It’s tough to be a man these days.
It’s tough knowing what it means to be a man. If you’re gruff, you’re Neanderthal. If you’re sensitive, you’re pansy. From a guy’s perspective, that narrow strip between runs about as wide as a KitKat. Broken up into four parts.
So maybe this post’s title should be “six things about me that some might not consider manly, or dude-ly, or even bro-ly, although I don’t even understand what should be considered manly.”
I’ve passed tough guys walking out of Target in Midtown, wearing peacoats I swear are their girlfriends.’
I’ve seen dudes with robust beards (a universal sign of excessive manliness) prance around in skinny jeans.
For my part, I don’t bark like boys. I also speak up.
I don’t paint my face for football games.
I don’t bellow “duuuude!” when I see a friend. I will bellow at my soccer team.
I don’t paint my face for football games. I know the difference between a manet and monet painting.
I asked Elise what I did that was unmanly.
She crinkled her mouth, and said, “this music you listen to isn’t very manly.”
Blackmill rang from my laptop speakers. It felt manly enough. Maybe she was wrong.
“Oh! I love this song!” I said as Blackmill ended and the next track began.
Grace came to my rescue, pointing out that I fish and coach soccer.
The first delightful strains of Nightingale, by Norah Jones, graced the kitchen just then.
Had I mentioned I was making crepes at the time?
Grace pointed out that I fish and coach soccer. Manly endeavors, indeed.
“You don’t have a very manly job, though,” Grace said. “You should be a lumberjack.”
Plus, the use of the word “indeed.”
Here’s the stuff I do that might not be considered so manly.
At Star Wars movies. When the Denver Broncos lose Super Bowls. Dancing, with Grace at the sweetheart dance. When I realize I can’t adopt the pup I fell in love with over the weekend. When certain songs come on the radio, or Pandora.
When we’re out of tortillas.
All the emotions. About my girls. About my choices. About my current state. About my teammates. About my team. About my dad. About that danged dog. About missed opportunities and dreams unrealized. About lyrics and answering with kindness.
I feel all the emotions about wishing I could sing like George Michael.
I think about my health and my future and my girls’ health and future. I think about life and love and life’s purpose. I think about messages and meanings. I think about my blog and my job and my country. I think about Kesha and Diana Krall and Lizzy O’Leary.
I think about how I hope my girls will see how manly it really is to live like I do.
Man. I blog like a woman.
I do. I write about goldfish and my girls’ dating prospects and reverse bucket lists. I write about things we’d do with our brains switched off and answer my girls questions. I don’t whine like some dad bloggers, or try to be something I’m not.
A friend told me long ago I’d blog for women, not for men. I didn’t believe it. It required me to not actually write like a woman, but think like a woman would as she reads your words. I have no idea if I’m doing any of that. But it feels right.
Also, I have three daughters.
I’ve coach girls’ soccer.
I work on a team of all women.
I’m still standing.
That’s manlier than anything I could do with an ax and a plaid shirt.