I’ve come to the somewhat heartbreaking realization that I was born in the wrong decade. I’m positive the man of my dreams only resides unattainably somewhere in a 1940s/1950s musical. These men can wear a suit, have voices of molasses, know their way around a dance floor and understand how to love a woman.
What happened to the charming debonair man who wooed Rosemary Clooney with songs of counting sheep or the dashing hoofer who celebrated his love for Debbie Reynolds by dancing through puddles in the rain? Now I realize that the reality was much different than the movies just as the leading men of today’s romantic comedies never entirely make their way off the silver screen. But elements of the charm personified in the charismatic musical stars must have been a part of life in that era.
In addition to being drawn to their classic sense of style, I always found there to be an intensity about those men in their fedoras and tailored suits. I imagine the Greatest Generation had a more traditional and sincere approach to courtship. In a decade where men knew their way around a dance floor, making use of steps far more complex than the absurd two step of today, there must have been an earnestness about their pursuit of a woman that men today don’t embody.
I’m sure this is nothing but a romanticized version of the truth. But I would like to think that there is a bit of accuracy in that vision. And even if there isn’t, I still couldn’t turn up my nose at a man who made a genuine effort to exude the charm and grace of my true love, Gene Kelly.