Saturday, June 7, 2008

Is He A Domesticated Man Or A Domestic God?

Writing a Domestic god hero is difficult because the difference between a Domestic god and a Domesticated man is like the difference between a cougar and a house cat. They both purr when they get their ears scratched, they both dislike water, but you’ll never train a cougar to use a litter box. Cougars are cunning, beautiful and definitely a breed all their own—much like the Domestic god. They might have all the same body parts as a house cat, but that’s where the comparison ends. For example:

The Domesticated man does the dishes because he doesn’t want to fight with you about it. A Domestic god does the dishes to give you just the right amount of time to anticipate his arrival in the bedroom.

A Domesticated man will wash and dry the laundry. A Domestic god will do the laundry—but he’ll also wash and dry your hair.

A Domesticated man will pick up the dry cleaning because you told him to. A Domestic god picks up the dry cleaning because he saw it on your to-do list.

A Domesticated man will take your car out to run errands; a Domestic god will take your car out to run errands and fill up your gas tank so you don’t have to.

Domesticated men will grudgingly pick up feminine products only in the most dire of emergencies. Domestic gods don’t mind picking them up anytime, along with some chocolate to make you feel better.

Domesticated men prefer take-out. Domestic gods prefer slow cooking to microwaves in both the kitchen and the bedroom.

Domesticated men will plan weekend trips for two to get away. Domestic Gods will plan romantic weekend trips for two, but will also surprise you with trips for you and your girlfriends.

Every time I write about a Domestic god, I walk a fine line between the hero being--well, a hero, and the hero being a wimp. But after looking at the differences closely, both in real men and fictional men alike, I’ve come to believe that what makes a Domestic god a Domestic god, and a Cougar a Cougar is all in the delivery.

11 comments:

  1. I'd love to get your take on DM/DG and purses. Why is it men are deathly afraid of women's handbags, as if they expect to find raw plutonium in there?

    Your mention of a DG washing and drying a woman's hair had ME purring. I once had a scalp treatment at a spa, where the masseur first massaged oil into my scalp and then carefully, slowly brushed out my hair, and it was without a doubt the most sensuous experience of my life. It's one thing to trust a man with dinner, but it's something else entirely to trust him with your hair. (Either that or I've lived a very sheltered, unadventurous life.)

    Please tell us where we can find these Domestic Gods! Are they a breed somewhere? Are they exclusive to one region of the world? Share! :)

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  2. Robin, great post and thanks for the clarification. So are domestic gods beta or alpha males, do you reckon? And my DH always returns my vehicle with the gas tank full :)

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  3. Alas, there are no gods at my house! Just regular guys who don't see anything that needs doing unless I point it out to them. But I love them anyway!

    The only time I ever really enjoyed having my hair washed at a salon was when a man did it. The difference? No long, sharp fingernails digging into my scalp! I think about him every time I get my hair done, wishing he was there to do it again.

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  4. Hi Carla and Donnell~

    I think Domestic gods are highly evolved Alpha males. They are so secure in their position that they don't often need to expose their teeth. For instance, Mike Flynn, the hero of 'If You Can't Stand The Heat...' is the kind of Alpha that speaks softly but carries a big stick. He is the new generation of Alpha males. You won't find him beating his chest, he's more apt to use brains not braun, but he has a line in the sand that no one would want to cross.

    Carla, my own personal Domestic god has no problem carrying my handbag for me even when people tease him about how nice it matches his shoes. After I complained about him filling my purse with his stuff (keys, sun glasses, wallet and whatever else he sees fit to dump on me) he began carrying a messenger bag to hold the necessities of life when we go on outings. The last time we did a day trip with the kids, I left my purse at home and put my stuff in his 'man bag.' He takes it to work every day and uses it often when he has the kids with him. He also keeps the bulk of his wallet in 'The Mother Ship' which allows him to only carry his cash, ID and one credit card in his pocket.


    Domestic gods are found only when you're looking specifically for them. If you're not, they can easily fly under the radar because they're not the typical Alpha male. They don't beat their chests, they don't feel the need to prove their virility, and although they can be bad boys turned good, they're not always that either. I think once you know what to look for in a man who is a Domestic god, you'll find that there are more of them out there then you'd think..

    Thanks for the great comments and questions!

    Robin :)

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  5. Robin,
    I am curious as to how you make it so the DG isn't too good to be true. I'm afraid I don't know a single man like the ones you describe in the DG category. I guess my friends and I married from the OTHER aisle. LOL. Mine is very domesticated and does it all around the house, but that extra level you describe...not in this or any other lifetime.
    Marie

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  6. You are so right, Robin. It's a very fine line between hero and wimp, and we women are incredibly demanding and not very willing to give the poor guys any hints. Any guy who can figure it out is already a hero to men and women everywhere!

    Christina

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  7. Robin,

    Where's the waiting list to get one of those domestic gods?

    Please add me to the list. :-)

    Christie Craig
    www.christie-craig.com

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  8. Donnell, my DH (dear husband, not domestic hero) knows better than to take my car without telling me. I get very pissy when he moves the seat and rear view mirror. On the other hand, I can check my own oil and tire pressure, too.

    Robin, my husband would have a very different definition of "man bag". He's 47 going on 12.

    I need training in how to seek out a Domestic God. Do they offer classes on that somewhere? Where do I sign up? Or better yet, where does my husband sign up for classes on how to BE a Domestic God? Can existing males be trained to become DGs, or are DGs born?

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  9. Carla, you have raised such a valuable point. Robin, perhaps you should schedule a workshop. We are in dire need of working out the kinks in the domesticity department. So forget all deadlines ;) and come to our rescue! Seriously, thanks for a fun post!

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  10. Hi everyone~

    Thanks so much for coming by today.

    Marie~ The only person who knows a Domestic god is not too good to be true is their significant other.

    Even Domestic gods have faults but, as annoying as those faults are, they are overshadowed by their strengths--in everyone eyes but the Domestic god's significant other. The bad part of being married to a Domestic god is when you're complaining to your girlfriends and they tell you how lucky you are to have him. Believe me, that gets really old when you want people to say that yes, in this instance he was a real jerk.

    Nick in Romeo, Romeo was a bit of a control freak and a total neat-nick. Every time poor Rosalie turned around she was looking for something she swore she just put down. She would find her shoes in the closet instead of under the coffee table where she left them. That can really get annoying--not that I know from personal experience or anything. Lord knows I would never do something like leave my shoes around, toss the mail on my desk and forget to go though it, or eat over the sink so I don't have to do dishes. No, not me...

    Robin :)

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  11. That's funny, Robin! I have a character like that, too. He cleans up after her and drives her insane reorganizing her organized chaos. It's fun to write.

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