Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Lucy Cliché, Hornswoggling, Assholes, and Good Men

I hate being a cliché, but I remembered one that had something to do with some decent, cow-eyed guy getting hornswaggled by a sexy, manipulative, gold-digging divorcee. The whole thing reminded me of this great song by Eric Clapton, Watch Out for Lucy.

"Excuse me, Lucy. Darlin', don't you use me.
I don't want to end up in jail."
- Watch Out For Lucy by Eric Clapton

Yes, I’ve dated a few divorced ladies. No, I don’t think I’ve been hornswoggled by any of them. Still, I wondered whether I was the mark for one of these “Lucy’s” and a cliché to boot.

The story that is widely circulated is that the phrase was first spoken by the English
 evangelical preacher and martyr, John Bradford (circa 1510–1555). He is said to
have uttered the variant of the expression - "There but for the grace of God,
goes John Bradford", when seeing criminals being led to the scaffold.
(Google Search: There but for the grace of God. 10/10/17)
So, I decided to do a little research and Googled, “nice guy falling for divorcee cliché.” I didn’t find much about the “Lucy Cliché,” I was surprised see the search results. Almost exclusively, the results included information and advice for women seeking advice about how to date good men. Women wanted to learn how to date a nice guy because, you know, they didn’t know how to behave with a nice guy.

So, I was off the whole Lucy Cliché and delved into this new vein of information.

Apparently, some gals have to learn how to treat a guy who doesn't treat them like garbage. Lauren Evans asks, “How does one treat the nice guy? The nice guy that texts you the morning after the first date? The nice guy that stays round to make out til 3 in the morning?[i]” In The Good Men Project’s 5 Things I Had to Learn In Order to Love My Nice Guy, Joanna Schroeder offers women who are dating a good man advice “You need to stop being a jerk, even when you’re in a bad mood.[ii]” Schroeder continues, “If you’ve lived in chaos most of your life, or if you’ve had abuse or a lot of drama in past relationships, you’re probably going to be really uncomfortable with the sense of ease that comes from being in a healthy relationship with a nice guy.[iii]” 


Nice guys may finish last only
because they put their women first.


So, look. As a younger man, I was quite a bit more reckless than I am now. Sure, there have probably been a few activities listed in the penal code, I’m sure, which, had I been at the wrong place at the wrong time, well, “There, but by the grace of God, go I.” I'm no angel, but was I a "bad boy?" I don't know. Never have I maliciously or purposely injured anyone except in the cases when I had to defend myself, my family, or someone who wasn’t able to defend himself or herself. However, if the definition of a good man today world is a man who has worked diligently for his family, respects others, and takes responsibility for his actions, well, of that I am and many of my single father readers are guilty. I’ve never believed a guy has to be an asshole to be an alpha male.

Schroeder observes her audience, women who date nice guys, needs the advice to refrain from “being a jerk” and may “be really uncomfortable with a sense the sense of ease” that results from dating a good man. That’s mind-boggling to me.

How have so many women become so bitterly jaded that they need to be told to be a decent human being? Well, yes, some have and, yes, some men are assholes.

I think woman who is attracted to a “bad boy” mistakenly sees him as an alpha male when, in fact, he’s just an asshole. She may eventually realize he is an asshole, but believes she can change him. Of course, she can’t. She marries him and, then, is mystified when he doesn’t mature, treats her badly or, perhaps, even physically or psychologically abuses her. A decade or two later, the woman has a bunch of little asshole kids who sustain the cycle of asshole men and wonders, “Why all men are assholes?”

Is having married or having a relationship with an asshole justification for treating a good man, a nice guy, like garbage? Um, no. As Joanna Schroeder advises, “Because you’re an adult now, and you have control over your choices.[iv]

Here, my dear lady readers who don't know how to treat decent people decently, is a little advice from me. If you find a man who is straight-up crazy about you, who lets you know that you’re the first person he thinks of in the morning and the last person he thinks of before he goes to bed, who respects you, loves you for your quirks and not in spite of them, who makes you squirm with excitement when you’re with him, who invests his time in you, who wants time from you, who listens to you and talks with you, and who’d not only bury the body, but also give you an alibi for the crime, leave him alone. If you don’t know how to love, respect, and honor the good man he is, regardless of the reason, just leave him alone.

For the good men out there, don't be hornswoggled. Accept nothing less.



[i] “This Is What Happens When You Accept Love From A Nice Guy. Catalog. Lauren Evans. March 5, 2016.
[ii] “5 Things I Had to Learn In Order to Love My Nice Guy.” Joanna Schroeder. The Good Men Project. November 30, 2014.
[iv] “5 Things I Had to Learn In Order to Love My Nice Guy.” Joanna Schroeder. The Good Men Project. November 30, 2014.

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