I Was a Man the Last Time I Checked…

Generally this section is reserved for us Square dudes to defend men and our actions.  But lately I have been plagued with the same thoughts in my head as I leave the gym, work, kids’ schools, and sports fields.  What does it mean to be a man these days?  Is the current general state of man-hood worthy of defending?  Are we really at our best as a whole?  The current definition of man is at a dangerous precipice and I think we men need to do better.

Most days I am a work-from-home Dad with my Harley tee-shirt on, covered in spit-up, cleaning a room so full of colored toys that it looks like a bag of Skittle threw up. I ride my Harley, coach youth sports, lift weights, shoot guns, love sports, and play Halo and Call of Duty with the kids until wee hours of the morning (or whenever my wife comes down to tell us it is 2a.m.).  I also cry during “The Notebook”, do almost all the cooking for our family, vacuum, do the dishes AND laundry, and have ‘Fat Days’.  The last time I checked, while putting on my boxers, I am male.  But am I a man?

The vivid memories I have of what it meant to be a man growing up came from various influences; my father, grandfather, mother, grandmother, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, and multiple police, fire, and military friends of our family.  They all taught me multiple lessons that I have carried with me, blended, refined, and made my own.

 A Call to Arms

As I look across the male-landscape at my ripe-old-age I find myself in a bit of a panic. Guys…seriously…is this the BEST we have to offer?  Of all my friends, I am the only one that knows how to change my rig’s oil. Granted, I am into cars and motorcycles, but still, along with changing a tire, this is one of those things everyone should know how to do for themselves.  I agree, if you can take your car somewhere and have it done for you, that is awesome.  You do not have to get dirty, deal with recycling oil, etc.  But trust me, you are missing out.  If you don’t know how to do it right now, there is this great thing called ‘the Internet’, which I guarantee you has the information you need.

Dicky-do. Not.

And guys…ever heard of the gym?  What kind of example are you setting for the next generation of men by having “dicky-do” disease?  Haven’t heard of that disorder?  It is where your stomach sticks out further than your…you get the idea.  Get your butt off the couch and start moving!!!  Take the dog for a walk.  Stick to your gym program longer than the first month of the year.  Find something to train for again like you did when you were younger.  I personally prefer Adventure Races, but it can be anything.  Just start doing it!  Take pride in your appearance and keep those 6-pack abs from becoming a keg!

There is a great deal of joy and pride when something needs to get done and you can MAN-UP and do it yourself!  Plus, you will have the tools to teach your children (or friend’s children) how to do it as well.  Wallow in the filth and fun! On top of that, being covered in sweat and grime from working or a workout can be quite the primal turn-on for a wife/girlfriend/etc.   Lots of women love to watch their MAN go about taking care of MANLY business.  Trust me…it has its benefits.

But what if male pride isn’t incentive enough for you?  Maybe you are immunized to the peer pressure being asserted here.  That’s fine.  But think of it this way; if you aren’t going to do these things for yourself or your family, who is?

Your teenage daughter (or son) and the …

Here’s a nightmare scenario…your teenage daughter is away at college and suddenly gets a flat tire on campus.  She pulls over in the safest place she can find but is incapable of changing the tire because you never taught her.  Before AAA can even be called, her savior arrives…in the form of Johnny Frat Boy! You have already seen him in your mind.  Tall.  Ridiculously handsome.  Ripped.  Ridiculously handsome.  In my mind, the conversation looks something like this:

Daughter:  Oh thank goodness you are here!  I have a flat and am stranded!

J.F.B:  No problem.  I’m happy to help.  I need a couple things first…

Daughter:  Anything!

J.F.B.:  Okay, I need your spare tire, jack, and a wrench.

Daughter:  Of course!  Would you like my virginity as well?

J.F.B.:  If it’s on the menu.  Here, hold my overly tight smedium shirt I just took off so you can ogle my manliness while I work…


Don’t let this happen guys!!!

Even if automotive stuff isn’t your type of thing that is okay, you can make up for it elsewhere.  Learn how to set up your home theater yourself.  Take a spinning class.  Learn how to build a fence.  Throw some kettle-bells around.  Or take an online-class on outdoor grilling.  Whatever.  Trust me, when company comes over and asks, “Oh wow!  Where did you get that?!?” you will swell with pride when your response is, “Oh that? Yeah…I did it myself.”  And when your significant other, or potential significant others, do a double-take with “You Version 2.0”, that pride will be there as well.

Take the time now to invest in the future.  Do it for yourself.  Do it for your family.  Do it for MEN!  Don’t have your legacy defined by your ability to download ‘Angry Birds’ on your iPhone while you sit in a waiting room with stale popcorn and bad coffee as your son/daughter/wife/etc. watches some other guy change your oil and rotate your tires.  BE THAT MAN!  And when you get done, clean up, and go right ahead and catapult those birds into the evil pigs!  You have earned it!

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One Response to I Was a Man the Last Time I Checked…

  1. Rebecca says:

    From an only child, Dads (like mine) can MAN UP and teach their daughters this too … but, first they have to know how to do things … right? I tell you what, I could not have married a guy who didn’t know the basics of being a “man” … just like the basics of cooking – anyone can do it and should do it. If you can read, you can cook. Or, if you want to eat healthy and need to watch your pennies, you cook. Or, if you need to watch your pennies, you can change your oil or tire…
    My Dad’s father died when he was very young, he taught himself how to do things around the house. He had to because it is what men did. That is no longer true and I find it very sad. My son and daughter will NOT fall into this category.
    Thanks, Chewie!

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