And cardboard cut-outs melt in the rain.
We’ll stop purposely leaving high heels on subways with our name & number tucked into the bottom, stitched in our best cursive, hoping that someone will find us in a fairy tale fashion.
We’ll stop nodding our heads in agreement over conversations caked with heavy laughter and future plans when we hear our girlfriends say with confidence, “They aren’t out there.”
We’ll refuse to be another lamp switched off in a town already grown too dark. We’ll wrap our hair in buns, wrap our hands around warm mugs, and wrap our prayers around a God who simply wants to whisper, “They are out there.”
The good guys.
A rarity, so we’ve been told. Sitting alongside fossils in the “Museum of Things We’re on the Brink of Losing for Good.” Pinned somewhere between the ones who don’t know how to value what they have in their arms and the ones who balance several tiny waists at one time.
The good guys. They are noble. Honest. True. They don’t lust over our legs before looking into our eyes and seeing Hints of Hazel and Gold say, “We are looking for so much more. We came here looking for so much more.”
They are out there. And they get it: There are Things to Chase in this Lifetime.
The Affection of a Good Girl. The Heart and Trust of a Mama that used to sew that Girl’s dresses. The Approval of a Daddy that once lifted that Girl up to the ceiling, up to the solar system.
They are kind. Loyal. They wring passion from the dreams that once hung on their Little Boy walls. They harness morals and values, roping them into their dreams for a family that still believes in dinners at 6pm and king-sized beds with two tousled heads of hair and five huddled bodies when the lightning and thunder roll through.
They are out there and they far outstretch the expectations we’ve pent up for them in beauty magazines and chic-lit rule books: Hold the door open. Bring her flowers. Tell her she is beautiful even with no makeup on. Never, never, NEVER tell her she looks fat in that. They take our chivalrous boxes and break right out. They transform the term Gentleman as if they’ve been asked to recreate the Classic Mona Lisa Smile.
They are the ones who ask about the longer days or know when not to bring it up; they treat us as we are: beautiful girls who only want one set of eyes upon us. One stubbled cheek to kiss. One pair of arms to fold us in when Tragedy comes to Huff & Puff & Blow our Hearts Down. Beautiful girls unafraid to say that if there be lipstick on his collar, we want it to be ours. Only, only the burlesque shades of a woman that adores that man too deeply to declare it with silly, stuffy, dictionary vocabulary.
They are out there and they'll say it straight to us, "I'm far from perfect. I've got this going on, and this happened last month. I am dealing with this... and that stemmed from this." Because we were never looking for perfect. And cardboard cut-outs melt in the rain. But they'll wrap us up in blankets, our legs slung over their lap, and they'll tell us they need a partner, a halfway, a commitment. A Thick & Thin Kind of Deal.
They are out there. Growing the bones of one-day fathers, harvesting the strength it takes to be a provider, learning what it means to Hold a Girl’s Hand Down an Earthly Wedding Aisle and far Into an “Earth”less Forever that we only close our eyes to imagine on days when the Metro runs late. They are out there, coming to their knees for a Maker who still craves to do so much more than a good work in them. A stunning work. An unspeakable, sacred work in his Good, Good Men. Making them ready for the day when paths take to crossing and life takes to shifting us from the things we learned of fairytale love when we first cracked open books that taught us how to lose shoes and find princes.