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Published:April 20th, 2011 09:46 EST
Why Women Are Attracted to Dangerous Men

Why Women Are Attracted to Dangerous Men

By Donna Cavanagh

I was talking a newly single friend of mine, and one of her regrets in life is that she never had her dangerous man. While men do not understand why women are attracted to dangerous men, all women do. There is something almost mystical about dating at least one dangerous man in our lives. 

Now, danger is defined in many ways. Ideally, the dangerous man is smart, sexy with an air of power and command that is peppered with a subtle taste for romance.  He should not have a criminal record (well, major felonies anyway), and he should not throw around phrases like "The other day when my gun went off in the house" or "That restraining order was bogus."

Well, I told my friend, that it is never too late to have a dangerous man. Granted, as we get older the dangerous image might morph from the tough guy in the leather jacket to a man who thinks nothing of eating spicy food without taking Pepcid AC, but danger is danger. Anyway, her wish to find her dangerous man started me thinking about my own dangerous man and the effect he had on my life. Yes, we are going back in time.

I met Jesus, (not Jesus Christ--Jesus, the Spanish pronunciation) during college. He was in my chemistry lab. He definitely had an air of mystery about him. He was from the South Bronx and commuted to school each day.  Every girl in that lab drooled over him, and he asked me to be his lab partner.  I was shocked.

I learned a great deal from Jesus; he was very good at chemistry and weighing things, but my most memorable lesson was when he taught me to drive a stick-- or tried to anyway.  He had bought this new and expensive sports car, and he was so proud of it. After our lab one day, he said, "Come on; let me take you for a ride. You can drive it. I will teach you." 

I swear those were his exact words. It`s important to know this because they would come back to haunt him forever.  I don`t know what made him volunteer to teach me.  I guess he possessed little if any fear about life.  He had survived in a tough neighborhood, and he had experienced all kinds of disadvantages and traumas. I guess he thought what harm could a white chick from an all-girl prep school do?

The lesson started off easy enough. We tested out my skills in a McDonald`s parking lot, and then he said let`s go for a real drive.  Jesus was so busy watching me shift that he failed to notice that we had wandered into a neighborhood he did not like.  When he did realize where we were, he became visibly agitated.

"This is not a good place for me to be. Let`s get out of here"

That was the first time I ever saw Jesus nervous.  So, I turned off at the first opportunity.  Unfortunately, that turn led me to the Cross Bronx Expressway known to New Yorkers as seven miles of Hell.  Now, I was freaking out.  I didn`t want to drive on any highway let alone the Cross Bronx. In my panic, I couldn`t do the shifting correctly, so his car was making these awful sounds.  Then, Jesus started to yell in Spanish because he thought I couldn`t understand. I got the drift.

I really thought we might die there, and I was upset because there would be so many questions about what I was doing behind the wheel of a souped up sports car in the middle of the Bronx with a guy who might have had criminal connections.  On the bright side, it would have shocked all those girls from high school who just wanted to label me as a goody-goody

Anyway, people were cursing and beeping their horns and it was horrible, and Jesus started to get this green hue. I knew I had to take control of the situation. So, I managed to get over to the right lane and then onto the shoulder. Then, I stopped the car and got out.  Jesus snapped back to reality when he realized I was walking away.

"Where are you going?" he screamed after me. 

"You have done nothing but yell at me. I`m leaving."

"I`m sorry! Please get back in the car? I will never yell at you again."

I have to say that Jesus was true to his word.  He never did yell at me again, but he never allowed me in the driver`s seat either. He said he had an epiphany that day on the Cross Bronx. The experience made him re-think his priorities.   He went on to medical school and became a family doctor.  He said I changed his life, or rather my lack of driving skills, changed his life. 

Did I have the same epiphany?  No. I think I was too scared for a life-changing moment.  What did I learn? I learned that sometimes dangerous men should stay fantasies.  But sometimes, they give you the ride of your life.