I must confess – I am a product of a very matriarchal clan led by my diminutive mother who rules like Napoleon and makes no apologies for it. Add a gaggle of grandmothers and aunts of every crazy caliber. It is no wonder I continue to be intrigued by men.
My dad was the defeated minority, frequently hiding in a garage “fixing the car”, terrified of all the estrogen raging in the house and knowing that try as hard as he might, he could do no right. The male species remain an elusive mystery to me. Even now, when I am the only girl in the family of four…
Throughout the years I have studied the males in their natural habitat, conducted scientific observations and even resorted to Gestapo-style interrogation. As fate would have it, my main point of interest has specifically become the American Male. What exactly is it? In Europe, an American man is easily spotted by the obligatory white sneakers and equally gleaming dentistry. However, in their home terrain one realises that there are many interesting subcategories. Broadly speaking, though, I can quite resolutely declare that I love American men. Some of them personally. Maybe it is because I left Estonia at such a young age that there was no time for love. Legally. Maybe it is because the American men’s selection is a real smorgasbord. Do you desire someone with a temperamental nature who cooks well? Here you are, a Cuban American. Looking for a jolly lovable alcoholic? Thadaaa, an Irish American. Do you wish someone really exotic and to piss off your parents? Please, take an African American.
A questionnaire I conducted amongst my Estonian girlfriends revealed that the biggest difference between Estonian and American guys is the communication skill and a general cool attitude. American man is usually sociable and friendly, not lurking in the corners by himself. He makes a lot of compliments without necessarily expecting anything in return but just to be polite. And yes, the Estonian consensus seems to be that the perpetual keep smiling attitude is very shallow, but let’s be honest: would you rather spend the whole day in a fun, friendly, positive environment; or amongst closed-off, grumpy, greasy-haired specimens contemplating their own bellybuttons?
American man flirts a lot without a designated purpose. It is how a salesman up-sells you or a waiter makes an extra tip. It is entirely a woman’s choice whether to respond to the compliment with angry feminist offence, or go weak in your knees and start planning your wedding day. The best response, I have found, is to simply smile and say “thank you”.
Estonian girls are well aware of the fact that we boast highest quota of super-models per capita. They expect to be wined and dined. A modern American girl offers to go Dutch on the first date. Whereupon it is polite for a gentleman to refuse such a sweet gesture. My own first superficial impression of American men was their immaculate appearance. No greasy hair, broken teeth or black socks with sandals. A typical American man showers at least once a day, be it a fancy Wall Street racketeer or a hardworking labourer. Emphasis on shower, not bath. The only way an American guy will jump in a tub is if there is already a pair of soapy boobs bobbing about. I think men are afraid to bathe alone. An American male always smells good. A pleasant sporty cologne is in his arsenal, even for the most macho of them, who otherwise use car keys to clean their ears. If a man’s daily routine includes going to the gym, or nooners with a mistress, add another shower. It is mandatory for an American man to wear clothes only once. At the end of a day, all the shirts, socks and underpants fly on to the floor. Better trained individuals deposit then in a designated laundry basket.
Like in most cultures, a straight American male can roughly be divided into two categories – metrosexual and macho. A liberal metrosexual spends a considerable amount of time and effort to look effortless. And a lot of time and money styling his hair to look like he just rolled out of bed.
Macho man dress classically. While living in Texas, I discovered that cowboys are not just a figment of Hollywood imagination but a real life specimen. They wear big hats and the big shiny belt buckles on their tight jeans proudly herald their ranch. I have not met a more polite gentleman than a Southern guy. A standard greeting is a tip of the hat and the conversation peppered with frequent “yes ma’am” – s. They even turn away when spitting tobacco on the floor.
Many macho men proclaim their sports allegiance, favorite beer or political views on a t-shirt. Or the car stickers. Hours and hours of sitting in traffic jams makes for pretty interesting reading. For example, you may find that “my child can beat up your honour student”. Or that if I can read the bumper sticker on the car straight in front of me, I am, in fact, too close to him. The back of the Harley guy’s t-shirt proclaims that “If you can read this, the bitch fell off”.
Be it macho or metrosexual, a successful cohabitation and marriage with an American male begins with proper house training. As a first step, literally, you must teach them to take their white sneakers off in the hallway. This is very painstaking work. Americans are accustomed to plop their feet with their filthy shoes on right onto the coffee table. Right next to a bag of chips and ham sandwich. Imagine if you have a baby crawling around on the floor? You imagine all the steeped in dog-poop and disease-infested gum spreading leprosy to the off-white carpeting. The nagging may take years and usually ends in defeat. As in, the woman resorts to vacuum-cleaning twice a day and endless use of Lysol. This sad situation is offset by the fact that an American man lets his wife decorate the home. And if he should attempt to chime in about placement of furniture, send him back into the debated closet and file for divorce immediately. The black leather sofa and a pinball machine get booted to the dumpster. A more generous woman will allow those monstrosities to be installed in the garage, where the husband can hide “fixing the car”, while he, and his guitar gently weeps.
Cover photo: Jeremiah Hill
35 thoughts on “An American man by an Estonian woman”
Personal perspectives and self-disclosure like this, which are routine in most parts of the world, seem frustratingly rare among the eestlased. Kudos to you, Ms. Blithe. By all means, write more!
Fun read. But I’d say that — particularly among Estonian-Americans — the majority of straight men don’t fall into either metrosexual or macho. Just my own observation.
Curious to hear your take then on women.
Ave – imagine a man writing a similar article about how they polled their male friends about American & Estonian womens’ characteristics with the similar dismissive & snarky tone. What would your reaction be? If I were to guess, the howls of “misogynist” & “men can’t handle a strong women!” would be loud & clear – don’t delude yourself to the contrary. Honestly, this kind of tiresome drivel has been posted earlier (and far more cleverly) on sites like jezebel.com & slate.com, so it offers nothing that is original, insightful, … or even funny!
But your narrative does raise the interesting question: If men are so in need of “civilizing”, why do you bother with men at all? Men must be a necessary evil, here to take out the trash, do your heavy lifting or cater to your fleeting whims. Furthermore, do you view your two sons as, somehow, being less than human because of the presence of the “XY” chromosome? It’s hard not to make that connection from your writing. I can’t help but recall Hannah Rosin’s writings in The Atlantic about how she treats her son.
Still, here in the USA, you have the right to your opinions. This Memorial Day, just try to keep in mind the men in military who died (yes, overwhelmingly men) protecting your right to espouse this excrement. However, I suspect that won’t happen – you’d be too focused on whether their filthy combat boots would mess up your coffee table or soil your off-white carpeting.
I’m afraid you missed the overall message, which I interpreted to be highly praiseworthy of American men.
Forgive her self entitlement she is an American woman. If you know of any woman in her 20s similar to your character back home. Please let me know
Ms. K, To be sure It’s your right to have your opinion. Your rebuttal makes no sense and I’m hard-pressed to wonder what tragedy brought on such bitterness and sadness. You’re probably better off expressing your frustration elsewhere. I feel embarrassed for you.
Ava, you with your tall American look happy. That’s all that really matters!!
Hi, Kylaline. I’m an old disabled Vietnam vet that served ten years on active duty, and did three tours in Vietnam. I understand where you are coming from, but when I read Ave’s article I found it to be very entertaining. I just laughed at many of her remarks. I don’t think she was putting American men down so much as she was making humorous observations. Every thing she said is true for many. Just my take.
Wow. I couldn’t disagree with Kylaline more! I’m an American married to a
beautiful Estonian woman. I throw my clothes on the floor. I wasn’t
offended and if you could read without whatever agenda (or chip on the
shoulder) you may have, you’d see she was writing affectionately about
Reaffirms just what is fucked up about American bitches huh?
To BigisNick – Please re-read the last paragraph of the author’s article. Let’s do the exercise of analyzing a couple of sentences carefully. I have to assume that you have been exposed to this kind of analysis somewhere in your education. My apologies if that assumption is mistaken.
The first sentence starts off with “successful cohabitation and marriage with an American male begins with proper house training”. House-training is what you apply to a house pet, like a dog or cat. If you view that as “writing affectionately about us Yanks”, you and I interpret the adverb “affectionately” very differently: all I can think of is “Stockholm Syndrome”, as you must be a completely beaten man. We’ll agree to disagree: I just don’t accept the frame of intrinsic male inferiority that the author posits. Perhaps you do? If that’s having a “whatever agenda” or a “chip on the shoulder”, so be it.
But maybe that sentence of the author is an aberration, an attempt at humor by stating something so outrageous that it can only be construed as being funny? Well, consider the sentence “And if he should attempt to chime in about placement of furniture, send him back into the debated closet and file for divorce immediately.” While I’m not sure what a “debated closet” is (I’ll assume the author is trying to communicate something like sending a badly behaving child to their room), I do understand how affectionately the author and (by extension) you view divorce – it’s just a punchline to some big joke. Very funny – not! Again, men exist to serve women’s needs and if they don’t deliver the goods then kick ’em to the curb!
Please conduct the thought experiment: if someone wrote about “kicking a woman to the curb and divorcing her ass” (because she committed some equally grievous offense, like burning a meatloaf) in a similarly-themed article I can safely guess your response.
These are just two sentences I’ve deconstructed. Hopefully, it wasn’t too hard to follow.
In my local grocery store, the Kool-Aid is displayed on aisle 5, next to the sodas. Next time I’m there, I’ll be thinking of ya. Proosit!
It’s called cultural differences and humor dumbass. Stop being the typical American jealous hot head self intitaled woman. If you read about her cultural men, you would have shut your mouth.
All the bitch did was outline her delusion & society’s double standards as demanded by women. Kylaline is a typical shitty American bitch.
Wait. So you do not “train” your guys? So you lie? At least this author did not lie! Nothing is more fucking annoying than women who are delusional & lie about what they actually do!
good teeth, may be, but they are fat and can’t dance! besides, nakedness is absolutely off limit – booooring 🙂
Bravo, Bravo, Bravo. Your wit, subtle humor, charm, and complete grasp of a brilliant subject required a number of rereads for me to absorb it all. I yearn for my youth now long past to visit Estonia to fall in love with a a smart, beautiful, witty, lady such as yourself.
Well written – Bravo!
My guess is this woman’s experience with American men is limited to her husband, and the closest she has ever gotten to Texas is watching re-runs of Dallas.
I always take my shows off at the door.
I have a recliner so my feet never hit the coffee table.
Off white carpet in a home with kids? Brilliant!! Ever heard of tile, or wood?
Honey. You should come to Florida. We have real men here. Not farmers, not metrosexuals, and certainly not vagina whipped fools.
Interesting. I’m an American. Been in Helsinki the last few days. Heading to Tallinn tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing your homeland! Btw, I’m in 3rd category, renaissance man, neither metro or macho.
Well done. I have been to Holland, Sweden and Bulgaria, but never Estonia. With long cold winters, if any of your Estonian friends or family want to enjoy SUMMER from Dec.-April come visit Costa Rica. fincaAmanecer.com
or amongst closed-off, grumpy, greasy-haired specimens contemplating their own bellybuttons? LOL usually genes spread equally and there are tons of hot Estonian guys 😀 So hmm you failed to get sex and fun in homeland? and found that in bigger country where your looks amount to somewhat exotic you got it. Makes sense 🙂
Are you a retard? She clearly indicated that Estonian men are retardedly simple so why would getting sex from them difficult. She just hated gloomy cloudy days and prefers sunny situations.
Oatman-Stanford: Look, if I skimmed
over the first few paragraphs of the author’s article after a couple of beers
and a dookie, I can see how you’d come to your (erroneous) conclusion. Nevertheless, intellectual honesty would
compel me to support my claim with at least a few factual references. Wouldn’t you agree?
The tone of the article is reminiscent of
a condescending 1950s National Geographic article about native tribes in, say,
Southeast Asia. In short, the narrative from those National
Geographic articles can be summarized as “Isn’t it cute that these people have
a culture?”. You don’t believe me? Fine, go to your local library and peruse
those magazines. See for yourself; don’t
take my word for it.
Throughout the body of work (the parts
that you skimmed), the author pontificates about her extensive fieldwork
observing American men in their natural habitats. Isn’t it cute that men do X, Y or Z? Oooh – so scientific! Nevertheless, despite their ostensive cleanliness
& attractive scent, American men are still beasts! Quoting the author: “The only way an American guy will
jump in a tub is if there is already a pair of soapy boobs bobbing about”. Maybe the
reason men prefer showering over bathing in a tub is that men don’t enjoy the
life of leisure that the author does? They have to, say, work on their farm to put
food on the table for their family.
Someone’s got to work for a living.
Still, I can appreciate outrageousness as a rhetorical
device – but only if the article were already funny. In the article’s last paragraph the author
reveals her true misandry. You may (or may not) recall from your writing
classes that an essay’s final paragraph brings together the author’s main
points. Here, men are still beasts: they need to be housetrained! See it for yourself in the first sentence of
the last paragraph. Check out this choice quote: “Americans are accustomed to plop their feet
with their filthy shoes on right onto the coffee table.” Since the author’s husband is an organic
chicken farmer, I can imagine that this is a reference to him; chicken farms
aren’t exactly known for hospital-like cleanliness. I sure hope the organic chicken farm is in
his name only “because should (he) attempt to chime in about placement of
furniture, send him back into the debated closet and file for divorce
immediately.” In America, divorce means you lose half of
your assets. Don’t believe me? Check out Eddie Murphy’s clip here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4YJHvzo2io
Now, tell me again where I’m missing the point?
I thought the article was blunt, humorous, mostly accurate, and fun to read. We come in all shapes and sizes over here, for sure!
I would gladly submit to training if it was by a beautiful Estonian woman.
Yes Estonian girls and models are really beautiful. But theres so less information about them on internet. The only place i found is http://www.qoqomodels.com/ and those are real estonian not russian or etc. I know personally one of them. This girl living in Tallinn and she ise very ok
As a (what I’d like to think) typical american male I have to admit you’re spot on and hit the bullseye in describing us. I live in central Texas and saw myself in almost every word you wrote. Kudos!
Never been to USA, but my problem with the majority of Estonian men is that they don’t bother to look good or just don’t know how to. The most popular hairstyle seems to be a buzz cut and they’re affraid to dress fashionably because they think thats gay (also a lot of homophobes)! But it is slowly getting better 🙂
Üldistada ja rumalusi levitada?
Nice article. Now go get me a beer.
You have a great dry wit, brains and good looks–what a combo–your man is lucky!!!
Removing my shoes is something I don’t do in OTHER people’s houses because I don’t want to get my socks dirty. No Estonian woman has to train me.
So, if a visiting American leaves his shoes on, perhaps it is because he is accustomed to visiting the houses of people who don’t remove their shoes. You have to tell him not to wear his shoes inside. He is possibly merely afraid of getting his socks dirty or getting hookworm.
I think this thing dates back to the pioneer days when so many people had dirt floors in their houses, or perhaps they are just swine. There is so much less dog poop outside than some people have in their houses. They track it OUT not IN!
If you file for divorce let me know!
does anyone know where to buy a disinfecting spray like lysol in estonia
why the fuck did you delete my comment, its a genuine question, where do you buy lysol here
That sounds like a bunch of made up hooey.
I agree with your assessment of American men but we also have the metro-macho male. I’m a born and breed Chicago guy which is very different from the Cowboys and Wall Street money males who have to decide if they prefer men or women for the day sexually.
I’m always very well dressed, in shape and shoes shined like glass. I’m not liberal and think all politics is BS. I also like a good fight ever so often, win or lose.
I love the well dressed tuff guy personality.
I have found that most women wether they admit it or not like a “bad boy”
This article gave me a good chuckle. As a former American expat, some women overseas certainly do seem to have an odd fascination with American men and are bored of their fellow countrymen. Personally, I blame Hollywood for such attentions, haha.