Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

The Theory About Lists, Growth, and Love Over Time

Theory-RealityI’ve got a theory I want to drop off on you cool cats. It’s a theory draped in the narrative of…of…hmm…gender-specific mating-centric relationshipism. While they say that proper planning prevents poor performance, Little Richard taught us that a wop bob a loo bop a wop bam boom. Same thing really.

Back to this theory about this narrative. What I’m about to posit will largely engender stereotypes and generalizations. While some of you may not appreciate or enjoy generalizations, I’m going to need you to clap along like you’re in a room without a roof. Be happy, people. Be happy.

I’m of the belief that most women do at some point craft some sort of list of desirable attributes in a mate. You know, the whole “man in her head” syndrome. The guy she dreams will ride in on his white (or racially ambiguous) horse…do animals have races? Maybe not races, I mean we know that animals have races (Man vs. Beast did happen after all) but I mean like races, you know animal social constructs based upon superficial characteristics and such. Like, you know how you should behold the pale horse? Is there a black horse we should behold to?

Consider my mind blown.

Back to this white (ugh, racist) horse that I think women are waiting for Prince Charming or Charmandejuan to ride on with his job, home, perfect teeth, nice body, ability to read, without children, with a savings account with actual savings, who is compassionate, empathetic, affectionate, hung like a horse (again, non-race specific), who not only washes dishes but WANTS to wash the dishes, rubs feet, goes to church, listens to only non-misogynistic hip-hop and/or gospel, 6’5″, etc. Basically, a list of the best qualities one can have and all that jazz. This is what I presume most women have. It might not look like this, and his name may not be Charming or Charmandejuan. Maybe its Bob. Or Siraaj. Or YOLO.

Well, did you know that us men have lists too? There a wee bit shorter. Especially when we’re younger.

Man List: hot. Read? Bonus. Cook? Bonus. Degree? Eh…bonus-ish.

Point is, in our youth, our lists look remarkably different. Here’s where my theory begins to rear its head.

Panama Theorem 2.5: As we get older, women start to remove things from their list and men start to add things to their list.

Removing things from your list isn’t settling, especially if the list is unreasonable to begin wtih. It’s more keeping in line with what actually matters in life and what’s truly important. So at some point, he need not be 6’5″ though it’s still preferred, but those list start to shrink, if not disappear altogether the older you get to the point of, “he made me an eggo, this morning, I’m in love.”

On the flipside, I’ve noticed that while in my youth all conversations pretty much started and ended with “is she hot?” (actually they still all start this way), the things that used to not be explicitly important like good person, fun, good conversationalist, nice, etc started to become more and more important. Now, you might look at that and and say, you basically want a balanced, well-rounded person, and you’d be right.

Now, the key to finding that person for you is that both of those “lists” (really just the things that matter to you most, like God, peanut butter, and Hall & Oates) to align. You happen to meet somebody who has those qualities you’ve reasonabled your list down to as a woman and improved your list up to as a man and #wallahmagic you may have found you a mate.

Of course, this ignores the efelant in the room of “you must find said person attractive” though read the fine print. They don’t have to be attractive, you just have to find them attractive. Which makes them attractive. Remember that horse thing?

Mind blown again.

Or more poetically, didn’t I blow your mind this time, didn’t I? Sing it like a Delfonic. What the f*ck is a Delfonic? You know aside from a member of the group. I do know that if you have more than one Delfonic, you have Delfonics. Fight me.

I just used 700 words to say this:

As we get older, men add things to their “list” of important characteristics and women remove things from their “list of important” characteristics. But along the way I blew your mind twice and mentioned the Delfonics. I won.

So, what say you? Is this theory off base? Does it have merit? Have you done this? I have. I saw the signs.

Talk to me.


Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

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