Each day at 5 pm, I join an energetic exercise class where 7 women between the ages of 24 and 52 come together and engage in frivolous chatter while we exercise for an hour. Needless to say, anything and everything is discussed and analysed, but somehow, the conversation inadvertently ALWAYS turns back to the exact same topic; where are our men … the real ones? Where have they gone? And … have men simply evolved into … us? Women?
Ladies, if you are reading this, you are probably wondering the exact same thing. Guys, if YOU are reading this, you are probably wondering what on earth we are on about … or perhaps, could it be true? Maybe you are thinking how utterly deluded WE are.
Where are our men? The rugged, masculine, determined hunters that will stop at nothing to prove their worth as men. Cowboys. Rodeo riders. Mechanics. Carpenters. Plumbers. Fireman. Service men. Those that aren’t afraid of putting on their boots, rolling up their sleeves and getting down and dirty before they dare call ANOTHER man to do what they SHOULD be able to do! Where are the tough ones? The rough’ish ones? Where are our MEN?
Mamas … it’s okay to raise your boys to be cowboys, contrary to the popular song by Waylon Jennings or Willie Nelson. They don’t all have to be IT specialists, lawyers, real estate agents, doctors, scientists or mathematicians. Raise them to be proud of being men who could effortlessly replace a water pump on a car; one who can put up a shelve or a curtain rod or one that can repair a leaking gas pipe. Although we don’t mind the odd, lost tear now and again; or the show of emotions when the situation calls for it … we don’t want a super sensitive man that weeps ten minutes into My Sister’s Keeper or five seconds into Letters to God. We don’t want to hear about their suicidal tendencies and we certainly don’t want to talk about their feelings when their egos are bruised.
In our exercise class today, we discussed ten things we’d like to see make a comeback in men;
- We want men to make an effort to win over the girl he “likes.” We don’t want to romance through social media or text. We want them to put aside their X-Boxes for five minutes just to come and see us. We want them to hunt us and conquer us. We want them to be proud and stand tall, a little rough around the edges, but at the same time, we want them to be kind and caring without being overly sensitive.
- We want our men to be providers and proud of the fact that they provide for their families. Not the homemaker. Not the stay-out-home-dad. We want that; we want to quit our jobs and sleep in while taking care of our homes! We want them to be okay with earning less than we do. We want them to adjust to living conditions and spending habits when we are forced to give up our jobs. We want them to take charge and BE the head of our homes. Then again, are women who are earning higher salaries and in more powerful positions stripping men of their dignity without realizing it and as a result, their sons are being raised following the same pattern? Does the circle simply continue?
- We don’t want our men outfitted in skinny jeans and pointed shoes. We don’t want their little finger grown and painted. We don’t want long, unruly hair. We certainly don’t want them wearing OUR makeup. We don’t want men to shave their chests or their legs! We want to hold their stained, hardworking hands, not blinded by perfectly manicured nails. Bring back your facial hair! We want them to shower every day. We want them to brush their teeth habitually! We want them to smell nice, but smell like men!
- We want our men to be brave, courageous and proud. We don’t want them to squeal at the mere sight of an unidentified spider or an unwelcome rat. We don’t want them to shudder when thunder roars or lightning strikes. We certainly don’t want them to fear the darkness. We want to be protected and we want to be shielded. We want to call our men to take care of business when that spider looks at us funny. We want our own superhero!
- We don’t want men to simply obey us, but more than that, we don’t want OUR men to be obedient little boys when their mommies are near. We hate words like, “yes dear” or “yes mom.” We don’t want men that are spineless. We want men who can identify with their own wants and desires, but know how, when or where to draw the line. We want men to value their responsibilities to their women without obeying us. We want men to want to fear not having us around.
- We don’t want men who never grow up. We don’t mind a day out playing golf with the boys, or a night out at their local stock-car gathering, but we don’t want men who can’t take a single thing seriously. We want stability and security, not a full-time joker. We want to be able to talk about things that truly matter without it being discarded, shrugged off or joked about. We don’t want a man stuck in front of his computer games or X-Box all day long. We want him scratching around in the garage, fixing stuff. Or breaking stuff. Or organizing stuff. We want them landscaping our gardens … with contented smiles on their faces.
- We don’t want men with overpowering emotions who need to talk about THEIR feelings each time something does not go as planned. Or when they have been painfully disappointed by a good old buddy. Or stood up by a friend. Or dissed by a friend. We don’t want to hear how much they do around the house and how insensitive we are to their needs. We want to watch a movie without our men bursting into tears ten minutes into a chick flick. We want our men to be strong for US. To comfort US. To place their strong arms around US. It’s okay for our men to cry or feel pain, just for extraordinary reasons.
- We don’t want our men to stop courting us because they finally married us. We want those flowers and chocolates they gave so freely in the beginning. We want those movie nights and date nights. We want our men to drop the kids off at their grandparents and wine and dine us, even for only one night. We know we look good, we want our men to notice. We want to hear HOW good we look. We don’t want marriage to change a darn thing … we don’t want to be hurled into and get stuck in their comfort zones.
- We don’t always want to talk about OUR feelings, but when we do, we want our men to pay attention and listen closely. We want them to remember how we felt so that they can pick up the conversation at any given moment. We want them to talk to us before our men make life-changing monetary decisions. We want to be considered when a new job is on the table, or even, when a friendship is a little strained. We want to know EVERYTHING. Every time.
- We want our men to be devoted fathers; dedicated to and enthusiastically available for our children. We want our men to lead our sons by example and we want our daughters to feel safe in the knowing that their dads will protect them at all and any cost. We want our men to make time for our children’s extra-curricular activities, and we want our men to burst with pride when our sons over-perform or under-perform during soccer matches or rugby games. We want our men to guide our sons into becoming men, real men, but more than that, we want our sons to learn about the value of women, from our men.