Lately, I’ve noticed myself complaining a little.  I was making comments griping about the subdivision life, the subdivision people, picking up dog crap out of the back yard, my hour commute to work, not being able to work out, living in a subdivision, living near people, living in a subdivision….you get the point. I was so delirious that I was looking for houses in another subdivision closer to work and trying to rationalize the move.   I was tired of everyone knowing when I walked in the front door of my house.  Why is everyone so surprised that my dogs work fine off of a leash?  Why are they all so deathly afraid when the dogs are off the leash? Does anyone ever come outside? Does anyone live in that house? Of course you could expect that my wife would get tired of it, but in her brilliance, she says, “Why don’t you go to Sealy and work with your Dad”?  All of a sudden, there is a balance in the world.

See, I think that regardless of what kind of person you are or where you live, sometimes a man just needs to be a man.  He needs to pick up a shovel and move some dirt.  He needs to try to move something with brute strength and feel it move just enough for it to give him the confidence to go ahead and get another bite.  He needs to build something with his hands or break something with a sledge hammer.  A man needs to sweat sometimes from hard work rather than from waiting in line at the next available stair climber at the gym.  He needs a cold drink of water because he is thirsty from manual labor.  He feels good when he sits down to relax, and proud that his small contribution can give him such complete satisfaction.

I’m not saying that I regret not having to sweat to make a living, on the contrary, I enjoy my work because my brain is taxed all day long.  I get to solve problems and work with other people that enjoy their jobs.  I do wish that I could get a little more sun during the day or work from home sometimes, but those conversations are for another day.  This post is for the subdivision kid that’s about ready to light something on fire because he’s trapped in the yard and can’t get away.  It’s for the guy that has been staring at his computer all week and is very close to taking it home just so that he can shoot it a couple times with his shotgun.  It’s for the working man that has been ordered around by some punk all week, and in order to stay out of prison for strangling a man with his bare hands, needs to go cut down a tree or jump in a river to cleanse the urge for violence.  I think the best way to sum it up, is that we just need a little room and some freedom once in a while.

If boys don’t have a job or purpose, they’ll end up thinking they need to have spiked up hair and shave their chest and legs.  I’m serious.  I’m sure that there are a couple of guys out there that can outwork me that shave their legs, but there can’t be too many.  Anytime I meet one (just go to any bar in Houston on a Friday or Saturday night) I can’t help but grin.  I always wonder what’s going through their mind as they’re shaving their chest and legs.  “Wow, my legs are soooo smooth.” Ha.  My wife and I went into a running shoe store and the manager was walking around with legs that would make any girl jealous.  One of the customers even called him out on it and he immediately changed the subject.  How metro-sexual of him.

The point is that I think real men are on the decline.  Just watch The Bachelor one time.  After you throw up, go get the teenager next door with no dad and take him fishing for the evening.  If your son doesn’t mow the grass on the weekend, then you definitely have a problem.  If you don’t know how to change your own tire or refuse to because you may get dirty, you should move to California.  Either way, you get the point.  No matter how “groomed” you think you need to be at work, it’s never okay to get your nails done.  If you’re a man, act like one.


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  1. No mention of flat bills?! This entry sucks 😉

  2. Haha, love this! My fella works outdoors with his hands and brain (drill rig fitter) with spanners and other boys toys but still has the urge to get out bush with his chainsaw and axe on days off 🙂

  3. Carrie Poffenberger says:

    Last week we took 35 freshman on a 3 day trip with 6 other grown men…on the way home my husband had to single-handily get us home when the bus broke down, he changed the alturnater and changed the flat on the trailer after a blow out…men need to be men and need be intentional about passing it on to their sons…so loved this Michael!

  4. Diann Einkauf says:

    Hello, Michael! Haven’t seen you in a long time. It shows that you like to write, never stop, and keep up being “a real guy”. God Bless!

  5. Emy Kolander says:

    Hi, I’m Jamie’s friend. If your Dad runs out of stuff in Sealy you feel especially free to come on up to Saratoga, please. Mr. Billy likes to chain saw and burn up some wood around here. It appears to be so theraputic I had to become confrontational to get him to stop for a minute and paint this old house. – Nice writing sir!

  6. Shari Cleveland says:

    I love this Michael!

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