Friday, October 29, 2010

men

Michelle wrote a post this week which made me keep coming back, had me print it off a couple of times and suggest it as reading to a few friends. I can say nothing her readers don't already know about her writing. She is obviously skilled and has an extraordinary talent for a closing sentence. Yet it is the content of her work which most draws me to her site.

A piece this week delved into the perspective of her friend Hank's poem entitled You're Not a Man, You're My Friend. And it got me to wondering or better yet obsessing.

Why?

Because I love men. There are so many things I love about men but even as I write that and think about all the men I love in my life I realize that the things I love about them don't necessarily make them a man. Those attributes seem to simply make them a human with whom I find an incredible connection.

My first love would have to be my sweet Daddy, and I LOVE the way he tells a story, works like an ox and feels a sense of obligation and loyalty to his family and friends. But none of those things make him a man.

I love my brother Josh mostly for his incredible humor. The boy will make you laugh until you are begging him, pleading for your life because you can't catch your fucking breath. You just have to put your hand up in some type of please stop signal and then he finally shuts up and smiles as if to say I coulda killed you if I had wanted to. But that doesn't make him a man.

I love my brother Jason's sense of right and wrong. His clear, rational head. I love his knowledge of the land and affection for his family. I love that he's a poser which makes all the high school students where he teaches call him Sexy Miller instead of Mr. Miller. Still I don't think any of those things make him a man.

I love Rusty for his physical comedy, his honesty and persistent optimism. Again, not attributes only ascribed to men.

I love Chuck's intelligence and quirkiness. Yeah, I know women like that as well.

I love how Cannon is so wonderfully open with the world, simply giving and receiving love of a sweet and pure nature whenever he is able. Girls can do that too.

I love Ben and Charlie's aloofness, sense of family and ability to intelligently explore ideas. Yes, yes, I know, you've got it. We all know women like that.

I love D's honesty and creativity. His love of music and ability to take an ordinary object and turn it into art. I love how he loves his kids, his dedication to cycling and his competitive nature. Women? Yep.

So after Michelle's piece I started interviewing men and women. The ones nearby. I had them read the writing (yes, I am blessed with friends who will stop what they're doing, take time out of their own lives and allow me to give them directives) and then talk about it with me.

It was amazing.

I was shocked.

Michelle and Hank were right.

The men, for the most part, agreed. Other than those women in their lives with whom they shared some type of genetic bond they found it difficult to be friends with a woman unless they were sexually attracted to them. There were exceptions in my small study, but, for the most part, the men said they didn't need any women friends.

So I asked Rick, Do you think in the evolution of humans men will eventually lose their penis and our species will need to be artificially inseminated in order to propagate? I mean seriously, Rick, does it get in the way that much? Just the fact he still professes to love me after what could be considered a castration discussion means he's planning on sticking around another twenty-four hours.

The women? You guessed it. The majority eagerly revealed they had men in their lives with whom they had never thought of in a sexual way but had found to be a beautiful friend who seemed to play a crucial role in them becoming who they were. Lifelong friends.

So it makes me laugh to think the last Halloween costume I ever wore was when I was twenty years old. I sold plasma that day in order to have beer money (not advised). The homemade costume turned me into a green crayon. The poster board I used made sure there were no curves revealed. Definitely non gender specific.

Because I am a woman who loves men for all different reasons.

Gone home this weekend to spend some time with those familial men who I am proud to consider some of my closest friends as well.

Gratitude.

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