A Field Guide to Jerk Boys

A gentleman is a man who, when he pees in the sink, takes the dishes out first.

A Jerk Boy, on the other hand, not only pees in the sink whether there are dishes there or not, but is proud of it.(1)

A Jerk Boy will cheerfully fix your dishwasher(2) then leave for two weeks in Chicago without telling you and expect you to welcome him back with hot-n-juicy sex.(3)

If you do have a wonderful romp in bed, he made turn to you afterwards and say tenderly, “How did your butt get so big?” Or he will fart in bed and 30 seconds later ask you to marry him.(4)

Many JBs are unreconstructed sexists. Personally, I don’t mind that, despite my rabid commitment to feminism. At least with a Jerk Boy, you know where you stand. He will not allow you to pay for the meal or the motel room.(5) He won’t open doors, of course, but he also won’t tell you he supports your every ambition and then undercut you with a smile. If he does sandbag you, it will come with a pat on the ass.

How can you spot a Jerk Boy? There are definite signs. One JB I know was dating two different women and, to be fair, invited one of them to a wedding and the other one to the reception. Only a Jerk Boy would think this is a good solution, one that won’t cause problems or be appreciated. He will look wide-eyed and innocent and say, “What? Why are you mad at me? At least I’m not playing favorites.”(6)

Every man is a Jerk Boy at times. Even the most sensitive have their JB moments. One day I heard my husband say, out of the blue, “No, mom, of course Janet doesn’t mind if you come to stay for two weeks at Christmas. Here, Janet, tell her you don’t mind.” [hands me the phone] (7)

By now you may have some questions.

Is Jerk-Boydom composed entirely of rednecks? The simple answer is no. My husband, for example, is from the Philly area. And J.D., the main character on Scrubs and a total JB, is a doctor.(8) JB-hood is an equal opportunity state of mind, not a state of state.

Are there equivalent Jerk-Girls? Probably. In fact, writing this may prove that I myself am one. But I leave that question for future sociologists to explore, after they’ve figured out the effects of poverty and violence, and the behavior of Furries.(9)

Most women have, or have had, a Jerk Boy in their lives. Why do we keep them around? That’s a good question.

Jerk boys can be fun and sexy, when they’re not peeing in the sink, that is. They are decidedly uninhibited, positively boisterous, and maddeningly self-agenda-ed. You can enjoy them or ignore them. But whatever you do, don’t try to change them. That only increases the Jerkitude.

Proceed at your own risk.

(1) If the sink is nearer than the bathroom, it’s so much more efficient. Back to top
(2) Or even offer to buy you a new dishwasher. Don’t let him do it. A lady accepts only countertop appliances. Back to top
(3) It was undoubtedly a Jerk Boy that inspired Christine Lavin’s song, “Regretting What I Said to You When You Called Me 11:00 On a Friday Morning to Tell Me that at 1:00 Friday Afternoon You’re Gonna Leave Your Office, Go Downstairs, Hail a Cab to Go Out to the Airport to Catch a Plane to Go Skiing in the Alps for Two Weeks, Not that I Wanted to Go With You, I Wasn’t Able to Leave Town, I’m Not a Very Good Skier, I Couldn’t Expect You to Pay My Way, But After Going Out With You for Three Years I DON’T Like Surprises!! Subtitled: A Musical Apology” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_6XMqcEqiI Back to top
(4) Don’t. Just don’t. Back to top
(5) If he can’t afford a motel room, he will offer sex in the front seat of his truck. Go for it if you want to – and if you don’t mind getting Doritos crumbs in your underwear. Back to top
(6) That perplexed look and the phrases “What did I do?” and “What did I say?” are dead giveaways. So is “Sor-REE!” in the tone that says, “No, I’m not.” Also if you ask a question and they repeat it back to you. Back to top
(7) Practice your extreme eye-rolls and death-ray glares now, ladies. Back to top
(8) Other notable Jerk Boys include Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, Hugh Grant, Anthony Bourdain, and, quite possibly, Henry VIII. Back to top
(9) Furries, you may (or may not) be interested to know, can be either male or female, and jerks or non-jerks. What are Furries? Think of them as kinky sports mascots. Back to top


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