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Alice Kahn

Why Aren't WASP Men Cute Anymore?

July 17, 1988|Alice Kahn

All week long I've had this blues song in my head. It's a little tune that goes something like this:

Gimme a big WASP man,

I mean a big WASP man,

I'll make him meat loaf 'n' mashed potatoes

Every chance I can

I wanna big

WASP man.

You see, Doctor, it all began when I was talking to another woman at work about cute guys. Cute guys. Homo cuticus. We are both mature, responsible, kinda now, kinda "with it" women. We have held jobs, bought property and delivered babies. We have Significant Others whom we have no intention of leaving. But what our SOs don't know won't hurt them. So what we like to do is talk about cute guys.

That, Dr. Freud, is what women want to do.

In the course of our conversation, I mentioned this guy who I thought was cute, and she said, "But he's so WASP." (And what is Robert Redford--chopped liver?)

The implication was that by being a WASP, my dreamboat was immediately excluded from cute-guyness. That is the sad fact of male WASP life today. They rule corporate America. They can join the best private clubs. Advertisers cater to them. Caterers cater to them. But women are dismissing them. Somewhere on the road to power, the WASP lost his sex appeal.

This, of course, is poor Georgie Bush's problem. (No disrespect to the office of the vice president.) Bush's problem is that he's a WASP, and that has become translated as WIMP.

Now, maybe I'm just weird. Maybe I'm too much the sexual liberal. Maybe it's because it's summer. But I still like to cruise the Financial District and ogle the guys in wingtips. You simply never know what they've got in their portfolios.

And that is the charm of the WASP. In a dress-for-sex-success world, they've made no concessions. You will never see any jewelry beyond an occasional wedding band. No gold neck chains. No pinkie rings. And thank God--never an earring.

They are buttoned and tied right up to their freshly shaved chins. No stubble. No chest hair. No Calvin Klein's Obsession.

Only yours.

It's left to your female imagination to conjure up the male animal lurking beneath that pinstriped hide. In all his blandness, the WASP is your baby. You can do with him what you will.

And his civil tongue and civil exterior will never let on. He will never shake your hand and say, "Gee, it's swell to meet you, Mrs. Kahn. You go right ahead and have wild fantasies about me. I'll be at the club if you need me."

Perhaps some gals have other dreams. Perhaps they watch "Miami Vice" and imagine being alone on a sailboat with steady Eddie Olmos or debonair Philip Michael Thomas or sexy Don Johnson. But when I need an image to build a dream on, I'll watch "Wall Street Week."

El WASP. He's out of fashion. He's got skin like Wonder Bread. If you mentally undress him, you'd better have a suit hanger and shoe horns handy.

But his blandness is your tabula rasa, your blank slate for writing a romance novel. Imagine him in his Burberry, carrying you in his big WASP arms toward a split-level in Connecticut.

Devil take the briefcase!

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