the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Ideal Man and Woman

sorry, Fabio, you were voted off.

model for Mr. “Valentine’s Day”

model for Ms. “Valentine’s Day”

OK, we’re on for Valentine’s Day! I’m in the process of emailing out tentative time slots now (read here to learn more).

We will be open for business from 9AM EST until 3AM EST! Anyone who is lonely or needs some Valentine’s Day cheer can IM mister_valentinesday on yahoo IM and get some lovin’ from a real live person. I gave myself the last late night slot, thinking that this will be the time when most single women will be drunk and desperate. Ha Ha –I’m not stupid!

There is one problem left. Yesterday, I was talking with a blogger, and she said, “I like Stacy from Jurgen Nation and all, but I’m not sure I really want to log in and chat with her on Valentine’s Day and have her think that I’m a Valentine’s Day loser.”

Let me make something clear. All the people who are doing this experiment with me are hand-picked exactly because they are as miserable as you in some aspect of their lives. Think about it. What type of NUT would volunteer to participate in this? These are EXACTLY the type of people you want to chat with in order to feel good about yourself on Valentine’s Day.

And remember — you are NOT chatting with some anonymous blogger or Stacy from Jurgen Nation. You will be chatting with the very handsome and romantic Mr. Valentine’s Day or the glamorous Ms. Valentine’s Day, depending on who you want to be YOUR VALENTINE.

But we still need your help. We still need to create these wonderful personas — Mr. Valentine’s Day and Ms. Valentine’s Day. What are their characteristics? Since Valentine’s Day is supposedly about romance, I think these icons should have the traits of the “ideal” man and woman. Your input is essential in helping us “understand” our roles. Like Robert De Niro, we want to BECOME the characters. This means if I am on IM duty and a man shows up, depressed because he didn’t get any Valentine’s Day cards, I should be ready to immediately jump into the role of Ms. Valentine’s Day and “make his day” by telling him he is “my valentine.”

So what are the characteristics of the ideal man AND woman, so we can all better play one on Valentine’s Day? Attractive? Romantic? Honest? Sense of humor? Great ass? We need to hear from both men and women.


  1. girl and dog

    The ideal man is confident but not cocky, sweet but not sappy, emotionally available but not a blubbering baby. He loves to make a woman happy in bed and has unending patience. He spoils his woman not by buying her expensive generic gifts, but by giving her exactly what he knows will make her happy. He makes her feel safe but gives her wings to fly. Oh, and he can write a killer e-mail that will make you laugh in the middle of a slow workday.

  2. Neil

    Thanks! Informative. But good luck in real life. You’re gonna need it.

  3. Alissa

    Tall, dark, handsome. Now for the ideal woman…. 🙂

  4. wendy

    Big points on your Kathrine photo..good choice…the Man…not so much…Really off the mark. My ideal man is John Cusak. Quirky, cool, sorta a wreck, and funny, wicked funny. He is still a man…but a man with range. As for the women..thats your area…but I’m guessing boob, butt, and a sense of both style and humor. Just guessing

  5. Finn

    Yeah, I’m not so hot on Fabio, either. Yuck.

    My ideal man? Funny, smart, knows how to kiss, how to just listen; romantic; not afraid to say how he feels; makes me feel beautiful, sexy, desirable and loved. He knows that I would rather have a heartfelt note or poem than any piece of jewelry.

  6. psychomom

    My dream guy is athletic, funny, smart, and openminded and not afraid to let loose. He can be a little macho but he is not a pig and he loves me unconditionally, as I do him.
    He also has to be able to carry me on his back and not have a smaller butt than me.

  7. Hilly

    I’m a little taken aback that you think I am miserable in any way at all, mister. I mean, shit….just because I have done nothing but sit on my couch and eat, sleep and take pills since my surgery…oh and watch tons of series on DVD….does not make me sad in the least. Nope, not at all ;).

    Ideal person is smart, witty, creative, sensitive but not a crybaby, independent but not stubborn, open minded but not easily swayed, respectful but not a milque-toast, somewhat handsome (hey I gotta be honest here) with good teeth ;).

  8. EEK

    My ideal man would be really good at board games/trivia so that, if we get stuck playing on each other’s team at a game night with friends, we could kick everyone’s ass. He can’t be too good, though. If we’re playing scrabble or something, I want to be able to win at least half the time. The best would be if he’s good at sport’s trivia, because that’s my weak subject.

    Also, I like funny.

    And brooding.

    I don’t like long hair or whining.

  9. Bre

    Item 1: Willing and able to kill any big spiders without mocking me for screaming when I see them
    Item 2: Can hold actual conversation for more than 20 minutes without looking at my boobs
    Item 3: Broad shoulders
    Item 4: Looks hot with 5:00 shadow
    Item 5: Warms up the car while I’m doing my hair in the morning
    Item 6: Always willing to snuggle on the sofa
    Item 7: Good in bed

    Man, I could go on forever! I’d better stop now though, before I itemize myself into a corner

  10. Neil

    Let me understand. Are you suggesting that when I’m on IM during Valentine’s Day, I should play DOWN the crybaby act and whining?

    Can anyone suggest a better photo than Fabio as an ideal representation?

    Cary Grant maybe?

  11. psychomom

    Paul Newman (Sorry Joanne, I love your husband)

  12. Jazz

    I don’t know about characteristics of the perfect valentine… but gawd amighty – FABIO! You have seared my eyeballs. And not in a good way.

    Fabio and Kate? Anathema! she is so far above him the mind boggles.

  13. better safe than sorry

    i’m not into fabio. i like harrison ford, before he got to looking like an old man, now my guy is owen wilson. it’s something in the eyes i think. i like someone who is smart, but not so smart he leaves you feeling stupid.

  14. Atomic Bombshell

    I’ll just stick with your picks: CK Dexter Haven and Tracy Lord from the Philadelphia Story… SWOON!!!

  15. Nance

    How does one type with a believable British accent?

  16. sandra

    I’d like a love note, please?

  17. Bre

    My vote is John Cusack… yum.

  18. Jurgen Nation

    Neil, who in the H said that??! We must caucus immediately. If you think you’re a loser, you’re not. It’s the asshats that think they’re better than who they determine to be losers who are the losers. Unfortunately articulated, but the thought is there. Plus, Valentine’s Day is created to make people feel bad. Your system is designed to cordially stick a shiv in cupid’s kidney, as it should be. Everyone should feel nice on Valentine’s Day, not just the people who are spending it with someone. And I can’t wait to make someone feel nice.

    That being written.

    Perfect man. British or Scottish accent, can do math in his head, knows what is going on politically. My perfect man (although without the accent) is Jon Stewart. Mmmm…yummy.

  19. Neil

    Jurgen — a fine statement.

    And just curious… why is it attractive to have a man do math in his head? Never heard that one before. Were you embarrassed as a child by a father who always took out a calculator to figure out the tip at IHOP?

  20. Danny

    You are RIGHT ON with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the world’s most perfect couple in every way. Except that he was a repressed homosexual who had five bad marriages and she was a loner who said, “I often wonder whether men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” But they’re still my role models.

  21. Mariana

    my ideal man is rich.

  22. ms. sizzle

    for me he’s a bit jon stewart- witty, savvy, humble and brilliant and a bit like jack black- zany, enthusiastic, adorable and a bit like zach braff- talented, charming in a dorky way with incredibly kissable lips.

    i think thoughtfulness goes a LONG way and not enough people are thoughtful.

    i do take offense to the notion that i am some kind of miserable person. sure, i just gave up sugar when a) i have pms and b) it’s days before the chocolate holiday of the year but that doesn’t mean i am miserable. 🙂

  23. Mo

    Uh, I was just planning to answer every sentence with “I love you” or “smooches” when I man the IM. Am I really supposed to remember what everyone (individually) wants? Crap!

  24. Mo

    Oh, my ideal man is Clark Gable, btw. I want a man who can confidently be what he is – cry if he’s sad, want what he wants (and not be afraid to ask) – but be respectful of my opinion when I disagree. I love a good arguement 😉

  25. molly

    Jake Ryan, with a twist of Fox Mulder and a dash of Jack Bauer. On top of a plate of Gregory House. With a side of Tom Hanson. And some Jim Halpert for dessert.

  26. Alexandra

    I think the ideal man or woman is someone who is kind and funny, honest and wise, compassionate and joyful. With these qualities anyone is the perfect Valentine.

  27. Neil

    The ideal woman is funny, smart and #@&%$* like a @*&%4 while &%$@*&% like a %#@**&$.  And knows how to make brisket.

  28. Churlita

    I’m still in love with Randolph Mantooth from Emergency.

    I like guys who can fix things and make things. Funny and smart are very important. Oh, and no lazy boys, thank you.

  29. Jurgen Nation

    Neil, because it means he’ll be able to handle restaurant math so I don’t have to. I can figure out tips and percentages and so forth, but why bother if someone else can do it?

  30. Jurgen Nation

    Oh, who am I kidding. Matt has a master’s in math and I find that so incredibly sexy. I have no idea why.

  31. Non-Highlighted Heather

    Jake Ryan. Ha, that’s cute coming from a girl named Molly.

    First, kindness. Second, make me laugh until I pee my pants. Third, be scary smart. Fourth, kindness. Fifth, have eclectic culinary tastes. Sixth, be able to name, recite (or sing) at least 5 Dave Matthew’s songs. Seventh, put up with all my crazy, manic behaviors. Eighth, kindness.

  32. Non-Highlighted Heather

    Make that Matthews’. I hate typos.

  33. V-Grrrl

    Treats wait staff, service personnel, and co-workers with respect, but can also tell someone off without raising their voice or using profanity.

    Makes me laugh.

    Can be counted on to manage details

    Not into sports or computer games


    Likes to hug

    Digs cats and dogs

    Functions well in social settings

    Owns a pair of hiking boots but not a basement full of camping equipment

    Never wears sneakers with jeans

    Has a good a haircut

    Owns a tool chest

    Closes the bathroom door

    Says please and thank you

  34. Caron

    He has kindness that shines through his eyes. He is intelligent and well read, but not stuffy. Capable of being both silly and quiet. He pretends to listen and to care when I babble on and on. He has hobbies and interests seperate from me, but we each appreciate the talents of the other. He can cook and clean and do his own laundry, and expresses his gratitude when I do those things for him. Charming, witty and clever never hurt. Most importantly, he makes me feel safe.

  35. jleeody

    Neil, I’m glad you crossed Fabio off the list. I can’t think of him anymore without thinking of that poor ill fated seagull.

  36. deannie

    Gosh, how can you go wrong with someone (man or woman) who respects you and that you respect? Being loving takes different forms for us all but when a person is just loving, kind, compassionate and merciful, how can you not love a person like that?

    Of course, brilliance, hard working and skeelz in bed make for a complete package.

  37. Elizabeth

    Ideal man….likes my kids, thinks I’m funny (and tells a few good ones, himself0, sees into my soul, and is hung like a horse, of course.

  38. Pearl

    Ok, I want Fabio back.

    Except, shorter, darker, and with a relaxed, confident, punny wit and so little going on his life that he can devote all his energies to fabulous conversations and long meals over fabulous food. He’d be a hugger and a belly-laugher.

    Mrs Valentine, the same but add some sharpness to the wit and ample breasts.

  39. Neil

    Eek — Board games? That’s interesting. Although I would think him being good in ‘Operation” means he has steady hands.

    Mariana — My ideal man is rich! Ha Ha. Someone honest!

    Churlita — Fix things and make things? And you still read my blog?

    Heather — I don’t understand this obsession with Dave Matthews. You are not the only woman.

    V-grrl — Never wears sneakers with jeans?!!! No comment.

    Ascender — You do realize that “Ken” may be perfect except for one important detail.

    Elizabeth — I you really met a man who was “hung like a horse,” you would run screaming.

    And where the hell are the men? Do I not have any male readers anymore or are “breasts” all that is necessary for an ideal woman?

  40. V-Grrrl


    There’s a time in your life for sneakers and jeans, but at my age, I only want to see sneakers on a guy if he’s exercising or walking his dog. Not at the movies. The grocery store. A party. What can I say? I hate that Jerry Seinfeld look! Bleah!

  41. momentary academic

    This is the nicest thing ever. I think that both Mr. and Ms. Valentine need to be good listeners and supportive to their new friend. That’s all anyone really wants, I think.

  42. Churlita


    I can’t fix things very well, so I love reading your stories on the subject. It feels like home.

    That’s also why I would want a man around who could be handy, so I don’t continually have a bunch of broken crap lying around.

  43. Miriam

    I choose Steven Colbert. Love that boyish look. I’d like to teach him a few things.

    What’s this obsession with Scrabble? With my ideal man I’m going to play Scrabble? It is to laugh.

  44. Otir

    My ideal man is reliable.

  45. Two Roads

    Neil, I am smart, funny & a cook one absolutely fabulous brisket. All the rest is just icing on the cake so to speak! 🙂

  46. girl and dog

    Gee, Neil… You said “ideal”, I was just describing my boyfriend. Men like that DO exist, you know? I’m sure you’re more wonderful than you give yourself credit for. And, may I just say THANK YOU for getting rid of Fabio!!!!!!!

  47. Nance

    Okay, now because of Miriam, I want my man to say “it is to laugh.”

  48. Dagny

    I remember being 10 or so and deciding that I absolutely loved Cary Grant. The dramas were great but I really liked the comedies more. There was always this bit of self-deprecating humor involved. Later Gregory Peck started to replace him. Smart, athletic, sensitive. I knew it was love when I read that of all the characters he played, he felt that Atticus Finch was the closest to the real him.

    As for men still living, I do like John Cusack. But he will never replace Grant or Peck.

    Best qualities? Listening and thoughtfulness. Actually the first can be evidenced by the second. Long ago I dated a guy, who is still a friend, and what really got me was that when I thought he wasn’t listening, he really was. Because he would surprise me with gifts that showed he had actually been listening. Like the time he showed up with some videos and a tub of red vines because he remembered that once I had said that my fave candy while watching a movie was red vines.

  49. Lefty

    I just like the fact that Ms. V-Day is grabbing her breasts.

  50. Heather B.

    Stacy from Jurgen Nation already knows that I’m a Valentine’s Day Loser and guess what?? I don’t care.


  51. cynthia

    my man must be luvly caring,givs me attention and target/buissness

  52. Kevin Ex

    Ideal Women: Intelligent, beautiful, has great body, has great eyes, has a good sense of humor, has an aim in life.

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