Monday, May 19, 2008

Grown-Up Guys. . . who needs 'em?

Betina here. The list of
18 Things A Grown Man Should Never Have
was published on MSN the other day. It read like this:

1. a black eye (a real man is smart enough to talk himself out of any fight he's going to lose)
2. a witty e-mail signature (quotes and song lyrics, etc)
3. an empty refrigerator
4. PlayStation thumb (calluses or button shaped bruises)
5. a key chain bottle opener
6. a lucky shirt (every shirt is lucky for a man who knows that the harder he works the luckier he'll be)
7. an unstamped passport
8. Olympic dreams (except in curling or archery)
9. less than $20 in his wallet (a real man always carries enough dough to pick up coffee, bagels, and a Sunday paper without whipping out the plastic)
10. a name for his penis (ahem)
11. any beer that costs less than $20 a case
12. the need to quote The Big Lebowsky, Caddyshack, Stripes, or Superbad (reciting someone else's lines reminds people that you don't have the wits to make up your own)
13. a futon for a sofa (Never in the history of sex has a woman cried out: "Take me on your futon!")
14. code words for ugly women
15. a nerf hoop in the living room
16. a secret handshake
17. drinking glasses with logos (especially those with McDonald's characters!)
18. A recent story with the phrase "So I said to the cop. . ."

A fairly entertaining list. Thanks MSN. Did you find yourself taking inventory of the men in your life? And did they have a few of the things on the "forbidden" list?

Personally I felt like there were a few things I could let slide. The black eye thing might indicate a fight in a good cause. . . like the safety of self and female companion. In which case, the black eye would be a badge of honor. Have you ever read a hero who got a black eye? Ever written one? Think of Indiana Jones or John McClain in the Die Hard franchise. I rest my case.

An unstamped passport? Hey, a lot of countries don't regularly stamp passports anymore. I had to stand in a special line and ASK for a stamp on my passport that last time I was overseas. Not a particularly manly thing to do.

And of course, the Olympic dreams thing. Personally I don't think we need to knock a man's dreams, no matter how juvenile or out of reach they seem. They're his own private business. . . unless he's living in his parents' basement at thirty-five, still "training for the bobsled" as a full time job.

But there were a number of things that got left off the list. . . because they feared offending much of their readership. . . because everybody in the office had a different idea of what should be included. . . and because 6732 Things A Grown Man Should Not Have might have sounded a little excessive. I do, however, feel the need to point out a few glaring omissions:

1. toenails on the bathroom floor, bedroom carpet, or (shudder) in front of any TV.
2. posters of women with D cups scotch taped to the walls
3. a wooden paddle hanging on the wall. . . emblazoned with a college crest or Greek letters
4. soda cans or fast good bags filling the foot wells of the rear seat of the car
5. any athletic department t-shirt with more than three holes
6. tighty-whiteys with some parts (a-hem) not quite so tidy or whitey.
7. a beer can collection displayed in any room above ground.
8. visible nose hair (I have it on good authority that this is why God made mirrors.)
9. a name for his wife's or girlfriend's vagina
10. Penthouse, Hustler, or Playboy subscriptions
11. only one set of sheets. . . which have been on the bed since they delivered the mattress (just, ewwww.)
12. an air freshener tree hanging from his rear-view mirror
13. chains attaching his wallet to his pants
14. a subwoofer in his car that rattles fillings out of teeth
15. guns that get cleaned more regularly than his bathtub
16. more than two pizza places on speed dial
17. athletic shoes more than ten years old
18. pictures of old girlfriends in his wallet
19. pink socks and underwear (or bluish ones, as the case may be)
20. more video games than books
21. little black books with ratings or "user comments,"
whether in hard copy or on a computer.
22. a mother who still does his laundry (or other household chores) for him
(yes, Henry David Thoreau, I'm talkin' 'bout you!)

Yeah, it's probably true that my additions reflect my own values and prejudices about what makes a man mature and worthy of respect. I'm sure yours do too.

So let's hear em! What do you think guys need to grow past? What irks you to see or experience in a grown man? And to be fair, we'll have to do this with women someday, too.


Jane said...

They shouldn't leave beard shavings all over the sink. They need to learn to change/wash the shower curtain before it becomes moldy.

lois greiman said...

Huh, turns out I don't know any 'real men'. :)

Pet peeve--men who squeal their tires. Sooooo irritating.

Betina Krahn said...

Jane-- beard shavings in the sink. Ewwww. If you share a sink, that's where you have to brush your teeth!

And Lois, yeah, those guys who have to lay rubber wherever they've been. If rubber on a hot street is the only mark they leave on the world, they've got a lot of work yet to do.

Playground Monitor said...

Jane beat me to the beard bits. They should also get past the point of walking past you naked and on the way to the shower and feeling the need to point out their jewels. I know they're there, honey. I don't point out my breasts.

Also, appliances are NOT gifts. They're necessities. I do not want a new weedeater for my birthday. In all fairness to the DH, he's learned this and I got a diamond anniversary band for our 35th anniversary two weeks ago.

A lot of these sound like Jeff Foxworthy. "If someone asks to see your ID and you show them your belt buckle, you might be a redneck."

And why do we have to be fair and do this with women one day? ;-)


Cindy Gerard said...

You all crack me up - an I think you've pretty much hit the highlights - or should I say low lights.
I guess one I could add is unnatural attachment to their 'mechanical' toys. I'm not allowed to touch the riding lawn mower at our house. Some would say that's a good thing :O)

Debra Dixon said...

Betina-- Ha! That's a funny list. My husband passes. Yay! But there are a few things that weren't on your list. Like his need for Monday night bowling. The manly sport of kings in which he gets his belching guy-stuff out of his system.

I don't have to go and it's good that he can go be crude and I don't have to hit him, but a truly evolved specimen wouldn't need a bowling league.

Keri Ford said...

tennis shoes aren't what get me, it's the blasted boots! I think in the closet there's 3 or 4 pairs of boots that I don't see him wear. He claims he does, but there's dust on the boots. That takes up a lot of space!

Michele Hauf said...

Had to laugh at #13, chains attached to wallet. My hubby came home a few months ago and proudly displayed his new, chained wallet. I made him promptly remove the offensive chain. That goes on the Woman's List of Things Never To Be Seen With--a man with a chain attached to his wallet.

His pretty good on most of the other stuff, too. I allow him his giddy joy at poking the fires he builds in the pit in the backyard, though that may be borderline.


Helen Brenna said...

Gawd, some of those are hilarious!

How 'bout faster texting ability that his teenaged daughter?

A keg on tap 24/7.

Bottle opener on the bottom of his sandals. (I kid you not.)

Megan Hart said...

LOL, funny list. Hmmm.

I think a grown man shouldn't have his mother buying his underwear for him! And should be able to pack his own lunches, iron his own shirts and change a diaper if necessary -- ESPECIALLY if it's on his own kid. At the very least, he should be willing to entertain the idea of changing a diaper should the event arise and not automatically insist he couldn't possibly do it!

I have to laugh at the one about money in the wallet, though. The man in my house never has any cash in his wallet, and never did -- I was appalled at his credit card flashing when we met but soon realized he just really likes building up those bonus points and stuff. LOL.


Betina Krahn said...

Cindy, the possessiveness of men with their toys and tools. Though, taking good care of their tools and toys (and relationships!) should be a mark of maturity.

Deb-- lol the bowling. Most guys have a secret pass time or sport that they can't give up. WE have to allow them some fun, I guess.

Michele, good for you to help your guy stay on track of "mature" fashion. What would they do without us?

And Helen-- a keg on tap 24/7? Yow! I never thought of that. That's right up there with neon beer signs in the bedroom!

Oh, Megan, I'm so with you on the idea of mom buying the underwear. But honestly, I have had a grown son-- no names here-- ask me to pick some up for him. . . and some socks, too. That was, however, before a wife took over such duties. I know a lot of wives who do all underwear buying. sigh.

Christie Ridgway said...


But hey, it's family tradition in our house that moms gift sons with underwear. My m-i-l started it, and so I give underwear to my boys every year.

Also, in my BIKINI book, the hero has sandals with the bottle opener embedded in the arch! He =does= need to grow up some, maybe, but I think those sandals are cool!

Megan Hart said...

Bettina -- heh. Let's just say I knew a *coffcoff* man whose mother bought his underwear and when the wife came along she was all "Oh no I will NOT be buying your underwear until you've gone to Kmart and bought your own first." Of course, I told my son he'd better buy his own underwear when he's old enough.

Christie -- you know as a tradition -- like buying pj's for everyone (which is what my mom does) for a holiday, that's ok. I'm talking the daily maintenance of underwear buying that a man really needs to be able to do on his own.

Michele Hauf said...

Sandals with a bottle opener in the bottom? Oh this one kills me! That's so funny. Better not let the hubby find out about those...


flchen1 said...

You're all cracking me up! Those are good ones! I do think that it's important that men be able to hold their own in terms of contributing to keeping a household running--and once you're a dad, please act like one of the grown-ups! It isn't as if your child's mom is going to have time to mother you, too!