Sex and the Mid-sized Town

Forget the city, the majority of us live in plain old middle-America. And every quiet little mid-sized town comes equipped with a full line of dating faux pas. This is a first-hand survival guide to for those of us who scale the suburban landscape of love with even the tiniest glimmer of hope in our eyes.

Welcome to Murfreesboro.

Ahh, dating in the ’Boro?it’s an apartment complex-covered deciduous forest out there folks. (We don’t really have jungles in the South.) And I say this with all the authority four and a half years of dating in the same town brings.

But after all this time I’ve come to discover a few male templates native to the area. As an introduction to this recurring column and as proof of my good intentions I will now share a few of them.

The Frat Boy

There are 12 different fraternal organizations at MTSU, but this man-boy doesn’t have to be a member of any Greek organization, now or when/if he was attending college, to qualify as a Frat Boy for dating purposes. Neither does this imply that every man in a fraternity falls into this category. We’re just laying some ground work.

This guy pops the collar of his cotton, feminine-colored polo shirt, still. He’ll try to buy you a beer at Stampede’s on free draft night and most likely uses too much hair gel. His favorite band could be Three Doors Down, Staind or Dave Matthews. He’s looking for a Barbie doll, preferably one that can’t hold her liquor and won’t challenge him mentally.

A surefire defense against Frat Boy is overt intelligence and being opinionated.

Memorizing a stanza of second generation romantic poetry will scare him away, unless he’s had too many 50 cent long necks from Bluesboro. Try this one:

My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk?John Keats

Overtly Emo Indie Guy

Beware overly tight pants on mediocre musicians that grope themselves on stage. This fella can usually be found at the rock show (see Wall Street, The Boro, Grand Palace). He too believes in copious hair product use.

He also takes to wearing overcoats to cover the post-college frump from drinking too many PBR tall boys.

This man may want to talk about the success of Feeble Weiner and the Pink Spiders with the gleam of musical frustration in his eyes. He is close to tears, and expects you to be supportive.

Remind him to tuck a handkerchief from Goodwill in his suit coat pocket for the next show.

Beware of this boy if you wear vintage dresses, leggings and cowboy boots. Unless you’re into that sort of thing, in which case work on your “defensive girlfriend” stance and go to all his shows.

The Professional

A man with a good job can be hard to find in this town. And, when you do find him, it can be even harder to keep level headed about the fact he can afford to buy you dinner and doesn’t even mind picking you up and driving you to it.

The good: this man could possibly be more stable than the fratters and the rockers, at least he knows he’ll be able to pay the rent, or (dare I say it?) mortgage.

The bad: he may know his power, and that aura of security could be a guise for sleazy behavior. So keep your sensors up.

Staying in the area sound good to you? This one could be the winner. So remember to shave your legs, wear some heels, and bring a little spice into his vanilla world.

There are other categories, but I believe we’ve aimed you in the direction of your potential dream guy this Valentine’s Day.

But hey, it’s the ’Boro. Inevitably you’ll bump into him again (there are only so many bars here) or hit on one of his friend’s by accident. So, until next time, maneuver with grace and keep your friends close.


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Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra