Written by Lesa Crowell
I was watching the Today Show the other morning, and they featured a segment that made me laugh. It was called, “The Return of the Manly Man.” The show also introduced the American public to a new word: Retrosexual.
It seems that American men are tired of being queer eyed, hair dyed, and sissified. These men (and of course the all powerful forward thinkers of Madison Avenue) are jumping up from their “mani-pedis” and waxing appointments to throw their fists in the air to say: “I am man. Hear me roar.”
What is so funny about this is that in the South, our men never really caught on the Metrosexual bandwagon and have remained the same manly men for years.
Southern women have never had to compete for bathroom space for our men’s grooming products. Growing up with two brothers and the most manliest of men, my father, the only grooming products in our house were Old Spice and Irish Spring.
Forget about personal trainers. There were post-holes to be dug, hay to be hauled and wood to be stacked. I love the way my husband Race smells when he has been on a job-site or when he comes in from working outside at our home. I think it is the sexiest scent in the entire world.
My two sons play football and my laundry room smells like a locker room and guess what? I don’t gripe about it because I know that deer season and duck season will make their sweaty clothes pale in comparison to what scents will be lingering after hunting all day.
I once dated (one date) a Northener who, and this is a true story, went with me to a cookout hosted by two friends. These good ol’ Southern boys had just returned from deer hunting. They had grilled the deer to a fine flavor when, to the horror of all gathered, my soon-to-be-dumped date said: “This is really good deer guys. How did you catch them?”
Believe me, drinks and food were spewed out of gaping mouths that hit the floor. Yankee boy was quickly removed from the party and my new dating rules included a “Must Know How to Hunt” clause. In fact, one of my first dates with Race was going out to scout for deer. I fell in love immediately.
But, back to the “Retrosexual Revolution.” I went on the Internet and found a trove of articles and blogs about this movement. My favorite is from frizzinsparks.com and it includes an actual code. It is really long so I have picked out my favorites and added my own comments.
1. A retrosexual, no matter how the lady insists, pays for the date. Again, this is not news to Southern girls.
2. A retrosexual opens doors for a lady. (See number one.) This is a deal breaker. Let me add that “a retrosexual drives a truck, not a SUV.” SUV’s are driven by yuppies who think off roading means driving outside the city limits.
3. A retrosexual not only eats red meat, but also often kills it himself. (Refer back to dating clause.)
4. A retrosexual does not dress from Hot Topic or Express Male if he is over the age of 25.
5. A retrosexual deals with stuff. Be it a flat tire, a break-in, or natural disaster. You deal with it. (All Southern girls can deal with these things too, but why bother if you don’t have to.)
6. A retrosexual does not order an apple martini at a bar. A martini is gin and vermouth and an olive. (Let me add that micro-brewed beer drinkers really get on my nerves.)
7. A retrosexual knows how to cook. These are essential skills for the maximum enjoyment of the red meat and other fish and game he has killed and cleaned. (Amen to this one. I hate to cook and my husband could make a dead possum taste like it came from Le Cirque.)
8. It is permissible for a retrosexual to shed a tear when Gus dies in Lonesome Dove or when Old Yeller bites the bullet. (Tell me anyone who can’t relate to this. And if you are not familiar with these movies, you need to be.)
9. A retrosexual knows how to use a basic set of tools. A Smith and Wesson is considered a tool. This goes back to the dealing with stuff section. (Southern girls know how to use this tool as well and this may be why most married couples in the South stick it out.)
10. A retrosexual knows that it is not how you played the game; it is all about whether you have won, or lost. Let me add, that no matter what, if you haven’t sprained something, knocked someone out, or left blood on the field or court you haven’t really given your best have you?
Where’d He’d Go… that ‘Manly Man?’
Written by Lesa Crowell