Recognizing a '90s Guy

Kevin Cowherd

October 29, 1990|By Kevin Cowherd

HOW TO TELL if you're a '90s Guy:

* A '90s guy is secure enough to wear an earring, although never one so large and ostentatious that it looks like something Blackbeard wore while swinging aboard a Spanish galleon off the island of Tortuga.

* A '90s Guy is unselfish, solicitous and gentle during love-making, yet not above donning a Zorro mask, spraying champagne about the room and cranking up Ravel's "Bolero" on the stereo if the situation warrants it. Which it often does.

* A '90s Guy does not hang furry dice or baby booties from his rearview mirror. He does not affix bizarre likenesses of a panic-stricken Garfield or "Mother-in-law in trunk" signs to his rear windshield. He does not have a plastic Jesus on top of his dashboard.

* A '90s Guy understands that the hippest (and most enduring) car decoration remains a pine tree air freshener, which hangs discreetly from the ash tray knob.

* A '90s Guy handles heavy traffic without freaking out. He does not whine upon encountering a 15-mile back-up on the expressway, but merely guns the car up the shoulder of the road until reaching the source of the back-up, then muscles his way back into a lane. Once past that smoldering, overturned bus from the orphanage, he gives a quick wave to the kids perched forlornly on the jersey wall and it's clear sailing, cowboy.

* Speaking of traffic, a '90s Guy does not make rude gestures when a dark Mercedes sedan with tinted windshield cuts him off, as he knows he could spend the rest of the day either a) being fitted with a toe tag and body bag or b) vacuuming shards of windshield glass and spent 9mm shell casings from the floor of his car.

* A '90s Guy does not flinch when the furnace repairman charges him $120 for a house call that took 15 minutes. Instead the '90s Guy says a silent prayer of thanks that the bill was not double that amount. Then he makes feverish plans for a career switch to the exciting field of Air-Conditioning and Heating Repairs.

* Household chores do not rattle the '90s Guy. There was a time when the man of the house was expected to do nothing more than don a goofy apron and stand over a smoking barbecue grill for a couple of hours, or occasionally wash the car. The rest of his time was usually spent taking long, fitful naps on the couch while his wife kept the kids quiet and worked like a slave.

Unfortunately, those days (known as the "Golden Age of Guyhood") are over, due in large measure to the hysterical rantings of radical-feminists, Maoists, the ACLU, the lunatic fringe of the Liberal Party and millions of ordinary women who claimed (get this) that women were getting the short end of the stick, domestic responsibility-wise.

* Consequently, it is now considered bad form to bolt out the back door, hurl oneself off the redwood deck, do a quick shoulder roll on the lawn and disappear into the woods whenever the baby's diaper needs changing. The '90s Guy pitches in cheerfully with the child care, cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. -- although everything in moderation.

Five minutes a day sounds about right. After all, the '90s Gu does not want to tucker himself out for racquetball.

* A '90s guy does not wear sideburns unless he is part of a rodeo or country and western band. Or unless his name is Clint.

* Courtesy is never out of style; the '90s Guy still steps aside to allow a woman to enter or exit an elevator first. The lone exception: If "Close to You" by the Carpenters is being piped into the elevator and the '90s Guy feels about to throw up on someone's wing tips or (in extreme cases) go berserk and stab someone with a ballpoint pen.

* A '90s Guy does NOT call 900 numbers to listen to breathless young bimbos-to-be named "Vicki" or "Peaches" describe their sexual fantasies. However, a '90s Guy DOES call his mother often, sometimes even without reversing the charges.

* A '90s Guy's idols: Sam Malone on "Cheers." Normie on "Cheers." Cliffie on "Cheers." Woody on "Cheers." But not that dweeb shrink Fraser on "Cheers." He's strictly Loser City.

* A '90s Guy does NOT do impersonations of the Church Lady on "Saturday Night Live." (He is quick to tell everyone he hasn't watched the show since the Eddie Murphy days, "the last time it was funny.")

* A '90s Guy is attentive, tender and patient during love-making -- although more than willing to slather himself in olive oil, bay at the moon and swing from the nearest chandelier if the situation calls for it.

Which it often does, apparently.

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