Today my wife left us to take a mini-vacation with her Mom and our daughter (Figure 1). It is a well-deserved respite after spending six years, nearly single-handedly, raising our latest bundle of joy named Jett.
I know that there are some men out there that think her job has been easy. For you misinformed males, I’ve got some news for you.
Our wives have the hardest job in existence by being married to us buffoons and raising our kids! If you think being a wife is easy, I strongly encourage you to read this article and the potential series of articles to follow. If you pay attention to the wisdom I’m sending to you through these words, you will have a chance to become a better man, too.
I was born into a household dominated by female guidance (Figure 2). I had a Mom and three older sisters that all took great care of me. If it weren’t for these four females, and countless others in our extended family and friends network, I wouldn’t be writing this article. In fact, I probably would have had a much different life. I believe that I was automatically conditioned to respect and honour all females because of the love I have received from the ladies in Figure 2.
Even with this nurturing upbringing forming my foundation, I know that there have been times when my male instincts have created unintentionally embarrassing situations. Most of these episodes occurred when I was younger and unmarried, although there are times in more recent history when I have inadvertently reverted to being a nimrod male.
One of the reasons that my wife has had to mould me into becoming a better man is that I never knew my father. I never had the direct male guidance that a father is supposed to give to his son. In my case, he was gone from my life entirely – not long after this picture was taken, I suppose. I have no memories, no experiences, and no knowledge present in me from my father. That can make it tough for a boy to learn to be a good and honourable father and man, in general.
By the time I decided to find my father in 1991, he had been six-feet underground for five years after being brutally murdered in Alabama. One day I’m going to write a story about growing up fatherless, but that will take a lot of courage to do. Luckily for me, each of my three sisters married great men, and all three of them became my role models. I believe that each of them has shown me how to be a good husband and father by being my surrogate father figures.
For me to have an impact on other men, I will have to expose my flaws. I haven’t completely committed to writing this series of articles, but I will do so if I can find enough courage. That sounds worse than it really is because I have been a pretty good guy my entire life. However, there have been a few instances where I would like to have changed my behaviour if I could.
If I write these articles, I hope to be able to spread words of wisdom about being a good man. Considering the recent onslaught of stories related to males behaving very badly, I believe we need some proper operating rules that are clearly explained.
How This Topic Was Created
Despite my wife being absent tonight, I witnessed a scene that made me realize how my wife has moulded me into being a better man. This scene was completely unexpected, but when it happened this article was instantaneously born as my wife’s words echoed in my head.
I learned a long time ago, that when the story forms, you have to catch it. If not, it will be gone forever. Now I may have a new mission to teach other males how to become better men, thanks to the lessons my wonderful wife, and life, have taught me.
I was sitting alone at a crowded Mexican restaurant, reading about machine learning fundamentals on my IPad. I know what you are thinking. Did he really choose to do this on his first Friday night of Freedom that he has had in six-years?
Yep, I did do that while Jett was playing at a gym. With no wife, no six-year-old son or other kids to manage, I found myself spending one of my two hours of free time reading about computer algorithms! There is no denying my data dorkiness after that decision.
While this was happening, I was not paying attention to anything going on around me, including the Winter Olympics that was up on the big screen. Oblivious to me, dozens of people were buzzing around me while I remained laser-focused on learning about artificial intelligence. When I finished eating and reading, the following scene occurred.
I walked up to the cash register to pay my bill, and I saw a man standing at the register in front of a young female employee. Before any words hit my brain, a couple of visual observations were immediately made.
First, she is tall and he isn’t. Second, she is mid-twenties and he is mid-forties. He is rotund, greasy faced with a scruffy beard, and is essentially the polar opposite of her. These observations were made automatically because I could sense that he was about to do something really stupid. I could feel the bad-behaviour energy drifting through the air.
As I continued approaching the scene, his words hit me with the force of a sledgehammer. From about twenty feet away, I heard her say something like: “It’s $79.xx”. He responded by handing her a credit card, jumping slightly backwards and blurting “Boom!” in a baritone voice, with the slightest fist pump being given to himself. The boom sounded like a sonic boom does, and it even startled me. I saw her flinch as she reached for the credit card, as he proudly began his peacock shuffle.
Apparently, his awkward ritual of impressing her began by paying with a credit card. To him, this was a sign of his prosperity, to her it was business as usual. If I could draw a picture for you of his peacock shuffle, it would look like this. Imagine an out of shape, middle age man that is 75 pounds overweight doing a little backwards and forwards movement, as though he was swaying to some music that only he was hearing. I was almost expecting to see him reach for his armpits and begin flapping his imaginary wings as he exposed his multi-coloured plumage.
This display was enough to stop me in my tracks at about 10 feet from the scene. I was close enough to hear what was about to transpire but far enough away that I wasn’t a threat to his manhood or his curious display, which allowed him to continue his bad behaviour.
The next thing he said to her was this: “Hey, that is a nice shirt you are wearing! I’m not saying that it is something that I’m going to wear, but I think it is really cool.” With great elegance and restraint, she handed him the credit card and final receipt and said “thank you”. That response served a dual purpose of addressing his backhanded compliment and for him being a customer. I noticed that she didn’t want to make eye contact with him.
At this point, he awkwardly stepped back a few feet while he waited for the other people he was with to join him near the front door. While waiting, I could see him staring at her while she took a phone call order before helping me. That action extended his bad behaviour, but at least he was eight to ten feet away from her while he did it.
While This Unfolded, My Wife Was In My Head
While I waited for her to take my bill, my absent wife was talking to me in my head. Her imaginary voice asked me if I saw how creepy his behaviour was. She began pointing out all the obvious misbehaviours committed by this guy. She ended up the imaginary dialogue by pointing out that this guy was completely clueless if he thought he had any chance of gaining attention from the other person.
When I gave her my receipt, I was silent. I didn’t try to make amends for his bad behaviour, nor did I even recognize it in the slightest. I just paid the bill and left. I just felt bad for her and embarrassed for him. I saw through my own eyes how easily a misbehaving male can create a really creepy situation.
I know that scenes like this occur all the time in many different settings. When I was younger, I probably wouldn’t have thought too much about it because I might not have been as acutely aware of the subtleties on exhibit.
Now that my wife has taught me better, and the passage of time has occurred, I have some wisdom that allows me to see things differently. I have an increased sensitivity to situations like this. I now have a better understanding of male/female dynamics thanks to my wife. The only question remaining is whether I can find the courage to write the additional stories that I wished had never happened. Thanks for reading.
After the Final Thoughts – This is All True!
While my wife was on the cruise, I was diagnosed with the flu. I reached a sad state of existence by Wed, and she returned late on Thursday night. While she was gone early in the trip, she had told me a couple of stories about a young man that was behaving badly.
Before I continue, let me just say that I cannot make this stuff up, and I always tell the truth in these stories. What I am about to tell you is another form of Big Magic confirmation for me. Now I know the reason that I captured this original story and here it is.
For the first few days of the cruise, there was a young man that was acting fairly outrageous. Directly in front of my wife, he stopped and looked my daugher up and down as they passed him in the hallway. They continuously encountered him, with him being persistent trying to get my wife to dance, to take her hat for the hairy man contest, and other miscellaneous things like hot tubbing when my daugher was there. My wife and daughter tried to avoid him as much as possible, but this guy was “everywhere” is what she told me.
Friday morning, as I started coming out of a stupor from the flu, Toni recounted a story for me. She said, “Do you remember the dreadlock guy I was telling you about?”. I said yes, I think so. She said, “Well, after Tuesday, we stopped seeing him. It was like he suddenly disappeared from the ship.” She continued: “As we were getting off the ship, we heard this story that someone was being arrested by the FBI for committing a sexual assault on the ship. We think it was that guy that kept bothering us.”
Today she verified the story by doing a little research. Without going into details, this guy was arrested and could be facing a long prison sentence for the unspeakable act that he committed. If you want the details, here they are from a Jacksonville news station. Based on his mug shot, it looks like someone in the jail didn’t take kindly to his bad behavior while he was on the ship. My wife said the kid was starved for attention. Well, now he has the attention for all the wrong reasons.