Today I got an email with a shipping quote for a painting that I did. Getting emails with shipping quotes seemed like a pretty macho thing to happen. I flexed a bollock.
But I also look at a lot of the boorish macho nonsense that that entails and I also feel quite glad. I think my hardcore aversion to "masculinity" is my dislike of the idea put forward by the media and advertisers rather than any fundamental truth or reality. However, you can't deny that that identity must have some basis somewhere. Advertisers are too good at their job, which is largely being magnificently, moustache-twirlingly evil, to miss by that much.
So then. Banter. Rucks. WKD Blue. Football. Ray Winstone. Farts. Emotional repression. Cheering at stuff in pubs. BIRDS. Lager.
God, all of that depresses me. Always has done. I come from a long line of men who aren't really like that at all, in a variety of different ways. Men in our family tend to be able to join in with the general badinage, but usually from the sidelines, chucking little conversational grenades over the siege turrets.
I'm OK with that, really. What I'm not sure about is why I'm now so aware of it and why it's started to niggle at me more. When I was a child, it was still very much the custom (I am old) after dinner for The Men to sit around talking and guffawing at the table whilst The Women went back to the kitchen to talk, tidy and cackle (women are better at multi-tasking and can get more done in the same amount of time). I always went off to the kitchen. Always. The Men Talking wasn't for me. If I listened to it it always went over my head or bored me.
I wonder if maybe the more I accept this - and I do accept it, because after all it's what makes me happy - I'm beginning to feel that I've been too dismissive and may have missed out on Men Stuff. Perhaps more pertinently, if I'm beginning to alienate people (men, mostly) with my perennial seeking out of the kitchen? I hope not. I hope that I've not changed at all, only my awareness of it has.
I like being a man. Men have such simple lives. They are simple people. We are simple people. Why, then, I feel I need to complicate things unnecessarily worrying about this sort of thing is a mystery to me.