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.
With all the books and babble floating around about marriage, the issue of qualifications for a potential husband or wife appears to be pertinent. I’ve seen a lot of writing on the subject: some from informed and thoughtful authors, and some from people who have no idea what they’re talking about but that hasn’t prevented them from having an opinion! 😉
So since I obviously fall into the latter category, here is my list of the top 10 qualifications for my future man.
#10. He must take me to New Zealand where we will skydive, bungee-jump and HANG-GLIDE while pretending we’re in Middle Earth. “Tell me, where is Gandalf? For I much desire to speak with him.”
#9. He must never feel ashamed of me for my inability to do more than 15 pushups.
#8. He must be superior to me in that he is able to park the ideal distance from the Sonic drive-in order button: neither too close, nicking the rear-view mirror, or too far, because leaning way out of the window is never attractive and sometimes your clothes get dirty when you rub them against the outside of the car door.
#7. He must be able to speak with at least one accent.
#6. He must let me buy him clothes.
#5. He must wear the clothes I buy him. (in other words, he must trust me.)
#4. He must be my fearless and shining champion against caterpillars. Methods of killing do not interest me, as long as none are left alive.
#3. He must build me bookshelves. Please, my multiple translations of Cyrano de Bergerac and Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis cannot be left lying on the ground. Also, empty bookshelves obviously scream to be filled, which I will do gladly and my happiness will be greatly enriched.
#2. “He must be swift as the coursing river… with all the force of the great typhoon… with all the strength of the raging fire… mysterious as the dark side of the moon!”
#1. He must be able to open tightly-closed jars. Because I can’t, and I don’t like the thought of starving or eating my burgers without pickles.
Thank you. That is all. =P
Have you ever ridden a Ferris wheel, stuffed into a wobbly car with peeling paint and slippery sides, craning your neck around all your stylishly dressed friends who get in the way? Everybody stretches to get a glimpse of the view as you rise higher and higher. Maybe it’s night-time, and the air up above the treetops feels dark blue and it whispers to you in an unknown language that you almost think you could translate if you had the time. Maybe it’s almost time for lunch, and some passengers are already ready to ditch this ride and head for the nearest hot-dog stand (which is run by a short Asian guy who is over-fond of ketchup). But the ride is never over after just one revolution, unless one of the operators in jumpsuits (you know, the guys who can only speak at a hundred miles per hour: “keep-yur-hands-and-arms-inside-the-car-don’t-rock-the-car-when-it’s-in-the-air-have-a-nice-ride”) forgets how long you’ve been on. Usually, you stay in that over-crowded Ferris wheel car for a very long time, and after the view gets old, you and your stylishly dressed friends amuse yourself by rocking the car when it’s in the air. And maybe by dropping popcorn on the frequenters of the footpaths far below… but that’s another story.
Imagine life as a series of Ferris wheels, each with a different view. Some particular rides may seem to last forever, while others are shorter than you would have hoped. But no matter what you do, you’re subject to the Operator who controls them all. (He actually is a much better speaker than the operators at theme parks. You should talk to Him sometime.)
There’s a Ferris wheel I’m getting off right now, and it’s called JibeNow. I’m not sorry to leave, because (although it cracks my analogy slightly), I’ve been very much occupied elsewhere. But it has been a pleasant ride, and I thank those who have made it so. I’ve moved my blog to https://scatteredglimpses.wordpress.com. I know it’s annoying to have to add another url to your bookmarks or your Readers, but I would be honored if you did.
But I’m not letting this analogy go at that. There’s another Ferris wheel I’m on that’s spinning very quickly at the moment, and I can tell that it will gain speed until the very end. I might be very dizzy when I step off. A lot of you reading this are riding the sleek and well-polished ride called High School, and some of you are getting ready to hop off with me. I just wanted to tell you that even though our car was crowded, I have cherished all of you, my ‘stylishly dressed friends’. =) It will not be without a feeling of regret and a few hard swallows that I step out of this happily-crowded car at the last. Many things will never be the same after that, but because of God’s grace, I dare to hope that they will be even better.
I won’t forget you. Don’t forget me.
I’ve temporarily moved my blog over to JibeNow. I do not know how long ‘temporarily’ is. 😉 But I’ll enjoy being a part of the JN clan for now. My old blog at HSB will not be deleted, but new posts can be found here. Whoever you are, my small readership, I hope you will continue to benefit from the content!
Your devoted every-other-month-unless-she-cannot-possibly-avoid-it blogger =D,