Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Man Club

Spent the day with my little grandson, he’s three and a half now. Played some miniature golf, rounded up a couple of old tires from a dealership for some back-yard tire swings, spent time at the park on the playground, then watched some ducks cleaning themselves, ruffling their feathers and stretching their necks. My grandson chased some fish around the pond like they were puppies (I know, we’re not supposed to chase fish around in the pond. BUT WE DID. And he loved it. We’ll both make up for the PC indiscretion by not smoking big cigars together in a crowded theater.

After the park we came home to get some lunch and rest up a bit before our afternoon outing. I went into the bathroom to relieve myself of one too many cups of morning coffee. I was standing at the toilet quietly, when I looked down to see my grandson standing beside me dropping his pants to the floor. He then joined my stream with his own into the toilet bowl, got a big smile on his face, looked up at me and said “We’re peeing together grandpa.”
I laughed and said “Yeah, we’re peeing together, grandson.”

Now, I guess you’d have to have been there to appreciate the poignancy of the moment, (not that you would have wanted to be there), but life is made up of moments, some to be forgotten, and some to be remembered. Hopefully we have more of the ‘to be remembered’ kind than of the other. This was definitely one of those. This was a communication of trust, of bonding, of shared identity, of maleness. It was a little boy identifying with being like, or at least similar to, an old man, of being in the man club.

There are very few opportunities left in our culture today for boys, men even, to be in the ‘man club’. The club has been resented, targeted, infiltrated, diminished, and all but done away with by socio/political agendas teeming with antipathy, envy, and bitterness. It has effectively become the Co-Ed Club. But this is one aspect of the club that cannot be taken from us. In fact, the very next time I was with my grandson I was washing my hands at the bathroom sink before making lunch when he came in, dropped his pants to the floor again, looked over to me, smiled, and said “C’mon grandpa, come and pee in the toilet with me”. You gotta love that. How can you not?

My grandson’s probably peed in the toilet before with his daddy, and if he has a brother he’ll pee in the toilet with him, with his cousins, and maybe even with his best friends. It is a subtle act of defiance. It is a rejection of all things proper. It is a right of passage. It is our birthright, it is innate to our existence as males, and it is one of the few ways we have left to express our uniqueness, an action that cannot be compromised, or taken from us.
Except, of course, by some unhappy mothers suffering from piss envy.

C’mon now ladies, don’t be that mother, or that hostile female.
Not good for the boys. Just not good for the boys.