There is almost no breed of mammal I feel more sorry for than the reluctant human male being coerced into Black Friday shopping. We choose to show restraint and go shopping the day AFTER Black Friday. One of our 'been-married-almost-two-decades-couple-superpowers' is that we can legit make a date outta anything. Yard Work? Yep. Grocery shopping? Of course. Walking to the library to print off W2's? Hold my hand and let's do this.
On this particular stormy evening 8 years ago it was vacuum shopping. To his credit, Kent lasted through Costco, Target and was now strolling through Bed, Bath & Beyond before questioning his sanity. I recognized the entrance of the surly demeanor like the moment "soap opera time of day" is upon us. The lighting, the fierce smoldering looks etc. It might've been stormy outside but Kent brought some of that downpour into this establishment.
"What is the goal here?" he questioned.
"A vacuum." Duh.
"We've seen 12 at least. Just pick one."
"We are in the market for a vacuum that lights you up inside. I want you to feel like you're one with with vacuum."
And that, America, is where I lost him. But probably where every wife in the land is singing out "Can I get an Amen up in here?!"
Thankfully, Kent chose to laugh his guts out amongst the singing Santa displays, which were just egged on by his sudden hysterics (motion censored) and it became real joyous up in there. You see, Kent thought we were looking for a vacuum, not his housework soulmate. His bad. The storm passed. The shopping ended WITH a vacuum (on sale) BooYah!
Kent's dad once told me that his very first recollection of "masculinity" was soap suds up his Father's arms. To him, that's what a man was...someone who does the dishes. Every night after dinner with the sweetest heart (and a few of the best one-liners ever) Great Grandpa would stand up and do the dishes. Great Grandpa and Grandma had 9 kids. After she passed away, he married a woman who had 6 kids of her own. I'll save you the time of doing the math. That is a lot of flipping dishes. Great-Grandpa did this until he was 97 years old. Every meal. Every time. Every day. I loved him for many reasons; his wisdom, his eyes, his gentle heart. He was the best, least judgmental listener I've ever known. I loved him most for his example.
What is your first recollection of masculinity? Does it align with your here and now? It's a Father's Day question worthy of pondering.
Fact: We did buy a vacuum that day. There were some "workout words" involved.
Fact again: Kent enjoys using it. I wouldn't say he is one with the vacuum but they have a healthy respect for each other.
I swear to you if men realized how attractive it is to help out around the house, they'd never stop.
Happy Father's Day to our heroes out there. The ones lead by example and who fight the battles with us every dang day. (Even during Black Friday Shopping;)