ISSUE 69

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 Hello. I am the man of your dreams. I have the pure, bashful eyes of a puppy, and my voice resembles the croon of a wood thrush at eventide. When I encounter hurt baby animals, which I somehow do weekly, I raise them, wash them up to seven times a day, smile benevolently while they sleep, and keep them by my side for the rest of my life, which is why so many well-behaved woodland animals follow me around Home Depot.
 My biceps are rippling; my chest is solid; my emotions are surprisingly complex. When you recount your protracted relationship with Anne, you will notice my eyes never glaze over like a child on a long car ride. My nods retain their same snappy assurance and vehemence, nods that assure you yes, Anne is a bitch, and yes, everyone can tell those cookies are from King Soopers.  
 I have trained diligently for this by enduring hours of city council meetings on C-SPAN and slogging through Deuteronomy, dictionaries, and the terms and conditions of my mortgage. Like a dog with a treat on its nose, I can outlast any distraction. And if you forget and leave me in the same expectant position all night or the stove explodes and I am about to be consumed by tongues of flame and I know you’ve long since abandoned me—even then I will uphold your unyielding commands.  
 When we meet your parents, I come across as someone who could figure out what’s wrong with the garbage disposal and authoritatively nail things to other things. From the first handshake, they can tell I have a strong liability-to-asset ratio and a ten-step plan for getting your deadbeat brother off the couch.
 Upon being introduced to your friends, they look at my chin and think, Yeah, this guy could survive in the wild. He knows how to start a fire without using the entire Sunday newspaper. He always carries a hatchet and a map of his current surroundings. And he would offer me his urine if I felt dehydrated.  
 My door-opening skills have been approved by feminists worldwide. I can hold it open for you, or you can open it for me, as I respect your equal status as a woman. Or I can do an in-between bro courtesy where I walk in first but push the door open for you—because as the woman of my dreams, you can also be a fellow broski. I can also slam the door shut and make you beg me to open it, as I’ve been told some women are into that.
 I will stand up for you, except when you want to stand up for yourself—and I assume this works like a tag team fight, where we beat up someone with our words and then pick apart their reputation behind their back. Hopefully, this will bring us closer together, like the United States after 9/11 or the KKK after they cut up perfectly good sheets and burn down the local grocery.  
 Navigating this space between being a good partner while also valuing a woman’s right to hold her own ground is difficult, but I will pilot it with the ease of an orca jumping through flaming hoops at Sea World. And like the killer whale who is occasionally thrown a few sardines, I will harbor my resentment in a safe place. Well, kind of a safe place.    
 When we go on a date, my wallet is bountiful, prosperous, infinite. Vast springs, torrents, deluges, and gushings of liquid assets will flow down in a raging flood of water metaphors and overwhelm you, as well as the utter humility with which I approach my personal finances.
 As for flaws, I have none. I have never done anything I am ashamed of nor do I plan on doing anything like that in the future. Saying this would be ridiculous for anyone else, but you forget that I am the man of your dreams, and I am holding an adorable bunny.
 So off-putting may be my potential to make your life everything you’ve dreamed of that you may feel awkward introducing yourself. This can’t be real, you think. And I don’t really know what to think of the fact that he has three fawns and a bear cub living with him. You’ll forever regret not talking to me. With strong values, a nuanced take on the color of the drapes, constant support of your dreams and your new haircut, you can’t go wrong.
   
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