with the interests and activities that I enjoy, waiting eternally for a boy to drop from heaven (or at least the back hills of central New York) who will "love me for who I am"?
The most important thing to understand in this post: I am not single because I have had no offers. I am not single because every guy breaks up with me. I am not desperate for love, marriage, or someone to share my living space with who will leave dishes in the sink, mud on the rug and pee splashes on the toilet seat (but never wash a plate, pick up the vacuum, or break out the lysol).
I am single for one very simple reason. I haven't found what I want yet. So, in order to put to ease the inquiring minds of my friends and immediate family (the latter of which, I suspect, are the only people who read this), I have compiled a short list of the absolute, steadfast qualities that I require in a potential mate.
1) Must Love Denim. A boy must love denim because it is, literally, all that I wear. I work in jeans (usually with holes and oil spots), lounge in jeans, go out on the town in jeans, and sometimes, after the occasional over-indulgent evening out, sleep in them. What's not to love? Do you even realize how many times you can wear jeans before you have to replace them? All you really need are a few good pairs.
2) Must Drive a Pickup Truck. This is really quite self explanatory, I think. And no, it's a real one. It's non negotiable. This is my blog and my life and I can want what I want.
3) Must Have Facial Hair. Again, not joking here. I'm 26. If you don't have a beard, I am going to assume it's because you are incapable of growing a full one. And that makes you a little boy, not a man, and I'm no longer interested. Period.
4) Must Honestly Like "Me". When a guy meets me and says "oh, the thing I like best about you is that you're comfortable going to the bar in jeans and a t-shirt", he better get used to it. That's not a rare occasion, that's every occasion. If you think I am going to begin dating you and you're going to see me at a downtown bar, or restaurant, or any place casual in a skirt, heels, or a dress, you're wrong. It's not part of my wardrobe. So a guy better either a) not care about clothes, or b) find jeans, tshirts, and baseball caps attractive, cause they aren't going away.
5) Must Tolerate Cats. I don't have one. But I fully intend to someday, and not as a replacement for a boyfriend/husband. Yup, that's right, Future Mate: We will be having a feline in the home. Possibly two. Possibly more.
6) Must Read. I know I have thus far described a perfect man as someone with a beard and a pickup truck, but they have to possess SOME intelligence. I don't care if you read the articles in Outdoor Life or Sports Illustrated from beginning to end, as long as there's interest. The last guy I dated didn't read for enjoyment. When I told my mother this, a long pause was followed by the statement: "Cory reads". Cory is the vegan sister's boyfriend. Which brings me to my next point...
7) Must Love My Family. Anyone who does not find my family and their friends (read: My mother and her best friend) as hilarious and entertaining as I do is probably either a) unintelligent, or b) humor-less. Both of which are intolerable.
8) Must Fish, Ride a Four-Wheeler, Work on Cars, Own a Tractor, Build Houses, Ride Horses and/or Bulls, Kill Animals for Meat/Trophies, and Wear Camo. Ok, I admit I just threw that in there for my sister's benefit. I'm not serious. Any 3 of the above will do.
To recap, I believe that any "boy" who possesses all of the aforementioned qualities would be happy with a girl who is covered in "beer and blood". Sure, my requirements might be a little steep, but with all the things I have to do (learn to hunt, shoot a turkey, paint my apartment, bake regularly, patch up my jeans, go out with my friends, and read the 50+ unread novels in my bookcase), I'm sure I can keep myself perfectly busy until he shows up.