Hey – we may as well have fun as we go sliding into old age, right?

Posts tagged ‘men’

Boomer Men Behaving Badly…

[I’m back!  For those of you who are not subscribers or regular readers, that doesn’t mean much.  But my regulars know that I’ve been on an unannounced and unplanned hiatus for a couple of months.  It all started with vacation, then a writing project that went awry, some major research projects at my “real job” that left me uninterested in sitting in front of my home computer, a new puppy that consumed much of my free time (more about her another time), and on and on and blah, blah, blah.  Sorry.  Once you drop a good habit, it’s hard work to pick it back up again.  But I’m back – I promise.]

Apparently, it’s hard difficult to be a man.  Much harder more difficult than we women ever imagined, I guess.  Who knew that that their entire lives appear to be driven by their “family jewels”?  Do men really just go through life looking for women to jump into bed with, or if not that, then to make sure that women are lusting for and flirting with them?  And the women don’t have to be (or preferably are not) their wives.  You remember wives, don’t you?  That woman you proposed to, professed your love for, and exchanged wedding vows with?  There are all kinds of jokes about guys thinking with their penises.  But did we ever suspect that it was true for so many of them?  Should I just assume that every man I talk to is looking around for a “fresh score” somewhere? 

Don’t get me wrong – I am madly in love with my husband and I trust him implicitly.  But how can I not become cynical about the male gender in general after watching the news over the past few years?  The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming that men really can be pigs.  And complete idiots.

While President of the United States, Bill Clinton (married father) cavorted in the White House with interns and cigars.  Ew-w-w-w-w.  Former Nevada Senator John Ensign (married father) had an affair with an aide (she was also married), and paid off her and her husband to keep it quiet (idiot).  California state legislator Mike Duvall (married father) got caught on a live mike bragging to a fellow legislator about spanking one of several girlfriends (idiot).  Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer (married father) was well-known “client 9” at an upscale prostitution service.  Louisiana Senator David Vitter (married father) frequented brothels for years (and still got re-elected).  Former Indiana Congressman Mark Souder (married) had an affair with a staffer.  Former New York Congressman Chris Lee (married father) sent a ridiculous shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met on a Craigslist dating ad, trying to hook up.  Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (married father) vanished for days and was discovered to be in Argentina with his “soul mate” lover.  He lied to everyone, including his closest aides, about his whereabouts and claimed to be hiking the Appalachian trail (idiot).  Former North Carolina Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards (married father) cheated on his dying wife with a member of his staff (no pun intended…), had a child with her, allowed her to parade around visibly pregnant during the campaign, and encouraged another staff member to claim to be the father (idiot and slimebag). 

Arnold Schwarzenegger (married father who’s both a celebrity and politician) had a pregnant wife and pregnant mistress at the same time (don’t tell me he didn’t know the married housekeeper was carrying his child).  That’s about as low as it gets.  Can you even imagine how Maria felt finding out 12 years later that she’s been friends with this woman and child, and all the while the woman and her own husband were keeping this terrible secret from her? 

And now it’s the Weiner.  You just can’t make this stuff up.  New York Congressman Anthony Weiner (newly married and possible father-to-be) took lewd and ridiculous pictures of himself and Twittered them out to young women/girls, and carried on flirtatious text conversations with them (idiot).

What else do these guys have in common, other than being married political scumbags?  They’re all Baby Boomers (Lee and Weiner were born in 1964 – the last year of the Boomer generation).  I’m not suggesting that Boomers invented infidelity, but our men certainly seem to have perfected it.  At least the generations before us were discreet.  But our men, especially our politically-driven men, apparently don’t know the meaning of discretion.  They seem to just lose all common sense in their desire to be seen as attractive to younger women.  They can’t be satisfied with buying a sports car or motorcycle like their dads did to feel younger and manly.  Nope – they’re preening in front of mirrors and taking pictures of their foolish half-naked selves (and their bulging underwear) and sending them out on social websites.  IDIOTS!

I suspect it’s less about the actual act of sex (although they certainly seem to be obsessed with that, too) and more about ego.  These powerful men seem to have very fragile self-esteems, and they have a need to feel that they’re virile and sexy.  They want to be desired.  By every woman on the planet.  The younger the better.  I think they also get turned on by the illicit factor of these affairs, and by the flirtatious nature of the communications (“Oo, I want you baby!” “You’re so hot!” “I can’t wait to [bleep] you!”).

Now, Boomer women admittedly have egos, too.  We spend millions on beauty products and cosmetic surgery in order to feel and look younger than we really are.  We want to be seen as attractive.  And yes, some have had indiscretions.  But we usually want to be attractive to that guy we married, not to the 21-year-old college kid down the street. 

Guys (and gals) of the Boomer Generation – – – we’re growing older.  Deal with it with at least a little bit of class, will you please?  Boinking college co-eds isn’t the way to do it.  Waxing your chest and sending pictures to women who are not your wives isn’t the way to do it.  Having babies with women who are not your wives is DEFINITELY not the way to do it.  If you can’t control your sexual urges, then be honest with yourself and your spouse and become single again so you can run around and boink anyone you want without hurting your family. 

And for crying out loud, politicians – STOP SENDING PICTURES AND TEXTS!  You’re running around with bimbettes, and guess what – bimbettes are called that for a reason.  They’re stupid.  And they’re going to brag to their girlfriends about boinking a senator.  They’re going to save your texts and pictures to share with their BFFs.  And the next thing you know, you and your family are on the evening news for all the wrong reasons. 

Better yet – just stop being idiots.  GROW UP, keep your whizzer in your pants, and stay faithful to your spouses.

Boys and Their Toys

Zero-turn mower (no, that's not my house in the background!) {photo: Joseph Barillari}

What is it with men and power equipment?  Have Ryobi power drills replaced swords and spears as symbols of a man’s prowess?  Do men think women are impressed when they wield a “saws-all” and cut a hole through a wall?  And you gotta love the way they swoop in when they see a woman trying to use power tools.  “Oh, let me get that, honey.”  “Honey, you’re not holding it right – let me take it.”  “You’ll never get it done that way – let me do it.” 

In fact, most wives learn pretty early on that the easiest way to get our husbands to do something that’s been on our “honey-do list” for days (weeks, months, years) is to grab a power tool ourselves and fire it up while they’re nearby.  Oh, there may be a curse word or two, but trust me, in the end, the job will be completed…by the husband. 

Disclaimer:  My own Hubby is sometimes conflicted in how to balance our roles, but to his credit, he usually falls on the more enlightened side of things.  Some of my sweeping generalities here are based on other guys I’ve known in the past or have worked with, and other womens’ husbands.  My own beloved at least tries to let me do things on my own, but he still gets twitchy when I grab the Ryobi. 

I don’t think for a minute that guys grab tools away from us because they’re all that concerned for our safety (although, I must admit, I can’t be trusted with any sharp objects, and Hubby knows it).  I just don’t think they want us to learn how much fun they are.

I lived alone for more than fifteen years, including ten years on my own horse farm (with a house that was a hundred years old).  So I had to learn how to make a few basic repairs.  Simple little things like…patching the roof, snaking the pipes, fixing the toilet, thawing out the sump pump, driving a farm tractor older than I was, bailing water out of the basement by hand…just a few little things every girl dreams of doing someday.  So Hubby took on a wife who didn’t expect him to fix everything, and a wife who had her own opinions on how to fix things.  That has occasionally led to some….uh….stress, but overall it’s been a successful match in handling day-to-day tasks.  He refers to my occasional proclamations of “I can do it myself” as my “I am woman, hear me roar” moments, but I think he quietly appreciates that we share the workload.

I’m not in love with running the snow blower, but I can certainly do it when he’s not around.  I’ll bundle up in twenty layers, and I’ll waddle into the garage and open the door.  I spend a few seconds staring at the snow-covered driveway in annoyance.  I’ll push the choke three times and start hauling away on the pull-start rope.  If it doesn’t start on the first pull, I’ll warm the air with a few four-letter words.  If it doesn’t start on the second, I’ll graduate to 5- and 7-letter words, because I know I’ve only got one pull left in me.  But once that sucker starts, I’m off!  Our driveway is three cars wide and 90 feet long.  It’s a bear to clear, but I can do it.  When I’m done, I’m tired, and aching, and usually still annoyed, but I also have a sense of accomplishment and independence that feels pretty good. 

And maybe that’s what guys love about their power tools.  They really do make you feel powerful.  That’s their little secret.  That’s why they snatch them out of our hands so quickly.  It’s not about the operator, it’s about the machine.

I discovered this recently when I finally learned how to drive the “man-machine”, which is what I’ve dubbed Hubby’s new zero-turn lawn mower.  I could drive any lawn tractor around, and I’ve had some doozies, including a big old clunker on my farm that I bought at a garage sale – it would smoke and backfire regularly, but it got me through my last couple years of farm life (before I came to my senses and sold the farm and tractor).  I was even okay driving a 1950 farm tractor and operating the bucket loader on the front.  But just because I could do it didn’t mean I loved doing it, and I was more than happy to let Hubby take over the lawn duties once we settled in suburbia.  And as long as we had a lawn tractor, even the one with the big 4-foot mower, I knew I could help out in a pinch. 

And then he got the man-machine this year.  Hubby coveted this mower for three years, because he drove one at the golf course where he worked part-time.  You sit in front of the engine, not behind it.  And you sit directly over and slightly behind the mower.  No steering wheels here – these things drive with two handles/levers/arms that operate independently of each other.  That means if you pull the left lever back, you turn left.  If you pull the left lever back, and push the right lever forward, you turn left really fast!!!  I’m talkin’ throw-you-off-the-machine fast.  The least little movement on those levers, and you are careening into the garage wall, or the car, or over the top of that little maple tree behind the shed.  Hubby is a zero-turn master.  Me…not so much.  I was more than happy to let that be a man-job.  Until we realized that I would have to mow the lawn at least a couple times while he was out of town this fall.  Uh-oh.

Hubby gave me an impatient lesson last week (I didn’t come that close to hitting the car on my way out of the garage).  I tried to ignore his protests and shouted suggestions and anguished expressions as I ran zigzags around the yard.  You see, I was thinking the man-machine needed a man’s firm hand to steer it.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that the key was subtlety.  A light hand on the steering levers allowed you to move around the yard with ease.  Push them forward together, and you go faster – cool.  After a few herky-jerky attempts to mow around some shrubbery without mowing it down (Hubby’s face was priceless!), I figured out the man-machine.  And I liked it.  The neighbors were watching me, and that must have been admiration I saw in their eyes as I wheeled around and spun that mower in a (relatively) tight circle to head back the other direction.  I felt awesome!

I now know the secret of men and their toys.  The toys are fun!!  And the toys are cool!!  And they don’t really require any special “manly” skills.  Okay, men have got more practice running drills and operating zero-turn mowers than we do.  And they often have more upper arm strength to hold that power tool and its heavy detachable battery pack steadier than we can.  But the reason men love those toys is because they get a heady sense of power and accomplishment from using them.  Women should give it a try more often.  And if by chance you don’t like it, just act like you’re going to drop the tool, or bump it up against the wall, or tell him you think you stripped a screw.  He’s sure to grab the power tools away from you with a tsk-tsk and take over the task.  And he’ll be thrilled to have his toys all back to himself again.

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