The other day Anika reminded me that I had been using the term “Man Card” for quite a few years. The context is very important. I have almost always used the term in a humorous and somewhat sarcastic manner. “That guy doesn’t have a clue…they should take away his Man Card”.
So, what exactly do I mean by Man Card? You must have a bit of a glimmer from the line above. Let me give a better example. Anika had met a strong strapping young man in his mid-twenties. He had volunteered to help her move and did a fine job with the heavy lifting, quite literally. However things took a bad turn when it was time to get the new place set up.
She asked him to hang a curtain rod. This has to be one of the simplest tasks you can imagine. An electric drill, a tape measure, a pencil screws and anchors and you’re done in a jiffy. As in like five minutes. It is the simplest of tasks that a man with any mechanical abilities should be able to perform. He did not have a clue. Did not even try. I would have to guess that McGyver was not one of his favorite shows.
The parade of young men that have vied for my daughters attentions rarely deserve to hold a Man Card. What the heck is up? Did they take shop class out of the schools? Nope, both girls and recently my son the freshman all brought home well crafted projects. My girls and my boy get this. How is it then that so many young men out there are clueless when it comes to the skills that would earn them a Man Card? You doubt my concern? Okay, here’s a clue, Cup-Stacking is now considered a sport, no really, I’m not kidding, they teach this in Middle School Gym class. If your child is a national level competing Cup-Stacker, I make no apologies, not even to you. Cup Stacking, not cool. Lacking basic man skills, way not cool. So seriously, how did it come to this, so many men in the current generation so undeserving of a Man Card? Ready for this? Our generation has made it way to easy for our kids. Hire the carpenter while we take Billy to the Cup Stacking competition instead of Father and Son working on a project together. Many schools have dropped wrestling, gymnastics and other sports. Working with your hands is not respected any more. How many plumbers, electricians and carpenters are doing better financially than their white collar counterparts? Many, trust me on this, many. We have had this shift of thinking that somehow actually doing things is, beneath us, a less than desirable pursuit. This spells trouble, serious trouble.
Now realize there are other qualifications and disqualifications for a Man Card. Being a bully, no card, never ever ever. Being rude and disrespectful to women. Definitely no card and a nice long session out back of the wood shed is in order. Being polite and respectful to your peers and elders, bingo, good points towards your Man Card. Treating a woman with kindness and respect; ah you’re catching on, Major Points for the card. So here’s the deal Mom and Dad, take a pass on the Cup-Stacking, get the little guy working with some tools and teach him manners. My son knows the only things that might ever make me raise a hand to him are being a bully, or in any way hurting a woman. Kind of old fashioned I know, but honestly, he knows I will never raise my hand to him. The good news though, I'll never have to face that dilemma. Yup, he’s earned his Man Card.