Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Pool Party and Being A Guy

I almost bailed on the party, because I was in the groove. I was writing and I liked what my writing was saying to me, and it is rare those two events align. Besides, it is a Monday, and I have to work tomorrow. There are a lot of reasons to bail out on this event, and not only that, Elbow declares herself unfit and tired, and these are friends of hers, not exactly mine yet, and it is a pool party.
I dislike the cold.

Generally speaking, water will feel colder than it is and sometimes it will be much colder than it looks, and feels. The upside to this is there is a large contingency of the party who is not aquatic in any way. There are sane and sensible people, including one member of the opposite gender who is a good conversationalist. I like women. I like looking at women, yes, but more often than not, women make up the better part of conversation because they think differently than do men. I work around the men all the time, and at work there is never a woman to step back and say, “This is not something any of you would do, were you not all men, and all stupid when it comes to all things men”, and we need this, of course we do, because if humankind were all male then  a very long time ago we would have been extinct and nothing would be left to mark that we were here at all but those immortal words, “Hey ya’ll watch this”
Women offer us an out. Well, I would have reached down and caught that seven foot rattlesnake by his head by the light of a cigarette lighter in the rain, but there was this chick…Yeah, you know you’ve been extremely relieved by the sound of a woman’s voice telling you, “That is not the most stupid thing you will ever do, but it will get you into the top ten without a sweat, and it will also exclude you from the men who reach my top ten list, if you get my meaning.”
On the downside, and there is always a downside when dealing with women, when a woman asks you to get into water that looks incredibly cold, almost any man who hasn’t already made a life in interior design will get wet.
This has nothing to do with sex.

Even if you have no thoughts of having sex with the woman, even if she is married to your best friend, even if she is living with your brother, even if she is the old lady to the guy who saved your Harley from burning during the Great Fire of 2007, if any woman, if anyone with more estrogen in their body than your average birth control pill, suggests, slightly, that you get into the water, you’re going to get into the water, if you are any kind of man at all.

If this is totally and inexplicably undecipherable to you, and you are a guy, then I have some news for you; you’re gay.

Or married.

The line blurs.

If you’re smiling at reading that last sentence then you’re likely divorced. If you are not smiling, and you’re having this odd sense that everything I’ve written is somewhat disconcerting, then you will either wake up one day divorced, and know the truth of my words, or… The fact that you filled in that last sentence ought to give you pause when thinking about rearranging your living room furniture during halftime.

Meanwhile, I’m in chest deep water that is somewhat warmer than my ex was the last time she and I spoke about money. But women can have conversations about life men cannot, or will not, or worse, because we are so busy trying to be men, we sometimes forget to be human, and we lose a lot of life doing this. There is a level of comfort in a conversation with a woman that cannot be found when speaking with a man. This is as true as knowing when something truly and honestly terrible is about to happen, or is happening, two men can have a conversation about a football game, knowing ruin is all around them, and both can be terrified to death, but the very idea that another man might be watching, solidifies the moment, and fear isn’t going to surface, torpedoes be damned.

One man might run from a room, screaming like a five year old girl from a snake, but let there be one more man in the room, and that first guy can be bitten a dozen times before he’ll move.


The word you are searching for at this moment would be, “stupid” and we men will admit it, but we will also tell you there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it. The rules were in place long before any of us were born, and we are sworn with blood to obey these rules, even if it kills us, or we wind up standing in chest deep water that is cold.

The odd thing is this; men will be men even when there are no other men around. I will not stop and ask directions even when alone, and I will not stop work when I’m bleeding, even if there is no one else around. I won’t admit to liking Meg Ryan movies, and I won’t ever confess to watching “Titanic” more than once.


The word you are searching for at this moment would be, “stupid”


Anyway, I have to admit, after a couple of hours of having conversations with women, I feel more human, more alive, and more connected. Women are the glue that keeps humanity together, and despite of anything I have said before, women are what keep us men sane. I like women. I like the way they move when they talk, and I like the way they think. If this makes no sense to you, then why don’t you come over one day and talk about the color scheme in the bathroom?

Take Care,
Mike

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