By: Kelly McClure
You are a man. You have a man's body. You are learning how to be a man. Learning how to drive the machine that is your body, while also carving out the ideal parking spot for it in the world is tough, but it's also important to take time out to nurture your other god given abilities, like using the gristle and snail shells that make up your body for good. Goooooood. Say it slowly in your mind: "gooooooooood."
You are strong. You can easily open almost any jar. You're probably tall too. You can reach any item on almost any shelf. Test yourself throughout the day. See that couch? Try to pick it up. Did you do it? I knew you could. See that thing in the road, blocking your path and threatening to leap up and chip the paint on your car. Go pick it up and move it. Act like it's annoying that you have to do it, but do it because you know that no other person is gonna do it as correctly. Did you do it? I knew you could. You're a man. See that lady on the subway getting harassed by a man wearing a dirty pink bathrobe and holding a plastic saxophone who keeps yelling at her about how the idea of her vagina is making him cry? See her sitting there trying to wish him away in her mind while everyone on the subway car is hiding behind a newspaper or looking at their bangs in the window's reflection? You could help her. You could politely ask the raving lunatic bothering this poor woman who just worked eight hours selling expensive cheese to 20-years olds who get paid to go to school and learn about what colors look pretty next to what other colors to stop it. You could help.
As you sit there wondering if you should do something to help, make a mental list of all the important things you did throughout your day leading up to this moment. You held the door for at least ten pretty blondes, and even that one dumpy looking one, because it was the right thing to do. You saw a woman exit the subway while you sat on a bench eating your lunch sandwich, and noticing her walk in one direction, and then look puzzled and walk back the other way, you asked if she was lost, and then you explained how she should get to where she's going. You did that. you're helpful. At the end of your work day, while crossing the street, you noticed a woman miscalculate her initial parallel parking attempt and pull out into the street to try again. You smirked and did that whistle that you learned from your dad, and then got behind her car to guide her into the spot using your face and your hands in her side mirror. So why not this? Why not cap off a day of good deeds with one more by helping a woman on the subway who's having a not so nice time? Is it that you think she doesn't need your help? Not likely. Is it that you think it would be rude to intervene? Probably not. Is it that you are waiting for someone else to do it? Possibly. Dear sir, if you really dive within yourself for the answer, you'll come to the surface with the wet flopping fish that is your sense of bravery. Are you a brave man?
Bravery comes in many forms, and can mean whatever you want it to mean when you're trying to bend it into something that you can say that you are, but the definition of bravery is: "Courageous behavior or character."
The definition of courageous is: "Having or characterized by courage; valiant."
Valiant! Doesn't that sound like a word you'd like to have applied to you? You, aside from being well paid and well liked, could be valiant. Think back to the shows you enjoyed watching as a boy. No matter what your current age, the shows most likely featured a strong-willed, wise-cracking man/boy who had all the answers, solved all the problems, got all the girls, and sure, he found himself in some sticky situations from time to time, but he always managed to get out of them at the nick of time because he had the luck of the Irish, nerves of steel, and didn't buckle under any circumstance. Meditate on that for a minute. How does this make you feel? Annoyed? Thinking that these words you're reading are "stupid?" Then we're on the right train track of nerves my strong shouldered man friend.
You have already learned how to do the little things, like remembering to always let women know they're pretty, and in what way. Always letting a woman, or a man for that matter - let's not leave THEM out, know how they could do a thing just a litttttle bit better. But what you may be lacking is that bigger picture. What you may be over-looking is that sometimes the bigger things are what matter the most. And by "bigger" I mean, more difficult. You may try and fail. You may try and be snickered at. But try. The next time you're faced with a "should I, or shouldn't I help this person who no one else is helping and I know that I could help" situation, just ask yourself, "self, what would the Hulk do?
Next week's Balls Occasionally will address the topic of how to handle the irrational women in your life. As always, questions or suggestions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org