and Why Dudes Need To Know This. To my fellow dudes of the world-
If you find yourself on the precipice of moving in with that special someone, then there is one bit of advice I’d like to give you regarding the one rule you must know. More than understanding personal space. More than shared bathroom time. You must learn this, the rule that overshadows all others. Here it is…
Everything in your living space has to be cute.
Now, before I go any further, I’d like to take this opportunity to emphatically state that in no way do I mean to infer that all women (or even most women) like things to be cute in the ways in which the word cute is used by its literal definition. I know many women that deplore the word cute, so let me just say that I’m using cute as my word to encompass all positive things when it comes to décor. I’m using it in place of style. Class. A ‘woman’s touch’. Essentially, I’m saying that most men (such as me) are challenged when it comes to making various rooms seem elegant and pleasant. My fiancé, The Angel, is a wedding planner. Therefore, she needs to possess a certain amount of taste when it comes to decorating. Cute is definitely not how I’d describe it. I suppose I could have used the word nice instead of cute, but it wouldn’t have the same effect. So again to be clear, what I’m saying… is that immature, onetime male buffoons (like myself), need to learn one rule before moving in with a lady. And that is this…
Everything has to be cute.
Now, the varying degrees to what is considered cute by your significant other have much to do with their own personal taste. Don’t try to figure this out, as it will be an exhausting exercise in futility. All I can tell you is that the style of items you never thought about before will slowly rise to the surface in a manner that will certainly make you question your identity.
Case in point: the silverware divider you place inside one of your narrow kitchen drawers. I’m sorry- a quick search on Google has informed me it’s called a utensil tray. Basically, I’m talking about that colorless plastic contraption you put in a drawer to separate your forks, spoons, and butter knives.
I have never thought about this particular kitchen accessory. I’m fairly certain most men haven’t either. We’re dudes. We toss the cheapest one we find into our Wal-Mart cart without spending more than 6 seconds thinking over the options. Even then, we’re only really considering whether the $2.49 investment in such a device would be better spent upgrading our beer from Bud Light to Amstel. If the utensil tray movement were in our hands, we’d say the hell with the whole thing and throw our entire collection of mismatched cutlery into said drawer without the slightest bit of organization. At least then we’d feel like we were accomplishing something by rummaging through what would surely become a monstrosity of tangled forks.
But when moving in with a woman, all sense of ambivalence towards these things is quickly replaced with the need to get something cute. I know this, because just a few years ago I moved in with The Angel.
I remember standing in the middle of my now abandoned apartment, just days away from walking out of it for the last time. I’d be walking into a new life, complete with The Angel by my side. In doing so, I realized we would no longer need duplicates of items we’d now be sharing. Out went the giant 1989 plastic Chicago Cub cups that featured former rookie of the year Jerome Walton, replaced by tall drinking glasses that had actual weight to them. This all seemed quite rational to me. One bed. One set of dishes. One copy of U2’s Joshua Tree. One life.
The Angel and I started going through my apartment, discarding anything that didn’t seem up to standards. That meant pretty much everything.
A few cabinets later and we came upon the utensil tray. Discolored. Off-white. Unknown food particle stuck to the side. Perhaps peanut butter.
I held up the utensil tray to The Angel with indifference.
“Might as well keep this, huh?”
The Angel meekly nodded in agreement, and we carried on our duties.
An hour later, The Angel and I were at the most sought out destination when it comes time for couples to move in with one another- Target. It was shiny. It was bright. It was gender-neutral in color scheme. Target. A place where even dudes feel okay.
Hopped up on bad Pinot Noir and Cherry Garcia Ice Cream, we ransacked Target in a new apartment shopping splurge that left us giddy for the future. No aisle was spared, because at Target, everything seems reasonable for the low price of $2.50. Before you know it, you have three hundred bucks worth of trinkets you may or may never use. (“Of course I needed that spice rack.”)
And this is where I learned that Everything. Must. Be. Cute.
We wheeled our cart around the kitchen supply aisle in search of the perfect self-dispensing soap scrub brush. Instead, we were hit smack in the face with what seemed like a dozen different utensil tray holders. I paused, looking at The Angel.
“They’re only a couple of bucks. This black rubber one is kinda cool. Do you just wanna get a new one?”
Now dear reader, whatever words I’m about to use will pale in comparison to the reaction The Angel gave, for there are no words to adequately describe it. The Angel let out a deep gasp, as if she had been holding in a secret of such epic proportions that it threatened the entire human race.
Because when The Angel breathlessly said- “Oh God yes!”… She said it in a way that might as well have been saying she was secretly a shape-shifting alien hiding out on earth.
It wasn’t just the words though. There were actions. Dramatic actions. Genuine actions of magnitude. Her hands fell to her knees in the way athletes do after running a grueling marathon. Her face flushed with happiness. I think there was some shaking involved.
Clearly, the utensil tray was a bigger deal than I or any other dude had realized. I laughed at The Angel, not only because I found it hilarious that she was so relieved, but even more so because I couldn’t comprehend why she hadn’t uttered a word of objection when I originally asked her about my (obviously) pathetic utensil tray back at my apartment.
The Angel started laughing, realizing how insane our moment at Target was. I truly felt like she was in love with me before our Target shopping spree started, but now that I had recommended the new utensil tray? I was pretty sure I’d finally get to cash in my long-lost dream of having her wear a Princess Leia gold bikini.
Now, as a dude, I can only say that this makes absolutely no sense to me. I understand the need to have matching throw pillows. I get the need for candles, bamboo-flair, and a proper set of wine glasses.
But a utensil tray?
Let me make sure we all understand, NO ONE sees the utensil tray but those who use it. In this case, me and The Angel. That’s it. It’s not as if our favorite couple, The Nightwings, are going to stumble upon it and say… “Wow, that is a bad-ass utensil tray.”
Or conversely, if we were using the older one, I don’t think they’d say “Honey, let’s get the F out of here, their utensil tray holder is so… vintage. It’s disgusting. We can’t possibly be friends with these people.”
My point is… dudes of the world… just know that upon moving in with a woman, everything must be cute
Or nice. Or classy. Or with a ‘woman’s touch’. Or generally just respectable..