Everyone knows that straight men are emotionally repressed. If we weren’t, ‘Mad Men’ would be a two hour miniseries on Lifetime that nobody watched and ‘The Sopranos’ would be a Ken Burns documentary about the excellent and communicative management style of the New Jersey underworld.
Nobody ever talks about this, but all that emotional repression is a net positive for our species. Or, it can be, for a while.
Testosterone is a hell of a drug, man.
Starting one morning when I was twelve or thirteen years old, and continuing for the rest of my life, my brain’s most immediate response to any stimulus is:
1) kill it
2) fuck it
3) eat it with your hands
Thirteen and fourteen are pretty tough years for guys because we are learning not to trust the constant swarm of chemicals in our bodies that is gearing us up to lead a Viking raid from horseback.
You learn to curb that shit pretty quickly that if you want to continue to earn your mother’s love and be allowed inside the house. Otherwise your family would just keep you in a shed in the backyard and throw chickens in there sometimes, like that one family in every zombie movie that’s in horrible denial about what’s really happened to their boy.
You know what they call guys who are fully in touch with their feelings and express them in real time the moment that they have them?
What’s initially a pretty solid social survival skill just kind of calcifies and turns into a habit after a while. A good habit in one context is a terrible habit when the context changes.
I’m starting to notice that the same impulse control mechanism that kept me and most of my friends out of jail in high school is now working against me.
Yesterday was a brutal day at work, just a beige blizzard of corporate stupid, and I had to come straight home and lie on the couch in my drawers and watch Superman cartoons.
My wife, my brand new wife of exactly two months, came home from the gym, glowing with exercise and beaming to see that for once I came home early instead of spending an evening trying to impress a bunch of schlubby misogynists at a dingy basement comedy show. She leans over and gives me a sweet kiss, then starts telling me about her day while she stretches on the floor, and a few minutes in says “you’re awful quiet. Is there something wrong?”
And this seriously came out of my mouth:
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