Shredding the “Man Card”

The phrase “man card” has been around for quite a while, but of late it seems to be popping up with more frequency in my Facebook and Twitter feeds. ;Usually it is in reference to a guy doing something “girly” and giving permission to take his card away.

I am over this phrase. ;Why? Because according to the rules I don’t get to have one, even though the last time I looked down I saw the necessary equipment.

I don’t qualify as the stereotypical man for the following reasons:

1. I don’t like sports. ;They just don’t do it for me. ;Sometimes I will watch a game with my wife (she likes to watch college football) but most of the time I end up falling asleep or grabbing a book to occupy myself while it’s on.

2. I like “chick flicks.” Give me a GOOD romance any day of the week over a testosterone fueled action flick with lots of explosions and little plot or character. (Note the use of the word GOOD…anything by Nicholas Sparks is swill in my not-so-humble opinion). ;I like a movie that tells a story, that draws the audience into the emotional content, that I can relate to. ;I’ve never saved the world from a speed-racing drug cartel, but I have been in love so I can connect with that. ;Which leads me to the next point…

3. I cry during movies. ;And TV shows. ;And books. ;And church services and news stories and when something emotional happens to someone I don’t even know. ;One time I was sobbing so loudly at a movie that my wife actually felt embarrassed and, had the theater not been packed, would have tried to move away from me. ;What can I say, I’m a sensitive soul (and the movie was REALLY heart-wrenching). ;I like to cry. ;When I’m feeling particularly disconnected I will purposely seek out a tear-jerker just so I can really let loose.

4. I’m more interested in a woman’s brain than her body. ;My wife is a sexy fox, but even if she weren’t she has an amazing mind and soul that would have drawn me to her anyway. ;I can’t imagine being attracted to a woman just because she has big bazoombas, a sweet a$$, or a pretty face. ;Those are all nice perks but if she’s dumb or dull then there is absolutely no attraction. Not even a gut physical attraction. ;I never tried to date any girl who was just attractive. ;I always got to know them first and then the attraction would begin.

5. I enjoy doing household tasks. ;Well, very few people actually ;like ;to clean, but I enjoy dividing domestic duties up with my wife and doing my fair share. ;I do the dishes, I clean the counters, I bathe the kids and put them to bed most nights. ;I am more skilled with a vacuum cleaner and a mop than my wife is. ;We divide our domestic tasks ;not by who has what genetalia, but rather who is better at completing the job and/or who hates it less.

The list could go on and on, but I’ll stop it there for now. ;The point is I am no less of a man for these reasons. ;I’m just a guy with personal tastes. ;Plenty of guys dedicate their lives to sports and drool over women with big fake ta-tas and that is totally fine as well. ;That’s just who they are. ;Where I get caught up is in the idea that a “real man” or a “manly man” has to be a certain way. ;I’ve been called whipped. ;I’ve been called weak. ;I’ve been called gay. ;All because I would rather watch My Best Friend’s Wedding than Sports Center.

It used to really hurt my feelings that people (men AND women) would make these assumptions about me until I stopped and realized just how ridiculous it all was. ;People are just people, shaped by their influences, genetics, and choices. ;My unique cocktail of life experiences has shaped me into the person that I am, and I have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. ;I like who I am. ;I like my life. ;I have an intelligent, beautiful wife who makes me happy and allows me to make her happy. ;I have wonderfully weird kids who are growing up to be proud of their uniqueness. ;My life is full of laughter and tears and I feel well-rounded and connected to all the parts of myself. ;So if all of that means that I don’t get to have a “man card” then so be it. ;The things that I do have are so much more fulfilling anyway.

Who Needs the Toys When You’ve Got the Packaging!

Sissy, Bubba and Peanut playing with The Box

Last week, my wife brought home a large TV box from church.  You see, we realized about a year ago that our kids really didn’t like playing with conventional toys all that much.  Sissy enjoys playing with Barbies, and Bubba is amassing quite a collection of Legos, but other than that their toys sit largely unused.  What our children really enjoy doing is being creative and imaginative.  They are constantly drawing pictures on blank paper, they beg us to paint with watercolors, they dress up in costumes and old clothes, they write screenplays (seriously), make cards, pen letters…the list could go on and on.  For Christmas this year, they received construction paper, sewing supplies, a weaving kit, a terrarium, a paint-your-own-mug set, and cooking utensils.  The few regular toys that they received are now collecting dust with the Zhu Zhu Pets, Spider-man action figures, and Go Diego Go playsets.

Honestly, what could be better than having basic supplies on-hand that allow them to create any toys that they could want to play with?  For the most part, these items are cheap, easy to clean-up, and take up very little space.  Plus, they have the added benefit of inspiring imagination and creative thinking.

As parents, we need to scale back on buying our kids so much stuff.  Simple objects like shoe boxes and empty spools can entertain for hours.  A book I once read said that a Millenium Falcon toy will only ever be a Millenium Falcon, but a block can be a spaceship, a house, a car, a person, and anything else a child cares to dream up.  While it may seem awesome to buy our kids the lastest and “greatest” gadgets and fads, we are actually doing them a disservice by limiting their opportunities to imagine and create.  If we went back to the basics (blocks, craft supplies, basic household castoffs) we might find that our kids could find a lot more to do besides sitting in front of the TV or playing video games.

So, needless to say, when the box entered our home, it was like Christmas all over again.  Thus far the box had been used as:

  • a television (they get inside and act out little stories)
  • a coloring book
  • a car
  • a fort
  • a house
  • a monster

I’m sure it will continue to be used until it loses all shape, at which point it will be ripped and shredded into the most fun toy of all: a mess.  But until that time comes, it is great fun and a source of pride to watch my children transform such a simple piece of trash into so many wonderful and amazing things.

Screaming Death Threats at Idiodic Drivers Puts Them In Their Place and Makes You Feel A Lot Better and Ten Other Things I Learned In My Twenties

Happy 29th+1 Birthday to Me!

You can distinguish between the spellings of principle and principal because princiPALs are your pals. Except they’re not and they judge your ability as a teacher (the bad AND the good) based on a 45 minute surprise observation of your worst class once per year.

There ARE stupid questions, and they comprise the majority of questions asked.

Most people are complete and total morons and have been placed on this earth to personally harass you.

Your ass looks best in your jeans on the second day of wear, but will fall off said ass on the fourth day, so you should really wash them after the third. Or tighten your belt.

Eating quality, organic, local food is the healthier and tastier option. Plus doing so allows you to feel superior to the disgusting fatties who eat things that come boxed, canned, and frozen.

Kids say hysterically funny things, but if you let them see you laughing they will carry the joke beyond the realms of humor and sanity.

KFC and Taco Bell are nasty.

Napping on the couch leads to less post-nap grogginess than napping in the bed.

Robin Hood, Prince of Theives, one of my favorite childhood movies, sucks.

Life is rich and full!