Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Top Ten Things Every Man Should Have

The long-promised reciprocal list. Posted in sections to prevent eye-strain.

Top Ten Things Every Man Should Have

1. At least one masculine skill.
Because a man isn't afraid of the masculine, he should have developed at least one traditionally masculine skill. Any masculine skill. Develop this skill for yourself so that, regardless of what anyone says, you will always feel that you are a man. I don't care if you are a hairdresser by day and read romance novels in your mud mask while soaking in the tub every night, you'd still be a man if you enjoy at least one of any of the following: sports, hunting, woodworking, or even just take responsibility for the killing the mice and taking out the garbage. But not greek-style wrestling. I'm just sayin'.

2. At least one feminine skill.
Because a man isn't afraid of the feminine, he should have developed at least one traditionally feminine skill. The reverse of 1., if you're all about sports, hunting and woodworking, and don't have at least one single feminine skill, you're obsolete. This does not apply to those feminine skills, however, that have a long patriarchal history. Like cooking. That's right, the world's most celebrated chefs are men, so sorry, cooking a mean lasagne doesn't count. Instead, pick up something unabashedly feminine like knitting, ironing a ruffle, or giving a professional perm (make mine a spiral curl). If you swing too far on the macho side, developing a feminine skill will keep you from sliding backwards into extinction, like dinosaurs and Dirty Harry.

3. A skill that entitles you to bragging rights.
Because a man needs to brag. This one is about degree. So what if you mix a mean martini. Do you mix the meanest martini in Manhattan? Got elected president of the United States? Pshaw. We all know that only wartime presidents are REAL men. Okay, so that last one wasn't a great example, but hear me out. People much smarter than I have suggested that having genitalia outside their bodies is what makes men direct their attention to the outside world and ignore their internal world. Women are the opposite because their genitalia are located inside the body. I don't know whether this is true, but it illustrates why 3. is important - shooting to be the best at something helps keep a man's attention on the outside world. The 70's ushered in a new male role model that has flustered both sexes. You know him, the sensitive communicative Alan Alda type that women supposedly swooned for in the movies, but in real life left men scratching their heads after one too many “I like you as a friend” speech given in place of a snog at the end of the date. The lesson here is not to revert to the primitive, strong-silent type of yesteryear. For God's sake, stay emotionally open and communicative, just don't lose your ability to look outside and into the world. All that happened with the “sensitive” role model was that the pendulum swung too far in the other direction. Keeping a goal to become the best at something without losing male sensitivity will help the pendulum swing back toward center.

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