Monday, May 2, 2011

In Search of a Good Bad Boy

It started out simply enough.  Doesn't it always?

The other night my pal Suzannah tweeted that she was watching Gossip Girl, her guilty pleasure.  I helpfully commented back that there was no shame in that, adding that my guilty pleasures were certain Real Housewives shows and The Vampire Diaries.

Our conversation then evolved to our appreciation of old WB shows. Of course, I had to mention Dawson's Creek.  Which led to expressing our mutual love of Pacey, at which point Mary Kathryn chimed in.  Not only did she love Pacey, she added Jordan Catalano into the mix. Jordan Catalano, be still my heart.  Whenever I watched My So-Called Life, I wished I were Angela just so I could be near Jordan and watch him "lean."

And then Suzannah uttered these fateful words. "Did you also love Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites?" Not only do I love Ethan in that movie, I practically have the whole thing memorized. I even used Ethan/Troy's answering machine message as my own for awhile. "At the beep, please leave your name, number, and a brief justification for the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma, and we'll get back to you." I really pity the people who called me back then.

The beauty of Twitter is when other friends join the conversation.  Our friend Heatherly could not resist dear Ethan Hawke. We began rhapsodizing about Reality Bites and our love of bad boys.  

It all got me thinking.  What is the allure of the bad boy?

Not just any bad boy will do.  We all have parameters.  Some things will not be tolerated. For instance, I prefer that my bad boy crushes not be fresh out of prison or have a drug problem. It should go without saying that murderers, rapists, and pedophiles need not apply. Nor abusers of any kind, for that matter.

It must come down to this.  We have to see a bad boy's redeeming qualities. They might have a softer side reserved for those closest to them. They might rescue puppies in their spare time, serenade by guitar, or know how to defuse a bomb. There must be something that speaks of goodness in spite of an exterior that screams danger. Or you know, they're just really hot.

Do we like the challenge of reforming a bad boy? Or is it the thrill of living life closer to the edge? Bad boys certainly are not staid and predictable.

I've had a thing for bad boys for years. (Come back tomorrow for more on this Hot Topic.)  Interestingly, I have never dated any.  Making out was fine and dandy, ahem. But something in me whispered that things would not end well if I went down that road. So I didn't.  It has impacted what I look for in a man, however.

I want a good, solid guy but he has to have an edge. He must love Jesus, first and foremost. There aren't hard and fast rules as to what constitutes as said edge. But a tattoo (or three), owning a motorcycle, and a hard rock music obsession? Well, it's a nice start. Add my need for banter and it seems only a bad boy would rise to the challenge.

How do you feel about bad boys?  Can a bad boy be rehabilitated?  Did you watch My So-Called Life?


  1. I remember Anne Shirley, in the mini-series version, rhapsodizing about Diana's fiancee, and saying that she objected bcs he was so good; that SHE wanted a man that COULD be bad but chose not to be.

    I was always attracted to the rebels, but married a solid "good" boy with very few skeletons...

  2. you know i love this:)

    it's the guitar! i was always a sucker for a boy with a guitar. i did make out with a few smokers, too. and a boy with blue hair. and one with spikes...what? it's a good thing i got married (to a tattooed guitar player who treats me like gold. we can have it all! ;)

    as for your question, i think age matters. there is hope for the young bad boy to grow out of his selfish, broody ways, but i fear at some point, he becomes a lost cause, unworthy of our affections.

  3. HET! That is EXACTLY the quote I was going to use!

    suzannah. the spikes? HILARIOUS.

    here's the thing - for me (because i've been around the block once or four times by now): i love a bad boy.

    i love his therapist more.

    (also? mental health issues are a big NO for me. too many bad experiences on that end. which sounds like a contradiction to the part about loving his therapist. it's not.)

    LOVE this! Love y'all! and CANNOT WAIT for our Bad Boy World Tour!


  4. I want a good bad boy, too. I want the nice, upstanding guy to meet my mother, and then take me home... blush. ahem.

    oddly enough, the goodest, best, most innocent guy I've ever dated was the one who rode a motorcycle and had the hard rock obsession. he also had feet like ice.

    I don't think I want to rehabilitate him as much as I want the good bad boy to teach me a few things!

  5. @Heatherly, love that quote! Anne Shirley knew her stuff.

    @Suzannah, yes, we're kindred spirits. I saw a picture in People today of a guy with a color sleeve and various piercings and sighed in appreciation. I'm such a lost cause! I'm so glad you found your Christian bad boy! Now, order one of those up for me:) You make a great point about age. At a certain point, it's hard for any of us to change our ways but we're definitely more moldable when we're younger.

    @MK, good point about the mental health issues. We should all try to work through our junk first. Anything less is a big red flag.

    @Kristin, OMG. Love it! And ditto. Hope we both find good bad boys to teach us- preferably minus cold feet.

  6. I don't know if I have a "type" or not... I guess because I have a slight edge, he would need to have one. Or at least be able to accept my creativity and whackiness. :)

  7. I married my bad motorcycle tattoed bad boy 11 years ago. He is the love of my life and the best part about a good bad boy, is they challenge us to step outside of our comfort zones and we teach them that peace and comfort are good things too. Now that we have been married as long as we have, I feel sometimes I badder then him.


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