Punching the man card

Someone sent me the man card image. We got a good laugh out if it. My wife got a bigger laugh when I started pointing out how many of those manly man items were on my résumé. So, in defense of my utter and absolute manliness, let me explain myself.

Grow epic beard.
Got that. I did the no shave November last year. In 30 days, I grew a full thick, Brillo pad-like beard. It was thick enough to scrub pots and scare children. It aged me at least 10 years, thanks to that hereditary gray hair blessing. It was hideous and uncomfortable, but absolutely epic. Got that one.

Kill 12 point buck with bow.
Nope. I am one of the only non-hunters in my family. Also vegetarian. That one isn’t going to happen. Rest easy, Bambi.

Earn huge face scar.
This one is debatable. I have a large scar under my left eyebrow from a golf club. Twelve stitches and knocked unconscious in the process. I say it counts. My wife says no. Mainly because of how I “earned” it.
At ten years old, I walked across my front yard to see what my brother was doing. He was hunched over, with his back to me. Just standing in the yard.
As I walked up behind him, I discovered that he was practicing his grip on a large golf club. His number one, wooden driver with the steel plate greeted me over his left shoulder, as fast as he could move it. Whack! Down goes Matlock.
Geri says it doesn’t count towards the man card, but it might explain some other issues I have.

Rescue kitten from a tree.
Done it. It wasn’t a happy experience. For either of us. He didn’t want to be rescued, or handled. I wasn’t too happy about the thirteen thousand claw punctures I received on the way down.

Take up smoking tobacco from a pipe.
Did it for a while. Ended up gravitating to cigarettes and eventually, a cigar habit that I still struggle with from time to time. Skip this one if you can. Seriously.

Survive a rattlesnake bite.
Yep, got the scar to prove it. One got me while climbing through storm damage trees, trying to reach that perfect trout fishing spot in north Georgia. Learned more than any normal person needs to know about rattlesnakes. Ended up in the hospital sporting an amazing infection. I don’t recommend this one, either.
However, if you strongly desire one Popeye-like forearm without working out… Rattlesnake bites on the elbow will do it.

Carry a buckskin knife.
Used to. It wasn’t useful enough for me. Switched to a Gerber Scout about twenty years ago. Still wear it on my belt everyday, unless I am on a date, wearing my dress pants. Even then, maybe.

Learn to weld.
Got that one, too. Been welding and fabricating since I was sixteen. Love it. Built my own rigid frame motorcycle a few years back. Still not sure why that isn’t on this list. Building your own car or bike is pretty darn manly in my book.

Build a log cabin.
Absolutely. I say it counts. Nobody else does. The list doesn’t specify the size or any other details. Popsicle sticks for my son’s class project should be good enough. Right?

Stop a purse snatcher.
Well, if talking your wife out of a deal at Target counts, then I get credit for this one.

Enter lumberjack contest.
Nope. Never did that one. Thought about it… Once… While watching it on tv… But the idea passed… As soon as I changed the channel.

Hike Appalachian trail solo.
One day, maybe. Whenever I can spare several months with no commitments, Internet or bills. Don’t see that happening this week.

Rebuild engine.
Yep. I get credit for that. The funny thing is, my wife does too. The car we left our wedding in, was a 1969 El Camino powered by a Pontiac 455 engine that she built… By herself. The wedding video shows her smoking the tires out of the church parking lot. Yeah. My wife rocks.

Be 1/10th as manly as Steve McQueen.
That is definitely debatable. Bullit. Great Escape. Yeah. We all have a lot to live up to.

Drink Glenlivet 18, neat.
To be honest, I don’t even know what it is. I have thrown down a lot of different liquids, alcoholic and non, in my life. Don’t get credit for that one. Probably not going to pursue it.

So. Overall. I think I qualify a a substantially manly man, based on that list.

If I were to rewrite that list, it would be pretty different. All those things are entertaining, but not necessarily manly, based on my years and experiences. Maybe I could change the list or add a few things.

Learn to accept responsibility for your life.
Learn to love without expecting anything in return.
Become the most generous person you know.
Find new ways to make your wife fall in love with you.
Become a positive role model to a kid.

That’s the kind of stuff I see in men that I consider manly. Not the immature and selfish acts that make so many of us feel manly. Not the stuff that boosts our ego without improving the lives of the people around us.

After my many years as a husband and father, I definitely feel different about manliness than I did as a kid. Older and wiser. Wishing I had found more solid role models when I was younger. Hoping to become a better role model as I get older.

Over the last five years, I have felt more manly than I have in my entire life. It changed when I decided to focus on the needs of my family and get over my need to prove myself to everyone else. It changed when I accepted responsibility for my life and decisions. It changed once I decided to take Ephesians 5:25 seriously and do this family thing the right way. Even without the rattlesnake bite or beard, I would still feel pretty satisfied with my progress so far.

That’s how I feel about it. Looking forward to the comments.

I would love to give someone credit for the image, but we have no idea who made it. Someone tell me if you know. Thanks.

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