Friday, April 07, 2006

Unapologetic Manhood: Not Decorating

Much has been made of the "metrosexual" male in recent popular culture publications. Such a man, while heterosexual and unabashedly so, gives much attention to traditionally feminine categories such as dress, appearance, and decoration. Now, I give some attention to the first two (sometimes too much), but I can happily say that I rank terribly in the final category.

I have searched far and wide within my DNA and found no trace of a decorating gene. It simply does not exist. I have no propensity for adornment of my living space. In fact, I have the opposite tendency. I desire to not adorn. Want proof? In my bedroom, the only space I control, I have a total of three decorative artifacts. All were sent to me by my wonderful mother, she of the would-be domesticizing department, and all are calendars. Sadly, all are from 2005. One is a small hand-size monthly calendar from my hometown savings bank. One is a "Maine Snapshots" calendar, set to some month that has a particularly beautiful shot of a Maine lake. The last is a calendar from my beloved alma mater, Bowdoin College. It reminds me to pray for my school. So this is the full substance, the glorious dressing, of my abode. I'm actually surprised that I took the time to put these particular calendars up.

What motivates my failure to decorate? Perhaps I can explain by looking briefly into the male psyche as personified by me. In terms of living space, I have no gene for form. Instead, I am focused totally on function. At this point in my life, namely, singleness, all that matters in terms of living space is that it enables me to do what I need to do: find clothes, store tax documents, and attain some measure of rest each night. This is all that matters to me right now. There is no one to impress, few guests to entertain, and my quality of life improves very, very little if I put up a picture of some scene or person. There is so much else that actually matters, that actually needs attention, that the coverings of my wall matter not at all. For all this, I am unapologetic. I am a man. Men do not decorate. In their living space, men do things. They don't gaze at things or coo or cluck. Of course, many of us await a civilizing influence, a decorating impulse. We're happy to have it. But we don't need it. We're spartan, we're focused on functionality, and we're unapologetic. That, friends, is beautiful. Do let me know if you have old calendars that might make good wall coverings, though.


Blogger Brad said...

Brother, what will you do when you get married and your wife wants your "critical eye" for decorating the living room, your first living room together, your first living where YOU will entertain guests? Will you opt for functionality and spend the next hour in an argument? Or will you show her toughtfulness, attention, and patience? "Decorating" per se may not be perceived as "manly" but I like decorating. Ask my wife next time you see her. It may be perceived as "metrosexual" but it's great to spend time together as husband and wife organizing our home.

Yeah, you may say that I'm unnecessarily parsing details or there's simply a difference of personality. Nevertheless, all single men don't stand by their guns like they thought they would when they get married. :)

1:48 PM  
Blogger Kacie said...

I refuse to believe that men have no gene for form, and care only about function. Take, for example, computers. The LESS the machine works, the more men enjoy it, because they can fiddle around with the broken bits and put it all together so it looks prettier. How many women do you know who have glued flashing blue lights to their PC? I don't know any, but I know at least five guys that have in some way decorated their CPU.

Ditto cars. Me, as long as my car works and gets me from place to place in one piece, I don't care what it looks like. Men, however, are obsessed their cars' appearance. They buy MAGAZINES, for goodness' sake, so they can look at pictures of pretty cars. At least when women buy "Good Housekeeping" they can learn decorating tips they can actually afford to put into practice.

9:42 AM  

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