In response to last weekend's column (I liked my original column title better - I called it "Be a Man"), I received the following email:
Dear Ms. Lewis,
Your anecdote about that polite youngster sounds good, but you and your physician friend have fallen for externals.
Sure, the boy might have been a model of good manners, but for all you know his mother had to threaten him to get him to dress nicely, and for all his polite demeanor, he might be a real punk otherwise. Or maybe not.
Do you remember the television series, Leave it to Beaver? The character Eddie Haskell, Wally's best friend, was unctuously polite to adults, but a weasel and sharp-tonguedly mean to everyone else, a model white-collar delinquent. That 14 year old you described could have been the same. You just can't tell by outward appearances as you seem to have done.
As for future husbands out there for your precious daughters, they're out there and have always been there. Don't fall for the trap of painting all young men with the same broad brush and don't presume that most young men are slime buckets just because you're aware of a few that are. And speaking of painting with a broad brush, you said that "men find great amusement in bodily functions and bathroom humor." That might be true of the men in your family and your friends, but don't make a generalization to include all men, which you have done with that unqualified "men."
So let me get this straight. It walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it dresses like a duck, it looks like a duck...but it's a crow? This fellow is suggesting that a nice polite well-mannered and well-dressed young man is in all likelihood being browbeaten by his mommy to be a polite well-mannered and well-dressed young man? That in reality he was probably a punk? Buddy, what are you smoking?
Despite his protestation that he never finds humor in bodily functions (hooray for you), I'll bet this reader isn't a Man - he's a Guy. And I wouldn't want my "precious daughters" dating such a snarky jerk any way.
I'd rather they date someone like the fourteen year old boy in our doctor friend's exam room. Call me fussy.