“It’s a deal.”
I held out my hand in the culturally defined gesture of sealing an agreement. He started reaching back and I started having second thoughts. This man, only one year older than me, was living in a house so filthy (his parent’s) you could shovel the dirt out of the carpet. He was covered in various random tattoos and had a swelling beer gut only partially contained by a dirty t-shirt. As we grasped, I tried to focus on maintaining eye contact with the face framed by a Skrillex haircut, but the most prominent sensory input came from the contact of my hand and his: There were absolutely no calluses on his baby-white skin.
In some ways that man (if you can call him a man) exemplifies the direction of many men in Western culture today. While society continues to put pressure on the population with a Y-chromosome to “man up”, it simultaneously asserts that we are unnecessary, unimportant, and that we only exist to be the butt of a joke or an afterthought. Many, like this young man, choose to be dragged along through an existence of mediocracy. After all, won’t Papa Guvermint make sure that he’s still alive to “rebel against the man”, “be real” and have a little extra for the bread and circuses?
A little of this man lives in us all. He’s the part of us that wants to sigh, look downwards in resignation and says, “What’s the use? I’ll never be good at anything so may as well not even try.” He’s fed by Western society until he’s a large part of many men’s identity.
But don’t worry, there is a cure. I’m about to ask you a question, and your ability to answer it will define who you are, what you do and why you do it. It is rarely asked in America, and seldom is it asked with sincerity. Usually you are simply provided answers by those who wish to manipulate you. Are you ready for it?
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Maybe you know the answer already, but I’m willing to bet that that the majority of men in western society (especially the younger generations) can’t form a complete answer to this question.
I’m going to set up one boundary for this question before I get started helping you through the process of answering it. Forget about women. I know, I know, women is probably the reason you visit this blog in the first place, but hear me out. Let’s say you go meet women in a foreign land. They -will- ask you what you want (with true sincerity). Is “Women” your answer? That had better not be the complete answer, because they didn’t agree to meet you to find out that all you’re about is “Women.” They want to know what else you’re interested in. What I’m asking you today is to describe your Mental Man-Cave.
The Mental Man-Cave is that place in your heart and mind where you are free to be a man. It’s probably just you in there most of the time, but it’s also a place where you can let your (man) buddies in and hang out in a place of manly comfort. You know the guy whose thoughts you interrupted and he reveals that he was thinking about a fishing trip or working on a hot rod? He was in his Mental Man-Cave and he was honoring you with a glimpse inside the door. He probably wouldn’t have shared it with a complete (woman) stranger, his boss, or even his Western spouse. What you have in your Mental Man-Cave is entirely yours. The more you can describe the contents and feel this place, the more defined of an answer you can give to the question I posed above.
Now let’s put this exercise into practice. I’m going to describe to you an example Mental Man-cave to give you an idea. The ceiling is high, the floors are tile or granite with large rugs put down for both comfort and area separation. A warm light saturates the place, and there is a simple wood trim and decorations that gives the aura of a cigar lounge. In one corner sits a comfortably upholstered chair surrounded by lamps and bookshelves filled with books; classics, science fiction and self improvement make up the bulk of the selection. On an end table beside the chair lie the two most worn books: A bible and a devotional. A soda fountain with stainless steel stools and a black/white tiled floor covers one wall leading into a small dancing area with a stage holding a stand with a violin. A terraced shelf lining the edge of the room holds hundreds of different glass bottles, each one a testament to the consumption of a different flavor. In another area there is a wrestling mat next to exercise equipment. A glass trophy case contains not conventional trophies, but pictures of friendship and comradery of events past. Some parts of the Mental Man-Cave are full of old memories while others are sparsely furnished or blank; they are waiting for significance that will be added in later seasons of life.
What you have in your own Mental Man-Cave should be interesting to yourself and those others you let in. There may be parts of the place that no one else goes but yourself, but you keep parts of it bottled up and never actualized it in the real world or share it with others, you are failing to grow in those areas of your life. What there had better not be is a coffee table with a pile of cocaine on it. When you actually meet the woman of your dreams, you’re going to want to be comfortable with what is in there and that there actually is something in there. You need to be able to show her a slice of your life and what it would be like for her to be a part of it.
The reason you need a good image of your Mental Man-cave is because your passions, your drive to live life to the fullest is the antithesis to your inner Skrillex-cut man. In the West I see him everywhere around me. Usually his manifestation is the utterance of the words “I’m bored.” A person who constantly says this is really saying “I’m boring.” As a man, you -do- things about boredom, not complain about it all the time.
Another time I heard a teenager state that he didn’t want to be rich because he’d end up being greedy. Fine with me if he thought that about himself, but I could practically see his dreams falling out of his ears as he unconsciously disregarded his own potential. Don’t be that kind of man. Define with clarity what it is you want, because what you will discover is what you stand for and model your life around. It’s important to you, and it’s important to your future woman who plans on encouraging your life. Decide this for yourself and you’ve come a long way towards being more manly.
Manly Monday is possibly a semi-regular feature of WesternWomenSuck.com regarding the state and development of manliness. If you have anything to add or feel that this post contains errors, please submit corrections in postings below and I will be happy to review them.
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