Monday, April 5, 2010

Men Will Be Boys

Dr. Laura Schlessinger echoed my sentiments today on her daily talk show when she mentioned men who still play video games are still boys. She said this in response to a male caller who complained that his wife gets upset when he plays video game after arriving home from work. Maybe his wife should play hop scotch instead of cooking his dinner. His wife was frustrated with her husband for neglecting his involvement in running the house since he was glued to the TV screen involved in excessive gaming.

How embarrassing . . . to have your wife have to tell you to turn off the video games and act like a man. I can hear this man-child now, "Wait a minute, hon! I'm about to beat the seventh level and defeat the last dragon." At that point any sane woman would walk over to the TV set and hit the "power off button". Too bad this man has placed his wife into the role as "mommy" who has to tell him to come to the dinner table and stop watching cartoons.

For me this incident brought up the subject of men who still act like boys and play with their toys instead of growing up. Here are a few examples of these man/boys.

I often observe men who are obsessed with their dogs. I really don't get this strange attraction to dogs. It can go too far. In last week's USA Today an article described a camp for pets and their owners who want to spend a week with one another in the outdoors. The cost for one week is $1300. The majority of the accompanying photos showed men playing with their dogs at this "get away from it all dog camp." Don't get me wrong. I like dogs. However, spending a week alone playing with your dog in the woods is way too immature for me. But men will be boys.

Speaking of dogs, I attended an outdoor meeting a few weeks ago and one of the attendees was a young man in his twenties wielding a humongous dog on a leash. This canine was a small horse. I watched this man/boy stand off to the side of the crowd failing to interact with anyone. Why? Because of his big, hunking dog! The dog created a fortress of solitude between himself and the crowd, composed of neighbors. Why attend a meeting whose purpose was to get to know your neighbors and tow along a large animal that kept everyone away from him?

Why in the world do some men (and many women) need to bring their dogs with them into stores, banks, restaurants and gatherings. It is so boyish for a man to attach himself to a leash as though he's walking into downtown Mayberry whistling the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show. For Opie hanging with his dog was acceptable. It is what boys are supposed to do. But when a man n his 30s or 40s is still sucking on a cob pipe and playing fetch with his dog, there appears to be some growing up to do. I'm sure women are really attracted to these Opie boys who and can't go anywhere without the dog. I would love to see a survey comparing the number of married men attached to their dogs with single men who can't leave home without Sparky. I may be on to something here.

Dogs will give their owners unconditional love. But with a member of the opposite sex, everything is not always hunky-dory. We have to work at relationships and grow. Relationships between the opposite sexes motivate one another to look into the mirror to assess oneself. Dogs don't challenge you to learn how to communicate better or stop being so selfish and narcissistic.

How about men who're still living at home with Mom and Dad like George on Seinfeld? A woman's nightmare would be a man still living in his boyhood bedroom, and playing Play Station 3 with his dog by his side. Come on, guys! What's going on?

Then there are men who still don't know how to change a tire and have no desire to learn. Some men refuse to fix anything around the house and have to call a handyman when it's time to fix something involving a hammer and nails. As a kid I couldn't wait to enroll in junior and high school classes such as wood shop, metal shop and basic auto mechanics. Real men don't wear pink. Real men have dirt under their fingernails and on their jeans and T-shirts.

There are too many wimpy men who won't get down and dirty except to pick up their dog's poop. I met a young girl working behind the counter at Starbucks who mentioned she went on a date and the guy had a flat tire and she fixed it for him in her dress. I asked, "You don't plan on going out with him again, do you? I hope not!" She answered, "Not until he decides to become a man." I bet that same guy is a wiz at Guitar Hero, knows all the characters on various TV shows and goes nuts over his dog.

Dr. Laura was right . . . men need to grow up and stop being 30-50 year old boys. Hopefully, there's a Dad or some man in your life who can show you how to fix a running toilet or change the oil on your car or show you the difference between a pair of pliers and a wrench. Teach yourself if there's no man around. Just get in their and get dirty and smelly. I'm sure you can handle a few hours away from playing Grand Theft Auto 3 or tossing a Frisbee for your dog to catch. It's an investment in your manhood. The women in your life will love you for it.