Tag Archives: celebrity

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. IX

12 Aug

La Di Da Di, we like to party, we don’t cause trouble, we don’t bother nobody

Dear Grown Man,

Good day, good sir! I have been the “gay friend” all my natural life. I am a larger man, so I try to be extra nice to women to not freak them out as much. (Lets face it, lineman build and 6’6″ is kinda scary). My question is: How do I stop this “gay friend” nonsense? Should I try to play the jerk card as recommended by some of my more successful “brochachos”?

Thank you for reading.

Keep being Ab-fab-tastic!
-Nick

Refrigerator Perry,

Man, do I feel for you.  I can hear the frustration in your writing and know that you feel you’re at a crossroads: Do I continue to be a nice guy, or do I change my approach in hopes of landing a lady-friend?  It’s a hard spot to be in, and I’m sorry.  Nobody can blame you for wanting, deeply, to be in a good relationship.

Having said that, I have something very important to say that you must hear.  Are you ready? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! The advice you got from your “bro-chachos” is total crap and must be ignored.  The reality is, being a jerk DOES work.  And, it works because some women haven’t had the privilege of being treated well and think that a man who’s aloof, rude, and ungentlemanly is the norm or, at least, a “project” they can reform.  Those women are mistaken and the men who prey on that insecurity are unacceptable.  You, my good man, are not permitted to go down that road.

What then, shall you do?

Step 1: You need to start believing that you are worthy of being cared for – just as you are.  Your sizable stature will be (and may already be) attractive to women. Additionally, you may feel that being like the other perfect people will be the way out of singledom forever.  This, however, is a lie we tell ourselves and just isn’t true.  What is important is that you recognize that you are a good man and that nothing is wrong with you.  For real, your acceptance of yourself  will be vital to your progress with women.  Because, and here’s the secret, confidence is the name of the game.

Step 2: Keep being tremendously genuine, caring, and nice.  Don’t waver, don’t change at all, and don’t listen to the voices around you.  Nice guys don’t finish last, they finish with long lasting relationships that are fulfilling.

Step 3: Be bold.  I wrote a post a while back before people were reading titled Ask a Girl Out. But, in case you’ve got better things to do than read some stupid blog, essentially what it boiled down to was: At some point, you need to be brave and ask a women out on a date.  No more getting a vibe, no more waiting for the perfect moment, just put on your big boy panties and ask.  If she says no, be graceful, have your night of mourning, and continue to be respectful towards her.  Nick, you don’t need more friends, you need courage.  Do it.

Step 4: When step 3 fails and she says no (which she will, it happens to everyone) go back to step 1, tell yourself you’re a good guy, don’t change a thing, and ask another wonderful, smart, funny, differentiated, tall?, woman out.  Dating is like shampoo: wash, rinse, repeat.

Nick, we’re all rooting for you!  Send me a picture of the engagement.

6’1’’, formidably large, and married to a remarkable Grown Woman,
GM

I’m not gay, but one thing that I’ve noticed is that is a Grown Man is not necessarily straight. Am I right?
-Gustavo

Gus,

You are right.  You’re a Grown Man is a blog for all men.  Being okay with crying, loving babies, hugging each other, and everything else I rant about is universal.  In fact, I’d say that most of the advice could even be applicable for Grown Women as well.  In any event, common courtesy and etiquette knows no limits.

And, while we’re talking about it, I’d like to say that I acknowledge that in most of my writing I clearly come from a straight guy perspective.  Well, that’s because I am a straight guy and it’s just easier to write what I know.  However, to all the Grown Gay Men who enjoy this blog, please know that I respect the heck outta you and hope you’re okay with my gender specific language.

One more thing, I love how straight guys preface anything remotely, even stereotypically, gay with a declaration of orientation. I’m not gay, but I love Rufus Wainwright and AntiquingI’m not gay, but these pumps are killing me.

Quit using gay as slang,
GM

As always, thank you for reading and keep asking those great questions!

wear a watch.

10 Aug

That’s it, I’m throwing in the towel…I literally can’t take this anymore.  For the last week, I’ve been writing about feelings, weddings, love, relational dynamics, et cetera, et cetera – and I’m going crazy.  I’m a sensitive man, but if I spend one more moment trying to wrap my head around the etiquette and emotions of a wedding, I’m going to cry (irony?).  So today, we’re gonna rock this post like it’s March of 2010 and I’m going to get hella-specific about one issue.

You’re a Grown Man, wear a watch.

But Grown Man, I have a phone that gives me the time!  And it’s not just any phone, it’s a freakin’ jail broken iPhone 4 – sucka!

Here’s why you shouldn’t be using your phone as your primary time keeper.  It’s just not polite, when sitting with a person, to slyly pull out your brick-of-an-iDroidBerry, push a button, and check the time.  Everything about that transaction screams of you not giving a crap about the conversation.  And though that may be true, is not the way a man presents himself.  For real though, I trust that you’re only checking the time, it just appears as though you’re glancing at the recent Words with Friends updates.  Oh my god, I can’t believe the word PacManFever was accepted!

Alright, so hopefully you get the point that your phone isn’t your watch.  But why should Grown Men wear watches at all?  There are a few reasons:

-Grown Men are punctual. There will be a full post about this later in the week, so I’m not going to go into it.  For now I will just leave you with this little adage: Early is on time, on time is late. That just happened.

-Watches project confidence. A watch has a very subconscious effect on the people who see it.  There’s something about the small accent that tells people you value punctuality and fashion.  Conversely, seeing a man without a watch doesn’t scream of immaturity, but it doesn’t help your cause.  Without a watch, you get closer to confidence-neutral, which won’t bode well with potential lady-friends, colleagues, or other Grown Men.

-They look cool. The “Don Draper” factor can’t be ignored. And, as there are very few acceptable pieces of jewelry that a man can wear (cuff links, cool tie clip, wedding ring, glasses, that’s it), a watch is a small exclamation point on a well dressed fella.  While I’ll leave it up to you to determine what’s classy and what’s not, I strongly suggest, nay, demand that you pick a watch that’s timeless (snicker) and appropriate.  Bright yellow bands and Mickey Mouse are out.  Here’s a rule: Picture your watch on Clint Eastwood.  If if looks cool on him, it’s a winner.

And that, my good men, is the end of the post!  No feelings, no love, just good old fashion advice and judgment.  That felt good.

Grown Men, synchronize Swatches!

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. VIII

5 Aug

Let’s do this…

Hey Grown Man,I went through a phase during my early–mid/late twenties (not my bi-curious phase. get your head out of the gutter grown man) where if I knew I was going to disappoint a person/friend/girlfriend with bad news (not bad news like my grandmother has diabetes, but bad news like I won’t be able to join you on Friday night at bar X, or, I won’t be able to join you in August to go to Europe) I just wouldn’t pick up the phone and call…or answer their phone calls to me. When I quit my job at Circuit City my freshman year in college, I’m ashamed to say I just stopped showing up.

As a “growing man” I’ve learned that upfront, honest communication works really well. “Grown Men” make an effort to communicate, they take initiative to communicate first, they communicate clearly and succinctly…and they do this especially when the news is bad. I’ve found that I respect this in people when I see it in my business or in my personal life.

I don’t know if you’ve already discussed this topic but I’d like to hear your thoughts Grown Man.

Forthcomingly yours,
Jacob

Jacob,

What a fantastic question.  Really, the question was not only very well put, but also answered in a way that leaves me with little to say other than, you’re totally right.  However, because I’ve got a blog to write, I’m obligated to say you’re totally right in several hundred words with a few obscure pop-culture references and a barn-load of sarcasm and judgment.  Here I go…

Being a man means different things to different people.  Yet, with many male ideologies floating around, there are some nonnegotiables that all Grown Men should heed.  Here are a few of them:

-Start and end a conversation with a hand shake and eye-contact
-Be kind to people
-Always try to better yourself
-Quit wearing sweatpants

Grown Men, Jacob has added a tremendous one to the list that must be addressed – don’t shirk on communication.  In our lives, we all have difficult, unpleasant, or at least mildly uncomfortable conversations that confront us.  Even the most zen of men are going to find themselves with that familiar feeling of knowing that before them lies a choice: avoid and ignore or face it head on.

Grown Men face it head on.  We do this because ignoring a situation leaves others hurt, leaves questions unanswered, and puts you in a position of not being respected.  We do this “Not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard”. And when we have the hard conversations, we’re looked at as men that, right or wrong, can be trusted to do what is necessary.

One more thing: What is “it” that we have to face?  Well, look no further than Jacob’s question for that answer.  It is anything from simply disappointing a friend (“Sorry, I can’t go to lunch, I’m really portly and just started Fatkins.”) to quitting a job (I can’t blame you Jacob, Circuit City sucked).  These kinds of decisions require of you to step up and do precisely what you don’t want to do: “make an effort to communicate, take initiative to communicate first, and communicate clearly and succinctly.”  Well put, “Growing Man” (snicker).

Team Jacob, thank you for presenting a great question and answer.  We all need to be reminded of this every now and again.

Team Edward?,
GM

Grown Man,

Is there anything my boyfriend (emphasis on boy) can do to make up for ruining my birthday?

Sincerely,
Hurt Birthday Girl

Hurt Birthday Girl’s Almost Ex-boyfriend,

Sir, you’ve really screwed up this time.  And, while I’m sure you’ve messed up before (remember Tijuana?), “ruining a birthday” is literally, almost, unforgivable.  I don’t know what you did to ruin it, but it was bad enough that your almost ex-girlfriend emailed some dude’s blog, anonymously, and called you a “boy” – BURNED!

But, I believe that you’ve got it in you to redeem yourself.  Why do I think this?  Because she obviously thinks there’s something you can do to make up for it, or she wouldn’t have written me.  So, I’m going to help you out.

What you’ve got to do is find the inverse of whatever you did to “ruin” the birthday and do it, a lot.  For example, let’s say you gave her a Weight Loss Yoga DVD for her birthday.  Well,  the inverse of Weight Loss Yoga DVD is making her an awesome dinner every night for two months and spending that dinner telling her how freaking beautiful you think she is.  Do you see what I’m saying?  Let me try again.   Let’s say you decided that a great night for her would be watching you build your model trains and get super pissed because the “damn drawbridge won’t go up with the new servo!”  Oh boy, good one – nerd.  The inverse of this is probably getting an outdoor hobby and letting her go to find a dude that’s not so, well, like you.

In any event, you need to work very hard, every day, and with great forethought to find the appropriate inverse and make this right.  Hurt Birthday Girl is, I’m sure, a forgiving and kind woman who may eventually come around.  But fella, you’ve got to get to work.  Good luck, we’re rooting for you.

16 candles,
GM

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. VI

22 Jul

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends!

In one of your posts, you said that grown men should not call radio shows.  Does this stand on posting comments to blogs like yours?
-Brian Strickland

Life of Brian,

You’ve asked a fine question, my good man. Let me first say this – for real, thanks for reading through the old posts where I was trite, poorly edited, and not really focused on good content (Stop Ice Skating?!).  And, while I never go back and edit a post, I’d give my left – foot – to have another crack at Buy a Suit and Open Her Door. Oh well.  Like sand through an hour-glass, these are the days of our lives.

Back to your question.  I still maintain that calling radio shows is usually a poor decision.  In rare cases of great contests, it’s okay.  But for the most part, we use radio shows to throw out information in a non-relational way that really doesn’t move the ball forward.  And, while commenting on blogs could be viewed the same way, there’s a part of me that has to squelch the curmudgeonly old man inside and yield to a new way of communicating. For instance, yesterday’s Know How to Cook post yielded comments that were chock-full of good discussion, helpful resources, a few laughs, and even a bit of dissension.

There is a line, however.  This line is crossed when we begin to argue with each other and hide behind the anonymity that only the internet can provide.  At that point, there’s nothing that can replace a hearty handshake, a cup of coffee, and a thorough discussion on why men must Stop Wearing Skinny Jeans.  As the writer of this here blog, I have a responsibility to mind the funny/helpful vs. obnoxious/hurtful line.  As commenters and Grown Men, we should always be checking our motivations.

Your comments are welcome,
GM

How/when did you know you had achieved “grown man” status?
-Jodi
jodidey.tumblr.com

Jodi,

Oh boy, do I want to be funny right now.  I want my answer to be, “I knew I was a Grown Man the first time I tipped my hat to a lady while riding a horse” or “I knew I was a Grown Man when Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall released a joint statement affirming that the testosterone-torch was now mine to carry.”  Sadly though, none of those answers are true.

The truth is, I achieve Grown Man status every day when I wake up and say to myself, “Today, I’m going to try hard to be a better man.”  I achieve Grown Man status when I make an extra effort to learn something new, focus on the world around me (and not me), practice a dying form of etiquette, or simply show kindness.  Conversely, there are many times when I fall short and don’t feel very good about the guy I’m being.  However, it’s in those moments that I try to remember that being a Grown Man isn’t about being perfect, it’s about trying – hard – everyday to up the bar for myself and the world that I live in.

Grown Man (before The Postman)

Okay, I’d like to be funny one more time before the post ends.  “I knew I was a Grown Man when I killed a tatonka and ate its still beating heart.”

Good question, Jodi,
GM (or at least trying)

Thank you for reading and being supportive of this Grown Man.  Until next week, keep asking those great questions…

it’s okay to cry.

6 Jul

I went to a funeral this weekend.  It was a small, family service held deep within the mountains of North Carolina.  It was, I suppose, one of those funerals where the mourning is focused more around saying goodbye to a well lived life, rather than angry at the universe for snatching someone from our midst too soon.  In any event, it was a sad day for our family.  So it goes.

This funeral brought to mind an issue that’s been plaguing the modern man and creating emotional volcanoes.  The problem I’m referring to is the idea that “real men don’t cry”.  Oh yes, we love spreading this lie around our culture, don’t we?  We’ve coined the term “strong silent type” and, in the rare instance that a guy does cry, it’s either celebrated as an emotional tour de force or passively scored and perceived as weak.  Both and neither of the perceptions are completely accurate – allow me to explain.

Why it should be celebrated…

Men are notorious for bottling-up good-old-fashioned, extremely helpful, emotion.  Over years and years, it’s become en vogue to keep a stiff upper lip and not allow ourselves the natural – yes, natural – expression of crying.  Crying is a physical act that enables us to manage emotion via our bodies impulses.  Isn’t that cool?  Think about it.  When you get  super scared and the adrenalin pulses, your body is naturally releasing a chemical that allows you to escape or defend the oncoming danger with super-hero-like force.  Like adrenaline, crying is a gift that your body gives you to be able to release the massive tension inside and function.

However, because we’re dumb animals, we ignore the natural impulse to cry and suck it up.  What ends up happening is that you a)never release the tension, b)work twice as hard at dealing with a situation, c)find way less constructive avenues for release, or d)all of the above.  This weekend, at the funeral, one or two tears were shed.  When men would take time to share, their voice would quiver, they’d take a deep breath, they’d apologize for showing emotion, and they would continue on.  We all know the drill, don’t we?

Imagine what a better world it would be if Hulk had just let it out?  If Kobra Khan simply allowed himself to cry? If Bebop and Rocksteady locked arms and sang a big, snotty, chorus of Lean on Me?  Joking aside, it’s helpful to cry, it’s constructive to cry, and it’s time to redefine masculinity and stop perceiving a mastery of emotions as ignoring the ones that help (crying) and celebrating the ones that hurt (sucking it up).

When crying isn’t always appropriate…

Johnny Fontane and The Godfather

Let’s examine the greatest movie of all time: The Godfather.  When Don Corleone went to view Santino’s bullet-ridden body, he cried.  Oh yes, the most powerful, manly man ever on the silver screen slobbered, snotted, and mumbled, “Look what they’ve done to my boy…look what they’ve done.”  However, and this is a big however, when freaking Johnny Fontane met with The Godfather and began to cry in his office, Vito slapped the junk out of him and said, “You can act like a man!”  What’s the difference?  Why would  crying be accepted on one hand but get you backslapped with the other?  Because there’s no room for crying in certain arenas.

Johnny Fontane was, essentially, at work.  He was upset about his job, he needed help, and he was talking to his boss.  Gentlemen, crying at work is weak.  Crying because you’re not getting enough shifts, because you just bombed a review, or  for any reason at your place of employment is not an option for a Grown Man.  At our jobs, we are hired and paid to be professional.  When you cry at work, you’re using your tears as tools to get what you want and avoiding your big-boy words to express emotion.

Also, crying with a lady-friend is okay, but you’ve got to use it sparingly.  Again, the tears as tools theory works very well on the tail end of a DTR where you feel like you’re losing the upper hand and she’s about to break up with you.  When you cry, you manipulate the relationship and that’s just not fair.  Now dont’ get me wrong, I’ll cry like a baby with my wife.  Oh lord, that woman has seen more tears than Jimmy Swaggart’s handkerchief.  But those tears are spent on times of real mourning, intense emotion, and moments when words fail me and emotion overcomes me.

The bottom line is this:  You know when crying is helpful and when it’s being used as a tool.  When it’s helpful – cry like Tammy Fae and don’t be embarrassed to let it the heck out.  Your family, friends, and society in general will thank you.  However, if you’ve got ulterior motives for crying, suck it up and be a grown freaking man about it.

get your facial hair under control.

28 Jun

I’ve gotten more emails about this topic than anything else.  And guess what, most of them are from women!  I wonder if that means anything?  Huh.  Maybe our lady-friends are trying to tell us something? Oh no, it must be a coincidence.  Anyhow, here’s a typical email I receive:

“Dearest Grown Man,  I imagine that you’re smooth like Barry, and your voice has bass, you’ve got a body like Arnold with a Denzel face. Anyhow, my boyfriend has this terribly scraggly beard, can you tell him he has to shave it?

Shoop,
Pepa”

Gentlemen, your follicles are becoming your foe.  The woman in your life are telling you so, Don Draper’s telling you so, and now – I’m telling you so.  Facial hair is not a means of self-expression, it’s one of the few options your body gives you to subtly manipulate an otherwise lackluster appearance.  It’s time to learn the rules:

1- You must give your face daily attention.  Many of the men I know go a week, or tragically a month, between giving their face any mind.  They seem to think it’s subtly growing out and nobody notices.  Let me assure you, we notice.  The reason you don’t see it is the same reason you don’t notice that the trash is full, the dog hasn’t been fed in two days, and the children appear to not be wearing pants as you’re driving to the store.  You, my good men, have a one track mind.  On a typical day, you have a very narrow focus:  get up, coffee, work, soccer practice, food, History Channel, sleep.  What I’m telling you is that somewhere between “get up” and “coffee”, you need to check a mirror and manicure your mug.

2- Mind your fads.  Back in the day, when Magnum was chillin’ with Zeus and Apollo, mustaches were awesome.  I’m not going to mock the mustache as, at a point in our history (key word: history), it was acceptable to get married, interview, and live life with a caterpillar on your upper lip.  However, times have changed, and you need to progress.  While I can’t begin to name all the fads in mens facial hair, I will say that a few of recently deceased are:  goatees, soul patches, and fat-guy-neck-beards.

3- Febru-hairy, no-shave-Novermber, etc. are not going to get you a job or lady-friend.  Now listen, I’m not going to get intense on this point and say you can never do it.  I’ve got some really respectable friends who take to growing a handlebar mustache once a year or stop shaving for a period of time to get a laugh.  Believe me, I get it.  However, these are periods of time – not the default.  By default, your facial hair needs to be tidy and unnoticeable.

4-  If you’re dating/married, ask her opinion – her honest opinion.  If she says something like, “Oh, I guess, um, yeah, I like your beard the way it is. It’s really cool how you can tuck it into your belt when we go on roller coasters.  I’d just love to see what it might look like if it was just at your chest though.  I mean, you could still tuck it into your ZZ Top t-shirt when we go to Six Flags.”   I’ve said this before, but when you decide to pair-up with someone, you’re representing them.  You don’t have to lose your individuality, but you do need to find a balance.

5-  Really, the only facial hair options are a full, well trimmed, beard – or nothing.  At the end of the day, everything else is just a look that’s really not helping your cause.  Just suck it up already and do what you know you need to do.

Hair today, gone tomorrow.

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