Maybe there was chivalry once…

I feel sometimes like my blog is me bitching about how dumb your average bro is these days. In my list (yes, I had to write a list to remember all these things, as previously mentioned, judge me if you want) of stories I should remember to write about in my blog, there are actually a couple that are sort of sweet. Most of them, sadly, happened at least 6 years ago, but hey, they happened!

So, when I first moved to Denver, in addition to having a sort-of-real job to get experience as a social worker, I also worked at a classic Denver ice cream institution. And no, it wasn’t Sweet Action, there weren’t enough hipsters for that shit to exist when I first moved to Denver! So you basically have two remaining choices to guess at, and again, I am trying to protect the innocent here so I won’t tell you! Both of the most romantic things that have potentially ever happened to me happened in said ice cream store. Probably in the winter, because there were too many angry ice-cream-hungry people for me to do anything but scoop ice cream whenever it was even slightly warm. You would think people would feel happy whilst waiting for delicious ice cream, but I think they just get impatient and it all goes downhill from there. Also, there was no air conditioning in this ice cream store in those days, which also makes people angry. Jeez, I sound like an old woman! But I digress.

So, the first story is this. I met a guy through my old roommate, he went to her church, which was actually probably the coolest church ever. Have you heard of Unitarian Universalists, readers? If I was going to get into religion, I would probably get into that! The reason I even met this dude is because my friend invited me to her church service because it was a demonstration on the Capitol steps supporting marriage equality! Best church service ever! And these people were seriously ahead of the curve in terms of social justice issues, because this took place in 2008 or so… So anyway, as far as I can tell, Unitarian Universalists draw from all different religious philosophies, but mostly focus on the good things that are supposed to be important in religion, like love, and human rights. So I am down with that, because those are pretty much two of my favorite things. Anyway, after the awesome church gathering down at the Capitol, they had snacks (another one of my favorite things!) and my roommate and I sat there and shot the shit with some people around our age. Among them, this guy, who I will call Tastykake guy for reasons that will be explained shortly.

So I’m chatting with this guy, who seems really nice, but definitely has a ponytail, which is not one of my favorite things. He tells me he’s from New Jersey, which, although generally a characteristic that East Coast people make fun of each other for, is sort of a commonality for us transplants out in the Mile High. People sometimes think I’m from Jersey, anyway. Around that time, I remember being told that I seemed like I was from New Jersey because I was loud and said “word” a lot. If being loud and saying “word” means you’re from Jersey, then I don’t want to be right! I still say “word.” I said it to one of the high school students I work with the other day and he looked at me funny. And I felt old. Ok, the point here is we get onto the whole thing that he’s from Jersey and I’m from Maryland and the things we miss from the East Coast. Among them, Tastykakes. What are Tatsykakes, you say? Delicious snack cakes, made by a Pennsylvania-based company, similar to Hostess or some other thing like that but with way better products, such as Kandy Kakes and Butterscotch Krimpets, or the best ones, Jelly Krimpets. You can google them, I am too lazy to find a good link. Now, again, this story is old because around this time last year I discovered that Tastykakes have become available at your neighborhood King Soopers. M’erica! But at the time, there were no Tastykakes available West of the Mississippi. Tastykake guy tells me that his mom knows how much he loves Tastykakes and sends them to him in care packages every few months. His mom is brilliant, I don’t know what the hell my mom was doing with her time back then, but it wasn’t sending me Tastykakes! Oh yeah, it was working. She was working to help pay for my sister’s college education. That bitch!

All right, I really need to get it together with these tangents. Ok, so Tastykake guy tells me he will share some Tastykakes with me sometime and I’m like ok, I will probably never see you again, but sure, bro. I am apparently not necessarily picking up what’s he’s putting down because I don’t seem to gather that he’s hitting on me. At any rate, my roommate and I head out back to our lovely basement home (that was back when I pretty much exclusively lived in basements due to being broke) and I don’t think much more of it. But apparently I, or someone, had mentioned to Tastykake guy that I worked at the previously-mentioned anonymous ice cream store.

One or two days later, he shows up at my work with a freakin box of Jelly Krimpets! We chat a little bit and I repeatedly ask him if he’s ok with giving me all these Krimpets, because to me (and probably him) those are like the equivalent of valuable swiss chocolates, or diamonds or something… He says, here’s my card, it’s taped on the box, call me sometime if you want. Potentially the best game a person has ever spit to me in my life. Thinking back on this, he must have either been in love with me, or just a really nice person always to everyone. And what did my dumb, 23-year-old self do? Eat the Tastykakes and never call him. Because he had a ponytail. Maybe the universe has been paying me back all these years for being a terrible person in this instance. Jesus, Tastykake guy probably tells stories about me in his blog about what it’s like to be the nicest man in Denver. He probably refers to me as Ice Cream Store Girl or something, but nothing mean, because he’s the nicest person ever. And I blew it. Ponytails aren’t forever, but love is.

So let that be a warning to you young babies from an old woman… Don’t sleep on chivalry, if it still exists these days. And go get some Tastykakes.


Dating the “United States of Bros,” Part one

Hello, internets… Today I would like to respond to/reference an excellent blog from our friends at Jezebel entitled “The United States of Bros: A Map and Field Guide.”

Please take a moment to read this magical article on the various flavors of American Bros. Not going to read it? That’s fine, I will quote it for you as I reference it. As I read this description of the many types of bros in the U.S., it occurred to me that I have come into contact with many of these bro archetypes either in Denver (an excellent location to meet all sorts of transplanted bros from other regions), or in their natural habitats (I grew up on the East Coast and have also lived in a few cities that have their own very specific brands of bro culture). So, here, in response to what I found to be a hilarious piece of writing, I offer you my own work of genius; “How to date the United States of Bros.”

From the Jezebel article:

The Mid-Atlantic Bro

Uniform: Boat shoes without socks, pastels. Salmon colored shorts. Sailing motifs.

Intoxicant of choice: Beer, vodka, whatever. Eventually the night will lead to cocaine.

Secret shame: Has poor parents. Actually does not know how to sail.

Celeb brospiration: Bradley Cooper in Wedding Crashers.

The Mid-Atlantic Bro is my home state bro. I grew up in Maryland, where this type of bro is born, and which I think is probably the only state that people really even consider to be classified as the Mid-Atlantic. I actually think that the exact bro described above is mostly only found in Eastern Maryland where people actually sail and stuff. The Mid-Atlantic Bros of my childhood also had characteristics such as being REALLLY into the Ravens, screaming out “O” during the part of the National Anthem where they sing “Oh say can you see” (this is an Orioles baseball-related tradition that should probably only be observed at Orioles games, but that doesn’t stop the Mid-Atlantic Bro from doing it at high school sporting events, graduations, or any other occasions where one might hear a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner), and their dress code often involved backwards baseball caps, sneakers, and those choker necklaces made out of tiny white shells… You know the ones I mean. I suppose that is a late-90s/early 2000s iteration of the Mid-Atlantic Bro, but that was when I lived there, ok!?!

How to date a Mid-Atlantic Bro:

Let’s see, my game back in high school when I was in Mid-Atlantic Bro territory was basically to be awkward and/or try to make out with these sorts of bros in classy places like a public park, their parents’ hot tub, or at the high school dance. These are all places where the adults of the species can still be found at any given time because many of them never leave their hometown/parents’ basement. As an adult trying to date a fully grown Mid-Atlantic Bro, I would suggest bringing over some handcrafted local beer (or some local cheap beer like Natty Boh) and some wings for Ravens games to woo this bro. You must also be very sensitive to sporting-related mood swings with these bros and give them their space. Another key location that is excellent grounds for excellent for spotting and hooking up with Mid-Atlantic Bros is any shitty beach in the region. Ocean City, Maryland? Check. Delaware Beach, Delaware? Indeed. Virginia Beach, Virginia? Definitely. Find a cheap hotel and share a romantic night of eating seafood, getting wasted and maybe managing to have sex a little before one of you passes out. The next day you can walk on the boardwalk and try to look cool while buying dumb souvenir t-shirts, or try to pretend you both know how to sail, depending on the subset of Mid-Atlantic Bro you are dating. You can also go back to your favorite of these fabulous beaches for your anniversary every year because it will be “romantic,” and if your bro is doing well in his bartending/carpentry/government job, you will have a timeshare there that you went in on with a bunch of his similarly-dressed, fun-loving bros and their wives.

The D.C. Bro

Uniform: Vineyard Vines pants, lacrosse jersey, croakies.

Job: Lobbyist, consultant, or something random on The Hill.

Habitat: One of, like, three Georgetown bars where bros go.

Hobbies: Googling self. Name dropping. Attending Georgetown basketball games even though mostly did not go to Georgetown.

Secret shame: Knows job is totally unnecessary, is aware of his own irrelevance. Is horrible at lacrosse.

Celeb brospiration: Paul Ryan

This is another of my regional bros, as I grew up about 40 minutes from D.C. I have spent time with many of these majestic creatures, but indeed never dated one of them either. Interestingly, I think it should be noted that many D.C. Bros are not actually from the area, but any bro from elsewhere must quickly assimilate and adopt his new dominant bro culture norms in order to avoid being mugged, getting into a road-rage induced car crash on the Beltway, or being passed over for that promotion at his random think tank or super PAC or whatever job. These norms mostly involve the correct dress code (must buy croakies!), but they also include adopting a fast, aggressive manner of walking and learning lacrosse and rowing terminology.

How to date a D.C. Bro:

If you are from the area and he is still earning his stripes as a D.C. Bro, take him to the Exorcist steps in Georgetown after a stop at one of those three bars that all the bros enjoy (there seriously are only three). Unsurprisingly, the Exorcist steps are indeed the actual steps featured in the movie, “The Exorcist.” They are just some stone steps but any out-of-town bro aspiring to adapt to D.C. Bro ways will feel automatically cooler for having seen them. Depending on your desired bro’s political persuasion, tell him you work for Mitch McConnell or Barbara Mikulski. You can also try this if you need to quickly assess a D.C. Bro’s political views when you meet him in a bar, but you have an exactly 50/50 chance of causing him to ask you out on the spot, or causing him to leave the conversation abruptly and seek sanctuary in his flock of similarly-dressed bros with similar party affiliations. Alternatively, you can say you were watching Fox News, watch his facial expression for a smile or look of disgust, and then either tell him you were watching it to “keep an eye on the conservative talking heads” or tell him that you were watching it because you “think Megyn Kelly is a genius.” ¬†Another great way to get into a D.C. Bro’s pants is to get him to think it was his idea to take you to the Capital Grille (this is where any and every D.C. power broker eats lunch) and let him feel like a big shot by pointing out the senators and telling stories about each of them. Also, delicious food! And he will most certainly pay for your $50 lunch in order to maximize his personal fantasy of being super important… Man, these are good ideas! I should try them next time I’m in D.C.!

The Southern Frat Bro

Uniform: Like The Mad Hatter preparing to appear on Fox News or a Dad about to go golfing. Impeccable, possibly side-parted hair. Think high school bully in an 80’s movie.

Intoxicant of choice: SoCo. Occasionally chewing tobacco.

Hobbies: Fancying self to be “gentleman” (one source familiar with southern bros even referred to them as “gentleman bros”) Being borderline psychotic about SEC football.

Secret shame: Belongs to a fraternity that is still segregated. Has scar on neck from bar fight he got into after his favorite football team lost to another SEC team.

Celeb brospiration: Tucker Carlson

This bro WAS my college experience. My college boyfriend was probably a more nerdy, less-classic version of this bro. Also, we went to an ACC school, so please insert ACC basketball to replace any reference to SEC football when you envision this bro. I pretty much don’t need to say anything else about this bro because the description is spot-on, but perhaps the love affair between Southern Frat Bros and their Rainbow sandals (homoerotic puns definitely intended) should be noted. If you do not know what Rainbow sandals are, google them because they aren’t what you think.

How to date a Southern Frat Bro:

This bro will come to you. You just have to get blackout drunk. That is messed up, yes, but sort of true. Another reason that one of the more “gentlemanly” and less “sexual assault-y” Frat Bros of the Southern United States will come to you is because he constantly has to find a date to one of the many “date functions” (that is seriously what they are called) that his fraternity throws. So you can count on a romantic evening of drinking Mountain Dew with vodka in it out of the bottle on a charter bus before the event, drinking Everclear punch at the event and letting him grope you to some hip hop songs, and going back to his dorm room for a nice nightcap of Jaeger from the bottle because he has no shot glasses or glasses of any kind, followed by making out, passing out, unprotected sex, or all three. The Frat Bro that I reeled in back in college was actually one of the more gentlemanly ones. He actually took me on a “date” to the school dining hall and bought me dinner with his parents’ money on his campus meal card before taking me to a date function downtown at a hotel. Also, he only made out with me after the date function. Such a gentleman bro… Upsides of these bros include a good chance of their family being “old money” aka rich, the fact that they will do things like open your car door or bring you flowers, and the fact that Southern Frat Bros are great to take home to Mom and Dad. After my Southern Frat Bro college boyfriend met my parents, he actually wrote a THANK YOU NOTE to them to thank them for letting him stay at our house. Downsides of these bros include their likelihood of having gross habits like chewing tobacco or smoking, being really into guns, and the fact that you will frequently have to hang out with their frat bros and they will all be drunk and yelling. These bros are the marrying kind, preferably their college girlfriend will be the one they marry, and they are also the most likely of all bro species to move to D.C. and emerge from their Southern Frat bro cocoon to transform into a D.C. Bro. If I had married my college Frat Bro boyfriend, I probably would have a vacation home by now and I would not be writing this blog.

Ok people, that’s enough bro-ing out for one night. Stay tuned for a second installment featuring some of my favorite bro varietals, the Masshole and the Colorado Bro.