I fell in love in college with the perfect man, Dean Moriarty. Dean has spark. Dean doesn’t just go out, he roars into the night. He’s charismatic, sexy, and uncontrollable. Except he isn’t real. He’s one of the main characters in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. I felt like Sal (Kerouac’s other main character), and Dean was my panacea: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
I was always sure that I would fall for someone wild, unpredictable, and erratic, and that I would love it. I thought in the middle of the night he might read me poetry, or we’d drive to the beach without a plan, or we’d hitch hike and pick berries as migrant workers–in short, I thought I”d marry a hipster. (This actually happens in On the Road, and hilariously was an idealist dream of mine, ‘til I realized, I’m not outdoorsy and I hate sweating and farming is really, really hard work).
Then I met my husband Doug, and I am so so happy that I didn’t marry a hipster.
(I know Moriarty was a beatnik, but they are the grandfathers of hipsters, anyway).
1. Doug doesn’t worry about his clothes.
He doesn’t spend hours in thrift stores looking for ironic tees or western shirts. Nobody is going to mistake him for a lumberjack (although he has a great beard). He doesn’t own cut offs. He doesn’t try to look like he didn’t try to look cool. Instead, he doesn’t care about fashion. He’s not high maintenance. It’s one of my favorite things about him. He likes what he likes and doesn’t care what other people think.
2. Doug doesn’t try hard to live the “authentic life,” he just lives the life that he has.
Doug doesn’t spend hours reading trendy magazines or researching indie bands. He doesn’t look down on people who like mainstream things. He isn’t so worried about documenting himself living the authentic life that he doesn’t live it. He works hard. He cares about people and he doesn’t worry about whether his life is inherently unique. None of us are really unique anyway. We are special (because we are made in the image of God), but most our lives are pretty ordinary. I don’t think that’s a problem and neither does Doug, and I love that about him. (Read more about how the ordinary IS significant here).
3. Doug drinks good beer.
There’s no PBR for this man. We’ve tried it and we don’t hate it, but I love that Doug always chooses awesome beer. He also always chooses the right beer for me on the menu. He knows my taste better than I do. He’s a good guy to keep around and to take out with you to dinner.
4. Doug is predictable.
When I was young I thought unpredictability would be sexy–the drama, the surprise, how invigorating! Let me tell you ladies, predictability is sexy. Knowing a man is going to be there when you wake up is sexy. Trusting that he’s going to come home to you every day is sexy. Doug loves one woman–me. Doug loves our son. My crush, fictional Dean, was not predictable. In fact, his erratic nature destroyed most of his relationships. Predictability isn’t a characteristic that many people prize, but they should. Predictability is hot and Doug’s got it. (in all the best ways).
5. Doug takes responsibility.
Doug doesn’t think that freedom from responsibility is the way to be happy in life. Now I’ve never heard a hipster say that they hate responsibility, but spontaneous cross-country road trips, job-hopping, and jet setting travels don’t scream reliable.
Doug works his butt off, and he doesn’t complain. I mean, seriously, the man doesn’t ever complain. It is super attractive and super challenging. He doesn’t consider any job “beneath him.” When he was a server, he didn’t gripe about how the work was monotonous, he just did the work. When we were first married, we had no money. He worked three jobs to provide for us. Working three jobs to provide may not be instagrammable, but I sure appreciated it. I know whatever happens, Doug will always take care of me and our children. That is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
I love this man. I’ve got nothing against cut offs, PBR, Jack Kerouac (and his leading characters) or fruit-picking, I’m just really, really happy I married Doug. Happy Anniversary, Babe!