Last night en route to a little gathering, I witnessed a number of men come to the aid of another for what has the appearance of kindness, but I know is “machismo” in action. A car stalled half a block from the gas station and was blocking one lane. If that was all, no one would run to help the stuck man. It’s not that people aren’t helpful, but we all know that you can call a tow truck or, if necessary, push the car a half block on your own. Pushing a car on flat land isn’t that difficult once you get it moving.
The problem here is that the car stalled on a hill and yes, the guy was trying to push his car up said hill. He was making it move a little, but it was a struggle. From all points, north, south, east, and west men came running. Six guys got behind that car and through brute strength muscled it the 250 feet up hill to the gas pump. It was quite a feat to behold and very kind of all the men to help, but it was machismo and not their heart that moved them.
Machismo is defined as an exaggerated sense of strength or toughness and I have to say any time I know for me, if I present myself as physically strong or tough, it’s probably an exaggeration. You couldn’t ask for a better circumstance for men to flex their muscles and prove they were MEN. We know that we can’t get that car up the hill on our own, but with one or two other guy’s help we certainly can and in our minds, we’re doing the work. There is a sense of teamwork that’s appealing, but I guarantee every one of those guys relived that moment last night with some friends, family, or maybe just in their head, and celebrated their machismo.
Helping someone push a car is great for displaying a little machismo, but I find I do a little of it every day. I have a family. Three little women in my life. My beloved wife and two baby girls. It is my job to protect them and though I would lay down my life for any of the three at any moment, I don’t usually have to go to those lengths on a day-to-day basis. Typically, I have to walk on the outside of my group of gals to put myself between any passing vehicles and my precious damsels. I also happily respond to bumps in the night, or 2am knocks at the door, with dog at my side. Nevermind that the dog is a girl too, we’re both displaying a little machismo.
So, when you’re wondering what you can do for the man in your life, maybe give him a chance to revel in a little machismo. That jar just a little too tight to untwist? We’d be happy to take care of it. Can’t move a box full of books? We’re on it. Looking to vacuum under the sofa and want it lifted? Hercules is ready to help. Need the trash taken out? Well, we’ll get to that later.