Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Establishing tomance key to memorable St. Valentine’s Day

Gato loves the energy of January’s end as she teases us with thaws, and Apollo rides his sun-chariot a little slower across the sky. Transformation is afoot in the world.

Abel was starting his personal evolution, getting off Gato’s couch and following Maria to the East Coast. But it was only days before Abel left that Gato learned the truth about his moving motivation: Abel was making the U-Haul leap-of-faith, relocating to be closer to a long-distance candy heart — a love that had the words “I promise — or at least I think … maybe … ” embossed on her sugar surface.

At that moment of sappy truth, Gato looked Abel up and down, all 24 years of him with his ironic Judas Priest T-shirt that had become, well … just sloppy, his smelly beat up Vans, and hopeful eyes. Lightning flashed, and it occurred to Gato that, although he promised tips about moving to Chicago, he better put talk of Sexy Jobs aside, and lay the ground work for Valentine’s Day before it hits us all upside the head like a hot pink lead pipe.


Abel, as a male archetype, presents opportunity to bring up the world’s touchiest subjects: fashion for straight-straight men and the male romantic frontal lobe. Yes, they both exist.

In cave-painting days, before shopping was invented by the Assyrians, people just mated like brown deer. This is why Gato is thankful for the Catholic Church, because it forced people to finally get creative about expressing human sexuality in indirect, euphemistic and innuendo-ish ways. In a Darwinian nutshell, peacocks naturally grow feathers; humans have to make theirs.

The catch of modernity is that we’ve come to live in an age where women are the beautiful animals and men can walk around looking like brown mallard ducks.

For chicos, once you hit 22, it’s time to pull up the saggy Seven jeans and get a little Gary Cooper in your life. Since May graduates need to get ready for looking sharp, planning for a dapper Valentine’s Day date is a good excuse to start a wardrobe.

Gato’s favorite designers for men are Michael Kors, John Varvartos, and Ricardo Almeida.

Michael Kors brought his clothing, which is all about those nice lines, into Marshall Field’s this year. Everything replicates pieces in his New York store but for under $100. Nice lines? You say you’ve overheard your girlfriend saying that while she was shopping with friends? What it means is the clothing emphasizes the symmetry of the body by helping the eye flow along angles.

John Vavartos is the epitome of edgy and classic. The Vavartos line uses a lot of fine gauge fabrics that drape the body with a sensual flow. Ricardo Almeida does similar things, but instead of the demure film-producer look like Vavartos, Almeida keeps things a little more rock n’ roll.

Creating a wardrobe is different than having a bunch of clothes; it’s about coordinating so it looks like you have more. All you really need as your anchor are 5 shirts and 3 pairs of pants to mix and match and you can do it for less than $500, even with the above-mentioned designers. Now is an especially good time to start because of clearance sales. And remember keep it classic: grey, black, earth tones and earth colors.

Bright colors have found their way back but trendy threads should never be a major investment. For one-season thrills, choose department store private labels to round out the wardrobe. For the best value and style, explore Lord and Taylor’s private labels.

Now, Gato wants to move to talk about another species of transformation, one that expresses a more direct link between humans and the strutting peacock. That subject is the morphing of men into romantic creatures.

In the words of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, a man’s world, without the presence of women, would be a planet where British Parliament would be conducted entirely by men sitting around in white briefs eating Cheetos.

It starts in Genesis. God made Adam and gave him free will. It was up to Eve to motivate Adam to use that free will.

Las femininas, the chicas in all relationships, have this innate urge to want to change the macho. Piles of dead trees and bestseller lists tell mujeres it’s not true; the macho can’t be changed. Mentirosos, they’re lying.

La verdad, the truth is, if a macho is really attracted to you, he’ll make little changes on his own and willingly take cues because he sees aspects of you that are better than himself and wants to assimilate them into his own being.

Hobres verdaderos, standup guys, respond to a partner gently coaxing change because they are truly involved in the process of self-improvement. If the monkey takes tiny suggestions — as opposed to verbal psychological overhauls — as browbeating then he’s not interested in your mind, confuses 23-year-old women for his mother, or quite simply, he’s a lost cause straight out of a Gus VanZant movie.

At the beginning, the hard part is getting el tigre to follow the trail of bread crumbs and keep him from just leaping for meat and bone. This takes women tapping into the male frontal romantic lobe and at the same time, men consciously using that part of their brain.

To do this, forget about the spectrum between just sex and long-term relationships and simply think romance. Romance is a word that removes boundaries and obligations while requiring that people stay on their most exciting and respectful behavior. Romance is nebulous but the opposite of hanging out. Hanging out is just an invitation to start up the frustrating game of “What are we?”

In your private novella, separate your back-door lovers from the front-door gentlemen. There’s a lot of media talk about satisfying the former, but also get practice with the latter. It’s great to feel sexed by the gallo, but women also need another breed of rooster to make them feel like they could walk into a room and make Audrey Hepburn jealous.

One of the fantastic thing about fireworks igniting, is every new romance is a chance to do things better than the last and in the course, learn new things from the other person. Real dates, however antiquated it may sound, bring an element of diplomacy.

Valentine’s Day dates should serve as the establishing shot for romance. Chicas, when you make decisions about the day, you’re sending signals about how you’d like your stallion to trot. It’s also a way to tell guys like Abel what sort of rituals make you feel well treated.

When romance begins to involve things intertwining, warm and sensual, romance has devices that keep the value of encounters high by consistently involving expectation dancing with anticipation that makes moments of carne y hueso, flesh and bone, all the more mysterious and wonderful.

Hombre, this is partially why you need the wardrobe, why anyone of any biologically occurring inclination needs the wardrobe. Dressing impressively signals to the other person that they have elevated worth, and their time is more valued.

As Gato dispensed some of this advice to Abel, he dismissed it as old-fashioned. Gato reminded him that globalization had also hit the dating scene, and Americans, as well as Americanized men, were sorely lagging in the category of sweeping people off their feet. He also acknowledged that some women don’t want the whirlwind; they’re happy lumping up on a couch like Abel.

But in the end, Gato believes those who let their hair tousle in the wind, spontaneously taking the wheel of the convertible, are the objects-of-affection worth writing about.

Next week: yes, gifts for Valentine’s Day

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