Friday, April 8, 2011

Learning to be a Man

There's a definition of what a man is that was born out of the early 1900s which was in turn a screw on the definition of what a man was before.

He's the provider. Fixed things around the house. He hunts. He fights. He's a big flesh sack of testosterone.

Well, technology has sort of wussified that definition of a man. Nowadays a man doesn't need to hunt his food. Many guys just get a good job and buy their food. They can pay people to change their oil. Instead of trying to take the pipes under the sink apart and figure out the clog themselves, they call a plumber first.This is the sensitive, suburban, male.

I started out as one of these guys, but I feel I'm slowly morphing into more of the old style male.

I was never into sports. I liked going to Cardinal games as a kid. I always had a special love for the Blues. I've never been able to hang with the stat slinging, beer drinking, backwards hat wearing sports nut... until now. Hockey is my sport and the Blues are my love affair.

I've had incredibly bad luck with cars. This is part of the reason that I drive a scooter and haven't tried to get a car. Mine will always break at the worst time. It's always when I send in that last payment on the car and POW! transmission falls out the bottom.

Well, I've had such bad luck with cars that I've learned how to do a lot of things on my own. My dad did some good basic prep work, but fixing a car is one of those things that you can't learn, until something goes wrong. I've learned how to change a tire, clean the air filter, install a new battery, headlight, fuse, change the oil, and fill all of the fluids. Now, this is all mostly easy maintenance, but if I asked five of my peers how to do any of this, four of them would stare at me blankly.

Owning a house has also taught me a great deal, such as, when you own a house, you don't have any free time.

I remember my parents always doing cleaning or yard work on the weekends, but it always seemed like they would at least get a little free time. Maybe Sunday, there were no plans. I never felt like they were constantly catching up on issues and chores like I am. I probably was busy living in my own world to really notice, but now that I'm in the thick of things, I understand where the phrase, "There just aren't enough hours in a day" comes from.

I'm constantly cleaning, fixing, or installing something. I'm glad I work from home now because I spend most of my lunch breaks doing chores. I do have a little more free time now, but man, it still doesn't seem like enough.

I guess the point of this little ramble is, I am learning to be a "man" as best I can. There was a running joke in Calvin and Hobbes that there was a manual on how to be a father. This magical manual gave you all the information you'll ever need to know. Well, I'm not good at learning from a book. I have to be shown how to do things. But I've been able to get the ladder out and attack most problems with a screw-driver and hammer in hand.

There are a few "man" things I still need to learn. If anyone knows how or can hook up the activity, let me know cause I need all the help I can get.

Man things:
-Shoot a gun
-Fix back kitchen window. (Don't have a tall enough ladder and just haven't been able to get it to work.)
-Clean a carburetor on a Honda scooter
-Get my lawn to grow thick and even
-Build a fence and 2 gates
-Get into a bar fight defending someone's honor
-Find the most incredibly illegal and dangerous firework ever, keep a lighter in my possession, drink 4-6 beers, and see what happens.
-Go camping in a situation where a crossbow is necessary
-Rescue orphans from a burning building
-Wear a cowboy hat as an accessory to a formal event

Basically I need to be a combo of Burt Reynolds and John Wayne.