I’m not going to lie to you, I’m a ‘gal’, but I’ve never been a ‘girl’. I always WANTED to be a girl. I always wanted to be cute, petite, feminine, gentle, and sweet. But God, apparently, has a sense of humor, and instead built me to be a swarthy, moose-like, out-spoken, strong, wise-cracking ‘gal’. That’s me. Not so much a ‘girl’ as a ‘gal’. Oh, believe me, I wanted to be all those other “Girly-girl” things, but I’ve long since come to terms with the big wonderfulness that is me. I’ve embraced the Moose.
This world needs Mooses.
But as equally as I’ve never fit into the world of Girly-girl, neither have I completely fit into the world of Manly-man. This was driven home to me last night as I overheard a conversation between My Captain, and Critter.
It was more of a lesson, than a conversation. It was about handshakes, and the importance of them in the Manly-man world. Apparently, to earn his mancard, a man must have a handshake that grips somewhere between George Clooney, and The Hulk. It has to be suave, confident, and comfortable, but also send the message that you are not someone to be trifled with. It requires eye contact, squared shoulders, and focus. There can be no wavering. There can be no apologetically embarrassed hesitation. And there sure as hell can be no dead-fish qualities to the grip.
Who knew there was so much at stake in a common greeting gesture? I sure as heck didn’t.
My Captain kept telling Critter that it is important to ‘land’ properly. That, just as with a handshake, if you mess up the first attempt, and it turns into something awkward, you will find yourself having to re-gain your footing, so, too, is life. That it is better to do things ‘right’ the first time, than it is to half-ass it, do it ‘wrong’ and spend more time having to fix things. Oh, he wasn’t suggesting that it is not ok to make mistakes, but he was definitely teaching Critter that first ‘everythings’ matter: First impressions. First dates. First grades. First jobs. First commitments. First tries at anything. So it makes sense to do your best, and approach these things with deliberate, intentional effort.
A true man, he said, approaches life like he does a handshake. With confidence and straightforward strength.
They then spent a few minutes practicing the handshake, working on the grip. A true man’s compliment to another man, he said, is “Good grip!”. I thought about what Girly-girls must practice, and couldn’t come up with a parallel, as it was never a world I lived in. Am I supposed to be teaching Varmint some kind of hand-shake-life-lesson equivalent?
Oh, that poor child is so screwed.
If you need me, I’ll be in the corner, practicing my Moose call. (We don’t have handshakes.)