Things I Do That Aren’t Very Manly. I Guess.

manly lead
photo credit: via photopin (license)

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 do, I don’t

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 Madison 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. The first delightful strains of Nightingale, by Norah Jones, graced the kitchen just then.

Had I mentioned I was making crepes at the time?

Camdyn pointed out that I fish and coach soccer. Manly endeavors, indeed. You don’t have a very manly job, though, she 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.

I cry.

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.

I feel.

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.

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 my 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.

manly quote




  1. Yvonne says:

    Just keep on being you, no one else can do that!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think I have the market cornered, Y!

  2. ksbeth says:

    yes, you are still standing and that is like a strong man or woman.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      leaning sometimes, beth, but still pretty much on my feet.

  3. I agree that you are just perfect the way you are, Eli!! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Too sweet Janine – I’ve got work to do!

  4. A perfect and poignant post…indeed! Loved this view of you, Eli 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you Michelle. It’s the girls who drew this out of me.

      1. Girls have a way of doing that 🙂

  5. jannatwrites says:

    Manly is over-rated. As long as you aren’t lounging around in pantyhose or lacey lingerie… then again, that’s not for me to judge 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s probably good news to me, Janna. Although I still struggle with the definition! I’m less lace and more practicality anyway.

  6. Kisma says:

    You’re one of my favorite people, please don’t ever change you!

    I think you’re the one that introduced me to Blackmill, so thank you for that!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ve been resistant to my own attempt at change, so I think you’re safe. Or, I’m safe. It’s safe?

      That’s right – I remember the Blackmill thing! Do you still listen?

      1. Kisma says:

        Everyone’s safe and yes, I do! 🙂

  7. cricketmuse says:

    Guys who cry and admit it are pretty strong because it takes strength to openly show a perceived weakness. P.S. my guy is known to cry and that’s okay with me. He’s a manly man, loves a good action flick and can mush over a text from our kids. It’s called balance.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      My parents called Michael Landon’s character on Little House on the Prairie “jodon,” because he cried so much. I don’t bust out the water works at every turn, but my eyes probably get soggy more than the recommended amount for the Manly Man Society.

      Balance. I like that.

      1. cricketmuse says:

        BtW: look Good Tickle Brain –she just did a Stars Wars action figure Midsummer Nights Dream sequence. You can laugh till you cry. That pretty good balance.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Yes! That was awesome. i’m going to follow that damned blog.

      3. cricketmuse says:

        She is talented in more ways than Shakespeare can tame a shrew.

  8. I think – therefore I am not manly. Sorry, this made me laugh 😉
    If I was to do a post about my un-girly traits it would probably take up more paragraphs.

  9. You’re just perfect the way you are! Being manly all the time is why heart disease is one of the biggest killers out there.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Susan! The machisimo culture does take a toll on the ticker.

  10. Lulu says:

    Standing up to stereotypes takes real bravery, and I don’t really care if you are a man or woman, we need more people like that. Thank you for having the courage to be authentic in a world that spends a lot of energy shaming people for that!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Lulu. It’s a vague concept of what constitutes manly. I am who I am.

      1. Lulu says:

        So true. Beautifully stated!

  11. stomperdad says:

    Duuuuuuude, bro! If I lived in NC we’d be drinkin’ man beer. Or in my case man mixed drinks. Is whiskey and coke manly? I’m trying to bring a little more testosterone to this gig. I work in a female dominated profession. We blog in a female dominated blogosphere. Perhaps we just like to work with the ladies? S’cuse me while I go hunt some animal and strap it to the hood of my car so everyone will know I’m a man.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thing is, i’m not a bit of a bro and a dose of a dude. There’s a trite handbook of broness/dudeness that I saw laying open on a coffee table once and it gave me the bends.

      My testosterone flows differently, and it definitely includes beer or rum and Coke Zero (although, yes, I like also amaretto sours.)

      I think maybe my sensibilities lie more in line with women who blog. I’ve spent less time trying to explain it and more just flowing with it.

      My messy desk and scruffy chin say it well enough for me!

      1. stomperdad says:

        My bald head and scruffy face are the clues to my manhood. I’m with you on the spending less time dwelling on or explaining it than just going with it. Be the best you you can be because no one is you-er than you. (Or something to that effect)

  12. 9jaime says:

    Bwahahaha. You are plenty manly. 🙂 If it’s any consolation, my husband has been known to tear up at Little House on the Prairie. And the Muppets.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Jaime! I feel like I’m doing all right. Tears happen. Even with the Muppets. I can’t watch my girls in a play, no matter what the role, without coming a little unglued.

  13. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    I love the way you write and think. I think being just exactly who you are is quite manly. And with three daughters myself, I can say with certainty that it takes one hell of a man to be a good dad to daughters!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks so much Lisa. I think probably others also question if who they are is enough or right. One thing I’ve learned by being father of three girls is that your reward isn’t always tangible and it feels like you’re losing sometimes, but you have to keep in mind there are far-reaching affects your love will help them achieve, even if they’re far from view.

  14. Unto thine own self be true! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Not always easy but always necessary.

  15. Ginny Marie says:

    So, was that line “Man, I blog like a woman” a Shania Twain reference? ‘Cause then I totally got it!

    My dad makes crepes and cries, and he’s pretty manly.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It was, Ginny Marie – glad you caught it. What ever happened to her? I’m more convinced today that crepes and crying aren’t so unmanly after all.

  16. Rorybore says:

    I would say a real man lives true to his ideals, passions and sense of self; and is careful to help those around him, especially those entrusted to his charge, discover and live up to their own.
    Don’t worry Coach; you’re all man. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      If I can get around to half of that, Rore, I’ll consider myself a lucky man. Thank you so much.

  17. You’re fantastic, Eli!

    Mr. H had three older sisters growing up. He is stylish, artistic, and sensitive…but he is definitely manly. And, here we are, 13 years later. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re not so bad yourself, Britt! I had one sister, and a stay at home mom. I’m sensitive and semi-artistic, but missed the boat on style.

      He’s a lucky bloke!

  18. Lisa A. says:

    Did you cry because Peyton Manning’s retiring? At least they won before.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Not a bit, Lisa. What a helluva run he had – and my Broncos for the final chapter.

      1. Lisa A. says:

        Yes he did great! I’m glad to hear you didn’t cry 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        If Brock Osweiler gets away … then I’ll cry.

      3. Lisa A. says:

        I don’t think he’ll leave Denver after his offer. I read something about Houston though.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        Unless the Texans put J.J. Watt at left tackle, there isn’t enough money in Houston to justify that.

  19. Nikki says:

    I’m a single mom to 3 sons so I very much understood this post, just….the mirror image of it. Having been mom AND dad, I’ve walked that fence line so many times. Good on ya Coach, for showing your daughters both sides, with humor and sincerity and heart.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Very cool to consider the mirror image of this. I know you have to be both mom and dad, and there are a lot of similarities, but also differences that will exist in 2016 and 3016.

      Thanks for the kind words – I always try my best and even through failures, I’m learning! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.