Tag Archives: Guy behavior

to be or not to be essay KY

You might be a guy if…

You feel it is against the laws of nature to make more than one trip into the house from the car after a trip to the supermarket. Gather up all of those plastic shopping bags into two clenched tomato-red fists and get them into the house in one trip or die trying.

You spear a piece of food from your plate and hold it up to your wife and ask: “Do I eat this?”

You can recite from memory most if not all of the lines from “Airplane!”

You can be immobilized by a head cold and need round-the-clock care but if you fell six feet off a ladder and hit your noggin, you would tell your wife, “Oh, I’m fine.”

A bowl of cereal counts as dinner.

You have a beloved sweatshirt from 23 years ago you wear regularly but still have new shirts with tags on them stowed in your closet.

You see nothing wrong with picking up food that fell to the floor and eating it. Dropped a fork? Wipe it off on a napkin — or your pants — and keep going.

You see belching not as a sign that you ate too fast and swallowed too much air, but as opportunity to see if you can recite the alphabet while burping.

You see a well-timed joke that causes a buddy to laugh so hard that he snorts soda or tequila out his nose as a job well done.

Among friends, you announce ahead of time when you are going to fart. And when you do, they score it like judges at the Olympics.

You believe mozzarella sticks are a major food group.

You use your keys to slice open the tape on packages because getting scissors is too much bother.

You use a wet paper towel to stanch the bleeding from a gash on your hand but a paper cut on your finger requires gauze and a Band-Aid.

You see “jury-rig” not as pejorative verb but as a misunderstood craft.

You can readily sing the lyrics to the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song or “Bohemian Rhapsody” but have to think pretty hard to recall your kids’ birthdays.

If you are unsure if food in the fridge is still good, you open the lid, sniff it and declare it to be fine. You do this every single time regardless of how long it’s been in there.

You believe in only making right-hand turns out of parking lots.

When it comes to gifts, you use more tape than wrapping paper.

You have at least once said after making a repair: “Well, it works now, doesn’t it?”

You have singed your eyebrows either playing with fire or barbecuing.

Your idea of drying a dish is to wave it around. Better yet: Leave it in the drying rack until it is ready to be used again.

You appreciate the Three Stooges as high art.

You have said to your friends: “Hey! Watch this…!” (Cue “Lone Ranger” theme music.)

Why Do Guys Exaggerate?

Are the high-profile episodes of exaggerated claims by NBC’s Brian Williams, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and the VA Secretary Robert McDonald unique to guys?

Is the tendency to inflate one’s credentials something that is more common to men? Is it a “guy thing”?

My personal theory is that, while it might not be a behavior exclusively practiced by one gender, it is one I have seen more often displayed by men.

Plenty of ink and air time have been dedicated to their transgressions: Williams (claimed to have been on a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq), O’Reilly (numerous disputed claims about what kind of danger and wartime reporting he experienced in various settings, including the Falklands war) and McDonald (who in a conversation in January with a veteran claimed that he had been in the special forces, when in fact, he had not.)

Williams and McDonald issued abject apologies, Williams though only after years of telling his story and being called out by a serviceman who was on the helicopter that was shot down.

539px-Brian_Williams_2011_Shankbone

Set aside the trouble these incidents have caused and the public relations battles that have ensued.

It just strikes me as so much guy-like behavior.

Each man was looking to see who is the bigger guy on campus or trying to find some slight advantage over others, even if it meant burnishing or unconsciously distorting their records.

There is a big part of me that believes that none of them committed these acts fully knowingly.

That may sound naive, but I think these transgressions spring from a certain part of the male brain:

The same part that is loathe to ask for directions. The same part that does not like to display weakness or lack mastery of a particular topic. Or, God forbid, to acknowledge that someone has achieved more than you or did something to distinguish themselves.

Let’s face it: Most men live lives of quiet humdrum routine that are not going to garner headlines. So war stories (literally, in the case of O’Reilly) are a way to stand out from the rest of the pack, even for just a moment.

I know, for instance, I have been guilty of this.

For years I had made a certain claim to fame because I was confident that was how I recalled it. But when I recently researched it, I found — to my embarrassment and dismay — objective documentation that said otherwise.

I had thought for years that I was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2000. The term “finalist” has a strict definition in the context of the prizes.

In fact, I had made the cut to the top 25 of those entries considered for a Pulitzer or as a finalist. BIG difference!

It was not a claim that I talked much about or one that I relied on to get a job or promotion but it was a construct that I relied on internally to satisfy my own ego.

It underscores just how memory is fallible and malleable.

So while I have read and watched the stories of Williams, O’Reilly and McDonald, I am cautious about being too quick to judge their motives.

It may be objectively that what they said happened, in fact, did not.

But those lapses might just simply prove that they are human.

Or, more specifically, hu-men.

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