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October 9, 2015

The Modern Man vs. The Real Man

Joe Charlebois

Recently The New York Times published a column entitled “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man,” by Brian Lombardi. It is an interesting if not perverse take on what a “man” is.


Mr. Lombardi’s description of a modern man is an incoherent and inconsistent mixture of a traditional 1950s man and an emasculated effeminate being. It’s as if Mr. Lombardi is attempting to redefine what a “Real Man” is. Let me intercede.


To Mr. Lombardi, a real man does not know what his wife’s shoe size is, or what brands run large or small, nor would he buy shoes for her.


A real man not only knows how to spell “filet;” and a real man knows that filet mignon shouldn’t be charred or need trimmed of fat. They should be rare and juicy.


Mr. Lombardi’s modern man may only drink “regular colas” like Coke or Dr. Pepper and shun those who drink Mountain Dew; but a real man will drink whatever his host offers him and be a gentleman about it.


A real man actually knows that Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew aren’t colas; that term is reserved for Coke, Pepsi and Royal Crown. A real man knows what to drink and is confident in his choices. He opts for a locally brewed I.P.A. over Missouri based brew, and he isn’t concerned about it being “light.” A modern man may use a melon baller to make a pretty arrangement of fruit, but a real man would slice the melon into wedges and eat each slice by hand.


The modern man may listen to Wu-Tang once a week, but a real man has to look up what or who Wu Tang is. A real man will be caught listening to any of the following at any given time: Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Van Morrison, Van Halen, John Lee Hooker, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith or Joe Cocker.


A real man may have hardwood flooring around the house, but he wouldn’t be stamping his Kenneth Coles there. A real man reserves his use of leather bottomed shoes for church and other special occasions. Running shoes, work boots or barefoot is the way most real men wander around the house.


Mr. Lombardi suggests that the modern man should sleep closer to the door to be protective of his spouse should an intruder make his way into the house. This way the modern man can engage the intruder and allow his wife to make her escape.


He states that the modern man has no use for a gun. “He doesn’t own one, and he never will.” He also states that “the modern man cries. He cries often.”


Well, the real man wouldn’t care what side of the bed he slept on because if an intruder were to make his way into the house he would grab his gun and would make sure that the only one who would cry would be the intruder – that is – crying for his mother.


A real man is always a gentleman, confident in his choices, old fashioned and when appropriate politically incorrect. He can have a soft and caring side but it shouldn’t be mistaken for weakness.


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