The perfect man?

10/27/2011 The Anti-Austen 29 Comments

Hello readers, I am Featherstone McGee (clearly my parents were hippies). When I was asked to write a guest post for the Anti-Austen, I was in the middle of cleaning my gun while eating a steak I had prepared after returning from a trip to the range (where I did quite well, I might add). I’ll skip any real introduction as the lesson that follows will (hopefully) give you a sense of who I am.

Last Sunday was stake conference and my stake was graced by the presence of Elder M. Russell Ballard himself. If you’ve lived in Provo for more than thirty seconds, you know the equation: (Apostle+Conference)*BYU=Dating. Needless to say, I hung on every word, carefully listening for anything that might give me an edge over my future competition. Funny that the line that really got me thinking was one addressed to the sisters:

“Sisters, stop looking for the perfect man. There isn’t one here.”

The rusty wheels in my head slowly started turning. We can’t be perfect men, but we can sure be dang good men. So what makes a man a good man? We all have our own views on this subject, shaped by our own experiences. That line from Elder Ballard started to remind me of the lessons I had learned over the past few years. Here are the ones I feel are most important, in no particular order.

A man treats a woman with respect. “The true measure of a man can be found in his relationship with women.” I regret to say that I don’t remember the name of the General Authority who said this. But I try to live my life by this quote. Tall or short, ripped or scrawny, magnificently bearded or physically unable to grow more than three tiny whiskers, if you do not treat a woman as a daughter of God, you are no man. This is the most important lesson that I can impart.

A man makes a woman feel safe. One thing that many women look for in a man is that they can feel safe when they are with him (source: many women). In most cases, it doesn’t matter how you do this. Some men have big muscles (this is not Featherstone McGee). Some have a “do not start trouble here” sort of presence. Others have studied martial arts. Others choose to carry a gun for personal protection. And then there are the bravest men of all who, no matter their size or proficiency in fighting, will place themselves in harm’s way before ever letting anything happen to the women he cares about, whether she be his mother, his sister, his friend, or his significant other.

A man knows when to listen and when to act. This lesson took me a long time to learn. Men by their nature are doers. We take action. Problem à Solution àAction. But guys, get this: sometimes a woman just wants you to listen, to comfort her, to validate her feelings rather than only half-listening while forming a plot to avenge the wrong that has taken place.

A man knows that it’s okay to have feelings. "If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" ~William Shakespeare

A man is still human (werewolves, vampires excluded) and understands that it’s okay to have feelings. We all feel love and hate, hope and despair, strength and weakness, courage and fear.

A man does not post dresses on a Pinterest instead of courting wonderful and exciting women. In light of recent events (and because every now and then we need a good dose of humor) I felt like mentioning this one. I would like to take this opportunity to note that Featherstone McGee does not have a Pinterest account. You could say that this lesson is about priorities. A good man has his in the right order.

A man is faithful to his Priesthood. This, I feel, is an important one in our LDS culture. LDS women generally want a man who honors his Priesthood. So guys, do your home teaching. Read your scriptures. Pray. Always be worthy to give a blessing – you never know when you’ll be called upon to give one. The blessing of a worthy Priesthood holder leading your household is a wonderful thing.

A man has a good work ethic. Men are most often the providers in the family dynamic. As such, a man needs to have a good work ethic. Always put your best effort into the work that you do. Don’t be a workaholic though! Anything ending in “aholic” is usually bad. Remember balance: Work hard, play hard.

A man has a sense of humor. Enjoy life! Have fun! Make a girl laugh. Make her smile. Your looks will fade with time, but a good sense of humor will survive through eternity. When I was younger, I would go out with my Priest Quorum advisor to visit the elderly couples who couldn’t attend Church on Sundays to bring them the Sacrament. I’ll never forget the wise advice of one man in his mid-90’s. “Don’t get old, son. You can’t control when you poop.” Yes. Over 90 years old and still making poop jokes? He was definitely a man.

Now I leave you with the immortal words of African American poet Skee-Lo:

“I wish I was little bit taller,
I wish I was a baller
I wish I had a girl who looked good
I would call her
I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat
and a '64 Impala”

You can’t honestly tell me that it wouldn’t be awesome to have a rabbit in a hat.

~Featherstone McGee

P.S. Fun facts about Featherstone McGee!

1. I have never read a Jane Austen novel.

2. I don’t date as often as I’d like to, thanks to work and school.

3. I would rather die than wear tight pants.

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The Charmer said...

Dear Featherstone McGee,

I love you.

Mainly because of the reference to Masimo and his obsession with pinning dresses on Pinterest...but I wholeheartedly agree with the other things you said, too. ;)

Truly a fantastic post!

The Charmer

This comment has been removed by the author.

Dear Featherstone McGee,

I second the Charmer by saying I too love you (pardon the rhyme, it was unavoidable). Any guy who can quote The Merchant of Venice is my kind of guy. Also, I would rather all men die then see them in tight pants…it’s just gross.

Thank you for joining the blog, you make for a delightful read…in the manliest sense of course.

The Blue Stocking

Layne said...

Favorite line: "if you do not treat a woman as a daughter of God, you are no man." Amen bro, amen.

Jori said...


Dreamer said...

This was wonderful. I absolutely loved it.

Jessica said...

I think this post deserves a slow-clap-standing-ovation.

Georgiana said...

I love you.

Why aren't all men like you? Scratch that. I'm sure plenty of men are like this (I hope?). So, my real question is, Why is it so hard to realize men are like this? Do men feel compelled to pretend they're someone else to seem manly? Or am I just blind to these wonderful guys because they don't call attention to themselves?

If I knew you I would hunt you down and give you a big hug right now. On second thought...even without knowing you, I might still try to hunt you down. :)

jenerator said...

I have been waiting for a guest post from you since Colonel Paisley gave you a name and you ran with it. Seriously.
I would say I love you, but it would ring a little... cliche.
But, to make things even better, you far exceeded my expectations.
And, Georgiana, you and me both, girl.

Lydia N. said...

I was just about to give up with this whole "finding the right guy thing." Thank you for your insights though! You clearly known what you're talking about. I need to find a man like you!

anna said...

This is what I call WINNING. Most especially because you described some men as "magnificently bearded." True story, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Will you wait forme? Oh, wait I''m already married (25 years) but I have adaughter on a mission. Will you wait for her? You sound like a true gentleman.

Anonymous said...

well said, I echo the sentiments of another poster who suggested a standing ovation.

I would like to add something to the area of "feeling safe with a guy".

Simply following and showing respect for rules and laws goes a long way in making a girl feel safe. I can't say I've necessarily ever been in harm's way so to speak but I have been in the car with men who are prone to road rage, or I've been out with people who generally like to push limits and sometimes, it gets downright dangerous.

If you want a girl to feel safe with you, be safe.

Not sure that that is pertinent information for anyone at all, but I can't say that I've ever been in any kind of danger from an outside force (maybe nearly being hit by a bicyclist) but mostly, it is the actions of the guys (and girls) in respect to safety that make or break it in this category.

Mckenna said...

I would like to meet you. That is all.

Thank you all. All your comments have made this a happy day for me. So much love for the new guy!

Georgiana, there are good men out there are even more men working at becoming good men. I can’t speak for all of them as to why they may escape the eye, but I know that I tend to slip under the radar because I don’t call much attention to myself. Again, speaking for myself, the content of my post isn’t typically the type of conversation I have on a first date (although ladies, if you honestly feel that it should be, I’d be happy to know). Qualities like this are generally displayed over time.

Also, I want to thank Anonymous #2 for bringing up a very valid point that I failed to mention when I should have. Guys – be safe. Don’t try to show off by doing something stupid. And if you insist on racing, take it to the tracks. Even Ken Block operates on a closed course.

Good luck hunting! I mean dating!

P.S. I do like hugs. ;)

Summer said...

This post was awesome :) I really hope you post again! Also, you're in my stake, which I think is super cool.

Dear Readers,

There is no easy way to say this. I have no idea how you will take the news. I had a hard enough time telling The Coquette. But, being an open and honest person, I feel like the readership should have a full understanding of who I am. So here it goes… *cue dramatic music*

Featherstone McGee and Gallant Sir are the same person.

(If you’re confused as to who Gallant Sir might be, find the post entitled To a Worthy Member of the Male Species)

I wrote the Austens about the issues I’ve been facing while making a comeback into the dating world and was met with the most sincere words of encouragement and advice. Now you know that I’m human too.

~Featherstone McGee (formerly known…for four days….as Gallant Sir)

Dreamer said...

I must say that I love that you are one and the same. If I knew you I would also give you a hug. Thank you for your wonderful posts.

Heidi said...

Featherstone McGee,

I just want to say that you sound like a very funny, sweet guy. Just let that, and the qualities you listed shine through and you will be alright. Pretty much everything you listed are things that I personally have been wanting in a guy, and I think that this probably is the same for a good many girls out there too. Btw, as far as a sense of humor goes, I think you have that down pat. You can tell that from your writing. This is a good thing, of course :)
I think you should keep writing for this blog.

Joel Herrey said...

McGee - You nailed it! You truly have an eye for insights and most definitely a talent in using words.

It didn't come as a surprise to me that these items ened up on the list - I also do try to live by them all - I just wish more guys (men)could come to the same understanding/maturity...

I am Swedish and the nature of dating is _Very_ different here than in the States (not to mention BYU!). So because of that there are often things that I cant really relate to mentioned here on the blog, but this list was so general and so complete for any LDS guy out there (perhaps except for that pinterest-thing...)

Funny it was that also the "be safe" was added to the list, for I never try to show my driving skills by how fast I can go, rather how safe I can make the passanger feel ;)

Keep up the good job!

Elisabeth said...

Wow. I stumbled upon this, and it puts pretty much everything I've been struggling to put into words into very humorous words (I deal in music, so words are hard for me sometimes). Hope no one minds if I share this.

Thanks for the awesome post, and like pretty much everyone else here, if I knew who you were, I'd hug you.

The Charmer said...

And you have 21 comments. So apparently everyone else loves you, too!

I will add to your hypothetical list of bachelors for our hypothetical dating game put on by the hypothetical organization known as BYUSA.

Oh wait...

Stephanie said...

Well Hello Gallant McGee,

I just want to say that you are simply fantastic and I can't imagine you staying single for long.


Well now, if you really want to set me up I'd be a fool to say no. ;)

Anjelica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi said...

Haha, I think I second Angelica's suggestion :)

Heidi said...

*Anjelica* sorry!

Lael said...

Dude, you're rad! Sounds like you should talk like that on first dates. You've got a gaggle of girls wanting to hug right about now. I'm pretty impressed by somehow quoting Shakespeare and Skee Lo in the same article. You're just friggin funny dude. No doubt.

; ) I do know him, and he's worth the hug. Lol but when I was around him he didn't go by Featherstone (which is a totally rad name btw).

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