by Tony Chen Yesterday, I read a frontpage USAToday article about how young men today don't know what it means to be men anymore. Is there a manliness crisis going on? Is macho out and sensitive in, or is there room for both? Are we supposed to cry at football games as well as fashion faux-paus? What is this world coming to? In my confusion, I decided to head over to the tailgating party where I met some manly men friends for some brats, beer, burgers, and brie. Driving up to the lot, I could see that Jeremy was already out there. Does that guy ever sleep or what? I asked him what he thought being a man was all about. And wisely, Jeremy turned my question into a question: What Kind of Dad Did You Have? Dad of Divas joined in on this as well, telling us that There is More to Your Roots Than Your Crazy Aunt Betty! At this point, I piped in to mention a survey whereby 75,000 men told the surveyors that real men are good fathers and husbands. We dads and husbands do whatever it takes to be family men. "I'll drink to that!" With an arm full of suds, Chris came by to distribute the liquid goodness with one smooth chop motion of his hands and talked more about the need for a martial art, even if we (or our kids) are gentle, sweet, and mild. Babbo also told us about his conversation with Mark Brady, PhD on great (vs. abusive) listening and communicating with our kids. A lot of times, we communicate in a way that can make our kids feel smaller and smaller. Speaking of which, Jeremy was back with some burgers and wondered if we dads make our kids' worlds bigger or smaller? Hayden Tompkins also shared a story of how to recover a dead marriage. The Common Man put in his 2 cents on spanking. Lots of tough conversations and issues that us guys have to deal with. At that point, we heard a huge cry from the other corner of our lot. "What was that? Do we know that guy?" "Oh, that's Jeff Tincher" said Kevin. We ran over to ask him if he was okay. He totally had us - his wailing quickly turned into snickering. He obviously wasn't really crying, he was just trying to imitate his son's non-stop fake crying/whining. Relieved, we sat down and got ready for some chow. After a few minutes of devouring our man-burgers with brie, a somewhat inebriated man came up to us, asking for some beer. We turned him away politely, and offered him a cheeseburger. As the guy was walking away, John Stewart was reminded of the slightly inebriated Homeless Man on the Street that he met and conversed with, and how both of them left with their sense of faith strengthened. Storm chimed in as well on how real men do take the time to listen and care for the people around them, but do it in a non-overwhelming way. Sometimes time is the best gift a guy can give to another guy. Kathryn Stinson nodded her head in approval and gave us some tips on manly gift-giving. Well, it was almost time to head into the game. We packed up our stuff and started walking in, and lo and behold Rickey Henderson was picking the snot out of his nose, literally. When confronted, Ricky was unapologetic and also provided some other recommendations on manly pasttimes and practices. As we watched the opening kick-off, we cheered our team. Those guys might not win today, but as the Common Man reminded us, It's How You Play the Game that counts, well, at least, it is in little league.
- Survival Guide
- RAISING SAVVY KIDS