March 26, 2002
The Right to be a Man
by mike <email@example.com>
Semi-serious article. What, that bothers you? It disturbs you that I actually occasionally have thoughts that don't involve sex and fart jokes? Sorry. It may be a semi-serious story, but that also means it's semi-not. Indulge me.
I recently heard a story from someone fast becoming a pretty good friend of mine, despite the fact that we haven't actually met in person. This is 2002; get used to it. In the story, a friend (we'll say "Bill") was visiting my friend ("Julie"). Julie seldom gets to see Bill anymore, so naturally, when he was in town, she wanted to have a drink with him. Trying to balance the important people in her life, Julie invited her boyfriend ("Biff") to join the two at the bar.
After having a few drinks, Bill excused himself to the restroom, and Biff began saying things to Julie that ultimately made her cry. The rest of the story is as unremarkable as it is unimportant, as the heart of the issue lies right here.
The world, though not a friendly place to many, can be made easier to bear by finding someone with whom you can bob & weave around life's right hooks. This person, your wife, or girlfriend, boyfriend, "um.. friend" or significant other, takes the crap with you and also enjoys your successes. Sharing life with someone can be one of the most beautiful things in the world. ...but only if it's the right someone (not just a screwbuddy).
Being a significant other carries with it not only responsibilities but certain privileges. For example, your boyfriend should bend over backwards [within reason] to make you happy, support you in your decisions, help you analyze mistakes and most of all, never make you cry. I'll admit that I'm guilty of the last, as many men across the country are. However, tears of joy don't count. Making your girlfriend feel so bad that she cries, for whatever reason, no matter how noble you may believe it is, is inexcusable.
Granted, stopping your boyfriend from a raging crack (or prostitute, potato chip or naked basketball) habit may make him cry. I'll concede that there are certain things that require extreme measures, but I'm referring to the everyday, average quabble between two consenting adults.
Really 'being a man' involves not only being honest with your feelings, going to operas and taking responsibility for the welfare of your better half, but also taking an occasional dive when it avoids a unnecessary confrontation with an inevitably disastrous result. Go pick on your buddies, cow tip, drink until you think you're RuPaul or poke a donkey in the ass and get a kickin' - do anything that will prevent you from ringing a verbal bell that cannot be unrung.
If you can't do these simple things to contribute to a healthy, reciprocal relationship, then PFFT to you - you've just forfeited your right to be called a man.
Published: March 26, 2002