I have a good friend from college who never got married. In fact, I have more than one who didn’t marry, but I’m just discussing this case. My friend and I were both swimmers in college and we were used to seeing mostly naked guys all the time. And not just any “mostly naked guys,” these guys were swimmers. I know you guys have seen the Olympics so you know that swimmers bodies are awesome and after many, many years this becomes the standard that you are used to and you can become jaded.
So, back to my friend. She was very cute and had guys asking her out all the time. But after college, the lack of “awesome bodies” became a problem and she wouldn’t date certain guys because they didn’t look good enough. I tried - and failed - to explain my “fixer-upper” theory to her but she just didn’t listen.
Now that I have two girls, I have drilled my theory into their heads since they were old enough to think (actually, revise that, I’m still waiting for them to think). So now I will explain my theory to you, dear readers.
I began my career of “fixing up” people when I was in college and my brother, Bruce, was getting ready to attend The University of Virginia. He had all the necessary components to be a stud, he just couldn’t seem to put them together. He was a swimmer, therefore he already had the whole “six-pack” abs thing going on and he was a really cute guy. He just couldn’t dress. Swimmers do tend to grow up wearing shorts and t-shirts all the time as every different swim meet you go to sells them. It was my mode of dress for years.
So Bruce and I went and did a little pre-college shopping and bought the requisite khakis, polos, button downs, you get the picture. By the time he got to UVA: Helloooo Cutie! So you see, the theory of fixing up people is actually a very useful concept. I don’t understand why he’s not thanking me EVERY. DAMN. DAY.
The basics of the theory are: you can’t change a guy’s personality but you can absolutely, positively change the way he looks. It’s like a house. If it has good “bones” or “features,” all you need to do is have an extreme makeover. You obviously can’t put in a yard if there’s no space but if there is, all you need is landscaping. You see the analogy?
My husband Kevin, for example, was cute as hell, incredibly nice but he couldn’t dress himself to save his life. Where did he get those shirts and jeans from? I have no idea. The first time I met Kevin, through a haze of alcohol, he looked adorable and extremely acceptable. On our first date, he was still hanging in there although to be honest, I was pretty wasted that night as well. It was around our second or third date that I realized that something needed to be done with this poor guy’s attire. After about a month, I began my campaign to “fix him up” in earnest. It became apparent when he showed up in WHITE JEANS with a blue blazer to meet my parents for the first time when they came up to visit that he needed some extreme fashion advice, and fast. I mean seriously, white jeans? Who wears that shit? After my mother declared him a keeper, I realized that we were now at the hard work stage of turning him into a man among men!
Since he played basketball a few times a week, working out wasn’t an issue, but as any single guy in their 20’s will tell you, healthy eating was not a priority. If I was going to spend any time down at his place, changes would have to be made. We began with a few small adjustments to his eating habits. Gone were the numerous Coca-Colas a day. Unsweetened tea with Sweet & Low became the norm because, after all, I am a southerner and WE DRINK TEA. Out went 4% milk and in came 1% milk. Blue Cheese dressing smothering his veggies? I don’t think so. Hello Italian. At any rate, you get the picture. Well, before you know it, he had lost 20 pounds and was looking pretty god damned good. As a matter of fact, I totally resented this because there is no way in hell that a few changes in habit made any difference to my more-than-a-little-plump body. But I digress …
We were now ready for part two of our diabolical plan. (I felt a little like Pinky and the Brain writing that). Total clothing overhaul. White jeans? No. Tight jeans (yup, he had that problem too)? Out into the trash. New clothing was purchased and voila! Cute, yummy boyfriend!! I was still living in the city at the time and now we could walk around like the true metropolitan couple we were. Or we could have if I hadn’t been part of the couple. At any rate, I fixed him up so well that I decided that he MUST marry me!
By the way, Kevin HATES, HATES, HATES my fixer upper theory. I guess he just doesn’t like the idea that I’m responsible for raising his cute factor and won’t admit that he was, indeed, desperately in need of “fixing up.”
So that’s it folks, my fixer upper theory. I tell my girls, find a nice guy with some potential. If he treats you like you’re the shit, he’s a keeper. Trust me, we can fix up the rest. After all, look at your dad!