Let’s be real, it’s not that tough being a guy.
If I want to go to the mall, I don’t stop and put on my makeup. I pick up my gym shorts, throw on some Sperry’s and glide right out my front door. Bad hair days(at least what women experience) are non-existent. I’ve never once thought about pregnancy but believe me, I’m counting my blessings every 17 minutes that I don’t have to go through with it. The only time of the month I’m thinking about is which weekend I’m going to spend $15+ at Popeye’s Chicken.
The long-debated double standard does exist. Amongst other men, a guy who can bed different women on a frequent basis is looked at as the man. Vice-versa, a woman who does the same gets the Scarlet Letter treatment. A man can go single for years and he’s “just looking for the right one.” A woman who can’t keep/attract a man probably has a terminal disease.
The one area where we men seem to have more problems with? Our egos.
If a guy tells you he doesn’t have an ego, he’s a liar. We all do. The biggest test most men face is whenever our manhood is challenged. I once saw a confrontation in high school where a guy was threatened by a much bigger guy. Knowing he was outmatched, but not wanting to look weak, he attempted some verbal abuse. Paul Bunyan Jr wasn’t having it. He shoved the smaller guy to the ground….where he immediately began screaming in the highest pitch possible. It was like watching Problem Child 2 all over again. The crazy thing is, you see examples everywhere.
Ever met the guy who won’t shut up about his accomplishments in meaningless contests? I know guys who have attended parties and spent an hour arguing their proficiency in playing video games with his hand behind his back. As if that’s tough to do. One of my best friends recently showed me a bruise that looked as if he lost a fight with a hedgehog. How’d he get it? By playing intramural softball on the bruise for three weeks and refusing to treat it. I lost a piece of my pinkie toe trying to show a Michael Jackson dance move to a roommate and refused to sit out an intramural football contest three hours later. If you haven’t gotten the point yet, we can be idiots.
I experienced an ego-check about a month ago when I was challenged to a duel to the death. It was only a basketball game but when you get approached by two 17-year-old kids threatening to destroy you, you’re going to take offense. I gave my buddy Joe the nod and let him know that I was about to put on my Michael Jordan cape. Here’s the thing though, I don’t have a Michael Jordan cape. In my own mind, I’m all-world on the basketball court and could have been the next Moochie Norris had someone worked on fundamentals when I was a young pup. In reality, I’m a rangy, athletic guy with a mean jump shot who can’t seem to drive the basketball. And while these kids, were no Lebron James & Mo Williams….one of the kids was really good. And a tad to quick for me to care to chase around all day.
After winning the first contest and losing the second, a turning point came in the third game when I realized something: I was counting my stats. Not just making mental notes. Actually counting and playing towards certain stats. The worst level of douchery you could ever hope to achieve as a basketball player.
I had risen the level of such legendary basketball players such as Javale McGee & Andray Blatche.
And of course because I was acting like a loser, Joe and I ended up losing the game and I learned a couple of hard lessons that day.
1.) I learned I’m not a professional basketball player, nor am I getting paid like one.
2.) I can be a selfish asshole sometimes.
As much as guys hate losing, we all need these ego checks. Getting snapped back into reality is how we stay grounded as men. The best move is to accept praise, but never think too deeply about it. Now if we could just figure out women and responsibility….