The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Monday, April 17, 2006


Before I begin, allow me to elaborate on the source of my anger. On a Catholic dating site I belong to, there's a columnist named Mary Beth Bonacci. She posts on the Catholic single life and other such topics. Her most recent article has to do with "The Masculine Gift." You may need to register to read the whole thing, but I suggest you do try to read it.

I've never been the most "macho" guy in the world. In grade school, I was the one being hit, not the one doing the hitting. Not really athletic (save for a stint in middle school running sprints and middle distances) or anything like that. But masculinity and I have never really run together. Now, after years of having it drilled in my head that I shouldn't be an oaf, now comes advice that maybe that's what I should have been going for the whole time.

But one passage really got to me. From the article:
"Let me say that, as a woman, I have no objection to a man being 'in touch with his feelings.' I think it’s nice, in fact. But given a choice between a man who is in touch with his feelings, and a man who can confidently throw a punch when the situation calls for it, I’ll take the guy who can throw a punch any day."

Great. Not only do I avoid conflict at all costs, but if I were to throw a punch, one of two things would happen. Either I would miss, or connect with the force of a wet noodle, and end up getting decked myself.

So I guess this means less Coldplay and more AC/DC. Less TLC, more Spike. Less GQ, more Maxim. (Okay, so maybe it's not ALL bad...)

Back in 2003, I thought my status in the dating world was pretty bad. Now, I find it's even worse.


  • Wow.

    Normally, I'd be right behind Bonacci all the way (She's the one who wrote "Real Love", a book I believe I once urged you to read...). I have often been the one to cheer her on.

    But in this regard, I totally don't agree with her, and I don't think you give yourself enough credit.

    Being "Masculine" or "macho" does not at all mean being able to throw a punch. And being "in touch with your feelings" isn't mutally exclusive from being able to hold your own in a fight. I know several really sensitive guys who are great fathers, husbands, boyfriends, who, if ever they found themselves backed into a corner, could fight their way out of it and not break a sweat (they study Shao Lin Kung Fu)... Bonacci is taking a really narrow-minded view of things, and I pity her if she thinks there are only two kinds of men in the world.

    As for you and your level of "macho-ness": Think about it, Greg - you belong to a fraternity. You're crazy-insane about football. You play the drums. You persue your passions full-throttle.

    I've never, ever considered you to be un-manly or un-masculine. Your confidence in your ability to throw a punch is really a non-issue. It would just take some training, if ever you decided to go that way.

    Be that as it may, fist fights are the easy way out. It takes a real man to be able to diffuse a situation with words or by walking away. Animals beat each other up. Men allow each other to have their differences and respect each other, and walk away, unbloodied and intact.

    Trust me - this isn't something you should seriously try to change about yourself, and if it *is* something you wish to amend, be sure you're doing it for the right reasons - for spiritual and emotional health - for the improvement of spirit and mind... not because Bonacci thinks it's fruity to be in touch with your feelings.

    By Anonymous veritate, at 11:54 PM  

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