Wednesday, October 6, 2010

dudes do things dudes do

there are lots of elements at work in transitioning from living in a city of millions to town of several hundred. there's the size adjustment, the time it takes to get somewhere to eat or drink adjustment, and the actually getting to know and like your neighbors adjustment (both of which we have done) to name a few. but there's one i'd forgotten about.

more so than anywhere else, i think men in rural places live into masculine stereotypes. i'd even argue that they set the curve. i mean, who sets that curve better than this guy? no one.

for those that know me, i'm not exactly the most macho dude. sure i love sports, meat and (thanks to elizabeth and terry at the woodshop) i'm developing a woodworking habit, but after that my macho quotient takes a serious dive, at least comparatively to my perception of men in rural america. here's an assessment:

- i think i've shot one gun in my entire life. hunting is the sport of choice out here.
- i don't exactly have a demonstrative personality nor do i think only wives should submit to their husbands.
- i learned how to drive a stick not because it was macho, but because it saves gas, or so i was told.
- oh, and i can operate a washing machine and an iron with relative ease.

however, in addition to my love of sports and meat and my aspirations to be norm from the new yankee workshop, i do have one other thing going for me. i own a truck.

trucks are masculinity shaped in metal and put on wheels. as you might imagine, that's not the reason i got mine, but i'll embrace it. i got mine so i could move my stuff easily. emphasis on my.
so it came as a big surprise to me that as we were driving home the other day, i told elizabeth how glad i was to have a truck. there have been roughly zero days in the last few years that i have been glad to have a truck.

you see, i made a firm decision about a year ago, that i would only offer my moving services to others in the most dire of situations after a friend asked for some help and proceeded to show up late and completely unprepared for the impending rain. it was somewhere between lifting his desk, complete with his snot storage area, and having a tarp tossed to me to cover his belongings while he got inside another car and left, that i told myself i would never do this out of the sheer goodness of my heart ever again. i consider myself a giving a person, but i have to draw a line somewhere. i only wish I had done so before picking up a handful of dried boogers.

but here in the land of stereotypical masculinity, i am thankful that i have a truck because even though i work with my hands, there's a keyboard at the end of them, not a backhoe. it's easy to remain on the outside in rural america if you've just moved in (or out depending how you look at it). there's a culture in a rural america that emphasizes one's history in the community, but that's a different topic for a different time. owning a truck just might be my first correct answer on my insider's application.

so i drive proudly to the fire station in my beat-up, little truck and know that at least i'm not that guy writes for a living and drives a miata. i enjoy the first part, but if the second were true, i'd walk around town knowing that, in the spirit of stereotypical masculinity, they'd be thinking there's a little something off about that new guy, isn't there?

on the other hand, it might be a fun time.

dog the bounty hunter from here, truck by boone.


  1. A father-in-law should work harder toward preparing his son-in-law for life in the rurals more completly than this one has. First, please consider your little friend's feelings before you call him*, 'beat up'. What might happen if Sparky thought I considered him ''beat up''? Respect others, especially those who accept your company quietly and dutifully perform at your slightest whim. Second, carefully placing a hot steel projectile in or through the body of a living thing that we plan to eat, or not, is our quick easy way of being primeeval. "I'll toat Uncle's 22 single shot up next time, so we can plunk some cans we empty then pitch into the Tallahatchie- this in preparation for the hard times to come when it's kill or be killed after the ""commonists'"" plan to restructure."

  2. Wow, two different Chapmans in the same blog. We call him "Cuttin" Dog, you know.

    Good work, Brett.