Saturday, July 18, 2015

"The Shirt Off My Back"

I did something today that I still have mixed feelings on. I know my keeper will applaud it "there ya go Christian, honey, you're moving up the evolutionary ladder. It's about time you big ape." Allow me to pause here and explain that I do, admittedly, have weird, ape like musculature on my forearms and I also tend to lean forward on the backs of my knuckles. So she doesn't say that in an insulting manner.
However, it's my "ape man" and "Grog the caveman" sides that are upset with me right now as we decide if what I did was man-like or "intelligent man like". The sobbing is acceptable in this instance and I luckily have a support group of fellow male truck drivers here while I relive my trauma. 

See, I am domesticated in some ways. I know how to cook. I can do my own laundry (although some women may argue over whether or not I do it properly). I kinda clean my bathroom. You get the idea. I'm somewhat house broken. But I'm still a guy which means I'm kinda caveman on certain levels. I'll not deny it. Which makes what I've just done a very difficult decision. 
There are certain things that men have issues doing on the basest of levels. It's only for you ladies that we fight our inner battles to make you proud of us. "If she's happy then she will touch me and tell me she loves me". That's about as far as we tend to think some things out. 

So what have I done? What causes so much inner trauma? Simple. While doing laundry today I, all by myself, decided to get rid of my favorite shirt. Not just any old shirt but my favorite one. The one I've had nearly 12 years. It had finally gotten too many holes and was too thin. 
My keeper has done a great job of slowly improving my wardrobe. I can't deny that. Nor have I been resistant. I've just taken it as "hey, she likes when I look like a non color blind person. I like when she's happy. She smiles at me. Grog like that." She didn't push me to change or to get rid of that old grey shirt. Whenever she saw that I was wearing it I just got that "aww. He's kinda special. Bless his heart, he's just a big dumb animal" smile. The same one I often get when I dress myself. 
Now, for the record, I normally try to recycle and turn old shirts into rags. But this was my favorite shirt so it must be treated with more deference. So, obviously, we had a burial. I said a few words, other drivers expressed condolences, it was pretty somber. Afterward there was silence in the driver's lounge for a while. Occasionally guys would walk by, pat my shoulder in silent understanding. 

For you ladies who aren't yet fully aware of a man's relationship with his favorites, here's the short list: 

His favorite shirt: This means we finally broke it in and made it comfortable. This process sometimes takes 2-3 years. It starts as just a regular shirt and slowly works its way up to "favorite" status by not getting constrictive in the neck or (most importantly) belly. 

Favorite album/band/song: another gradual growth. Sometimes the words bring back certain memories. Usually it's just our go to" jam. This favorite can actually change depending on our mood. Also, if you're throwing away our CD collection then our favorite is probably the one we know you least like at the moment. That's a rebellion thing. 

Favorite food: that meal we will eat even when we're not hungry. Be careful here. Sometimes we will claim it's our favorite even if we hate it. This happens when we know you've tried extra hard to make something special for us. It may taste horrible but we will never tell you that. "Look at that look on her face. You choke this down, smile and tell her you love it. See how proud she is of herself? Don't make her cry, you idiot, whatever you do." That's our internal monologue. You're welcome. 


Ladies, we're guys and we are fairly simple creatures but we learn your different looks fairly quickly. It's a self preservation thing. Let's face it, we can survive on our own but there's a difference between surviving and living a happy life. The quicker we learn the "I dare you, asshole" look the quicker we learn how to not push the envelope too far. 
Consequently, the quicker we learn the happy looks and sounds the easier it is for us to make you keep wanting to claim us. We can be conditioned. Some of us are slightly more resistant than others, I'll admit. But the smart ones learn quickly. 
All we ask in return, ladies, is that you smile when you claim us, you feed us regularly (or at least not get in between Grog and his food), touch us affectionately fairly often and help us learn how to shut up at the right times. 

I was authorized by the local "Man Club" chapter to give away some of these secrets so that women may better understand us. This is a "peace keeping" mission for both sexes. Use this knowledge wisely folks.