See? I told all ya’ll that I would get around to the 3rd installment. And all ya’ll were like, “Psh. OKAY. I’ll believe it when I see it, Annie…” Well, believe it, oh ye of little faith. BELIEVE it.
Okay…where was I? Something about men… or boys. Or some combination of the two. Hang on, let me get my notes…
Okay, so we covered how I had all these ridiculous expectations for the men in my life, but how those expectations didn’t apply to my brother. And after the terrible, harrible, no good, very bad event in my life, I realized that women’s efforts to “polish” up the men in their lives was having a very bad effect on men.
And… I think that’s where we left off, right?
Which brings me to now… and the most important part of this series: The Secret Lives of Boys.
I mentioned how after the terrible, harrible, no good, very bad event in my life, I had become a lot closer with my brother. And suddenly, we were doing a lot more talking, and a lot more confiding . And he was doing a lot of confiding about his past. At first, his revelations and confessions were enough to make me plug my ears while singing at the top of my lungs, because quite frankly, living in ignorance about the saint that was my brother, was just easier. And the idea that my brother was anything less than perfect was… well, it made me lose faith in men. My big brother had always been on this pedestal, against which I measured all men. He was honest, and kind, and brave, and honorable, and he did everything that was good and right and pure.
Except, that he didn’t.
You see, he had a secret life of his own that no one knew about… especially not his mother, his sisters, and his wife. This “secret life” wasn’t something scandalous or terrible. It just consisted of all those things he had done as a stupid youth that he had never divulged to anyone for fear of being judged, condemned and sent to hell for.
Things like… playing with fire, driving recklessly, not behaving like a perfect gentlemen, swearing, drinking, smoking, carousing, pushing boundaries, breaking rules and behaving like… well… like a man.
When I found this out, I was all…
And then I was all…
Because, I’m sorry but… What the hell?!
Here’s this dude against which I measure the worth of all men, and he’s full of it like the rest of them? So, in the aftermath of my terrible, harrible, no good, very bad event, I was pretty much convinced that all men sucked, and weren’t deserving of anything good in life.
Once I stopped being angry and went back to being awesome, it occurred to me that… my brother wasn’t perfect. He was human like anyone else. Likewise, all men are human. Therefore, no men are perfect. And I realized, I had been trying so hard to convince myself that somewhere out there was a perfect Mormon Eagle Scout, that I was forgetting that perfect people don’t exist… and the more you try to polish men to fit into your idea of perfection, the more you rob them of the personalities they were born with. I was doing precisely the same thing my sister-in-law was doing to my brother – the very thing I hated. I had been looking for a perfect robot void of personality, void of history, void of life-experience, void of any imperfection that made them interesting and worthwhile and awesome. I wanted a man without a secret life. Apparently, I wanted a man who wasn’t a man at all… but just a blob of compliance, obedience and perfection. I basically wanted a monk.
Stay tuned for Part 4. Because I will wrap it up… I plomise. (Yes, I see that typo. But it makes me laugh. Because plomise sounds way more awesome than promise, so I’m leaving it as is. Maybe I’ll add it to my vernacular.)
For Part 1, click here.
For Part 2, click here.