Father's Day is coming up, and I love it! Besides giving us a chance to acknowledge the important roles men play in our children's lives, it's a great day to celebrate the spirit of masculinity in general. I've learned so much from living with a man, especially about that wonderful world where grunting is a preferred communication tool and duct tape fixes everything. My man has enlightened me and opened my mind to the fact that not everything requires a woman's touch to be beautiful.
This is especially important in writing. The male protagonist has got to be believable and attractive to readers, or the book (at least for me as a reader) is a no go. I've used my darling husband more than once as a resource, both on the physical and emotional aspects of my characters, as well as other males in my life. Sometimes my characters or their behaviors are based on random conversations with or observations of other men, and I have to admit, my favorite type of research is of the "guy" variety. It is amazing to get a man's perspective on an issue and see some of the differences--even if there's an agreement on the outcome, somethings the reasoning behind it will be completely different.
For today's post, I'm listing some of the things I've learned from men over the years. I may be off on some of them, but remember, I did learn them from men who didn't realize they were teaching me anything and these have been filtered through my own experiences. :)
1. Duct tape and WD-40 really do fix many of the household problems that occur, at least temporarily.
2. Women's fashion is very simple. Instead of squeezing yourself into that ghastly trendy outfit, try wearing a nice pair of fitted jeans, a white T-shirt with a feminine neckline, pumps or boots with a comfortable heel, and a beautiful smile. As for dresses, wear something that shows your best assets, along with a beautiful smile.
3. Men like a beautiful smile.
4. Life is very simple for the most part. Even the complicated parts.
5. Houses can be cozy AND functional.
6. Waistlines are important (I think this is some kind of biological thing). The first thing a man worries about as he ages is his waistline. In terms of female attractiveness, if you carry a little extra weight, like I always have, you might get into the habit of wearing blouse-y type outfits. However, and my husband made me see the light on this one, most men prefer something fitted, even if just a little. Even if you're at a weight where you feel your waistline no longer exists, wearing something with a waistline that gives you one, no matter how small that waistline is, apparently gives an impression that is far more attractive than what happens when we try to hide what we consider a flaw. *Note: Fashion experts back me up on this, too.
7. Old pick-up trucks are a thing of beauty.
8. Never believe anything you hear about men as a species in general. Yes, that book about men and women and Mars and Venus was right in many respects. Men do tend to fix. Women tend to vent. However, men need to vent, too, and sometimes women try to fix. Men fall along a huge spectrum of manliness, and that makes them wonderful. Hard to understand sometimes, but wonderful.
I think the roles men play in our development as women--either positive or negative--are important and should be celebrated. Do you remember the blogger who got blasted by readers because she wrote about the downside of being beautiful? Of having men hit on her, of having complete strangers pay for her meals, of having women colleagues be jealous of her for her looks? Readers took her confidence as arrogance, but she reminded them in the next post that she grew up with a father who made sure she knew she was valued and loved for who she was, and that gave her the confidence she needed to state things as they were--people of both genders treated her a certain way because of her looks. She could acknowledge this because she had a man in her life who treated her with respect and love in her formative years, and it allowed her to grow up with a positive self-image. Sounds like she had a pretty good dad to me. :)
On that note, Happy Father's Day!