Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for Bad Boys

Dark View

In my younger day, I had an unfortunate penchant for men who walked the dark and shadowy path of mystery, moodiness, and madness. During my single years, I found myself attracted to bad boys and witnessed my friends commit emotional suicide with ill-intentioned and unscrupulous men.

I think of the literary "heros" who fit this category such as Heathcliff (I mentioned him in yesterday's blog--quintessential bad boy--dark, swarthy, and you just know devastatingly handsome). Hamlet also comes to mind. I am currently reading A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison (a modern retelling of Hamlet from Ophelia's point of view). Hutchison portrays Hamlet as the brooding, melancholy, self-consumed bad boy I always imagined.  Finally, I give you...Dracula. They don't get any "badder" than that. I mean, come on! For loving that man, you get death!

Sadly, as a fourth grader, I had a massive crush on Barnabas Collins from reruns of Dark Shadows. Yes, I know. Very strange. Later, I fell in love with Gary Oldman's portrayal of the fiend (a little more understandable). Since then I've watched the whole vampire phenomenon explode in the culture with the Twilight book series, The Vampire Diaries television series, and so many other instances of vampirism glorified.

I love reading about bad boys in literature. There is something intriguing to me about the women who figuratively or literally dash themselves upon rocks at the bottom of an emotional or real cliff for the love of an evil man.

So what is it about the bad boy that appeals to women's hearts? The nature of our souls suggests that we are attracted to darkness and evil and the desire to somehow master it. For many women who fall in love with "bad boys" I think they harbor an innate desire to "tame" them. "Perhaps I will be the one to change him," they muse, and the man becomes a sort of project. In my experience, in real life this usually ends badly--especially for the female.  In literature, however, it makes for great reading.

In my ignorant youth, I used to pray for an amalgamation of Heathcliff, Hamlet, Dracula, and Lord Byron, but mercifully the Good Lord did not listen to a word I said and gave me none of these types. I married a much saner sort, and I'm forever grateful that God knew what I needed much better than I did.

-- For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves...Colossians 1:12-14


  1. That is hilarious that you prayed for a bad(ish) boy. Great post Megan.

  2. mmm link not live... let me try that again

  3. Ooooo Dracula! You know I can not resist chiming in about him! I remember in high school, spending hours drawing pictures of a very handsome Dracula. I was 7, I saw Star Wars and was terrified of - yet drawn too - Darth Vader. In 7th grade I got my first crush - on a bad boy in class. Bad boys as boyfriends though, are BAD! I still have many scars from them I wish I could erase.

    1. Yes, another friend at work tells me that she "married Heathcliff" and I think the moodiness is often tough for her to take. I have those scars, too, L. I don't recommend bad boys in real-life--only in literature!

  4. I think you are dead on about the redemptive lure of the bad boy. For many men, I think there is a corresponding desire to be the shining knight who saves the "damsel in distress" (and I acknowledge the inherently gendered language here). I have RARELY seen such savior scenarios lead to anything other than sorrow.