Brittany H. wants to hear it from the guys. Is she single because she wears cardigans — as a sign she is safe, predictable, practical — instead of, say, tube tops?
What you’re about to read is a revelation. A come-to-Jesus moment, if you will. It’s the moment a girl realizes something she’s been racking her brain about for the better part of two years, finally to crack the code that’s all but cracked her.
I’ve wasted an unreasonable amount of time to determining why I’m single, usually boiling it down to any number of things. Instead of settling on the handful of legitimate, self-accepted reasons (I live in a college town, I don’t socialize frequently, I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder, etc.), I’ve concluded the issue may be a little more nonsensical than that.
I think I’m single because I wear cardigans.
You think I’m joking right now. I’m here to tell you that I’m not. You see, I’ve determined that the one article of clothing I love most (okay, just after my reliable jeans) perfectly represents what I am to the male species.
I am the personification of the cardigan. Think about this for a second, how would you describe a cardigan? Here’s how I’d answer:
Hi, have you met me? Probably not, but that is me in a nut shell. I’m the go-to girl. Steady, reliable, and available in a bind. I’m sensible, emotionally supportive. I’m practical. I’m all things reasonable and forward-thinking. I’m versatile. I’m safe, and basically live my life wearing a helmet and walking around in bubble wrap. Maternal and nurturing? Me. I want to tuck people in to bed and make them warn chocolate chip cookies on a regular basis.
So, okay. Call me Cardigan Girl, I guess. Why is that a problem, you ask? Because females and maybe a fraction of the male population within my demographic interpret those words — comfortable, predictable, sensible, useful, practical, versatile and safe — vastly differently than the majority of men. Men automatically feel smothered or emasculated or rushed or any variety of negative emotions or sensations when they see or hear those words.
Who the hell wants to date a cardigan? Not many twenty-or-thirty something guys. Why? Stupidity mostly, but let’s consider a solid contrast for good measure. I live in the black and white world.
A tube top. If you’re a guy reading this, you may not even know that is. I’ll tell you here and now, it’s not an actual garment of clothing and thus my reason for making the following comparison is not in vain. If a cardigan is a wardrobe staple — surviving the sands of time and proving to be all things reliable and universal — the tube top is its polar opposite.
Follow me here, gentlemen and ladies. I’m about to take you to church here!
Girls like me, to the average guy, are “a dime a dozen”. You go to any retail location, and you’ll find a display or stack of cardigans. Often in the same styles, offered in a variety of colors, but all pretty uniform to the naked eye. Males, in my summation, assume that by some certain age, all females are ready to settle down and birth children and do laundry or any other number of chores. They assume we’re ready to settle down on our 12th birthdays. Which okay, in my case, is true. I’ve been a “wife” since I was 7. However, riddle me this, gents— at what age does a man start considering settling down? I’m not talking marriage, I’m talking “hey, let’s talk exclusively for longer than three months and see where things go.” This concept may not occur to a man nearly as soon as it does to a woman, and I know why.
Because of tube tops!
Ah, yes! — The flamboyant tube top is all things different and eye-catching, unpredictable and other wise largely sexy, right? It’s shiny and small, skimpy and “fun”. The cardigan? Eh. It’s covered. It doesn’t reveal much at first glance.
The skin below my navel hasn’t seen the light of day (other than pool side) in many years. Nor do I find it necessary or remotely attractive to show off my armpits regularly. But if I put on my man goggles, I can see why the shiny, glittery tube top generates a visceral reaction more quickly than the adorable cardigan.
Can we consider where each of these styles are worn for a moment? The cardigan has never stepped foot inside of a club. Coincidentally, the tube top is rarely seen outside of the club. And therein lies the “ah-ha!” moment for me: men like the tube tops.
I’ve been actively dating for the better part of two years now. Before each date, I rely on my best friend to send me on my way, with my best foot forward. And without hesitation, despite the season or location, she says the same thing: “You should wear a cardigan.”
And 99% of the time, I’m wearing a cardigan. It’s become my security blanket. Because on all the heinous dates I’ve been on in that time, I’ve wanted to literally curl up and die inside a cardigan at times. I recall a number of dates specifically I actively prayed my cardigan would find the ability to smother me. It’s been my go-to and my refuge during a long series of terrible dating experiences, and was even around for a few good guys too. I love you, gray cardigan.
I want a man— and this is the theory by which I live— only sees me in a room of a thousand girls and picks me a thousand days in a row, no questions asked. I want the guy who tells me, every day, that I rock my cardigan— hard!— and who appreciates a good pairing of a cardigan and some Chuck Taylors.
So, my search for the guy who loves cardigans continues. I don’t know where the cardigan-lovers are. I don’t know if they live in college towns. I don’t know if they’re in their twenties or thirties, and I don’t know if they’re single. But that’s what I’m looking for. With about as strong a sense of self as my 5’0’’ frame will allow, I refuse to abandon the cardigan that has never been anything but kind to me. And to you, sweet cardigan, I say thank you. I will never tire of your ways and never grow sick of you.
Gentlemen, help me (and my fellow cardigan girls) out. What is your initial thought when you see a woman in a cardigan?
photo (main) by artbystevejohnson / flickr
photo (inset) by jemingway3 / flickr