Sunday, February 18, 2007

Manly Man?

I’ve got the MAN side, and the kind of not so man side, or something. Who is to say what’s manly and what’s not. Sometimes I wonder about myself, my likes and dislikes, etc. Shall we start with the manly stuff or the “questionable” stuff?

The Manly

The absolute greatest secondary passion in my life is cars. I so love to work on cars, to see cars, to be with cars, to identify cars, to read about cars, to watch shows about cars, to drive cars. I recently had someone else change the oil on one of my cars, and practically killed me. (More about my feelings for cars in another post. I can do many posts just on cars.) Someday I hope to build my own car, perhaps from a kit, or rebuild an old car. That would be paradise. I love cars! Just thinking about cars makes my heart race, and my mind wander. I may have to start another post, just about cars, before this one is done.

I like sports too. I can sit and watch almost any match. I prefer to watch the sports that are constantly moving, like basketball and soccer. I participated in sports as much as I could when I was younger, but was limited as a teenager by Osgood-Slaughter disease. I never have recovered form that. But I suppose there is a certainly lack of a manly quality when it comes to sports spectatorship – I am not a devoted fan. I prize good sportsmanship and excellent plays on all teams. The only team to whom I am truly devoted is the Oakland Raiders from the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Meat. I like meat. Almost all meat. Not shellfish. But I do love beef, pork, chicken, turkey, moose, elk (I LOVE elk meat), and fish, especially salmon. And I like my meat cooked, never raw, except perhaps for an occasional carpaccio. Give me a burger, a hotdog, chops, ribs, a steak, a chop, whatever. I could eat just meat for any meal. Which leads me to another manly thing. I can and do over-eat. Sam says I always whine when I do. I call it bragging. And I do it with a smile.

Construction. I like to pick up a handful of tools an build something. I always think I need more tools. Construction is manly. And whatever it is, I can build bigger, stronger, and better than anyone else. Tinkering too. If something is broke, I’ll fix it. If it’s not good enough, I’ll improve it. Ever watched “Home Improvement”? That was me in that show. You know those cheap little video tape re-winders? We had one that was jammed or stuck or something. So I grabbed my hammer and chain saw and went to fixin’ it. No problem. In fact, I found that by switching a couple gears and belts around, I could make it work 4 times faster. “New and Improved!” It worked great for the first 2 tapes. But when it started to break the tapes, Sam made me throw it away.

Fishing. Though my dad took me fishing a few times as a kid, it was really Sam who taught me how to fish. Blood and guts gross me out completely! So sticking a hook through a worm several times and gutting fish were not at all possible for me. As a kid, I used salmon eggs for bait and my dad always cleaned the fish. Through Sam’s help and patience, I very slowly got over my fears. After 3 or 4 years of constant fishing for wild trout, I was occasionally brave enough to bait my own hooks with real bait, and almost able to gut a fish. I have finally progressed to the point rummaging through the guts of the fish after I catch ‘em to see what they are eating. And I think I have even learned some of the fishing nuances on my own. I love wandering up and down creeks and rivers. It may still be several years, or the next lifetime, before I can bring myself to dress an elk, though.

Women. I can appreciate feminine beauty. When it comes to sex, I feel DEFINITETY like a heterosexual. I am confident in that. I cannot understand being attracted to the same sex, physically. Bluntly, girls turn me on, not guys. I have been drawn to men in the past, but never sexually. I have felt a desire to be closer to those that are intelligent, confident, successful, athletic, and disciplined. I admire admirable qualities, in both sexes. Though I will admit that I think I can tell if a guy is good-looking or not, I am only turned on by females. Though I only laugh, and am not offended, when people think we are at SSA activities for me.

Less than Manly

First, the more excusable stuff. Cooking. Like all guys, I love food. I also love to make food. But I see this like construction. I use cool tools and I build something, like a stew. I got knives, cutting boards, pots, bowls, blender, microwave oven, etc. I think cooking is actually quite manly.

Flowers. I like flowers. They look good and smell good. Nothing wrong with that. In the most manly movie I have ever seen, John Wayne plays a boxer that retires early because he killed someone in the ring. He goes back home to Ireland where he was born …and plants ROSES. His wife harasses him for not planting vegetables. So maybe flowers are for tough guys. Maybe you better be REALLY tough to admit you like flowers!

Ironing. Okay, I don’t really like ironing, but I am somewhat particular about it. Sam says I am VERY particular about it. But in the 21 years we have been married, she has offered to iron my shirt for me 4 times. I was grateful and didn’t care how she did it or how it looked. Actually, she irons pretty well. I just had to include this one for her.

Shopping. I love to shop, but only for myself. I love to shop for clothes, jewelry, computers, cars, almost anything. Spending money is fun. Getting new stuff is fun. Shopping is cool.

My Appearance. I like to be clean, look good, smell good, and make sure what few hairs I have left are in place. I am not as fanatic about it as I used to be. But I do take long showers, shave 6 days a week – sometimes 7, and always make sure all the clothes I am wearing match, even if it's just jeans and a T-shirt. I am a short, fat, gray and balding, out of shape man, so I have to make up for it any way I can. Yes, I color my hair.

Chick flicks. I like most of them, but not all of them. Some are truly too sappy. But Cary Grant is my favorite actor, and Myrna Loy my favorite actress. They both made comedy chick-flicks – not too sappy, very entertaining. My favorite movies are: The Bachelor and the Bobbie-Soxer, Walk Don’t Run, An affair to Remember, and Charade. Great flicks, even for guys.

Chocolate. I am very passionate about chocolate. I don’t eat anything from Hershey’s. That’s just dirt. Lindt is probably the best. My favorite brand is Côte D’Or. It’s Belgian. Can’t find it anywhere around here. Most chocolate that is used for chocolate fountains is of pretty poor quality. I guess people get the cheapest because they have to have a lot for the fountain. I can eat any quantity of good, quality chocolate, even desserts that most people find too rich. I like to eat my chocolate slowly, savoring the flavor, make it last. When I get my Côte D’Or chocolate, it lasts me months. Sam eats hers all in one day. I am almost as passionate about chocolate as I am about cars.

There are probably many other things I could mention, like the joy of emitting bodily noises, crying during sad movies, gossip, snoring, etc. I believe that no man is completely masculine, and no woman is completely feminine either. It’s okay. I think some people take more efforts to hide those qualities they possess that they think others might criticize. Those qualities do not make them more or less men or women, masculine or feminine. I have a step-father and a brother-in-law that are quite masculine, but appear fairly feminine. I once had a co-worker that was ten times more feminine than his wife. It was scary. I have also heard that 1/3 of professional football players are homosexual. Go figure.

I suppose femininity and masculinity don’t necessarily have anything to do with homosexuality and heterosexuality.