How to Be a Man

You see that bus approaching. You step out in the street.

It was Father’s Day last week and so my thoughts were on men. Not just fathers, but men in general. Well, mostly Javier Bardem.

What does it mean to be a man? What kind of a man do I want to be? What does it mean to be manly?

Since Javier wasn’t around to answer these questions, I asked random strangers. I also looked deep into myself, and here’s what I discovered.

1. Be Fearless

Being fearless doesn’t mean you don’t have fear, it means you know how to conquer fear. It’s good to test your fear, to overcome it. You see that bus approaching. You step out in the street. That bus will stop. It will totally stop, right? It’s stopping, it’s totally going to stop.

2. Be Reliable

If you tell people you’re going to step out into the street to face the incoming bus to test your fear, you do it.

3. Show Emotion

A real man isn’t afraid to let others see his emotion. He can sad, happy, furious, angry, disappointed, ecstatic, all in the space of thirty seconds. Practice in front of a hand mirror when you’re lying in bed after the bus ran into you and broke your leg.

4. Get Angry

A real man shows his anger. He is angry about injustice, about wrong, about the fact that he didn’t ask for mustard on this sandwich which was delivered and now he has to hobble to the kitchen to wipe it off so he can eat this sandwich.

5. Be Valuable

A real man is a valuable person in his work, in his relationships, to his family, to his dog, to his cat, to his fish. Especially, the fish. That fish really needs you. Don’t forget to feed him and love him. Sing to him also. Fish love music.

6. Be Vulnerable

A man reveals his pain. He opens up to those he trusts. He cries even. He uses the soft fur of his cat to wipe away the tears from all the Lifetime movies he’s watching stuck in bed.

7. Love Deeply

A real man does not hold back. He gives it all. To his partner. To his children. To his bus driver. To his bodega cat. Hold that cat close.

8. Practice a Martial Art

Use all that time in bed where you can hardly move into perfecting a means of defense. Next time that bus won’t be so cocky after you roundhouse kick it.

9. Develop Your Mind

A real man should not only take care of his body but his mind too. He needs to strengthen it, to build it up, make it strong. You know what makes strong brains? Avocados and dark chocolate. That’s just science. Order some guacamole and chocolate ice cream. Your brain demands it.

10. Explore the World

Get those binoculars. See what’s happening from your bed. Ooh, look at that bird. His tuft is so lovely. Say tuft to yourself. Repeat it over and over again until it sounds like you’re saying nonsense. Throw some bread crumbs from the plates piled high on your bed. Welcome those birds into your bedroom. Make friends.

Maybe they’ll all gather around and be so enchanted with you that they’ll pick up your bottom sheet in their beaks and take you outside and fly you up high into the sky so you can see the beautiful lights of the city. Maybe that will happen eventually, when they get more familiar with you. For now though one will just fly in and shit on your bed. Should probably clean that up. You ring the bell.

“This bird just shit on the bed can you clean it up please I don’t want to die from some weird infection? you say to your significant other.

Pretty sure this is how to be a man.