‘Tis The Season To Prove Your Manhood

O, what a tangled web we weave!

I’m all for gender equality.  I’m completely comfortable in a world where men wear pink and women sport blue; where women mow the lawn and men wash the dishes; where women crop their hair and men wear ponytails.

But even in a world as diverse and flexible as ours, there are certain activities that require a specific division of labor.  In my universe, there are things that I would not ask or expect my wife to do.

As liberal as I can be, I see it as my MANLY DUTY to perform the following list of tasks, no questions asked:

1.  Take out the trash.

2.  When in the car together, I drive.

These things have always been assumed; they are intrinsic to both of us.  We have never had a discussion about it, nor do I expect to have a discussion about it. They are automatic.  Simply, it is what a man does.

Well, dear reader, that short list of required man things just got a bit longer.  The list now reads:

1.  You still take out the trash.

2.  I don’t care how little sleep you’ve had, you are still driving.

AND

3.  Hang Holiday Lights on the House

The above words were my exact thoughts as I stood balanced at the top of a rickety expandable ladder, a tangled cord of holiday lights in one hand and a staple gun in the other.  That, and Shit!  Don’t look down… just concentrate on what you are doing… what a great post this would make… don’t look down…

From my vantage point, my wife looked like a miniature version of herself at the top of the driveway, blanket over her shoulders, nursing a hot mug of coffee.  She watched me defy gravity, risking life and limb for the entertainment of the entire neighborhood.

“Damn, it’s cold out here,” she said as she disappeared back into the house, leaving me during the pinnacle of my life and death struggle.

All in the name of holiday cheer.

I called down to my brother-in-law, who was holding the base of the ladder.

“My life is in your hands.”  He didn’t answer right away, which made me wonder if he took my words as the statement that it was, or a direction.

The ladder shook.

*   *   *

Back on Earth, with the ground firmly beneath me, I looked up at the house to admire the final outcome:  Not quite the Griswold’s, but a noble effort nonetheless.  Our lights burned into the night, boasting to the rest of the community of the holiday spirit that lived within.

A neighbor down the street, in the process of hanging his own lights, nodded his approval at me.  Our next door neighbor called over at me.  “I’ve got to do that tomorrow,”  he said.  “I leave for a business trip next week, so I promised the wife that I’d hang our lights before I flew out.”

“That’s what we do,”  I called back, meaning, that is our manly duty.

He caught my drift.  “It’s what we do,” he echoed before driving off to the store to stock up on his own holiday lights.

Satisfied, I strolled into the house, logged on to the laptop and started this post.

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46 Comments

Filed under Life, Relationships

46 responses to “‘Tis The Season To Prove Your Manhood

  1. chamblee54

    When a man and a woman walk the dog, the man carries the plastic bag.

  2. apocalypsecakes

    Ha. I just made my man partner do all of our holiday crap, too, and then I made him take this picture for our art project: http://apocalypsecakes.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/detroit-holiday-clearance-cake/

  3. Damn straight. Now go rewire my lamp.

  4. Hanging Christmas lights is a rite of passage for all men. You are not trully a man until you have overcome the tangle of life sybolised by knot of bloody lights every year!Why did I not put them away better!

    • virtualmanspace

      Sytor,

      Thanks for the comment! You’ve inspired me to leave the lights up ALL YEAR LONG as a testament to my successful rite of passage!

  5. Here is a dubious tradeoff strategy you might try. Announce no more Christmas lights because of global warming, etc. I thought that was a brilliant idea until I ended up having to manage the compost bin!

  6. And we thank you for it!

    But may I add just one thing? In northern climates, only those with XY chromosomes should shovel driveways. At least there will be twinkling colured lights to do it by….

  7. Sounds as though you have finally conformed to pop-culture guidelines that men have to follow.

    • virtualmanspace

      jstatic,

      I’m not sure how to receive your comment… Are you being facetious? Are you insinuating that I am a mindless conformist?

      Nonetheless, I am pleased to hear your feedback. I will pretend that by “pop-culture” you mean “popcorn”, in which case your comment makes me very happy. I don’t mind conforming to popcorn. Delicious…

  8. Love this post…fun to read. You’re a great storyteller. I’m sure your labour of love will light up the neighbourhood. Great post.

    Cheers,
    M

    • virtualmanspace

      Mari,

      I appreciate the kind words… come back and visit again!

      Regards,

      The Proprietors of ‘Bacon Makes It Better’

  9. Irene Suwarno

    I agree with list no.1 and 3, but for no.2 if the man has a very little sleep then the woman should help driving if she can.

    • virtualmanspace

      Hello Irene,

      Well… every rule does have its exception…

      Thanks for your comment,

      The Proprietors of ‘Bacon Makes It Better’

  10. LOL..Reading your post made me laugh!

    My husband and brother were just having the discussion about “When did they become the guys who had to go look for the scary noise?” or in your case “hang the lights~” Thanks for the laugh:)

  11. Dawud Israel

    I don’t celebrate Christmas but hell yeah, your right on, stuff like this is what we do. Its a universal understanding, there’s just stuff men gotta do.

    Great read. You should check out the “art of manliness” website and maybe this cool facebook group on manly facial hair: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/photo.php?pid=36417956&op=1&o=global&view=global&subj=23089812395&id=187909363&fbid=552150061570

    • virtualmanspace

      Dawud Israel,

      Thanks for your comments… because of your cool facebook group, I started growing out my fu man chu… come back and visit again!

      –Bacon Makes It Better

  12. Hi:
    Congartulations
    kinda nice blogging…keep going
    mine is simple: http://hellochichaoua.wordpress.com

    Go on,
    Aziz

  13. Hmm, never thought of it like that…

  14. man list, you should really expand on this. I really liked when you wrote:

    “Damn, it’s cold out here,” she said as she disappeared back into the house, leaving me during the pinnacle of my life and death struggle.

    That would be some crap my friends would pull as I’m doing a hard edge task. Great post had me laughing!

    • virtualmanspace

      Isaac,

      I try to keep the ‘man list’ as short as I possibly can… glad you liked the post… come back and visit again!

      –Bacon Makes It Better

  15. claudsy

    I have to admit to having seen this ritual since the sixties played out throughout the country. Needless to say, there are those men who, how in their latter years, have begun declining that particular masculine privilege.

    Having said that, I have often wondered why, if the Christmas lights are the man’s pervue, why is it usually left for the female of the household to extend her expertise to putting the lights on the tree. Is it a tree limb thing or what?

    Claudsy

    • virtualmanspace

      Claudsy,

      My theory is that INDOOR decorations are the woman’s domain because females require input over the things that they will have contact with on a regular basis… OUTDOOR decorations are kind of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’

      That, and falling off a ladder is vastly more entertaining when a man does it!

      –Bacon Makes It Better

  16. Yeah, men were created with extraordinary strength to serve as protector for women and base-support; though men may wear colors which seem fit to women, but still undeniably men have different features that describe their manliness; so much so that women have distinct features that describe their WOmanliness. Men should accept their role to protect and nurture their “ribs” so to speak, in order for the “rib” to be able to share her role freely and faithfully as helpmeet or co-bondservant for the Most High.:-)

    • virtualmanspace

      Well said, Jemimah.

      All this talk about ‘ribs’ is making me hungry…

      –The Proprietors of ‘Bacon Makes It Better’

  17. Women have sex so good looking men so they will carry what their good looking bags the man spent hundreds of dollars on, but it holds only $1.50 facial tissue, $3 nail polish, and 4 packs of $0.99 chewing gum.

    Manly duties mean as much today as a dog’s bark. It’s sad, as I myself like to flex my muscles once in a while, but it’s true.

    http://loveblognumber5.wordpress.com

  18. Your post made me laugh, love number 1 and 2 because it’s true! You tell a great story, now did you get a real tree? Can only imagine how much fun you had with that!

    • virtualmanspace

      Dear itsagoodlifeifyoudontweaken,

      Glad to know that you were amused by my near-death experience. With regards to my Christmas tree, here are the vitals:

      Type of tree: Fake.
      Decorations: Hard-wired and pre-lit.
      Source: Big Lots!
      How I spent the time I saved by purchasing this tree: I replied to your comment.

      Signed,

      The Proprietors of ‘Bacon Makes It Better’

  19. Very funny. I would offer a trade on my taking out the trash duties–especially in the subzero temps.

  20. momromp

    I think I must have done something wrong. I take out the trash all the time at our house and I often drive when we’re headed somewhere. Lights? Haven’t done those this year, but I have in the past.

    My husband is, actually, a fabulous guy, but I apparently need to show him this post!

    Great writing, by the way!

    • virtualmanspace

      Dear momromp,

      Thanks for alerting us to your husband’s disturbing behavior.

      The Brotherhood of Man, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the male members of Congress AND the Boy Scouts, along with The Proprietors of ‘Bacon Makes It Better’ have collectively agreed to revoke his ‘MAN-card.’

      Regards,

      Bacon Makes It Better

  21. I’m going to tell you I love this post only if I can then show it to my significant other, who wildly disagrees with you.

    Not because he’s actually vocalized his opinion, which would result in certain death, but because I reached beyond my chromosomal order this season: clubbed the seven-foot bastard over the head, shoved him into my tiny Civic, dragged him into our cave and roughed him upright until he oozed.

    That is: the tree, not my hubby.

  22. This post cracked me up. Hilarious!

    I’m glad I’m a woman 🙂

  23. funny post . . .

    I would add carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner to those duties men seem born to do . . .

    I do disagree, however, with the driving part – I drive just as much as my husband when we’re out together, but you’re right – there are exceptions to every rule.

  24. Your post made me laugh, love number 1 and 2 because its true! You tell a great story, now did you get a real tree? Can only imagine how much fun you had with that!

  25. The Wife

    Please don’t forget Man Duty #4: CLEAN THE TOILET. It’s getting to be about that time again…

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