No Country for Good Men

I didn’t hear the term “fuckboy” until I had been on this planet for 39 years.  It’s a pretty self explanatory term, but if you need some clarification, here is the definition :

fuckboy

or fuck boy or fuckboi

A fuckboy is that guy … the one who doesn’t respect women, but relies on them heavily. He’s distant, doesn’t care about other people’s time, and won’t commit. He’s self-absorbed, does stupid things, and fucks with others’ emotions.

I’m sure if you are a woman reading this, you know all too well about this particular breed of “man”.  The saddest thing that I’ve come to realize is just how much the world of fuckboys has taken over.  Their bullshit is everywhere and It’s ruining things for those of us who don’t want to live in their morally ambiguous world.

You see, when my marriage fell apart, it was because of fuckboys.  Their disrespect for what I believed in and held close to my heart tore my entire world apart.  But that’s just part of it.  The truth is that my ex wife was already scorned by men long before I met her, mostly from her deadbeat father and less than amazing step-father. Add to that a long line of disappointing and morally challenged boyfriends and the deck was already stacked against any man who has the intention of being honest and true.

The opening monologue by Tommy Lee Jones in the Coen Brothers adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel No Country for Old Men is about Ed Bell’s disillusionment with the world in which he is living, compared to the way the world used to be; the world as he wishes it would still be.

I remember a lot of people being frustrated with this movie when it first came out, because it ends with Ed telling a story about a dream that he had.  The screen cuts to black and there isn’t any tidy resolution.  I always wondered why people didn’t pay more attention to the opening scene, because all of the explanation is right there.  As the world changes and evolves, it often can become unrecognizable as you get older.  When my parents were kids, they would leave their front doors unlocked.  Like Ed said, several sheriffs that he knew wouldn’t even carry a gun.  Boys would court girls and show up at their family home to meet their parents before a first date.  When I was a kid, if I wanted to talk to a girl on the phone, I had to do it on our one house phone that was in the kitchen.  I remember my sister and I wanting more privacy, so my parents bought a longer chord to stretch around the corner, but we still had to talk quietly.  My parents and my relatives all had/have classic love stories.  They’re all still married and they have all endured their share of good times and bad.  I didn’t grow up around infidelity and marital discord, for that I know that I am extremely lucky.  That stability and belief in the tenants of marriage and commitment made me who I am today.

The problem is that the world of my father and uncles and grandfathers is long gone, and I don’t like the world I find myself in today.  Before I met and fell in love with my now significant other, I went on one date with a girl I met through a dating app.  During our initial pre date conversations, she told me that she was at the end of her rope with dating, telling me that she had dated so much that it could qualify as a second full time job.  She told me that she was so sick of “fuckboys”.  There it was, that word.  I asked her what that meant and she launched into a diatribe about the disintegration of the world of men.  She told me that guys are non-committal, always want sex on the first date, talk to multiple girls at a time, “ghost” her out of nowhere, don’t pull chairs out, open doors, etc, etc, etc, etc.  The list just went on and on.  When I tried to explain to her the kind of man I am, she didn’t believe me.  It sounded exactly like what a fuckboy would say to get close to her and get what he wanted.  I told her that I had a Camaro that I drive on the weekends.  Unbeknownst to me, that was not only a fuckboy car, but I was almost certainly a fuckboy.  It didn’t matter that I was almost forty years old and had loved cars all of my life.  It didn’t matter, because in today’s world, my kind didn’t exist anymore.

So I find myself drifting in a sea of constant suspicion and doubt, because the flippant and damaging world of modern men has created a world where I don’t belong.  Good men these days are forced to prove themselves over and over, working to convince those around them that their kind actually does still exist.

The first is the suspicion around the end of my marriage.  Why did it end?  It was obviously his fault.  He probably cheated or was abusive.  He probably wasn’t a good husband to her.  He probably drank too much, or hung out with his boys instead of his wife.  There’s always a reason behind why divorce happens, so be careful with any man who is divorced.

The second is the constant suspicion of infidelity and dishonesty.  Women have been burned so much by callous and indifferent men that they just naturally assume that all men are the same, and I don’t blame them.  Dating apps like Plenty of Fish have conditioned men to look at love as something outdated and disposable.  Once you encounter one tiny thing that may not be perfect about a woman, there are thousands more at the swipe of a finger for you to try out.  What’s the point in committing or investing yourself emotionally in anything when it’s so easy not to.  Putting in hard work and building a solid foundation for a life long relationship is like building a fire without matches and gasoline to men.  It’s antiquated and the skill doesn’t matter anymore.

The third is that good men have to clean up the messes left by fuckboys, while they are trying to build and nurture a true love story.  Men who are committed to doing the right things and trying to love a woman the way they saw their amazing fathers love their amazing mothers, have to battle every step of the way.  When the stress comes and there are bumps in the road, the first inclination for women is to pull away and prove that they don’t need a man, because they’ve had to do it so many times.  There is a callous that has been built up by years of shitty behavior by men, and it can be hard to soften up again.

I’m trying my best to be the type of man that I know that I should be.  Being out in the world again and starting over with love at forty years old is like watching your seventy year old dad try and use his iPhone.  Being old fashioned isn’t always a bad thing.  Some things were better in the old days.  Life was more meat and potatoes and love was about the magic of finding that one person who completes you, not for one night, but for the rest of your life.  Treating your lady like a queen and being supportive and nurturing aren’t a sign of weakness.  Making mistakes and working to always try and be a better man, so that you can honor and protect the amazing gift that love can bring to your life should never be outdated.

I don’t care if this is no longer a country for good men, because I was never going to not be one anyways.

“They say the eyes are the window to the soul.  I don’t know what them eyes was the window to and I guess I’d as soon not know.  But there is another view of the world out there and other eyes to see it and that’s where this is goin.  It has done brought me to a place in my life I would not of thought I’d of come to.  Somewhere out there is a true and living prophet of destruction and I don’t want to confront him.  I know he’s real.  I have seen his work.  I walked in front of those eyes once.  I won’t do it again.  I won’t push my chips forward and stand up and go out to meet him.  It ain’t just been older.  I wish that it was.  I can’t say that it’s even what you are willing to do.  Because I always knew that you had to be willing to die to even do this job.  That was always true.  Not to sound glorious about it or nothin but you do.  If you ain’t they’ll know it.  They’ll see it in a heartbeat.  I think it is more like what you are willing to become.  And I think a man would have to put his soul at hazard.  And I won’t do that.  I think now that maybe I never would.”

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