I like men.
Since I’m a woman, admitting I like men isn’t an earth shattering revelation. Even though it’s tempting to explain this statement away by nature, that explanation does not do justice to the why and how I like men. And from what I’ve seen and heard, not every woman likes men.
Someone told me once that if something happened to her husband she would never want another one. How sad I thought. But I would never want another one either… I would want at least two!
I love watching my sons at Scouts. They run around and play with expressions of wild delight mixed with terror when they are in danger of being caught in the game. I am so grateful for my husband and the other men who create that energetic space for young boys. It is a privilege for me to occasionally be a witness but never a participant. If I were their leader, they would all have their shoes tied properly, warm sweaters and they would walk, not run.
When I was in a student council office at university, a group of male students spoke about their sports injuries. Around the room the stories spiraled, each one potentially more gory than the previous one until one young man stated solemnly, “Rips and tears are more manly than breaks.” I realized at that moment that I was not going to be a mom who took away her son’s stories.
Today my husband has been showing me how much he loves me by mowing the lawn and doing various household fixes. I’ve discovered that the more manly and potentially dangerous an appliance, the greater a chance that it will be used. What man would chose a Swiffer over a shop vacuum? How many men will grill slabs of meat over hot coals and potentially exploding grease but rarely boil an egg? It also helps to say machine or tool, not appliance. Women buy appliances. Men use machines.
I admit I have never changed a tire and I don’t hold doors so that men can walk through before me… unless they are escorting an elderly grandparent or fractious young child. I appreciate when the door is held open, the chair is pulled out for me or a gentleman stands to greet me. Every small courtesy builds my case for men.
I am not naïve. I have had encounters with men who were clearly less than gentlemen. But I have to thank my father for being a gentleman and a loving father. Anything less than the standard my father set I gave a very wide berth. My sister and I discussed how we like men and we assume that they will like us. How can you not like them? They are so endlessly fascinating and fun.
One of our friends dropped by while my husband was using the shop vacuum and according to my husband, being seen using a shop vacuum is cool. I hugged my husband with a big affectionate smile. He grinned at me and said “I like my shop vac.” Yep, that’s one more reason to like men.