the definition

I was thinking about writing on how sick I am of politics and how I really can’t believe that we have to put up with this nonsense until 20andstinking12.

Marine Week 2011

And then I figured, “Why talk about stuff that drives you nuts?” “Why mention the fact that you’ve heard of Ron Paul so much that you’re ready hang yourself with dental floss?” I thought to myself.

Then I started looking at these pictures of my family at Christmas, and I started noticing my dad. And then I started considering what a handyman and outdoorsman he is. He can fix tractors and shoot deer and chew out truck drivers like nobody else I know.

So then I decided, “Why not start a discussion on manliness instead?” I actually said that out loud.


I live alone.

I can do that.

My sisters and their husbands love talking about my definition of manliness. They eat it up like marshmallow fluff on ice cream.

Frankly, I think that sounds gross, but they live near a lot of hippies, so you really can’t blame them.

Marine Week 2011

It all started back when I was a young, impressionable child—roughly six months ago—when I said once in passing that the quintessential icon of manliness was the Marlboro Man and that part of his appeal—beyond the cowboy hat and spectacular sunsets—was that he was outside so much.

But somewhere in the discussion on the Marlboro Man’s greatness, my brother-in-law swears he heard me say, “To be a man means you have to live outside all the time.”

And now every time I go out with a guy, he asks if the dude owns a tent. Or is homeless.

Good one, bro.

I’m dying here.

No, really.

Cracking up.



Ok, not at all.

But that’s because I still contend there’s something to that. Sure, manliness is more than being an outdoorsmen. It’s courage, honor, initiative, cowboy boots.

I mean, no. Courage, honor, initiative, an F-150. Gah!!

This, consequently, is also why I feel a strong need to marry a cowboy. Because cowboys CLEARLY are totally assertive, wear baseball hats like only Iowa boys can, drive trucks that gets 12 miles to the gallon, own ATVs, and are as a close as  you can get to being a farmer without being a farmer.

See? You really can have it all.

Minus the part where he’d have to be a Lutheran.

And not actually live outside.


I think we’ve just established that’s what determines your manhood.

Am I wrong on this?

I’m not saying all outdoorsy farm boys are class acts, but, gosh if tractors, shotguns, and hot wings wouldn’t make for a nice change of pace from seminarians. Just sayin’.

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