This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not the brawny, knuckle-dragging, machismo type of guy I appear to be at first meeting. I don’t belch or scratch in public, I don’t throw my hand up in anticipation of a high-five when I have said or done something completely awesome, and I will not, under any circumstances, do the thingee where the guy puts his hand out in a fist with his knuckles facing you so you can make the same fist and hit his knuckles head-on. (What’s up with THAT?) I don’t know what channel ESPN is, I don’t know the rules to Ultimate Fighting, and I’ve never owned a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar.
So my point is, if I’m making fun of your masculinity, you need to ask yourself some hard questions.
My friend Dale, who has made a number of irresponsible purchases throughout his life, (not the least of which is his unusually large collection of rap albums from the 80s and his habit of buying his deodorant from the $.99 Store), recently purchased a … well, a bracelet. Dale isn’t rich, his burgeoning collection of Run DMC albums aside, and I was surprised to see jewelry hanging from his wrist. Surprised for a number of reasons, quite frankly. This particular wristlet was shiny gold, and quite flashy.
We play racquetball together several times a week, and I noticed the bracelet a few weeks ago. I didn’t say anything at the time. Dale is a lawyer, quite adept at defending his actions and not uncomfortable with confrontation. I have to carefully choose my battles with Dale, even the casual, throwaway ones.
I noticed more recently that the bracelet was missing, and then Dale actually brought it up the other morning, after we were finished playing.
Dale: “You know, I bought a gold bracelet for myself.”
Me: (Slightly caught off guard that he’s mentioning it) “Yessss…I saw that.”
Dale: (Sensing my incredulous response) “Well, you know… I’ve always wanted one.”
Me: “Have you also always wanted a uterus?”
Dale: (Confused, but still defending his purchase) “I think it looks nice on me.”
Me: “Are you wearing it on the cover of your new rap album?”
Dale: “Anyway, the other morning I left it in my jacket, and then I left my jacket here. I came back to check the Lost & Found, and my jacket was here, but the bracelet was gone!”
Me: “…And you think the guy working the Lost & Found took it?”
Dale: “Because it’s an expensive bracelet!”
Me: “Oh, I get it – he wanted to give it to his girlfriend for Christmas.”
Dale: “It’s a man’s bracelet.”
Me: “Did he steal your man-lipstick that was in the pocket too?”
Dale seemed pretty upset; I offered to give him a hug. When he pushed me away I just commented that it must be somebody’s time of the month. Ha! Whassup!? Somebody gimme a high-five!