I remember my mother explaining to me the sort of man I should marry. “Leslie,” she said when I was around 12 years old and only just starting to look at boys curiously, “The sort of man that is good for marriage is one that has plants in his apartment, can’t dance well, and wears tassel shoes.”
Breaking this down, I know she had good intentions. A man who keeps plants alive is caring and doesn’t shy away from responsibility (this could extend to dog, cat or hamster for that matter). A man who can’t dance well, as she explained, means he’s not a “player.” He’s not out picking up chicks at the clubs and he doesn’t think he is smooth and full of himself.
And that last one? Well, it was the late 80’s so her logic at the time was that he cared enough to be somewhat pulled together but not overly flashy.
My daughter is almost 13 and it occurred to me the other day that I, too, have imparted a sort of “The type of person you want to be with” wisdom recently.