I didn’t work today. It feels very strange to not work a Saturday. It’s one of the busiest shifts of the week. I asked to get out early on Saturday, why not take the whole day off? Fine…

Last afternoon, Alissa tells me she’s getting married. Somewhere… deep inside me, something tells me I should be mad about this. She’s an old girlfriend, and she’s getting married to someone she’s not dated long and you think he’s a lesser male than you. Lash out in your jealousy and tell her how dumb she is. Not this boy, not this Friday. I told her congratulations. Do I have high hopes for the marriage? I see problems, but that’s what I do. That’s the kind of beast I am, I see problems. If you meet me and get to know me, at first, I think, you’d call me a very positive person, but dig a little deeper, stay a little later in the night with me, and maybe your mind will change. The news that Alissa is planning on getting married didn’t really come as a surprise, we dated for a very short amount of time and the topic came up. Now don’t think that we were shopping for rings, no, but it did come up. I thought about it a bit more seriously than we talked, and I think she did too. I think she’s always been itchin’ to get hitched.

Alissa doesn’t really strike me as someone who knows how the world outside of herself functions. It’s a dark, evil, and wicked place that her family has spent a lot of time sheltering her from. Naivety is common among people I know, but usually it’s patchy at best, with her, it’s wholesale. Now, her fiance, Romeo, or Rome, as the kitchen people call him… I don’t like him. I’ll also tell you, I don’t know him. If I were to itemize everything I know about him on a list, that list would be about five or six bullet points. And just because I don’t like him really has little bearing on whether or not I think he’s good for Alissa, which I don’t really have sufficient data to come up with an answer to that question. Here is why I don’t like Rome. I truly believe that the boy doesn’t have an ounce of fight in his body. Earlier today, I was explaining this dislike to my mom, while telling her about Alissa’s plans, and she gave me a bit of a look like she didn’t understand. I told her that I think every decent male should have a bit of violence in him. It’s our job, I explained. That seemed to make sense to her.

I’m afraid, reader, to paint myself as a person who gender stereotypes, which I do from time to time, don’t we all?, but women are very often the victims of violence from men. Yeah, we beat on each other a lot too, but this is a violent world we live in, and any man who won’t fight to save his skin, or the skin of ones that he cares about and loves, he’s not much of a man at all. To the best of my recollection, I cannot recall a single solitary instance in which I struck another person in anger, or in anything else for that matter. I’m not a coward, I’ve just never been tested… I think that’s from a song. The last fight that I can remember was when I was in elementary school, and those only barely qualify as fights. Correct me if I’m wrong, reader… if you happen to be female… but would you want to marry a man who wouldn’t fight away any harm that came your way? I may be presumptuous though, yes? I have told you I know very little about Rome, but here is a talent that men with that fight in them do possess, the ability to size each other up. This goes above and beyond simple size. Far beyond. After sufficient use it entails so many more attributes. Forgive me if I wax Dungeons and Dragons on you, reader, but strength is the beginning, agility can be easily seen, the ability for speed, and other pieces of the puzzle we call the Male that are purely physical. ‘Fight’ doesn’t stop at physical. Ever hear a woman call her other half a “great big teddy bear” or someone described as a “gentle giant”? Determination is a good word to sum up the lot of that which is truly intangible. Someone who is afraid to cause or receive pain, lacks that determination. Someone who is afraid to fail himself, or the stronger fear: to fail her, lacks that determination. My male readers who suffer from that most recently mentioned misattribute listen to me: a woman who looks to you to protect her would rather see you stand up and be struck down, than to never get up at all. I don’t know women like the back of my hand, and part of me hopes it stays that way, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar on that one. That of course only goes for women who 1) look to you from protection from something that for whatever reason they believe they cannot handle and 2) they love you. Both must be in place.

Let’s look at #1 without #2 first. If some girl has you around for fun, a barrel of laughs you are, one of those atrocities that some call a ‘casual relationship’, they’ll see you as the weak man. Not because you stood up, but because you were knocked down. This is probably a very quick way, although painful (which integrates, rather than segregates this test in with others) way to test if a woman loves you or not. If you are knocked down an she laughs, you can waste your time losing at Mortal Kombat and looking at porn. They don’t laugh when you get knocked down. Reader, maybe that explains something about the appeal of porn?

#2 without #1, is a entirely different creature. She loves you, but she’s not looking to you to handle this problem. She either feels she can handle this on her own, or more depressingly, thinks that this is a problem that shouldn’t be handled. You and her are walking down an alley and Anonymous Black Male (the antagonist in any self defense story) jumps out and demands money. She decides that the pepper spray that you bought for her is the answer, but you decide to duke it out with a guy that, while you were in Myrtle Beach getting drunk on spring break, he was in county lifting weights, and he smacks you down. She’s going to get upset because your a retarded cowboy, which is true, but I’m not going to blame you for that, and no honorable man would cite you for standing up for the safety of your lady… But there does seem to be a handful of women who don’t agree. I have pepper spray for a reason, you gave me the darn spray, and I can’t use it? Makes sense to them. Personally, I think I’d rather see the guy pepper sprayed and than maybe kicked a few times by us as a couple in this fantasy scenario, but that’s just me talking. And lets face it, reader, how fast are the ladies with the pepper spray? It’s on the keying, you know the one that it shares with a “#1 Bitch, Don’t Forget” and a troll doll key chain? Or it’s buried in the bottom of that garage sale they call a purse?

But let’s move on. For the male that thinks it’s his job or duty or place or whatever you’ll call it to be there to physically defend his girlfriend or wife, there is no worse girlfriend or wife who actively enforces her pacifist ideals. “We should have just gave him the money and went on with our night,” That’s a rough night for that guy. He got spanked by a mugger and now his woman is giving him crap for stepping up to bat and getting walked.

Here is the final word for the guys: Know when to fight, usually I don’t think it’s too hard to figure out when.

Here is the final word for the ladies: if your guy is fighting for you, and loses, don’t give him crap about it. Not if you love him. Knock yourself out if you don’t, later on he’ll thank you for emasculating him in that situation, so he could figure out what a piece of crap you are.

So back to Rome, maybe it’ll make sense to you, maybe it won’t, but I’d like him a lot more if he took a swing at me. I don’t think that Rome, who doesn’t know me at all, or Alissa, who likely doesn’t care about it, want or desire or would think one way or the other about my approval. All said and done, I don’t really care one way or the other. I havn’t forgotten the love I have for Alissa or that I care for her, although they don’t manifest in my heart like they used to, so everything else aside, I think she’s happy, and I’m happy about that… And I think, that’s where it ends.