Back in my twenties, when I was engaged to my wife, someone bumped into and cut her off in a line in a store in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Why the hell we were there has left my memory, but I remember that the guy was a real bad ass looking dude, and I am sure he was packing. My wife saw my machismo emerge to defend her and gave me the “look” to say drop it. And I did, reluctantly.
Later, as we were on the D train to Manhattan, she told me to promise her that unless she was physically being harmed, to never, ever try to be a knight in shinning armor. It was not worth it. People are too crazy and she rather have me around alive rather than shot dead for nothing.
We were never in a situation like that again, and when my health changed and I had the first defibrillator implanted, she made me promise again never to try be a macho idiot, because we were warned that a hard fall or sudden blow could potentially pull the leads out of my heart and I would bleed to death. Oh the fun of it.
The other day we were watching an episode of Blackish, and there was a situation like that, and the husband let it pass, but his father stepped up and beat down the guy that bumped into his daughter in law. The episode goes on where the wife is disappointed by the man’s lack of machismo and begins to do the manly thing around the house. And it had me thinking, that deep down inside, a woman, no matter how independent she is, wants to be protected by her man. And I know that when it comes down to it, I would die to defend my woman, but I also know that in order to be a man, I need to be there for her, and I have to pick and choose my battles. I need to know when to fight and know when to walk away.
Now I look at my wife, and she too has taken over some of the manly things I used to be able to do, and at times I do feel badly, and sometimes less of a man. But then I realize that what my wife would rather have is a gentle-man that is alive and here to share his life with her, with the type of fighting I do is against my conditions, rather than a macho-man, six feet under in a wooden box.