My first attempt in becoming more manly began by chomping into a tobbassco flavor injected Slim Jim. I figured if Randy “Macho Man” Savage was willing to endorse this deliciously exquisite mystery meat product, then it was good enough for me. Before I even finish typing those words, I feel a tap on my shoulder and am whisked away by two burly guys into a dark room where a panel of men surround a square table littered with Miller Lite beer cans.
As the lights come on, I begin to recognize some of the people in the room: Carey Hart, Jerome Bettis, and Eddie Griffin. Wait, is that 70’s screen legend Burt Reynolds and his famous moustache? Burt speaks up and states that the Members of the Square Table have been reading my blog and are disappointed in my pitiful attempt of becoming a man. In fact, they are utterly embarrassed that I’ve already dropped the ball less than 24 hours into the project. Without realizing it I broke Man Law #1: Men don’t describe anything as being ‘deliciously exquisite.’
With my Man Card hanging in the balance, they allow me to plead my case before the court. Fearful one misspoken word would lead to Jerome “The Bus” Bettis running me over like I was a feeble Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, I choose my words very carefully. Who decided on this unwritten code by which all men should live by? And if it the Man Law’s are unwritten, how do you know when you break one in the first place? How does one act like a man? What standard or image are we trying to live up to? Is our manliness judged by the girth of our belts, our propensity not to ask for directions or our ability to build things with our bare hands? Agitated, the Bus chugs a Miller Lite, crushes it over his head and begins to stand up. Taking that as my queue to leave, I swipe my Man Card off of the table and run like a little girl out of the room.
Out of breath, I make it back to my office and head straight to the keyboard. Now, do you understand why I choose this issue first? When you aim for nothing you are bound to hit your target every time. This is great news because I don’t have the slightest clue where my target lies. Throughout my life, up to this point I feel I have been hastily chasing after something that our culture has yet to clearly define: what makes a man truly a man.