Does it make me less of a man because I can’t swing a hammer to save my life? I don’t ask in jest, I am actually curious. I’ve come to the distinct realization that I will never be changing my own oil, that many household repairs are simply beyond me, and sports no longer hold much sway over me. Does that mean I am somehow less masculine? I’m not fascinated by firearms, I don’t drink beer anymore, I don’t hunt, and I have no conquests or never ending tales of battles won left to tell. I can’t fight, I can’t fix, and I can’t brag does that make me less of a ‘man’?
Don’t get me wrong I can do many things that are ‘assigned’ to my gender. I can break things, I can carry really heavy stuff, I am capable of catastrophic aggression, I can make people feel safe, etc. I can do those things well, but what I see is that for the most part I fill that role mainly in a negative way. I’m not contributing anything; I’m not ‘building’ anything. I am not providing in the most rudimentary ways, I’m not constructing anything, and I’m not fulfilling what so many people would tell me I could/should simply based on what genitals I happen to have.
I’m generally not that concerned with societal imposed roles, and especially not gender roles, but when you can’t fill that traditional role in at least some ways it makes you feel ‘other’. The thing was I just spent an entire weekend at CONvergence where no one gives a single F’ about that, which made it feel even more pronounced. I guess I’m not as full of confidence about who I am as I thought because when you see people Cos-playing like that, totally up front constantly about who they are and what they strongly believe in, and living in that moment it makes me feel like I live in an in-between world. Like I’m not sure who and what the world thinks I should be.
I know I am a lot of different things; hyper critical, self-aware, sensitive, funny, possibly smart, creative, honest, caring, etc. but I’m realizing I’m not the things society sees as traditionally masculine. And after this weekend I am confronted with the reality that I don’t fall into the myriad of other classifications that are out there either. I’m left with the oddest feeling that I don’t think society knows who I am, and I am not entirely sure I know either. I feel like an island alone in a sea of possibility.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all. I get to define myself as a person rather than a gender role that is assigned to me by a culture that I fit into about as well as a square peg in a circular hole. It is ok that I can’t fit my giant mitt down into the car to change the headlight because I can cook a flawless whole rabbit. It is ok that I can’t fix the phalange on the toilet because the dishes are always done, the trash and recycling are always out, and things are always put away. And it doesn’t matter that I can’t put together that book case without throwing something, because I can take a handful of people with me on a sojourn through the strange vistas in my imagination, make them laugh, make them gasp, and give them respite from ‘real life’ for even just a little while.
What is hard is I look like I should be able to do all those things. I look like the guy you want to carry your sheet rock down a flight of stairs, and therefore must understand how to hang it. I bear a striking resemblance to someone who should be able to operate a tape measure, but is just going to wing it because my spatial skills are that good. I look like a guy who played sports so I should be able to talk at length about how the Vikings did last season. I can’t do those things. I don’t think I ever really could, well except for maybe the last one. When I see that look on the faces of people when they realize the brain doesn’t match the body it makes me uncomfortable in my own skin.
There are times where I wish I was more like some of my Friends, more like my brother, hell more like my Dad was. I wish I could fix stuff, build cool stuff, refinish things, and was more interested in things that the rest of society thinks that I should be. The fact is I can’t, and I’m not. I like to cuddle, I like to read constantly, my imagination runs wild all day long, I want to hear about your problems and just be there for you, staring at art brings me profound joy, I love to cook, I like to contemplate my place in the universe, I like doing dishes, sometimes songs and movies make me tear up, I dust, I am a big old Ginger contradiction to what a lot folks think I should be. But I’m just too busy in my own head trying to just be ‘Me’ to see or understand how I fit. Hopefully one day I’ll figure just out who ‘Me’ is and be the best version of that I can be.
Since there will be a bunch of Podcasting this week and the next I’m leaving any blogs short, so let’s wrap this up with some…
- CONvergence was incredible. Next week we are going to Podcast about it. Suffice to say we are already starting to plan going next year.
- We finally finished Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it was damn fun. We both loved the ending. Now we just need to see Captain America: The Winter Solider to fill in the gaps.
- SO much gaming stuff! We played OTHERWorld, Pathfinder, and even D&D 5E this last weekend. We are going to talk that and all the other cool imagination fodder that I was spoon fed this last weekend on the Antagonist Relations Podcast. Suffice to say that I’ve got some new revisions to my games and running style to make.
- I have NO interest in mowing this week.
- THE Karl is painting his 4th Group Monk right now, and it is one of the coolest paint jobs I’ve ever seen, it has blown my Ginger mind.
- It doesn’t sound like the planned Insecurity Blanket Podcast on Anxiety is going to happen this week. Hopefully we can get everyone together and record one on it soon, as I REALLY liked the group we were putting together and the subject is something we all deal with.
- Well I pre-ordered the three main 5E Books last night, as well as the new ‘big box’ for the Pathfinder Card Game, ‘Skull & Shackles’. The money I got from selling those two lots of miniatures evaporated into a lot of future awesome.
- Master Kedrin 4.0 and I have been working on a D&D project together. It has been really fun to collaborate on something with her. Add in the fact that she ran some of the Adventure that is in the 5E Starter Set for us at CONvergence with NO prep and killed it, and I feel like I’m witnessing the ‘birth’ of a really amazing DM.
- The only bad thing about the weekend is I’m still coming down off of all that Anxiety. Today I just feel spent. From the top of my head to the bottom of my feet I just feel like I have nothing left.
- I am reading through the rules of an RPG called ‘Microscope’, and quite frankly I’m blown away. THIS will be tool that will transition my ‘World’ from the 4E games to the 5E games. I am beyond excited about that prospect now.
- I’m thinking of doing a Movie-A-Thon a week from this Friday. We’ll bust out that 100 Sc-Fi classics pack, and the 100 Horror classics pack, roll some dice, AND that will be what we watch. Although at some point I want to do a Chuck Heston 70’s Sci-Fi-A-Thon; Planet Of The Apes, Soylent Green, & The Omega Man.
- Ring Of Honor is this Saturday night, and L.E.W.G.I. will be FRONT ROW! It’ll be one of the last three appearances by ‘Mr. Wrestling’ Kevin Steen. I’m a big Steen fan, and I hope, I HOPE, I get the opportunity to personally tell him Thank You for all the blood, sweat, and tears he’s shed to entertain us. It should be a great card and seeing it live with the rest of the L.E.W.G.I. contingent is going to be amazing.
- AND I STILL haven’t played Lords Of Waterdeep yet…*sigh*
- I finally won a game of Settlers Of Catan against the lovely Cassandra, Special K, and THE Karl. My victory felt even better since not only had I been drinking, but it came out of THE Karl, our usual winner, thinking he was screwing me over when I was actually screw him over. That doesn’t happen often as he is one of the best game players I know. I REALLY love that game and couldn’t ask for three better people to play it with.
Hrm…I think I’m done.