Friday, August 20, 2010

Shallow or Survival of the Fittest?

Ever see the "Man Hands" episode of Seinfeld?  I love that show because even more than ten years after it went off the air, we're still quoting it and using words that can trace their origin back to its script.  Again, if you don't own a television, in the "Man Hands" episode, Jerry is dating a completely acceptable and wonderful woman, but can't get over the fact that she has hands like a man.  In the shot, they are actually a man's hands poking out of the cuffs of a woman's blouse.  She wipes some food off his face with her giant, sausage-like fingers, she cracks open a lobster claw with her bare hands, and even pops the top off Jerry's beer with no hesitation.  In the end, he can't stand it anymore and breaks up with her.  This opens a plethora of other physical reasons that he and his pals won't date certain people.

Because I've been like a wolf on the hunt here lately, I've been doing a lot of pondering of what I find attractive.  You know, so I can better weed through the masses of men standing outside my door waiting to take me out.  (<-sarcasm) Over the years, I've come up with a pretty good list and most people around me know the main points.  I like guys with shaved heads, but only in the Bruce Willis kind of way, definitely not in the Kenny Chesney kind of way.  You have to have the right shaped head.  The qualifications and disqualifications for this are entirely too long for this post.  Ask if you want clarification.  I like guys with nice, broad shoulders.  I like guys with sturdy, manly hands and usually tend to gravitate towards those with well-defined chins.  Not that this list is meant to suggest that I'm only interested in men with these characteristics, because Lord knows those Bruce Willis types are few and far between.  I just tend to notice these physical traits in a crowd of men. 

I read once that we are attracted to the kind of physical qualities that would pair well with our own genetic makeup to create the optimal offspring.  That whole "survival of the fittest" thing.  Very scientific and not very romantic, but it makes sense.  And justifies what I'm about to say.  So, at the extreme risk of sounding completely shallow while using science to protect me, I have to point out that during my personal inquiry into what I am attracted to, I have noticed some physical traits that create quite the opposite reaction.  And again, shallowly, would probably make me pull a Jerry Seinfeld and not look twice.  Can I be honest with you, my fellow Singletons and Marrieds or will you judge me?  Heck, if you haven't already judged me and are still reading this daily dose of silliness, then I'm probably in the clear.  And don't even try to tell me that you haven't made a list yourself throughout your dating tenure, because I don't believe it. 

Because I'm attracted to manly, sturdy hands, I'm alternately not attracted to wimpy, girly hands.  I think most women would tell you that hands play a pretty significant role in men's attractive category, probably stemming from some internal desire for protection.  I've noticed a few men around me lately with very stumpy, squat fingers or tiny hands and as ridiculous and shallow as it sounds, it turns me off every single time.  Actually, odd hands in general kind of weird me out, male or female.  I can't watch that Burger King commercial with the guy with the small hands or whichever Scary  Movie it is with the guy with his "strong hand."  Blah.  Next, (and I'm pretty sure this is a protection thing as'd think I had some traumatic event in my childhood or something) I don't like a guy I feel like I'm going to break if I wrap my arms around him.  Or if I can wrap my arms around him twice.  This could also be because of my own personal plus-sexy status, but a guy dramatically smaller than me makes me feel very self-conscious.

So, besides basic hygiene, that's it, really.  I don't have a height or weight complex, I don't have particular hair colors that I seek out or avoid, or men with particular names (some women do that, I know.  I've heard several say they'll never date another blonde guy or any more "Michaels" or something). I don't think these things make me a horrible person (I wonder if all this questioning of my level of horribleness is actually some deep-rooted insecurity about it?....Nah.).  What are some physical characteristics that just make you realize that your offspring with that person would be a bit less than optimal?  Please will make me feel less, know.  Feel free to utilize the anonymity button. 


  1. I totally agree with you on the hands thing! I even find it gross to shake hands with a guy when I'm the one with the stronger grip. Yuck. And I'm with you on the "how big does my guy need to be" part. When I made my list (and yes, I had one and it worked perfectly for me!), one of my deal breakers was that he had to be bigger than me. If he wasn't, then I wasn't going to waste my time with him. I'm grateful that Adam has strong hands and is bigger than me :) I don't think it's shallow, it's just what you find attractive.

  2. Oh yeah, if my handshake is stronger than a guy's it does weird things to my feminity factor! It makes me feel slightly manly and icky. Glad to know that I'm not shallow and that these dealbreakers didn't stop you from finding exactly what you wanted!

  3. And see, now I totally need to rethink handshakes with women. I was taught that a man shouldn't grip a woman's hand the same way he would another man's.

    "Man Hands" would probably turn me off too. But I don't have many disqualifiers. I think the woman's body type should be similar to mine. And while I certainly have preferences in regards to female *ahem* "assets", none of it is a deal breaker.

    Physical characteristics are what attract us to people initially. (most of the time) But is far more important to find a compatible personality. I have dated women who we nothing like me, and it was very stressful.

  4. Oh yeah, I completely agree. Physical appearance is what sparks the interest, usually, but (I think I made this reference before, but a LONG time ago on here) you can look like Bradley Cooper, but if you have the personality of a wet dish rag, I'm moving on very quickly.

    See...I'm about to prove men's point that women are confusing. Brace for it. To the handshake thing: gripping our hands in a different way is true and the gentlemanly thing to do. We wouldn't want you to necessarily shake our hand like you just wrapped up a great business deal with your golf partner. But, we need to have a bit of manliness in there too, so that you don't come across as feminine. When the strength of my handshake overpowers yours, it's like a reversal of gender roles and plays weird tricks on my brain. Gentle, but firm (I feel a strong inclination to say "That's what she said," but I'll resist) is usually what seems appropriate to me and doesn't stir up any kind of negative reaction one direction or another. Does that even make sense? LOL


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