I Wish… (Part II)


In this post (here), I said, “I wish that men would be as concerned for, impressed by, preoccupied with, in awe of… men, as women are of women.”

I meant it.

You know what I’m talking about too. You and I always hear commercials and shows and broadcasts in which women fall all over themselves to pat themselves on the back for how tough, how awesome, how brilliant, insightful, wise, put-together and just plain… great they are! And heaven forbid anyone should say something like, “Seriously, get over yourselves. It’s embarrassing.”

Here’s a dose of truth: there are probably a handful of women in the world who can do just once what tens of millions of men do every single day.

Did you ever watch a construction site? As a young woman, I have and it’s fun. It’s like a cat watching a bird feeder. A lot like a cat watching a bird feeder. And I figure the cat and I have exactly the same thing in mind. Yum!

I’ve watched big men sling huge, heavy bags of something or other over their shoulders, trundle them over to some conveyance or other, slam them down in billowing white clouds of something, and go back to do it all over again. Laughing, joking, they go back to do it all, over and over again. Dozens of times. Then they do it again the next day. And again the next, and so on. Watching them is impressive and makes me glad that all I have to do is give birth a couple times — a few if I’m lucky — over the course of a decade or two.

Sometimes if it’s hot out, guys will take off their shirt. That’s a good day. Hot days are when I take my lunch at the nearest construction site. Oh, they don’t take off their shirts that much anymore. I’m sure OSHA (the rat b####rds) had something to do with that, but I have a good imagination, and a muscular construction worker in a short-sleeved shirt on a hot day? Wow!

But I digress. The point is simple: Men do feats of strength every day that the vast majority of women couldn’t even dream of doing.

I want to tell you the story of how I met xPraetorius. Now, you have to understand, he’s a big man. A very big man. He’s got to run 6’7″ and he’s big too. Meaning, he’s not a skinny tall guy, he’s a biiiiiig man. And very big muscles. He used to be a famous athlete, and became a famous broadcaster. He’s a really good guitarist, and has played with some amazing musicians. He’s a really impressive man, with a heart even bigger than his impressive muscles. Man! If only he were, ahem, 20 years younger!

X read something I’d written and sent me a nice note. I brazenly wrote back and suggested that we meet. I was surprised to receive a note right back, inviting me to come to TPWG -Headquarters, and saying that there was a plane ticket waiting for me. I needed only to fill in the date on the ticket. Which I promptly did, and flew out half the country away the very next day.

X met me at the airport, and we went to lunch in the center of the quaint New England town that is TPWG World HQ. Lunch was delightful, and x put me at ease immediately. He’s a really charming man, and, a woman can tell, he used to be really handsome.

We talked about all sorts of different things, and I have to tell you one thing about x: he has the most beautiful speaking voice I think I’ve ever heard. It’s a rich, moderately deep, languidly smooth, brown baritone. This guy  could read the phone book to you and you’d listen intently, it’s so beautiful!

When we’d finished our lunch, we decided to walk off the calories, and continue our conversation. As we walked, we passed a construction site, and I pointed out some of the reasons I like construction sites. As x laughed, we heard a groan and a loud crack just above our heads.

There was scaffolding about five feet over our heads. A thick cable holding a big platform gave way and the platform itself started to fall on our heads. X caught the frickin’ platform before it had fallen too far, and held it up over his head — like some kind of massive superman in the guise of, well  some other kind of massive superman — while I recovered from being stunned, and scuttled out on hands and knees from under the platform.

When I was clear of the platform, x slowly sidled out from under the platform, still holding it over his head. When he was clear, he let the platform drop, and it all tumbled to the ground. The platform was a bunch of 2×8’s, metal tubing and assorted tools and bric-a-brac. Only one cable had snapped, so the platform and assorted stuff fell slowly and steadily over the course of about five seconds, banging, thudding and clanging all the way.

We were probably not in a whole lot of danger, given that only one cable had snapped and the other cables all held. However, the incident was the relationship between men and women in miniature.

When the cable snapped and there was that loud crack, I yelped, immediately covered my head, and crumpled to the ground. While x immediately looked toward the new thing and immediately took the action that might have saved both our lives. There was no thinking done by either of us.

At the end of the whole thing, when everyone saw that everyone else was okay, x looked at his casual slacks and rugby shirt, and said, “Awww, I’m sorry, I’m all covered with dust!

X potentially saved my life and… apologized to me for getting dusty. That’s a man! For a fleeting moment, I thought I was in some bad movie, like when John Wayne  looks up after all the bullets have flown and the bad guys are lying face down, and says, “Wuhl, I’m sorry ma’am, but I reckon I’m a bit dusty,” slams his hat down on the bar, and says, “One more please.”

When x did that, it was probably the sixth time that a man had jumped in to save my bacon, both physically and emotionally. That other man was my dad, who was, is, a great man like x, and who has always been there for me. And, let’s be clear also: there have been men who have abused me. Emotionally only, but they did me the favor of helping me to realize that I’m responsible for my own happiness, for my own success, or failure, in life. You know, the things that Dad taught me, these other boys confirmed for me. And Dad was there to bind my emotional wounds, every time.

In looking back, I realize that there were other men, too, who were always willing to assist me. My uncle Bob, always let me know that I could talk to him. My brother Jim always made me understand that if I needed him for anything, he was there for me.

My dad, my uncle, my brother and other men taught me another deep truth about relations between men and us women: Unconsciously we women are constantly building up networks of men to support us through life. If Dad isn’t there, then it’s a beloved uncle. If he’s not there, then it’s our brother, or brothers. Or a teacher, or a policeman, or a neighbor, a school friend,  the security guard at our workplace, or a thousand other men who enter our lives, enrich them, and often drift away, usually completely unaware that they are, or once were, a treasured part of the network we’re constantly building and refining.

Here’s the thing: in bad old movies of years ago, stars like John Wayne shot up the bad guys, got dusty, apologized and ordered up a whiskey. Those things happened. And they still happen. All the time. That’s what they do.

In bad movies nowadays, women run around beating up entire bars full of men, yipping, spin-kicking, flipping and heeeyah-ing the whole way. At the end of the whole thing, there’s a bunch of beaten up bad guys all over the floor, and the babe is brushing a strand of loose hair that escaped from the cool bandana, topping off her cool, skin-tight ninja suit.

Which just never happens.

The stories are common of men doing astonishing things in total disregard for their own safety, to ensure the safety of those around them, save lives, drag women, children, cats and dogs out of fires and such. There are almost no such stories of women doing things like that. We just don’t think of it when the time comes! It’s not socialization… it’s being a woman. It’s understanding that [1] men are way stronger than we are, and [2] men are usually noble and self-sacrificing and [3] we’d only be in the way if we were to try to do what they do, and [4] they’ll frickin’ do it! All women know this, even the ones who make bad movies where women clear out entire bars-full of bad guys.

Let’s face it, that’s how men are. Not all of them, but if you’re in a foxhole and all hell breaks loose, believe me you want a man, a real man, in that same foxhole right next to you.

Men are awesome. Awesome! I wish they knew it. And I wish they knew it the same way that women know it. Real women. What’s a “real woman,” who knows how awesome men are? She’s one who has dealt with men, has ignored feminists’ ignorant crap, and has remained clear-eyed to observe the reality of how men really are. Yes, they have warts, these men, but they have far, far more nobility, gracefulness, quiet generosity, a genius for doing the right thing the vast majority of the time, and self-sacrificing greatness than the feminist-inspired caricature of them currently polluting our American thought process.

FreeThinker

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