Dear Bitter Amanda,
I know this guy. He's not my ideal, but he's fun enough to hang out with on at least a friendly basis. I have reason to believe he is interested in me, and that if I decide to give the signal, it's possible I'll have something to do on any given weekend. I am at odds as to what to do with this information. He's very intelligent, well versed in many subjects and a decent conversationalist, and I could use a night out, to be perfectly honest. However, as sometimes happens with high intelligence, particularly concerning the male of the species (possibly some function of the less robust Y chromosome?), he does lack certain social skills, such as basic table manners. I worry that his faux pas might be indicative of larger inconsiderate/gross-boy-type issues. I'm not concerned about the rarity of a toilet seat not returned to its proper downright position, or the occasional unwashed dishes in the sink. I'm more worried about combinations of the two, like peeing in the sink because the toilet lid is down. Or peeing on the unwashed dishes in the sink. Far be it for me to change a man's ways (I certainly have no desire to be a female Pygmalion), but I must say this: I will not tolerate sink pee-ers. I draw the line there.
I admit I have no evidence of this creative urination style with regard to the male in question, but it has been my experience that people who mistake coat sleeves for napkins and soup bowls for drinking vessels outside the sanctity of their own home are prone to other, more serious transgressions. He is also what popular culture would deem a "foodie", so, should I deign to give him the time of day, we would likely be spending much time in restaurants. Perhaps schmancy ones. I'm all for intelligent conversation with foodies in schmancy restaurants, but if someone is having difficulty remembering to use a fork, let alone the correct fork, how is one to cope? This is what troubles me.
My question, Bitter Amanda, is this: Am I being too picky or not picky enough? Is it really too much for me to ask that a man have a brain and be aware that manners exist, or have I just been deprived of any available man's attention for so long that my standards have dropped to a point where those previously considered unacceptable weasel their way up to a "well, perhaps if he buys the drinks"? Could the answer be different if he were very attractive? In short, am I lowering the bar, or is it still too high? I just don't know anymore.
Men are like icebergs. The part you see is in no way an indication of what is under the surface. Sometimes, very rarely, that's a good thing. You may find one of those fabled men who have more to offer a girl than a night out and free drinks. But more often than not, it is bad. Just like the situation you're describing, you can't tell how pig-like a man is until it's too late. You can never be too cautious about this sort of thing.
Sometimes, women do set the bar too high. Women who have seen too many Meg Ryan movies and read too many romance novels. There is absolutely nothing wrong with standards (this keeps us from dating sink pee-ers), but sometimes you need to step back and ask if they are realistic. If you only want a man who has a Pulitzer Prize, then perhaps you need to widen the horizons. Strictly into Olympic gold medalists? A nice idea, but there aren't very many of them, statistically speaking. But a man with good manners? That is certainly not unheard of! (Well...)
Nothing wrong with hanging out with the guy you talk about, but don't stop looking for a man who does the dishes in the sink, does his business in the toilet, and puts the lid down when he's at your place. (Note: if you are this man, email me. Who knows? Maybe I can do some match-making.)