Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On Being "The Man"

A few weeks ago I received an innocuous package in the mail.  The post mark revealed nothing but a Colorado Springs origin.  And inside was a single book.  A marketing firm guru named "Steve" had attached a sticky-note to the title page that read:  "The publisher tells me you are THE MAN to review this book. I look forward to reading your thoughts in print."

Ah, yes . . . THE MAN.

I've never been THE MAN before.  This is new territory for me.

My wife, for example, insists that I am not a man.  Her favorite lines include: "When are you going to be a man and fix the sink?" or "You're such a Pansy!" or "Get your candy-striped *** off the couch and do some weed-eating!"  No . . . I'm not a man.

My son and daughter don't see me as THE MAN either.  My daughter regards me as THE CHECKBOOK, and I keep writing mounds of these things until the ink runs out.  My son sees me as THE OLD MAN, but certainly not THE MAN.  He wonders why I can no longer toss a football or sub as his rugby tackling dummy.  He hears me grunting and groaning and creaking and says, "You sound like you need to be oiled."

"I do," I tell him, "and your mother sees to that . . . every night!"

I've never been anyone's MAN before, and I want to do this right.  Especially for "Steve".  Who knows . . . this "Steve" could turn out to be somebody special.  If he sees me as THE MAN, he must be able to glimpse my soul, to see me as the unique child of God that I am.  "Steve" understands me.  

Don't get the wrong idea, though.  I like "Steve" and all, but he's just a friend . . . some guy I met inside an envelope.  I don't have a "thing" for "Steve".  I'm just reviewing his book.  I mean, I hardly know the guy--although I'd recognize his handwriting anywhere.  But obviously, "Steve" knows I'm THE MAN through-and-through.  Not an ounce of estrogen.

I've told my wife about "Steve" so maybe she will become jealous and start calling me HER MAN.  But this has only served to inflame her insistence that I am a narrow-minded child who craves her approval and can't cook a decent meatloaf.  She still makes fun of my chicken-croquettes and snapped peas. She wonders when I will spin a load of laundry. 

You can bet I'll be giving "Steve" an excellent book review.  I want to be THE MAN more than anything in the world.  I'm tired of living in my own shadow and I want someone to see me in my real light.  When my book review is published and I receive my royalty check and cash it and take my scorching hot wife out to Wendys, I want her to say, "Dude!  You are THE MAN!"  And I want her to be all over me like a cheap suit.

I want to be THE MAN.  And real men, after all, write book reviews and stay well-oiled.    

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