Favorite Things, Gratitude, Humor, Romance, True Love

Barbie, Ken and GI Joe: Truth Comes Out

Oh so very long ago, like most women, I was drawn to the classic… bad boy.  It started when I was in high school and found out the really cute leather-jacket-wearing dude liked me.  Nothing ever happened with that but still.  I remember thinking how cool it was that THE James Dean-bad boy in school liked me.  So shoot me, I was young.

James Dean
James Dean

Don’t know what made him the bad boy – the leather jacket?  The tousled hair?  He was probably a perfectly normal guy who’d been put in the bad boy clique simply because of that leather jacket.  That just wasn’t done back then when we still had rules about how short our skirts could be.

Doesn’t matter – my point is that women seem to be trained to be drawn to the bad boy and to scoff at the good one.  The good one is boring and the bad one… wowzers.   Is it that the good guy is known and bland?  Is it that the bad guy was forbidden and exciting?  The good guy a wuss and the bad guy the manly man?  Were we young and stupid? Well yes, but…

barbie ken gi joe
Ken Barbie GI Joe

Could it be as simple as this hysterical 1996 Nissan television commercial – that sums it all up just fine: Barbie, Ken & GI Joe:

Poor Ken-wannabe. So helpless in his sweater around the neck, buffed nails and plastic-coifed hair way.   Can’t keep his woman.  How can he compete against a guy who came out of the jaws of a dinosaur?  A manly man?  Just looking at Ken you’d think, “That wuss!  He couldn’t protect me against a herd of baseballs!”  (Private joke)

In this case I think GI Joe seemed to represent excitement.  He exuded confidence and strength. She thinks he can take care of her AND thrill her.

By the time I met Alpha Hubby at work, I’d had my gut full of bad boys and was NOT interested in going that route again.  I did not plan to ever marry again much less trust my heart to any guy, bad or good.

And here was Alpha Hubby – he was such a nice guy – an engineer working at the nuclear plant, raising healthy beef on the side, very precise and, ummm, shall we say – anal??  Good with attention to details – which is really nice when applied to some situations like… *ahem* …be that as it may…

He was a nice guy and so nice to me – can you imagine that?  Like that was a sin or something?  Being nice to me?  I even told him – now remember we’d only known one another 7 weeks before we got married so we didn’t know one another THAT well.  But while we didn’t know each other’s favorite type movie or food choices, we knew one another’s heart.  So I told him, truthfully, that I’d never dated a nice guy before and wasn’t sure how I’d handle it.

I love looking back and remembering some of the dog-goned stupid things I said to him back then.  All in the name of protecting my heart from being crushed again.  Duh duh duh du-mb.

Leland Closeup cropped lightened
Stop taking my picture!!

So after we married, we spent many nights sitting up and talking, to get to know one another.  The more we talked, the more I realized I’d not married a nice guy after all; I had married a reformed bad boy.

It’s kind of funny because he was probably a bad, bad boy but he swears to me, like Jessica Rabbit in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”:  “I’m not bad.  I’m just drawn that way.”

Jessica Rabbit
Jessica Rabbit

I have the benefit now of a bit of wisdom that can come with time passing – there is the fact that there are no real bad boys or good boys.  There are simply men and males.  A Man. A Male.

gangster crop
Gangster Type

Males take no responsibility, cheat and who are all about “me first” running at the first sign of trouble.  No way a male will help around the house or take on the tough jobs (like dealing with bill collectors).  Males get their confidence by the number of notches on their bedpost.  Males couldn’t care less how badly they treat their women because women don’t matter; there’s always another one.  Males believe women are only useful for one thing.

Hero Type

A man is the total opposite to the point he is honorable in a world that has forgotten what that word means.  A man will put his family and loved ones first, protecting to the point of death.  A man knows the woman is capable and can take care of herself, and like that about her.  A man will walk in integrity and his word is always good.  A man takes responsibility for their actions and you can trust your life – and heart – with a real man.

man's hands with heart

I married a real man.  There is security in what he calls “predictable”.  He doesn’t have his nails polished (mainly because after work, he’s mucking with cows and bulls), and fights me tooth and nail about protecting his skin from the sun.   He doesn’t have an feminine side – he tells me I am his only feminine side and that’s that.   I can tell him and tell him that I’d love him in a cowboy hat but no.  Not yet, anyway.

John Wayne
John Wayne

He is all man, believes in God, America,  true love, hard work, and honesty.  He’s not John Wayne – what most people think of as manly but who actually played some very chavunistic characters.  Alpha Hubby isn’t a man’s man, per se; he’s just my man.  He is masculine to the point that it doesn’t take much to push him over into the over-dominating stage; but he doesn’t scare me.  He may be an alpha and growl at me sometimes, but he would never hurt me.

So in a world where the choice is Ken or GI Joe?  Give me a GI Joe anytime!  Nah, forget that, give me Alpha Hubby.  He’s gifted to be my mate. He’s GI Joe enough for me!

15 thoughts on “Barbie, Ken and GI Joe: Truth Comes Out

  1. Oh girl! You are definitely speaking to me about the bad boys! I was drawn to them. They were rugged, tough, scary to some, just plan bad! How little did I know what schmucks they would turn out to be. Believe it or not, I was a huge Barbie fan. When she went on dates, Ken would be the butler and GI Joe and his fuzzy hair and beard would pick her up. 😉


    1. My brother wouldn’t let me play with his GI Joe (boo hoo) so poor Barbie ended up in Trailer Trash Barbie play house driving a 20 year old beat up pickup working at the local diner. Ken ran off to enter beauty contests.

  2. Having been attracted to bad boys and terrible males pretending to be nice guys, I know just what you mean, Nan.
    I’m so happy to be with someone who has nothing to prove. He’s happy to be himself and this helps me to be myself too.

  3. Dear Nan, I really love your take on this as well as your continuing discovery of your husband, a true man in every good sense of the word!! Thank you for sharing with us.

    The Arts by Karena
    The Centre Cannot Hold

    1. Miss Karena, what I love is that after 20 years, I’m still discovering what an astronomically blessed woman I am!

    1. Alpha Hubby will never polish his nails but he is super picky about his hair (smile)! It’s true – I do have the best of both worlds. I’m blessed.

  4. What can I say? Never, never, I mean never judge a book by its cover. You have to open the book up and study what is inside. Go ahead Baybay, open the book up. You know you want to. There is a whole new chapter about to be written and it is very good and will take you to places that you could only have dreamed about.

    1. Too true – the more I got to know you, the better you were, the more I realized what a true treasure – pure gold – I found in you!! Take me on that new journey, I’m with you all the way.

  5. Hello there.. I think it’s almost a rite of passage to love a bad boy! Loved the commercial. Yeah.. I am totally over that, l will stick to my alpha too. I love your “about” blob…. Sounds very familiar 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for visiting! Yep, I agree, that commercial is ‘da bomb! Alphas who are men – the best of both worlds.

  6. Oh my gawd the bad boy attraction doesn’t stop when the gals are young…they are still the same in the 40’s and 50’s! Now, I’ve worn a leather jacket for about 30 years and I never thought of it as a bad boy image. That’s it…I’m going to start tussling my hair. Nan, this is a fantastic post and yes the guys are far underappreciated. Hence, why I said screw it and poured my heart and soul into a Golden Retriever named Phoenix and I will do it all over again if I’m ever ready. I by no means intend to sound bitter or anything like that…couldn’t be further from the truth. Just way too short on time to be messing around with The Game. If Jessica Rabbit should give me a holler and is genuinely interested…I’m all ears! Love ya friend 🙂

    1. Tousle that hair, Mike! Go on, I double-dog dare you! One thing I’ve learned, the good-guy, nice-guy will win in the end. Bad guys always mess up one time too many and lose that good girl.

  7. My dearest Nan, you share your wisdom and educate us to the fact that nice men are indeed unappreciated. In the past, I too found a certain allure to bad boys. I think the idea of being with someone who is not afraid to break the rules, or who is unwilling to conform to society’s boundaries, is what many of us find so attractive. Nevertheless, experience has taught me that the shine soon wears off and many times you’re left with a law breaking, despotic, know it all. At this point in my life, I’m content if I don’t have the nice or the naughty guy. Give me a villa in Tuscany, with olive trees in the backyard, a good glass of Chianti! Roxy and I will be happy to simply bask in the sun! Sending you hugs and kisses, my friend! 🙂

    1. I’ll visit you in your villa! Share that glass, hug Roxy and let you know how much I’ve missed your voice and blog!

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