Pull Of The Cape

Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to be a HEROcool Not the kind of super hero who foiled the plans of criminal masterminds with my single bound tall building leaps, locomotive power and bullet speed. Not necessarily the kind of hero who safely retrieved POW’s from deep in enemy territory.


I wanted to be a kind of machismo-infused hero, rescuing contemporary “damsels in distress” who, in my limited experience at the age of 16, were so often the victims of relationships gone horribly wrong. The tales I’d hear of betrayal, degradation and distress from some of my female friends angered me, but also filled me with compassion and an overwhelming desire to comfort them in some way.

So it was that I wanted to be that stand-up guy who came along and mended their broken hearts by being to them what other men could or would not. Fulfilling their unrealized expectations. I wanted to fix the traumatized emotions of all the disappointed and disillusioned women I knew.

Ha! As if that were even possible.

As you can probably surmise, this was not at ALL practical or realistic. Still, it took me a long time to realize that, though I had the best of intentions, I simply couldn’t save everyone.


I couldn’t save anyone. bummed

Except one.

To that one, I endeavored to define a man who successfully balanced his testosterone-influenced emotions with chivalry, romance and an understanding of authority. I made a silent promise to show her what it meant to be a modern-day hero upon whom she could always rely, trust and rest her confidence. I made a similar promise to my only daughter so that winning her heart would require the power and determination that only a hero possessed.

And yet, even now I will occasionally feel the “pull of the cape” begging to be worn when I talk to my female friends who are miserable and misunderstood. I refrain because I understood a long time ago that trying to be that for more than one woman would actually mean being that for no one. What I mean is that every woman deserves the undivided attention of the man who holds their heart. My divided attention would be both hypocritical and ineffective.

So for those, I simply listen with a sympathetic ear and an encouraging smile. And hope that one day THEIR hero will appear.

Categories: personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Pull Of The Cape

  1. I have made a point to educate as many young men as I can to the error of their ways when they try to be heroes for young women. It’s SUCH a blatant and self-centered approach to relationships… And it’s sneaky because it seems like you’re thinking of others. But as you say, it gives them yet another cheap imitation of the real thing and that’s not helping anybody.

    Of course, my perspective is less compassionate because I just got irritated with my guy friends for acting this way… haha. 🙂

    • Haha… you know where this comes from, right? It’s that part of a guy that desperately wants to fix things. The solution to a broken pipe is simple: fix the pipe. 😉 So it stands to reason (guys would assume) that the solution to a broken heart is just as simple and direct. But along with maturity comes and increase understanding of relationship complexities and we realize that matters of the heart are rarely, if ever, simple or direct.

      So are you saying you were irritated because your guy friends were trying to be YOUR hero, or just a hero to other girls?

      • I was irritated because they thought of themselves as heroes and thereby allowed themselves to be dragged down by girls who were in need of FATHERS, not boyfriends. Then they acted like romance had disappeared from the world. It’s the whole “nice guy” thing. “Nice guys” always say girls don’t want a nice guy, girls want a jerk. Well, it was my experience that the nice guys only went after girls who jerks or at the very least emotionally immature/traumatized. They didn’t ever try to save me because I didn’t appear to need saving. Which I didn’t. I had a strong relationship with my parents, a faith that was my own and not my parents ideology forced on me, opinions I’d thought through, and an intellect I trusted a little TOO much. I didn’t NEED a man in my life. Wanted one, haha, but didn’t need one in the way those guys wanted to be needed. I wasn’t desperate or in distress. I wanted a partner, a team player I could respect, and a man who was willing to learn leadership at the hand of God. I was asking for way more than romance.
        Therefore, no “nice guys” really applied for the job!
        Then I met Eric and he was shocked to find a girl who not only had standards but whose standards rivaled the ones HE had made. He didn’t know girls like me existed before we met.

  2. The thing my daddy always said to me, starting when I was probably 9 or 10 years old was this:
    “Vicki, what do you think I’d want you to look for in a future husband?”
    “Ummmm, that he believes in God?”
    “Nope. The first thing I’d want you to look for is someone who is WISE first, and then someone who believes in God. Plenty of Christian men are very, very foolish.”

    It stayed with me. And I understood my daddy wasn’t discrediting the vital importance of marrying a man who was spiritually alive in Christ. He was protecting me from glossing over a man’s faults by virtue of “but he’s a Christian.”
    I plan to pass along his advice to my daughters and sons. 🙂 Thought I’d share!

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