Monday, January 22, 2007

Time to learn how to be a man

Whenever my pop and I are about to do some stereo-typically masculine activity, like working on the car or chopping wood, Dad will always preface it by saying "Come on, time to learn how to be a man," which is really funny, given that my dad always eschewed your standard masculinity constraints. It was more his way of making a mildly funny joke, but also a bit of a commentary on the way most fathers around our parts acted toward their children.

Well, this weekend I took another great stride toward learning how to be a man. A few friends and I went up north not too far from the ol' Wozniak farmstead to go ice fishing. I don't know what it is about going up north that I love so much; maybe it's just the lure of childhood memories or maybe it's some sort of odd, Jeffersonion desire to re-connect with the land, but in any case, there's very few places on earth I'd rather be.

But more to the point, we spent a small amount of time ice-fishing, the first time I had ever done so without my pop. And I realized much to my chagrin that I had never learned how to take a fish off a hook, seemingly a big part of fishing. All these years I had just aimed the end of my pole and the attached fish at Dad and he's take it from there.

Seeing as no one I was with was willing to fill-in the paternalistic care role, I was forced to finally learn to do for myself. And although it was my good buddy's husband instead of my dad teaching me how to do it, I couldn't help but feel that I had taken a significant step in the right direction.

Now if I have children someday I can teach them how to be men. Or at least take their fish off the hook for them.

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