There was this boy named Ethan in grade-school. Ethan excelled. Full stop. Ethan was a math wiz. Ethan was the fastest runner, which, of course, meant that he got chosen first by team captains every time when we played Capture the Flag at recess. Ethan’s art-creations, which hung regally on the walls of our grade-school, exemplified his incredible use of shadowing and depth-perception while putting the rest of our crude, juvenile acrylic and watercolor attempts to shame. Ethan was adorable, and Ethan was nice.  

All of the girls in my grade-school, including myself, were hopelessly crushed out on Ethan. Also, all of the girls in my grade-school, including myself, were subtly annoyed with Ethan. “ETHAN, you don’t have to be the best at EVERYTHING ok!,” we all thought silently. 

Fast forward to today. I recently started  (low key) seeing a guy. He’s lives 4 blocks away and he is the perfect cocktail of beauty and brains. Neighbor-boy has a square, masculine jaw with plump feminine lips. He has bulging biceps with that sexy vein that runs down his forearm and into his large, slender hands. And, he dresses in pressed white-collared shirts and jeans that exquisitely highlight his narrow hips and muscled derrière. 

On my first coffee date last month with neighbor-boy, I confided in him that I was facetiously writing a “Dating Guidebook for Men” with a girlfriend. He and I chuckled about the fact that the “dating skill-set” was low for single men in this city. He then said, grinning jovially, “It’s great for me!”

“Yep,” I thought, with an internal eye-roll. You see, neighbor-boy has it going on. Let’s just start with the superficial stuff. He is cute. There are a few other cute single boys on the dating apps in this town, but believe me, most of the cute ones are certifiably batshit crazy and probably living in their mother’s basements with blow and porn addictions. 

And, neighbor-boy is whip-smart. At first, I thought…aww, he’s smart in that mathematicianey way. His brain seemed to have an uncanny ability to turn everything into numbers. For instance, he has two young children, and on our first date, he informed me that he has computed that he’s changed approximately 4,000 diapers in his lifetime. 

A cute numbers guy, I though to myself upon meeting him. This was perfect. Given that historically my kryptonite has been artists and writers with soulful eyes who wax eloquent about the moon, I figured a numbers guy was a safe bet. 

There was to be “no heart-involvement,” I had decided, because my heart was still healing from the last guy, and well, it wasn’t exactly in the mood for a Hollywood romance. But, in front of me stood an attractive, well-dressed, educated and keenly-astute male who was impeccably well-mannered and deeply respectful of women. 

I decided that cute neighbor-boy would be my new fabulous compañero. My cocktail drinking buddy on hot August days. 

So far, we have “kicked it,” five times. Each time we have spent hours over-analyzing human psychology, cultural ideologies, gender stigmas/social norms, and the general mental health of humanity at large. That’s my jam. Analyzing shit. So basically, it’s rocked. 

A few cocktails and kisses later, and the layers of his internal “onion of complexity” began to unfold. It turns out, neighbor-boy is more than just a cute math boy.

True fact #1: He rides his bike to neighboring cities and back in an afternoon…for fun. In other words, he is one of those hard-core cyclists whose quads of steel and rippling six pack reveal that he is an animal when it comes to athletics – a good-smelling, well-groomed animal. Not hot at all. Nope.

True fact #2: He spends half of his week single-parenting his adorable 3-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. He is currently teaching them about “consent” when it comes to physical contact – and because his son has recently developed a penchant for licking people. Aww…cute…funny….adorable…sweet…sigh…

True Fact #3: He owns a country-style chateau with a wrap-around deck and “acreage” for his kids to frolicking in. Also, his decor is excuisite. Pottery-barn chic which he claims is all from IKEA. Not impressive in the slightest. 

True Fact #4: After nonchalantly admitting to dabbling in art, largely “dabblings” he has painted for his children, he showed me photos of his watercolors. As it turns out, neighbor-boy could be a children’s book illustrator. His illustrations of nature, children, and animals reveal immaculate shadowing and depth-perception with the graceful, whimsical flair of a true artist.

True Fact #5: Not only has neighbor-boy proven to have masterfully honed both the left and the right side of his brain by being both cerebral and artistic…drumroll…he has tapped into the holy grail of all holy grails in my book. He is…wait for it…a writer. 

During our last hangout, neighbor-boy informed me that he is writing a book on business management. In this book, he plans on pointing out the crossover between professional and personal relationships in a tongue-in-cheek way and tying it all together by revealing profound truths about the interconnection of humanity. 

Did you know that the rarely used SAT word “chicanery” is pronounced with a “sh” sound: “sh”-icanery? I didn’t either until I met neighbor-boy.

Oh the Ethans of the world. Try not to drool ladies and gentlemen. Did I mention that he also smells amazing?

Leave a Reply