Saturday, April 21, 2007

Advice continued…

I left off with taking care of mom, and a small side discussion of why you shouldn’t be too cocky.

I could go through each stage of life, trying to articulate a man’s responsibilities, but I’m going to digress a bit...

My discussions with my son center around me wanting him to be a better man than I. He’s got all the tools and I want to ensure he understands how tragic it would be to waste them. So we talk and I try to instill in him not only the understanding of what makes a man (IMHO), but also the desire to be that guy.

So the next point is…

BE A MAN!

Very trite. All encompassing. Yeah, I know, but it begs the question: What is a man? Or What is manly?

Ah…now we’re off and running…

Women like men because they’re men.

- Don’t be a drama queen. If women wanted an emotional, gushing, sensitive man(?) they’d find themselves a gay one (uh-oh…the PC police will be knocking at my door soon!).
- Be tough. Physically, mentally, morally. It is an expectation. When the $hit hits the fan, don’t fall to pieces, Alice! You are supposed to be the rock. You will see her through whatever happens, because you are that guy. You will take care of her above yourself (offer your coat when it is cold, you’ll stand to let her sit, etc) because you are a man and that is your job.
- Hold your emotions in reserve. Everything loses effectiveness if used too much. Maintain an even keel, because too much emotion dilutes the power of a real emotion. Don’t get mad at little things. Don’t cry when you’re hurt, in public.

Side note here: Crying is a special topic. My son used to ask about it a lot when he was younger, but I think he gets it now. Crying is allowed…in certain situations. It is reserved for private, intimate circumstances involving only those closest to you and only for truly significant events.

- Tell the truth. Right along side of Rule #1, this is also a mantra in my son’s life.
o I’ll relay a very short story: As the recently appointed leader of my son’s Webelos den, I received turnover from the outgoing mom. She had brought some candy as prizes for the boys learning the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. As is expected, my son won his prize, but the other boys hadn’t yet mastered those requirements and I took the candy home with the promise of another chance at the next meeting. My lovely wife saw candy on the table at home and ended up eating them. She intended to replace them, but never got around to it. Meeting day comes and the boys learn the oath and laws, but no candy. I proceed to start telling them I forgot to bring the candy when my son announces “Dad, Mom ate them!” I start to say how Mom didn’t know they were the scout’s and he says “Yes she did!” At that point I realized he was already a better man than I, and promised to make amends. He is well on his way!
- Admit failure. Stand up and take responsibility. You’re going to fail. If you never fail, you ain’t trying hard enough! But when you do, admit it, don’t blame anyone and move on. Learn from it but don’t dwell on it.
- Be decisive. You don’t have to make every decision, but in a void you quickly decide on a course of action and proceed.
- Take care of your chores. Consolidate your excrement. Your job is to take care of everything outside the house and the garage. You’re the vehicle guy. You take out the trash and change the filters. You can get help with any of these, but ultimately they are your responsibility.
- Be confident...but not conceited. I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman that liked any man at either extreme. Have faith in yourself and your abilities. You’ll get the job done, because it is what you do. You’re that guy!

I realize anyone reading this can quickly say the above points have been made a million times over. You’re right. The reason sayings become trite and overused is because THEY ARE TRUE.

More to follow…

7 comments:

Buck Pennington said...

There are lies...and then there are lies. You had best explain to Sean the correct answer to questions like "Does this dress make me look fat?" Another Life Lesson is "know which side your bread is buttered on."

Without going into great detail, of course. :-)

Sam said...

Tell the truth and let your common sense dictate how you convey that truth.
The simple answer to the above question is "No". Because, after all, no dress makes anyone look fat... the fat does.
I'll admit I'm a simple man.

Another great post Buck... I've got more chores to do around here so I can try and get on that path to being "That guy." But I should be posting later today.

Bag Blog said...

Honesty is always the best policy, but it is not always tactful. Teaching tact is important too.

AFCAPTBUCK said...

Lest anyone think I'm being deficient in teaching my son, one item to note:

He used to be so very careful to clam up when asked a question with a potentially explosive answer. Now he may use a different tactic, described below:

My lovely wife loves testing him by asking him questions that have him take someone's side on an issue. If he senses a trap, (which he seems to catch every time) he used to try to answer without offending anyone. In fact, I had to tell him to quit being so damn considerate sometimes and answer the question. (Men have opinions!)His new "out" in those situations is to preface his answer with "I'll just be brutally honest and say..."

I think the boy may end up teaching ME points on tact!

Sam...although that answer has always been there to the "Does this make me look fat?" question, I must admit to having missed that logic all these years! Great one. Luckily I don't have to even think about that question!

Buck

Kris said...

You write very well.

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Doaa younnes said...

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