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"Don't go changing to try and please me, you never let me down before …"

It's hard to find love in the big city, so much so that women occasionally have to band together at coffee shops and compare notes. They want so little - nothing more than a fireman with a trust fund who loves children, cooking, rubbing feet, remembering anniversaries and holidays, knows when to say the little things, isn't threatened by other men, enjoys football but not as much as picking apples for the perfect pie, reads regularly, can build a 'dry sink' out of driftwood, appreciates quilted works of art …you get the idea.

Sometimes that man exists. When that man exists, it's only because his peers failed to recognize what an emerging threat he was and the appropriate actions (atomic sit-ups, noogies, etc.) were not taken. Most of the time, when that emerging threat is recognized, [the threat] is rehabilitated through time-honored traditions of ridicule, cruelty and isolation. Men like that can really jack up the curve. Without realistic expectations, women might begin to think that every man should fit that stereotype.

For the sake of women, here are the very baseline standards you should look for:

1. No al fresco urination. It's a very vestigial urge among men that, after a few drinks, a trip outside to pee in the hedges, behind trees, in alleys, on the sides of garages, makes perfect sense. This can and should be overcome in a man's mid-twenties. However, there are a few cautionary places this practice is still acceptable. They are the golf course, the campsite, the hunted field and on the back of a defeated rival if the man in question happens to be a Shogun. The rules change considerably for a Shogun so from this moment forward, this conversation will be limited to non-Shogun men.

2. No flipping of the boxers to avoid doing laundry. Your man should always yearn for fresh drawers. If your man wears briefs, chances are pretty good that he studied martial arts and harbored ambitions on becoming a Shogun. Shoguns wear briefs …and they conceal weapons in the waistbands. (Yes, yes …the limited Shogun conversation. Shoguns are people too.)

3. Always stands to shake hands, unless he is disabled or restrained.

4. Does not buy pre-stressed or faded baseball caps to prove he is a fan. If your man has a story about his old baseball cap, he probably stopped sucking his thumb just before he got his driver's license. If your man is from Boston, dump him. (Good for you …you finally won a couple of times. Now go home.)

5. Does not wear fancy girl jeans. A man who wears fancy girl jeans is, in a fact, one very fancy girl.

6. Shines his shoes. A man who shines his shoes takes pride in himself. A man who doesn't shine his shoes is unbothered by skid stains. It's not okay for a man to not know how to shine his shoes unless he never plans on going to a wedding, a funeral or participating in the normal life cycle of a human.

7. A man who is reckless with his money is probably reckless with a lot of things, including guns, booze and his penis. He's probably pretty phenomenal with that penis, though.

8. Knows very well what it's like to get punched and when to throw a punch. The good rule of thumb here is 'first'.

9. Does not hide pornography under his mattress. He hides it on his computer with a different log-in.

10. Buys flowers. A man who buys flowers knows that flowers say those things men have a hard time saying, things like "Sorry", "Thinking about you", "Mistakes were made", "Frequently erect and anxious to prove it".

11. Grilling is supposedly a man's world but you want a guy who can present a cooked breakfast as well. Breakfast meats actually produce trace amounts of normalizing hormones. If your man's breakfast begins and ends with a cereal box just know that you will never get the prize.

12. A man who knows different types of women's shoes probably knows what they look like facing the ceiling. A man who knows different brands of women's shoes probably knows the saga of Bo and Hope. You make the call.

13. A smart man carries an umbrella. It's impossible to share a hooded sweatshirt with a woman.

14. A respectable man doesn't taunt the animals at the zoo, except for the ones he's sure he can outrun.

15. Flosses regularly. Fears gingivitis and little else.

16. Opens the door for a woman, even if it's only to check out her backside going through it.

17. Understands why there are two forks at fancy restaurants and doesn't immediately pick them up and start playing paradiddles when conversation wanes.

18. Does not eat clown food (fast food sold by clowns and cartoon characters) unless there is a child or hypoglycemia present.

19. Does not get road rage. Agrees that life is too sweet to die trying to prove himself behind the wheel of a car. If he's pressed, he knows that giving the finger is an act best done with an open window and the thumb splayed away from the main body of the bird as he knows that tucking your thumb in is the sign of being a peevish tight ass - which invites rage and ridicule.

20. Does not collect nail clippings. Certainly does not collect nail clippings for the purpose of gluing them to construction paper in the shape of a heart as a clumsy and comical valentine.

21. Will buy tampons when provoked. Does not refer to tampons in any unflattering terms.

22. Has a job and makes it there on time.

23. Plays video games in the hope of honing the reflexes he will need to defend your honor, especially seeing as you were the one obstacle that prevented him from becoming a Shogun.

-William Cadillac Donovan

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