Monday, January 30, 2012

To my sons

Just look at Edward and Bella! Sigh.
They're like Adam & Eve in an Abercrombie ad campaign.

Assuming I have some menchildren in the future, I'm directing this post to them. I know a little something about how to treat a lady...because I am one. Here are a few helpful tips about how to be a man. A real man. A man worth being. A man like Edward.

--Be helpful. If you see a woman who is working hard at something and you're in a position to help, offer to help. Of course you're more prone to do this if the woman is your girlfriend, your wife, or a good friend, but the concept applies to all women (all people, for that matter). This might cut into your football watching or something, but developing the habit of helping instead of pretending that you don't see her traipsing back and forth making several trips with heavy boxes will go far in making you a good person. Is it required? No. But it's what decent human beings do.

--If you take a girl on a date, you need to talk to her. I don't care how hard it is for you; practice in the car beforehand or with your mom or something. Repeat to yourself: I asked this girl out, which clearly means I thought there might be SOMETHING interesting about her, so I need to talk to her. Ask her questions. You may have to pretend interest in the topic at first, but if you really try and really listen, pretended interest can become real and then you're actually talking. Don't put a girl through the agony of silent dates.

--If you want to date a girl,  it never hurts to score some points with said girl's friends or roommates. I don't mean ask them out first or flirt with them too, but I mean be friendly and fun with them as well. Girls like it when their boyfriends get along with her friends. And if you end up dating this girl and thereby practically live at her house with her roommates, be considerate of the fact that it's not your house: See first bullet point above. Don't hog the TV all the time. Don't eat the food her roommates make and then escape before helping clean up.

--The best advice I can think of for how to treat a girl on a date is to make her feel awesome. It's a compliment to get asked out, of course, but it's also a compliment if a date is engaged, makes eye contact, introduces her to people they meet, and has put some thought into the date. Making a girl feel awesome is not that hard--it doesn't require flowers or poetry or cheesiness or elaborate plans (at least not at first). Just some attention will do, kiddos. Repeat to yourself: I asked this girl out. I asked her. Make it clear that you want her there with you.

--If you like her, act like it. If you don't, stop acting like it.

--Go to school and get a job and all that grown up stuff. It's pretty attractive.

--If you're afraid of something you need to do, practice doing it in whatever capacity you can. If commitment is your fear, start committing to stuff. Even if it's just an activity, a road trip, a church assignment, even...a sandwich--Commit to it. If taking risks is your fear, start skydiving. Practice makes perfect.

--Don't use foul language in front of girls. (I would say don't use it at all, but...the transcripts from certain episodes in the privacy of my car would incriminate me). Some girls are cool with it, but I would assume, to be safe, that they're not cool with it and make an effort to curb your bad language and dirty jokes. Maybe you'll find that diamond in the rough who swears like a sailor just like you do, but err on the side of caution until then.

--Read about the love languages and figure out yours. Then figure out hers.

--Be honest. Be brave. Be dependable. Be a man, yo.


Cara said...


Cara said...

Oh, and that picture is HIDEOUS.

Katherine Lewis said...

I secretly wish that I could be one of your sons. Or, that you could raise my sons (that's also assuming I get some along the way). You are just so wise. Your sons will love you. Or, they'll roll their eyes at you a lot but I am hoping they'll just love you.

Bruce said...

Do you mind if I pass this on to Charlie. It will save me a lot of trouble coming up with my own fatherly manifesto.

A STAR is born said...

You betcha, Brucie. I mean, I am his godmother, so it's pretty much like I wrote this for him.