Mad Skills

I’m taking yet another sick day, but heck, it’s only because it feels like my sinuses are dripping liquid fire down my throat.  It could be worse.

I’m finding it hard to sit upright, so I’ve made very little progress on Greg’s mitten.  I also had to frog it a couple of times to get a size that I think it more reasonable.  My partner has helped me by trying it on.

I’m hoping the striping pattern is masculine enough.  I guess we’ll have to see.

The sky is dismal and grey today, and I feel like it’s almost making an apology for my illness.  “It’s okay to not do anything today;  look at how gross it is outside.”  I washed the dishes and cleaned the cat box in the meagre hope that my old-fashioned industrious guilt would be subsided, but it was all for nothing.  I’m awash in phlegm and shame.

Even the cats are looking at me with condemnation.  My partner (aka Knight in Shining Armor) brought me an enormous jug of orange juice yesterday (ain’t he a peach?) and the cats are just shocked and horrified at how I’ve been guzzling it down.  It’s a terrible catch-22:  I’m too weak to cook, and I’m also not hungry whatsoever, so what’s the incentive to eat?  Orange juice with pulp counts as food, right?

Although, the cats could be staring because I’ve lost the ability to keep from listing to one side or the other when I walk.  Patrick is beautiful in this light regardless.

In a completely unrelated note, I read an absolutely epic article from Esquire yesterday entitled The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master.  An aside:  all I could smell when I typed the title was Old Spice and Bud Light.  You try it and tell me what you smell.

I went through the 75 skills to find out how manly I am – you know, just in case this information proves valuable in the future.  I got a whopping 55 out of 75, which is mighty impressive for a petite vegetarian feminist who doesn’t have a drinking problem or a car.

I think my favourite aspect of the article is the portrait it paints of the uninitiated men.  You know, the men that can’t sew a button (number 20), remove a stain (number 48), or iron (number 71).  Or the men that can’t master the culinary art of eggs sunny side up (number 50) or bacon (number 61).  I have this image of Ordinary Joe, sporting velcro shoes, stained sweatpants, and a t-shirt endlessly smashing eggs and bacon into the sidewalk in an effort to have breakfast.  Tragic!

But where is this advice coming from?  What about giving succinct advice (number 1), taking a photo (number 3), delivering a eulogy (number 63), holding a baby (number 62), tying a knot (number 69) or understanding basic wilderness survival (numbers 51, 55, and 68) is masculine?  What about knowing car maintenance (number 35) or how to play a sport (numbers 4, 11, 33, 65, 66, and 67) is manly?  Brand loyalty (number 60) doesn’t seem very manly to me, nor does referring to someone as a son of an expletive (number 64) no matter how warranted the insult seems.  Neither is the heteronormativity inherent in numbers 19, 22, 46, and 73, although the Freudian slip in number 22 is pretty funny.

Basic survival skills aren’t manly, unless the author of the article is trying to imply that graciousness and humility are manly, and is working under the assumption that the majority of Esquire readers have someone else to make their beds (number 31) and tie their bow ties (number 16).  Nothing on the list is exclusively masculine, and it irritates me that things that I consider mandatory are “skills” according to the author.  Can you imagine a resume with this list on it?

Regardless, I’ll be telling jokes (number 38) and speaking respectfully to whomever I meet (numbers 12, 40, 41, and 42).

Pass the chamomile, please.


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