It’s Monday October 11th, 2021, the day after I came home from my week long trip to New Jersey for another “Village by the Sea” with Vince, TJ, and James of Masculine Geek.
It was an amazing time. I smoked more cigars in one week than I have in probably six months. I drank more alcohol in that one week than I normally do in three months. I learned to develop a taste for coffee after years of giving it a shot and then giving up on it, and no, you dickhead, I won’t be drinking it black.
We had long conversations that covered the gamut of interests. TJ was brief as usual, Vince is or was dying of throat cancer, and James was getting ready to start a new life in a new state. Sometimes the family you have is the family you choose, not those you are born into.
A few things I learned about myself on this trip:
I like my bed at home far more than other beds in other places. I have slept in some comfortable beds in my time, this Village by the Sea was no exception, but I really like my own bed.
What is old is new again. This isn’t so much about me, per se, but it’s what I’m realizing as I get older. Vince and I were both reading biographies about different guys in different time periods. One of the guys Vince was reading about goes back to the late 1700’s or early 1800’s if I recall correctly. It might have been earlier than that. The guy I was reading about lived in Great Britain during the late 1800’s and he died in 1963. Both guys talked about the political climates of their respective eras. Nothing has changed.
People were bitching about communism, at least in my book, feminism was a thing in both time eras and women were bitching about rights that they already had, and the majority of guys were chumps, much like today. Oh and people did a lot of fucking, and other people who weren’t fucking, frowned on those who were fucking. Apparently Puritanism and Hedonism haven’t gone out of style. It’s “evergreen.” Lots of people talking about the “coming crisis,” which ironically never came. Does any of this sound familiar?
Bachelorhood = bad because bachelors won’t “man up and marry that woman,” and they are “disruptive to society.” Of course they are. When you are single, you can come and go as you please, move from place to place on a dime, and you don’t need a lot of income to support a family because you aren’t supporting a family, and you don’t have as much to get taxed on and support the whole of society. Nothing has changed.
I’m pro-individual, specifically I’m pro Me. What do I want from this life? What’s in it for me? Some men want to get married and have children. Great! If that’s what you want, then go and do that. Some guys are “professional bachelors.” Maybe they got married or into a long term relationship and realized that it wasn’t for them. That’s my case. I’ve done both marriage and long term relationships where we cohabitated. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. It’s much better for everyone involved if we keep separate homes.
On one of the days of our trip, we were in downtown Philly. There were two weddings going on at the same building, at the same time. I remember eyeballing the brides and the bridesmaids. All of them young, probably in their mid 20’s if I had to guess. All of them happy and excited. All of them full of life and energy. Given half a chance, I would have banged them all. Not an overweight woman in the group. But would have I married any of them? No. It’s not for me.
I’ve also learned that I’m more “introverted” than I thought I was. What I mean by that is that I like my quiet time. I like silence occasionally. I like to be able to sit on a couch or in a chair and just read a book with nothing but the sound of the wind for company. There were a few times during the trip that I had to go and sit by myself in my room and not listen to the conversations that were going on around me. It got overwhelming to a degree. I don’t recall being like that when I was younger. Sitting here in my chair, typing this, hearing nothing but the click and clatter of the keys on the keyboard is soothing. There is peace in silence sometimes. I think I have truly learned what it means when you hear the phrase, “you can be alone without being lonely.”
I have come to understand that men in general are Idealists by nature. I believe that it is hardwired into us. A “feature, not a bug” or whatever buzzword that is popular at the moment. You want to have some peace in your life? You want to figure out where you want to go and what to do? You have to kill that Idealist. Or at least temper it like hell with a lot of practicality and pragmatism. It’s your idealism that causes you headaches and heartaches. It’s your idealism that causes you strife and conflict because your idealism will go up against other people’s idealism. It’s your idealism that will be your downfall eventually because your idealism is a fantasy. Always was, always will be.
I don’t say this out of bitterness, futility, or some sort of nihilism. I say it with relief and joy. You don’t have to like how things are, but you have to accept how things are. It’s from there that you make the changes that you can. It’s from there you influence what can be influenced. Anything else is just a part of that idealistic fantasy. It’s how things “ought” to be or “should” be.
One of the idealistic fantasies that I see going on around me in real time, at least on the internet, is the idea that men are communal. That we are going to “get together” and effect some sort of “great change.” No we are not. We never have and we never will. We are mostly disagreeable for the most part. I know there are times where I don’t say anything because it’s not worth the time or effort, and the fact that one man can’t tell another man what to do, but there’s been plenty of times, even during the trip where I wanted to say to one man or another, “Dude, you’re full of shit.”
No sense in saying it though because it’s not my circus, not my monkeys. Experience will be the ultimate arbiter for them. And hey, they just might be that outlier, who knows? Who am I to judge? When everybody is an outlier though, nobody is an outlier. Sometimes you have to let a child touch the hot stove. Sometimes you have to let them burn.
Another pleasant observation that I had, especially while I was in Philly:
The women there, for the most part, were height/weight proportionate. That was across all age groups, races, and backgrounds. From college coeds to “cougars” in their 60’s if I had to guess. The great majority of them were height/weight proportionate. The majority of them were not wearing masks either. Apparently they didn’t get the memo that there’s a “gender war” going on either. And this is a “blue town.” Very liberal in their leanings, and yet the women were pleasant and pleasant to be around. Further proof, at least for me, that guys need to get the fuck off social media and go outside their homes. All the nonsense you see on social media is coming from a vocal minority and nothing more. It’s all posturing. It’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s all bullshit. And this is coming from a guy who grew up in conservative Salt Lake City, Utah, a “red state.” Or stay locked up in your house, stay on social media and feed on the outrage. Drive yourself crazy. I don’t care.
Whatever you seek, you’ll end up finding. It’s our nature.