Doing man things.


I turn 24 in October. It’s not too scary yet…

It’s like… I dunno… Maybe the feeling of signing up for a skydive a couple of months in advance (not that that’s ever going to happen). I know with certainty the night before will be sleepless.

…then at 12,000ft I’d probably have a heart attack and have to be rushed to hospital.

…or maybe a panic attack and hit the pilot with a flailing limb, sending us plummeting prematurely to our inevitable ends…

It was a couple of months ago I was talking with my friends about quarter life crisis’. Who’d be first to crack in our privileged millennial friendship group.

We weren’t very conclusive. Each of us had our reasons to stress out – many of those would seem pretty poor with a sprinkling of perspective applied. Here’s the proper way to sprinkle perspective btw:

One key thing for me turning 24 is my seeming inability to look after myself. Sure I did it at Uni… But we all had Uni Mums, let’s be honest. Yes I’m calling you out Marina.

But aside from cooking, cleaning and generally organising my life I think it’s the real man stuff that’s lacking.

What are those man things? And is this a going to be a sexist post? Probably. OK now we’ve dropped pretenses, let’s make a list.

Nuuuumber 1 – Navigation. 

It’s something of a running joke that as a Physical Geographer who lived and breathed maps for three years I am goddam terrible at navigating.

Sure I skipped orienteering to play video games. But even in games I need visual prompts and still often get lost!

I have a t-shirt with the words printed: “Real men don’t ask for directions” – it’s ironic because also printed is an aimless scribbled line. So I wear this with pride, because to this day I make car journeys almost twice as long as they should be.

However! I did drive to London WITHOUT my satnav the other day. I’m pretty sure my chest is hairier after that too… Let’s not cross-examine the route I took or the number of visits I’ve made previously though. Just between you and me (BecMac)… I couldn’t count on my fingers.

Nuuuuumber 2! – Fixing things

In the age of, “oh my god that was so last year *throws away*” culture it’s no mystery I still ask Dad for help any time a toolbox is needed.

Granted, gardening has given me just enough knowhow to use a hammer and a screwdriver, but anything more advanced than that and I don’t even try…

I hit a benchmark this week. At the age of 23 I did what Dad was doing with his eyes closed at 13. That’s right… I replaced an inner tube on a bike.

I was SO proud. You know what? Next week I might try changing a light bulb – I hear it only takes the one man… Who knew?!

I guess the tipping point – the moment of accomplishment will come when I get my OWN toolbox. For there to be any point to that I’d need to move out, and I’m far too busy saving for my next life changing (possibly life pausing) journey of discovery to move out!

Nuuuuumber 3 – The manly sneeze

Have you ever heard a full grown man sneeze? It’s terrifying.

For me though, this is the ultimate aim.

I want to be able to make children cry with the suddenness and unforgivable force of my man sneezes. I want to be able to knock dentures out… to cause claps of thunder across the night sky… to blow the houses of little pigs into the dust.

Did I get carried away?

24 is simply a number. It won’t make me any wiser, or any more manly. Only the three pillars of manliness: The navigation, the DIY and the explosive sneeze will grant me that.

Good luck deciphering how much of this is true and how much is utter nonsense 🙂 Oh! And stay tuned if you’re a Facebook friend of mine for my next poll(s)…

One for creative writing… One for fundraising ideas… It’s that time of year again! Thanks for reading as always, speak soon.


One thought on “Doing man things.

  1. ‘I want to be able to make children cry with the suddenness and unforgivable force of my man sneezes. I want to be able to knock dentures out… to cause claps of thunder across the night sky… to blow the houses of little pigs into the dust.’
    — Incredible, Tom — simply incredible!!!
    Great writing too — it keeps improving in the mastery and choice of words — well done! Looking forward to doing some more ‘man stuff’ together soon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s