Familiarize yourself with The Dirty Seven. And don’t blame me if you don’t agree with it, cause it’s not mine. However, blame me all you want for the eighth man out… that definition is all mine, but believe me, I don’t want one anywhere near me. And don’t get all huffy about Sidney Poitier or Spencer Tracey, ’cause I’m not calling them names… just calling upon their names as reference… well, go on, see for yourself once you hit my conclusion.
In soccer, upon penalty kicks, three girls form a wall to defend their goal. Their arms cross in xxx’s as they stand tight and locked, like the teeth of a zipper. Xs across our chests prevent accidental handballs and protect our mammary glands. I do it now, in a seat beside you. My subconscious coils tightly inward, ready to deflect the pain when it comes. Everything puckers. You know, I’ve heard this saying, seen it flipped into the air on street corners… something about “you can’t live with a wall up, cause sometimes it’s too thick and tall to hurdle.” Oh please, it’s called caution; they make signs for it on roads.
Body language cautions me often, like big orange ground-traffic-control beams. Blazing orange: The Anti-PDA Man. PDA meaning Public Display of Affection, not a palm pilot (though that’s a sign in itself… it’s called Separation Anxiety. Leave that shite at home. That’s right. Put it down. Walk away my friend; walk away). Let’s set the context so we’re in sync: we’re not talking straddles, tongues, and breast or ball fondling here. Insert handholding, an arm over a shoulder, a peck on the cheek, go on, throw in a knee squeeze beneath a table for good measure, all in public. Now we’re, what you call, cooking with gas. See, if a guy is not affectionate, I’ll never date him. Period. However, if he’s affectionate in private, but once we’re with his family or with his buddies he’s more aloof and hands-to-himself, bingo, we’ve got a winna! Anti-PDA Man just walked through the door, and he wasn’t holding your hand.
Why does it even matter? Because it does. Because acting and speaking one way in private, then behaving and changing stories in public is called two-faced. Tricia Caggiano called me two-faced once in grammar school; though she meant my double chin. The thing with two-faced people is, it can be very subtle, a dim orange haze, fuzzy as a cotton ball. And it matters because it’s a sign that someone cares entirely too much about what others think. A man who modifies his behavior just because others are around is a man who will see bricks and mortar when he sees me: all wall. I know about tact and not making people feel uncomfortable. That’s not what I’m talking about, and you know it, so put that argument back down and leave it beside your Palm Pilot. Women swoon at movies when the guy gets on the bench and declares his love to the park, the birds, the passersby, and the picnics of families. When John Wade Prentice (Sidney Poitier) addresses Joey Drayton’s parents in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, he declares his love for their daughter with grace and class. It’s not about drama; it’s about communication and guts. That’s what we all want… Someone with the courage to tell you things you don’t want to hear, and who will behave honorably and consistently. In everyday English, he’ll ask you to dance even if the ballroom floor is empty and the music is for dining not dancing, and he’ll continue dancing with you even if the music stops because he’s stuck in a moment with you, one he wants to hold on to. It’s not about tongue; it’s about sweet gestures that defy expectations and the courage to perform them.