It's a Man Thing...
There's this "man" thing that I'm not so sure about. You know the thing where there's about a half a dozen templates, well, really just four or five, I'm sure, and if you don't quite fit in one the odds are that you'll find yourself lumped into one. Then, of course, it just might strike you that you don't really like being called "the strong silent type," or the "alpha male," or maybe even "that guy," and it just wears you out. Either that, or it deludes you for three decades until you don't quite know what, or who you are, and maybe you start to believe all of the bullshit. Then you've got a problem.
I don't care much for the uber-masculine, at least how society defines it, and I'm not such a big fan of the uber-sensitive, nor the extra-ambitious, or the typical, so-called definitive type. None of those pants fit. I don't have a garage to hide in, nor would I want to. I don't need Sunday morning Rec hockey, or a volunteer fireman t-shirt. I'm not much of a recreational drinker, and you can shove Movember up your arse. Not me. I like sports, but I don't feel the need to re-live my youthful ignorance and enthusiasm about them. I don't like strip bars, or Maxim Magazine. I don't need to be "the man of the house" or one of those "wait 'til your father gets home" types. I just want to love my wife and take care of my beautiful daughters and make very little fuss about the things that don't concern either. I'd like to do what I want to do, and go where I want to go, and try the things that I want to try, and make friends with the people that I want to make friends with, and never once, not even for a second, feel as though whatever choice I am making reflects on my masculinity. I have man parts, good enough.
It all strikes me so strange because as I was having a conversation about how stupid excited I was to have bought these new Levi's 501 Rigid Shrink-to-Fit jeans (not exactly what their name makes them sound like) that are turning out to be the greatest purchase of my life (in context), I experienced weird reactions...from "you're a guy, why do you give a sh!t," to "I don't give a sh!t. Did you see the Leafs game last night," and even "you actually go shopping with your wife?" It was, I dunno, off-putting to say the least. I can't blame a person for not caring about something so arcane, but I wondered how much of it had to do with their own indifference as opposed to societal influence on what men do and talk about and enjoy. I enjoyed working my two lower limbs into such fine denim, and the whole weird process of prepping said denim to do so (it's a small ordeal), and so I was going to tell people about how cool it was, and they are (the jeans), and maybe I might even mention that this was the way friggin' cowboys broke in their jeans...f#$%ing cowboys, goddamnit! Cowboys! I was supposed to be enthused, unwritten masculine rules be damned. This was some entertaining stuff. The jeans actually stood up on their own in the corner...on their own, I said! I'd buy that just to show people. Yet, the tale was met with strange reactions, mostly from other men. The women were mostly chill, and some even wanted to feel the jeans, so I offered them a cuff, and the ones that wanted to cop a feel of the back pockets, well, I obliged them that too. Friggin' cowboy pants folks...cowboy pants. If enthusiasm about buying a product that's essentially been made the exact same way for approx.140 years is an affront to my masculinity, then how the f#$% are we defining masculinity these days?
I know plenty of garage rat Dads who are lucky their wives were there to raise their kids. They've never been to one parent-teacher night, never picked their child up or dropped their child off at school, not once in their entire miserable, Old Milwaukee loving life. Oh, and those guys and their dirty white t-shirts, with the smokes stuffed carelessly down their collar so that they drift about the bottom of their tucked in awfulness, with the undone work boots and half built motorcycle in the yard, those guys have never once stolen their wives away on vacation, or kidnapped their daughter to go watch a game, or sat down to help with homework, or busted out the glue and glitter. I don't want to be one of those guys. There's also the hockey know-it-all who never leaves his recliner, or the coach who yells at ten year olds. There's the beers with his buddies guy, and the gone fishing guy, the need a bigger boat guy, and the still telling stories from your days as a walk-on with a bad Canadian university football squad guy. Of course, there's the let's get drunk and look at chicks guy, and the don't touch my tools guy, the never gone Christmas shopping in his life guy, and lastly the my wife dresses me guy. I loathe them all.
You know what I want to be? I wanna be the the ridiculously excited to buy a new pair of pants kind of guy, who just so happens to be the kick ass Dad type with a penchant for hugging and kissing his wife. I want to be that kind of guy. Like I said, there's this "man" thing that I'm not too sure about, but I don't care all that much...a little...mostly I'm just really excited that those jeans stood up all by themselves. That was pretty awesome.