When Karen and I were shooting our video at the Pioneer Woman's ranch last week, the question "what makes a real man?" came up. Was it Popeye-like muscles and a penchant for riding a stallion full-speed across a meadow while a cinematic soundtrack swelled in the background? No, we decided, it was not. In truth, there's no defining characteristic for real "manliness"---and what, by saying John is real because he does XYZ, are you saying Jack isn't real because he doesn't? What is Jack, chopped liver?---but rather it's a question of how a person acts, of how authentically he lives his life in relation to others.
That didn't stop me making a few little bumper sticker-type rules up in my head, however. Join me, won't you?
Real men watch America's Next Top Model.
Real men don't pop their collars.
Real men eat arugula.
Real men say please and thank you.
Real men floss.
Real men tape before they paint.
Also, just because it's hilarious, here's a picture we found on our disc of a thousand wedding photos, a picture that made every single member of my family howl with laughter.
Real men make this face right before they walk their firstborn daughters down the aisle. Even though they know full well that it's probably going to end up on the Internet.