Tag Archives: relationship

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XV

24 Jun

Grown Man,

From one grown man to another, can we agree that today’s 20-somethings are ridiculous?  I mean really…hipster, everyone gets a trophy, entitled kids?  C’mon Grown Man, help them out!

Gratefully,
Doug
Seattle, WA

Doug E. Fresh,

I’d like to begin answering your question by focusing on two completely unrelated points:

First point…Seattle is the greatest city ever.  I’ve spent some time there and must implore – nay – beg you to send me a doughnut from Mighty O’s and an espresso from Vivace.  I don’t know how you’ll get either of those to me fresh and warm, but that’s not my problem. ASAP, Doug, A-S-A-P!  My address is:

Grown Man
A House I Built
‘merica,
67650

Second point…Doug, did you realize that the original Space Jam website is still up and active?! This has nothing to do with you or anything you’ve asked, but I needed to tell the world so I randomly threw it into this post. Anyhow, you and the tens of other people reading need to go to this website and remember how amazingingly 8-bit the mid-90s were.

Now that we’ve got all that rigmarole out of the way, let’s finally get to your question. By way of review…

I’m Doug! I hate kids! I’m old and curmudgeonly!
-Doug

Douglas, three years ago, you and I would have been on the same page.  When this blog started, I was on a personal quest to transform every man into some idealized version of masculinity.  I railed against v-necks, skinny jeans, not carrying cash, and basically every fad/fashion that wasn’t timeless.  And while this was, arguably, the greatest, wittiest writing ever done by anyone in the history of the world – I don’t think I was right.

GROWM MAN! Are you saying you were WRONG!?  I thought part of being in an ivory tower was never having to admit you’re wrong!?

I know, and I’m sorry to disappoint you.  But I’ve observed something over the past few years that’s refined my thinking.  [Cue soft, reflective violin music]

The kid I worked with who inspired most of the early posts did something impressive – he grew up.  And as he grew up, some things became more Grown Man-ish. Things like: #13 – Ask a Girl Out (he did, and he married her), #44 – Be a Friend to Your Heartbroken Comrades (at his wedding, all his groomsmen cried and talked about what a loyal friend he is) and #74 – Slow Down (he’s present, he listens, and he has margin in his life).

Conversely, some things haven’t changed at all: #36 – Know the 7 T-Shirt Rules (he wears a shirt or tank-top to every event – and it’s awful),  #61 – Wear a Watch (he checks his iPhone – a lot), which ties in with #67 – Quit Screwing Around on Your Phone (he’ll literally play Candy Crush during a funeral if given the opportunity).

Mustache, check. Fixed gear, check.
Job, not so much.

Here’s the kicker though, the importance of  the things he doesn’t do is pale in comparison to the  value of the things he does do. What compels me to make fun of him in front of his friends and family is the fact that he’s wearing an American Flag tank top.  But what defines him is his character, friendship, and ability to love his wife and community well.  At the end of the day, being a Grown Man isn’t about what you wear, it’s about the trust that people have in you – and I trust this man, tank top and all.

Which, my dear Doug, brings me back to your question.  Yes, I think hipsters are ridiculous, what with their ironic glasses, vinyl copies of Bon Iver, and $200 vintage Chambray shirts.  However, when I was their age I was deep into my Dave Matthews phase, wearing Chaco sandals, and refusing to buy a suit because “Dave doesn’t wear a suit and he wrote #41 – whatever, DAD!”  And guess what? Some mid-30s-anonymous-blogger-guy was probably looking at me saying “grow up” – and he was probably right.  Every incarnation of youth is silly, Doug. Beatle-maniacs, hippies, gen X-ers, hipsters – all of them.  But what we can do is differentiate between what is an adolescent phase and what is real, rooted, and lasting – like a solid handshake, making eye contact, and meaning what you say.

However…we really have to force these kids to stop getting sleeve tattoos.  That junk’s going to haunt them someday.

Until next Monday, ask away.  Thanks for the question, Doug!

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XIV

17 Jun

Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been back for years!  Let’s get to helping…

Grown Man,

I have a “man friend” whom I met in a Uni math class. We have become good friends and we occasionally go out for lunch, talk on skype, text, etc. The problem is I’m as single as could be, yet he has a girlfriend of 2 years. It is clear that their relationship is semi-dysfunctional and that they have fallen out of love. He knows I am looking for a relationship, and he even told me not too long ago that he would date me. I’m getting sick of waiting for him to break up with his girlfriend. What should I do? Should I stop talking to him altogether and walk away?

-Forever Single Young Woman

The Other Woman,

Let us first address the fact that this guy, like you, is involved with Uni.  And while I don’t want to alarm you, I will say that during my college years I dabbled in the Uni arts and it ended up leading me down some very dark paths. I still can’t see my college mascot without weeping and convulsing. In all seriousness though, what the heck is Uni? Sea Urchin (you’ll need to click here to get this joke)? University of Northern Iowa?  Maybe it’s just short for University, but that just seems redundant.  All math at your school is Uni math if that’s the case – so that doesn’t make any sense.

More to your question, however, is what to do with your “man friend” – we’ll just call him Unitard.  As I see it, one of three scenarios is playing out:

Go UNI's!!!

Go UNI Panthers!

Scenario one: He’s a good man who met you during math and realized that solving for x meant having you in his life.  Maybe he’s torn between two lovers and genuinely struggling with a difficult decision.  I hope this is the scenario, as it’s the one that’s most affirming to you and your awesomeness – TI-82 and all.  However, I said we’ve got three scenarios, so…

Scenario two: Unitard is pulling a classic, well-worn, guy-move which unfolds as follows:

1- Guy realizes a year ago that he wants to break up with his girlfriend.
2- Guy waits a year because breaking up is a giganto pain-in-the-protractor, and children like to avoid pain.
3- Guy snaps.
4- Guy becomes distant from his girlfriend.
5- Guy starts flirting with another girl because a) He’s trying to get caught and get broken up with (way easier than doing the breakup)  b) The other girl makes him feel rejuvenated, alive, passionate and all the things he’s been missing for the last year in his cruddy relationship.
6- Guy talks himself into believing that math-mistress is the right girl…while all along it had nothing to do with her and everything to do with him, what he needed, and what emotional void you – oops – she was filling.
7- Guy reconnects with, gets engaged to, and marries the original girlfriend.  Uni math is left wondering what she did wrong, why she wasn’t good enough, etcetera, etcetera.

The Other Woman, if this scenario is right (and history would tell us that it is), you’re not being wooed because you’re the greatest lady ever, but because you represent all that was lost with the 2-year girlfriend.  You’re funny, passionate, interested in him and easy (not in the gross way, but in the emotionally available way). You’re being used like methadone, and you deserve to be the singular focus of some man’s attention and affection.

So, my answer to your question is this: It’s time to exit gracefully. Maybe, like many great men, he’s just in a confusing place and his current actions don’t necessarily speak of his overall character and date-ability.  Fine.  When he breaks up with his 2-year girl, then you can resume flirting.  But for now, it’s probably best to let him sort his junk out without making you the obtuse angle of a triangle (you’ll learn that in Uni-201).

Hold on though, didn’t I say there were three scenarios?  Scroll up… I did!

Scenario Three: Uni is short for Universal Citizens of Galaxy 9, and this is all some sort of cult thing that I don’t understand. If this is the case, lace up your matching Nikes and have at it!

Thank you for your question, Other Woman…and for everyone else reading, I’ll be answering another question next Monday – ask away!

3.14159,
Grown Man

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