A Real Man does not mind carrying the groceries in a canvas tote bag with colorful tulips printed on it.
A Real Man knows how to cook a meal, wash the dishes, do the laundry, mop a floor, and sew on a button. He considers these basic survival skills that everyone should know by the age of 18, at latest.
A Real Man will hug a friend who is upset and wants to be hugged, even if that friend is another man.
A Real Man appreciates being offered a choice of pink or orange highlighter marker, instead of getting offended that you didn’t just hand him the orange one.
A Real Man does not run away screaming whenever menstruation or childbirth is mentioned.
A Real Man responds to his four-year-old child’s request for purple sparkly shoes by asking, “Do they have grippy soles for rock climbing?”–whether the child is a boy or a girl.
A Real Man will carry his frail grandmother’s heavy purse as she walks around a public place.
A Real Man is willing to watch occasional movies about people and their feelings, in which nothing explodes, and considers some of these to be good movies.
A Real Man will change his child’s diaper.
A Real Man does not mind sleeping on flowery, ruffled sheets. In fact, he may consider them an exciting reminder of the honor of being invited to share a lady’s bed.
A Real Man reacts to someone opening a door for him or offering him a seat on a bus by saying, “Thank you.”
A Real Man who is escorting a little girl in a public place, if she needs to use the restroom and is too young to do so alone, will take her into the men’s room and guide her with dignity. A Real Man who is using a men’s room when another man brings in a little girl will not freak out about it.
A Real Man lets his girlfriend pay for dinner when she wants to do so.
A Real Man does not spend a lot of time worrying about whether another person is sexually attracted to men or to women, unless he is interested in having sex with that person. If a person flirts with him who is of the sex that the Real Man is not attracted to, he will say, “No, thank you,” and take it as a compliment.
A Real Man will wear his mother’s old jacket, if it fits.
A Real Man is pleased to get a practical Christmas gift like a cooking pot or oven mitt.
A Real Man does not lie about his opinions or life burdens in order to get out of jury duty. He realizes it is his responsibility as a citizen to take a turn participating in the judicial system. Although it is stressful not knowing how many days of his time might be committed to serving on a jury, he understands that everyone else’s time is important, too, and that if he ever needs a trial he will want a jury made up of a variety of honest citizens–not of society’s most inept liars. (Daniel has jury duty today. I mentioned this to a so-called man, who immediately launched into a long list of instructions about how to be an irresponsible wimp.)
Being in love with a Real Man works for me! And I am grateful that I’ve always known a lot of Real Men among my relatives and friends.