What I’ve Learned from Men

With the approach of father’s day, I have been thinking about the men in my life: my father, brothers, and dear friends — almost all of whom are fathers (and amazing ones at that).  They are also gifted, funny, gentle, kind and generous.  I have learned so many things from them:  about life, love and how to not take myself too seriously.  I thought that, in celebration of father’s day, I would share some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned from them.

  • I’ve learned that having guts can get you places that talent alone cannot (like the coveted first baseman spot or a semi-regular turn with the karaoke microphone).
  • You’ve taught me to stop trying to get you to talk about your feelings.  Like finding a husband or getting your first period, it will happen when least expected, and will presumably be worth the wait.
  • I’ve been to the school for male humor called “coffee with the guys” most mornings for over a decade, and I now understand that the humor of a really bad word or an especially bawdy comment resides in its shock value.  Less frequent equals more funny.
  • Men have shown me that holding on to hurt feelings is useless.  Say something (if you need to) then move on.  There is so much freedom in facing today without needing to nurse yesterday’s wounds.  Also, when men say they’ve moved on, they really have.  I’m still working on this part of the equation.
  • The wonderful men in my life have taught me that you do not need to use the word “love” to express the feeling.  They show it in hugs, punches, late night texts, carrying the ugly couch that came with the house to the basement for you.  These physical acts, large and small, are powerful statements of feeling.
  • If one of my male friends bothers to get on a soapbox, lecturing about attitude or “choosing in life”, it is important to listen.  These soapbox lectures have helped me change my life for the better in so many ways.

My dad and brothers were the first men to love me, and they have done so unconditionally (followed closely by my brothers-in-law).  The many male friends who have stood by my side in the past and the present — and you know who you are, guys — have shown me that I am lovable, not because of what I have to offer but because of who I am.

Once, someone told me that I had too much “masculine energy” and suggested that was a failing in me.  While I didn’t necessarily agree with the assessment, I also would never have taken it as anything but a positive trait.  Every day, masculine energy brings light, laughter and love to my life.  And I am so much the better woman for it.