Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Loving A "Real Man"

The tragedy of machismo is that a man is never quite man enough.
~Germaine Greer

Valentine's day came and went, and it left me thinking. I absolutely adore my husband; he is my best friend, my support when the going gets tough, my inspiration when I don't feel too confident and the only person in the whole world whom I know I can trust completely. I also have an enormous admiration for him, as a man, and as an artist, I'm very often taken aback and impressed by the depth of his talent, his dedication, and the strength of his character. He never pretends to be something he is not, for the simple reason that who and what he is is enough! This last element is at the core of this little note.

My husband ends up being the butt of a lot of my jokes and stories, and he knows it. People sometimes don't realize that I do tell him when I talk about him, and really he's ok with it. Once one of my members made the comment that, if he was a "Real Man", my husband would "set me straight" when he heard about what I was saying about him. I didn't argue the point, it wasn't worth it at the time, but now, a few years later, I think I would like to.

First I would like to define "Real Man" as I think it's the very center of the whole thing. The stereotypical description of a "Real Man" can be simplified to a rugged looking, over sexed and overbearing bully who rules his house with an iron fist and suffers no confrontations of any kind. He can win a fight with a grizzly bear first thing in the morning, drink 45 beers before climbing on the roof to repair the chimney. A real man is never afraid, never cries, and never gives up.

If that's a "Real Man", my husband certainly is not it... thankfully! Yet, I do believe that he is much more a "Real Man" than those macho chauvinists who obviously feel the need to assert their manhood strongly and regularly.

In the 10+ years that I have known him, I have seen him afraid, I have seen him overwhelmed, I have seen him cry, whine and pretty much anything in between. What does that say about his manhood? He can very well hold his own in any debate, and does not easily back down (Woah! understatement of the year!) but he will debate my position, it wouldn't occur to him to debate my right or ability to debate his. With a bit of practice he can probably hold his liquor, but honestly in a fight with a grizzly bear... well, thankfully I can run faster than he can. HA!

My husband is a "Real Man" because he doesn't feel the need to assert his manhood all the time. He is not afraid to stand his ground, and will not back down when he knows he's right, but he does not feel the need to assert any kind of authority to prove his strength. When I'm feeling strong, he gives me all the space I need to do my thing, he stands by me letting me know how much he believes in me and that he's there whenever my steps falter. He does not feel threatened by being married to a strong willed (ahem... no comment!) woman who's not afraid to voice her opinions (I said no comment!), on the contrary it makes him proud! Don't let his quiet-ness fool you though, he lets me go on and on, that doesn't mean that he always agrees and/or that I always win. how boring would that be??

I have to admit, being married to such a man makes my life that much more enriching and fulfilling. Because I know that he is not threatened by who I am, I feel fully at ease being myself. I never feel like I have to pretend to be anything else but just little ol' me. He makes sure I know that he loves me just as I am, and that he is proud of me and believes in me. In the light of such support and belief in my abilities, it's easier to put myself out there and feel confident doing so. I know that no matter what, at least one person believes in my abilities and my worth. He gives me the space I need to stand on my own two feet and achieve what I set out to do.

He is who he is and I love him all the more for it. A "Real Man" doesn't have such a fragile manhood that he has to asserts it all the time. A "Real Man" can step back and respect loved one's strength and space enough to not be overbearing. A "Real Man" earns and gives love, trust, and respect. A "Real Man" is a man with whom one wants to spend his/her life not because he is perfect, but because he is who he is and does not pretend to be anything else.

Did I mention that a "Real Man" is incredibly sexy? Something to think about guys...

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm here, I'm here!

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself”
Zen Proverb

Today I did absolutely nothing productive. I think it's the first day in months that I just sit around and do nothing. It's a weird feeling, all morning I was trying to think of something productive to do. I washed my clothes that needs hand washing. Then I started on the kitchen and realized that there was no reason why I HAVE TO be doing something productive. I'm on vacation for the week. Stop already!

I decided to look into my jewelry boxes to see what I had. As I looked through, I found my pentagram necklace. Not only I didn't know where it was, I had forgotten I had it. This has been an anchor to me the last few years, reminding me of how important it is to keep connected to myself, to what's truly important to me.

This is a good image of how things have been lately. It seems that everything that was dear to me was put aside for the sake of speed and productivity. The passing of people who were very dear to me almost went unnoticed as, tired and overwhelmed I didn't dare stop and feel for fear that it would stop me in my tracks. I remember telling my husband: "I don't have time to be sad, there is work to be done." So one by one, things started falling aside.

That is until today when sitting in my living room with nothing to do I realize how wrong this all is. I have no clue where my music went. I think it failed to make the transit from my old laptop to my new one, more than a year ago. I don't remember what jewelry I have, by the time I'm showered, dressed and make-uped, it's more than time to run out, I have a necklace or two that I never really put away and that's about it.

These are trivial things, superficial reminders of what truly is the root of the problem: I have let myself fall at the bottom of the priority list once again. My only saving grace is my husband; always there for me, supportive and loving, reminding me gently that I am not superwoman, that I need to take care of myself. His patience and support are often the only things that keeps me going.

He called from work today, asking what I was up to. When I guiltily admitted that I was doing nothing he just said "Good! I'm glad that you are taking time to do nothing!" How cool is that?

Some women get chocolate for Valentine's day, some women even get diamonds. I have my gift every day and it's so much more than things: I have a lover, a partner, a supporter and a best friend... EVERYDAY.

This week is my week off, I had grand plans to go shopping, to get the apartment organized, to get everything cleaned. I had plans to do a month of work in a week. My husband is taking time off also, and yes we will get some stuff done, but it's a vacation, and I will do what "I" need for "myself". It is no crime, it is not even wrong. Damn it I deserve it!

I have my pentagram hanging from my neck, my husband at my side and I will rest and relax because that's what I need and that's what I want. Now if I can find my MP3 player and download that Eminem song that I like so much...

"I'm about to lose my mind
You've been gone for so long
I'm running out of time
I need a doctor
Call me a doctor
I need a doctor, doctor
To bring me back to life..."
(Eminem, Dr Dre)