I am a walking textbook definition of macho hype.
Macho… hype — the art of keeping up an invulnerable persona regardless of surrounding circumstances. It is a practice of self-distraction and being able to block out and compartmentalize certain thoughts; or simply put, repressed emotions. So when in stressful and emotionally volatile situations, men (generally speaking, but especially me) tend to avoid anything that will evoke less than manly reactions. For example: If I read, I will read sci-fi or comics. If I get bored, I will find something to fix. If I get tired and want a nap, I will sleep on the floor with my legs propped on the sofa. If I get hungry, I will even go as far as to eat a big sloppy burger because it is more masculine than a civilized and balanced meal. Although it may sound like a stretch, it is completely true. Thoughts about Grandma, career path, the future, social issues, or even the ad for the missing puppy outside of the grocery store have to be placed on hold until you are so doped up on testosterone that you can think about them without being phased.
Which brings me to my point…
Over the weekend, I was going through some notes trying to decide what would be a good topic to reacquaint myself with my audience. It has been so so much happening lately and the topics are all so heavy — too heavy to start with from a break anyway. This time it was different too because I had several people ask me if I had quit blogging; some of them I knew and some I did not. This was exciting because it let me see that I had actually created something that people enjoyed and looked forward to. However, it added more pressure because of the people that contacted me, none of them had nothing in common.
Who would I address? What topic would appeal to which person? Which type of person do I want to appeal to returning from the break? What should be addressed? It was easier when I just wrote without knowing who faithfully subscribed.
So with the annoyance of choosing a topic reaching a peak, I decided to watch a movie and come back to it. Not just any movie though; one that would feed my testosterone. Maybe an old western? Or an adrenaline pumped car movie? Or maybe a gangster film? “Yeah… Let’s go with gangster.” I finally settled on a movie about four young black women performing a string of bank heists to get enough money to get out of the ‘hood. I watched Set It Off.
It had been so long since I seen the movie that I forgot what happen in it. That movie had so many emotional triggers in it that it made The Notebook look like a Sesame Street special. I mean, I picked a movie that dealt with all of the issues of Black American women, most of the issues of police discrimination, multiple aspects of the black male in America, and a host of other humans nuances like greed, fear, and self-worth. Watching that movie was emotional suicide.
The unfortunate point that I was making is that men are tough by choice. It is not that we don’t feel the same things that females feel, or affect by the same sappy movies that females enjoy. The fact is that we will go through hoops to avoid the appearance of vulnerability. On the inside, we are pretty much the same. As I get older, I learn that this is not always the best method to navigate through life’s lessons, and I get better with expression instead of repressing every little thing.
I mean, let’s be real — I’m a writer with a proclivity to gardening. You won’t even have to know me, or most other guys, very long to know that most of the things we do are just fronts for the other fellas.