Guy Stuff

Emotions came and went quickly. Some were pleasant. Others felt like the electricity of panic. My hands were clammy; neck whipping from side to side in concert with shifty eyes. Everything was so new, and there was so much of it—above me, below me, to my right, to my left, behind me. Behind me! Dear god, what could I have missed behind me?

“Daddy?” a voice peeped.

Right, my son. Unable to allocate much focus on him, I trusted that he’d follow me as I scattered about.

“What, bud?” I respond, not turning.

“What’s this?” he asks. I know, without a doubt, that this is a fantastic question. Continue…

Silas (6) is a Power Rangers junkie. I’d like to send out my hearty thanks to Netflix for providing him and the rest of my family with the opportunity to watch all 1,000,000 episodes spanning three decades. The modern Power Rangers (the “Samurais”) live in a Zen loft with a Sensei. They tease each other and experience various angsty teen things like zits and existentialism. It’s 90210 if Brenda and the gang used huge Lego weapons and acrobatics to defeat saggy-skinned rubber monsters called “Nighlocks.”

Marigomori

This fella’s name is Marigomori and he’s equal parts snake, eagle, armadillo, trash can, bungee cord, olive tree and auto parts warehouse. Continue…

Over the past couple of months, a few companies–I can’t remember which–ran advertisements portraying dads as ridiculous but adorable morons who fumble diaper changing duties because they’re distracted by a shiny Trans Am pulling into their neighbor’s driveway (I made that up, but it’s in the spirit of these ads). And in a predictable and somewhat tired manner, many fathers, especially stay-at-home dads, got their grown-ass-man-panties all twisted up over the lack of respect: they want it, and the media isn’t giving it. Men aren’t taken seriously as caregivers, and some of them simply can’t handle a gentle, good natured, socially inconsequential ribbing. Continue…

Sometimes I entertain my kids by taking them to Best Buy. When they’re busy climbing inside refrigerators, I have a few moments to stare blankly at TVs while waving my hand through the blade-less Dyson fan hoping to open a Stargate. I’m there to survive, not to be awesome.

That’s why I was surprised when a 20-something Rihanna-esque employee looked at me coyly and said, “I like your style.” I only managed to squeak out a timid, “Thanks,” before briskly walking away as if the high school quarterback had told me he liked my Hello Kitty lunchbox.

I pay attention to what I wear. Continue…

I woke up this morning unable to turn my head to the right. With the exception of mandatory prostate exams, nothing says “Hey world, I’m 40!” more than turning your entire torso in situations where a simple neck twist would suffice.

If you’re a high school football player or young rodeo star who can’t move his neck, there’s a certain badge of courage there: you survived a tough hit, or were thrown from an ornery bronco. It’s not only youthful, it’s masculine. You were engaged in an activity that tested the limits of your body, and although you failed, at least you were attempting to be awesome. Continue…

My wife’s suspicion of technology has expanded to include GPS. It’s in her DNA; my mother in law recently emailed us an article about people getting dumber because of navigation systems. To paraphrase: maps are great and anything with a battery is full of demonic trickery aimed at turning humans against nature, truth, family, spirit and wholesomeness.

Their public skepticism of technology  is a smokescreen used to distract family and friends from the indefensible reality that they trust themselves more than a computer.

That’s the principal difference between my wife and me, and it’s the foundation of why our marriage works. Continue…

Men patronize women by complimenting them on their ability to give birth. Give me a vagina and a uterus filled with a baby that’s ready to party, and I know I could push it out. It wouldn’t be pretty; I’d definitely cry, scream and call a nurse the c-word,  but I’d pull it off.

Don’t get mad. I’m going somewhere with this.

What I could never do is be pregnant for more than a week. I know some women “love being pregnant,” but I’m pretty sure they’re full of shit. Real women, for whom pregnancy feels like a choppy ride on a rowboat, want those Gaia mothers to eat their tempeh wraps and shut it. Continue…

I’m supposed to be a “play-oriented, calm, flowy and creative” parent, right? I’m trying, but I fear that battle is causing my kids to experience me as inconsistant and moody. Sometimes I’m capable of redirecting their behavior to something more positive:

“Hey kiddo pants! Instead of squirting all the lotion in the toilet, let’s do an experiment to see what happens to cheese when we leave it in the sun. Hurray! Project! Let’s put on our super duper lab coats and goggles!”

And sometimes I’m not.

Far more commonly it’s “COME ON! NO LOTION IN THE TOILET!” followed by a defeated sigh and a long gaze at my phone. Continue…

“MEN!  Are you over 40 and lacking the energy you had in your teens? It’s because you have depleted levels of testosterone! All you need is MORE TESTOSTERONE and our medication will trick your body into making more of that magical youth serum so you can start feeling like your virile self again! 50 is the new 18!

I’m assuming you’ve seen the commercials with the sad dumpy middle aged guy who looks like he would love to throw a football but only has enough energy to eat microwaved corn dogs and stink up the seat of his recliner.

We should all dread the day when men over 40 start feeling like they’re 18 again. Continue…

I can’t remember the last time my wife and I made a decision based on classic gender roles. Some are obviously dictated by sex — male vs. female — only a woman can nurse a child, and such. But from a division of labor or decision making perspective, any quintessentially male duties have been split equally between us.

I guess you could say we share a pair of pants. That suggests I also sometimes wear a dress. I do not — and that’s the whole point, right? Niether of us always wears pants. Actually, I do always wear pants (I hate shorts), but not necessarily THE PANTS if you know what I mean. Continue…