May 25, 2014
As I started reading your book, I got a bit (read, “seriously”) upset (read, “angry”).
Who gives you the right to dangle hope in front of our eyes again? Life ends in death, and I was just beginning to come to terms with that. A man’s life is a series of small deaths with little time to grieve the losses and no one to mourn them with. You do your duty, and then you doze in front of the tube until you die. The 10 commandments of toughness you said learned as a kid, they drive me, too. I can hack it. Long life, vitality and love? I always figured some guys were just luckier than others or maybe they were even tougher than me.
You ask 99 embarassing questions about how well I am living my life, and offer 12 steps about how to get to a better place. Well, I failed the quiz miserably. It would have been easy to put this book down, if you hadn’t said so much about yourself and the guys you know. This is not a safe book to read alone, so it was good to have their company. Guys like stories, war stories, and though we enjoy shooting the s*** over a beer, we respect and listen carefully to veterans—especially if we’ve been there and done that.
You lose me with the big words sometimes, but you usually tell me what they mean. Andropause?! Get f***ed, Jed. But, on second thought, that’s the problem, isn’t it? Desperate to be who we once were and get what we once did (or thought we should have), we are ticked off (read, “helpless”) about where to go next. I think that mohel medic did more than nick my pr***. That little operation was just my ticket into a system that made me disposable bit by bit. Frankly, I’m depressed about it all, and more depressed as each day gets older. Your book lets me see that and, for starters, get pissed off about it. Maybe that’s the turn around point in the dark tunnel I’ve been in.
I’ve always envied women and wondered why, if they were so oppressed, they were so good at outliving their oppressors. Why did they always have so much more time to take care of themselves than we did? I would have found it selfish and been ashamed to do that girl stuff. But, you know, I didn’t even do much hunting and fishing, either, not as much as my dad. He managed to find time for that as well as work himself into a coronary. You remind me of what I have been missing, am missing.
Many of us don’t have a relationship. Lots of us don’t have a relationship even when we have a spouse or a lover. Falling in love is easy enough, especially these days, as it’s mostly in the imagination. It’s liking that’s tough. Real women have a lot of judgments about us and we aren’t supposed to be hurt by that, but we are. Women and men seem to be condemned to wanting different things at different times. Our spirits get nibbled away bit by bit, too.
You get into a lot of stuff that makes me nervous—diets, hormones, and more exercise than I let myself think I have time for. Honestly all these things are doable but I hate doing them alone. There’s too much alone in my life, even when I am with others. Some guys want to run away and start over. Done that too many times. So the answer, you say, is to stay here and start slowly. I can hack that. You give me a plan for eight weeks. That’s just the starter, isn’t it? Just enough time for some new stuff to kick in and not go away. Then what, Jed? Or, maybe I should just wait and see. Will write to you again when I see how this stuff works.
Thanks for the book, Jed. I hope it’s a success. As usual, I suspect more women will buy them than men, and some will buy them for their men. That’s okay. It’s the kind of book, though, that a guy should get from a guy.
PS That “inner woman” you talk about—went to see her the other day. She’s really some stallion!