Monthly Archives: October 2015

Men Emotionally Mature 11 Years After Women. 30 Maturity Checks for Turning 30

I turn 30 this Monday. Does that make me a man? Rhetorical question. I’d like to believe I’ve been a man for a while, but it turns out that men’s brains don’t stop emotionally maturing until an average age of 43. Women are emotionally mature at an average age of 32, and then they just go on enduring us until we catch up. So here’s an emotional check in on how I’m doing with the top 30 maturity failings at the age of 30. Now, this list was done by the British, so it’s not perfect, but bear with me. We’ll keep a tally with a (+) for what I’m still doing or a (-) what I’m now too mature for. Yes, I’m putting emotional maturity in the (-) column. Call it a prediction. But first, let’s experience 29 one last time:

MEN’S TOP 30 MATURITY FAILINGS

1.Finding their own farts and burps hilarious – I’ve never been world class at either of these things, but I do like doing things like saying with utter sincerity, “I know exactly how I feel about that.” Then standing up, and farting. (+)

2.Eating fast food at 2:00am – It was a bag of Dorito’s a week ago. Probably still counts. (+)

3.Playing videogames – Sent an email out with NBA2K16 and the Uncharted Collection on my wish list just two days ago. (+)

4.Driving too fast or ‘racing’ another car at the lights or on the motorway – I never do this. Partially because I have a horrible driving record that I’m trying to balance out, and partially because I’m a huge wuss. (-)

5.Sniggering a bit at rude words – Only when no one is getting their feelings hurt. I hate hurt feelings. (-)

6.Driving with loud music – I’m a podcast guy now. (-)

7.Playing practical jokes – I love practical jokes. I’m also too lazy to play them. I win this one by accident. (-)

8.Trying to beat children at games and sport – What am I supposed to do? Give them a participation trophy too? (+)

9.Staying silent during an argument – I’m only staying silent so that it doesn’t become an argument. (+)

10.Not being able to cook simple meals – Please. I’ve self-glossed myself “The Kitchen Renegade” because simple meals are too simple. But I can definitely do them. (+)

11.Re-telling the same silly jokes and stories when with the lads – It’s called friendship. If I’m not retelling a story with you, it’s because we have no stories memorable enough to revisit. (+)

12.Don’t like talking about themselves/ having proper conversations – Did I ever tell you about the time I learned a valuable life lesson? (-)

13.Hating books/reading because of short attention span/they’re boring – Do audio and comic books count? (-)

14.Doing crazy dance moves – A lack of grace doesn’t make them crazy. (-)

15.Mum still doing their washing – Only when I’m home for the holidays. She’s doing dad’s anyways. (-)

16.Having their Mum still make them breakfast/any meal – Maybe this isn’t clear. She’s 1,070 miles away. (-)

17.Wearing trainers to night clubs – I don’t know what trainers are. And I don’t go to nightclubs. I go to bars. (-)

18.Owning a skateboard or BMX – Skills I don’t have. (-)

19.Not eating vegetables – Ever heard of lettuce on a hamburger? (-)

20.Changing jobs regularly – If I get fired in the next year, I’ll change this to a plus. (-)

21.Getting too excited over stag do’s – I have no idea what this means. (-)

22.Sometimes trying to do wheelies/stunts on their bike – I assume this is what movies Death Wish through Death Wish V: The Face of Death were about. (-)

23.Driving a modified car or one with a loud exhaust/boy racer – Car costs too much as it is. (-)

24.Showing off about how girls are attracted to them – There’s a very important qualifier to being able to do that. (-)

25.Wearing pyjamas, specifically cartoon pyjamas – Superfluous clothing is not my bag. (-)

26.Using dodgy chat-up lines – I may be misinterpreting, but I think I love this. (+)

27.Showing off about protein shakes/weight-lifting/how much they ‘lift’ – Duh, and hello! I’m a man aren’t I? Could a non-man bench all this weight!? (+)

28.Littering – I won’t even joke about littering. Not cool. (-)

29.Wearing saggy-crotched jeans – “Uh, cause I need the clearance, bro.” (-)

30.Having a cartoon bedspread – Girlfriend picked the spread. (-)

Stunning performance here. Prior to going through the list, I’d have expected to be above .500. Only 9 out of 30. But if I’m being honest, I don’t see those 9 going anywhere soon.

Tally up your own and let me know where you’re at in the comments or on Facebook.

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Tommy Gets Married; Thoughts About Love, Commitment and Proactively Washing Dishes

My co-blogger Thomas Cooksey got married this past Friday. The wedding had the usual wedding stuff like vows, speeches, prayers, food, wine, friends, kisses, and at the core of it all, a husband and a wife. But it was all done at a very high level here, which is really all you can ask from a wedding. The rituals are nice, but any five year old can draw a picture. It takes care and execution to make art. And that’s the unusual wedding stuff like sincerity, some risky jokes, poignancy, chicken and waffle appetizers, generous pours, friends, passion, and at the core of it all, honest-to-God true love.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about commitment. Two weddings in 24 hours will do that. I mean, if half of marriages are ending in divorce, then it’s reasonable to say that commitment, while maybe not more valuable, is certainly more rare than love, possibly more precious. It’s odd that commitment requires something like death to be proven. They put that “death do us part” right there in the middle of vows, and that grim certainty is really the best case scenario. It’s probably the weirdest thing about commitment, that you pray you never have to prove the “for worse” part even as you vow it. Love is easy by comparison. Love is warm meals, comforting hugs, and good sex. Commitment is something else. It’s like an airbag. You hope that you always get to just assume it works. And maybe it’s ultimately like a fighter saying they’ve given all they had. That last punch had better of knocked you out, or how do you know? Any other loss means you could have done things differently.

I don’t think people like thinking about that side of marriage. And I don’t blame them. But most of life exists as a string of contingency preparations. I make a lunch in the morning for a hunger I’ll feel at noon. I place a portion of my paycheck into a retirement account for when I’m too old to want/need to earn more. I change my car’s oil, make insurance payments, wash my clothes, go to the gym, and do a million other mundane activities so that my life can move along smoothly and I don’t have to think thoughts like, “Am I going to die with a heart full of regret?” That’s what real commitment has to be, maintenance to prevent breakdown. That’s real passion, staving off the rust. Ambition often looks like fear, because success isn’t that different from non-failure.

Five years ago, I know I didn’t like those ideas very much. But that’s just the procrastinator in me, the same kid who would eat cereal out of a Tupperware container instead of proactively washing his dishes. Nowadays, the idea of process actually seems more sensible, and in some ways, romantic. Save $1,000 a month or win the lottery. They can both make you a millionaire, but only one of them is your creation. Pushing chocolates, fixing dinners, walking the dog. A hundred actions repeated over thousands of days to keep the machine running. Walks to prevent heart failure. Long walks with conversation to prevent failures of the heart.

A couple years ago, Thomas Cooksey had this picture as the banner of his Facebook page:

I’ve known Tommy a while now, and I think it’s safe to say that he gets it. He’s probably always understood this thing that took me running out of Tupperware several times to understand. For that, buddy, I’m proud of you, and I wish you and Annie both the best.