of games and gallantry
A few weeks ago, back when I was in the throes of wedding preparation, a friend of mine emailed with an intriguing suggestion. He called it a Blog Swap– in which four players (Nathan E., Nathan Harris, and John Ryan, and myself) would swap topics and post about each others’ interests, for a change. I acquiesced with interest, predicting that it would be an amusing occupation for the summer. That was before I made plans to be away from home for most of it. But thanks to the timed post options provided by WordPress, I’m puttering along with the schedule! This post and the following two will be part of the game, and I hope you enjoy! You might as well, since any dissenters will be ignored. 😉
I also want to mention that this year, the four of us are supporting the Exley Family Mission Work in Belize. All six of the Exleys will be traveling to Belize for two weeks in August to help build an orphanage with their church. Right now, they have about $1300 more to raise before they are fully funded and we want to help them achieve that goal by introducing readers to their One Dollar Challenge. To find out more about the Exley’s Mission work, or to support them in their efforts, check out their Mission and Challenge.
And now, to proceed…
Apparently, questions such as, “What does it mean to be masculine?”, “What makes a man manly?”, and “How can I rival Chuck Norris?” are frequently asked by guys these days. I’m glad they’re asking those questions. I can’t imagine what kind of people they’d be if they didn’t. And… I am definitely just kidding. Honestly. To tell the truth, if I was a judge on America’s Got Talent, I’d give all of you guys top marks because it takes a lot to be a man in this day and age. Although, if I was a judge on AGT and you were competing, I might take off man points just because you appeared on the show. And I’d give you points for irony instead.
The topic of Masculinity was submitted to the Blog Swap by Nathan E., and I’ll do my best to skewer it with my own words and opinion here, as I present to you…
15 Characteristics or Skills (in no particular order) Which Will Earn You Man Points In “The Comprehensive Book of Manliness” by Grace Einkauf (yes, I just made up that book. no, you may not have a copy.)
1. Being able to walk barefoot on hot gravel or a dry rock riverbed without flinching, wincing, or tiptoeing of any kind
2. Quoting anything (except maybe WikiHow)
3. Not having a Twitter (note: having one does not actually cause you to lose man points, but not having one earns you more)
4. Hugging your mother in public
5. Not wearing flip-flops (unless you’re at the beach, the river, or the pool… because I have yet to see a good self-or-others-defense strategy that calls for flippy-floppy shoes.)
6. Welding (sparks, hot metal, protective glasses… it’s inherently impressive)
7. Demonstrating consistently proper spelling and grammar (bonus points for using the Oxford comma)
8. Reading a wide variety of genres (we’re thinking everywhere from Charles Spurgeon to Ray Bradbury)
9. Carrying a knife
10. Greeting strangers with a nod (the word is “courtly”)
11. Loyalty. Always.
12. Not spitting (please, quite the opposite of what some people seem to think, it is neither manly, appealing, or cool)
13. Maintaining and providing perspective (“Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?”)
14. Not watching viral YouTube videos until the week after everyone else has stopped talking about them
15. Having the strength to let go, the courage to lose, and the power to pass away
BONUS: Reading “The Art of Manliness”
Obviously, the 15 points above are a mixture of lighthearted suggestions and deeper character qualities. I couldn’t bring myself to go entirely either way, much to your probable chagrin. As much as I enjoy satirizing the topic, I do want to thank you guys out there for persevering in your pursuit of manliness and your pursuit of Christ. It’s immensely encouraging. I wish you all the best… and good luck with the welding.