Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Girl Next Door

Doris Day & Rock Hudson

The Girl Next Door

Every so often, you hear people say, "Oh, he married the girl next door."

Supposedly, that choice is a good one.

But who is the "girl next door?"

And why is she better than, say, the "girl from across town?"

Location, location, location ...

It seems that even in matters of the heart, location determines some kind of super-acceptability.

In this case, proximity is everything. The "girl next door" is close by. And in some stretch of someone's imagination, that makes her a more suitable mate than any other.

The same appears to be true for women. Marrying the "boy next door" is much more romantically and socially acceptable than marrying the "boy from the other side of the tracks."

There is a stereotype at work for each of these foolproof life mates. The "girl next door" is apparently kind, unassuming, and honest to a fault. She may or may not be beautiful, but the typical incarnation of her is one of a very good-looking gal. She has some kind of je ne sais quoi about her, some alluring quality which speaks of family, children, picnics at the beach, Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas with the in-laws. Of course, she is also inadvertently sexually appealing, but one never ever imagines her having sex, particularly oral sex.

She is Doris Day, the "goody two shoes" of Hollywood whom every man wants to take to bed.

The "boy next door" is the high school quarterback, fit, handsome, clean-living, with a crewcut and a ever-so-white convertible full of equally admirable friends. He may be a bit brazen, but his bold and brash nature is a product of his self-confidence. He is the boy every girl wants, the ideal prom date, and he never expects sexual intimacy.

He is the Rock Hudson that we saw in the movies, the glamorous fellow with a bright and wealthy future. Like the "girl next door," he too fosters images of family, children, and a long and happy marriage.

Thinking back to my youth, I do remember the "girl next door." What I don't remember is how she might have made anyone a suitable mate. Tall and gangling with jet-black, cropped hair, she had a penchant for socking me in the stomach, the shoulder, the eye, and if her mood was just right, in the groin.

Who wants a wife like that?

I have no idea what became of her, but I suspect she probably did eventually marry. With her masculine features and kick-boxer mentality, maybe she married the "girl next door" — no, not my sister — the poor girl on the other side of her house.

Not that there's anything wrong with that ...




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