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Saturday, November 21, 2009

in appreciation of men

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Dissing men is popular, fashionable, humorous and politically correct. It has been so these past four or five decades since women's lib in the sixties. White men. Black men. Rich white men. Rich white male politicians. Rich white radiodiots (say it: ray-dee-yoh-dee-yachts = rightwing radical ranters). Cock-a-doodle-doos.
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Put all that aside for a bit, please.



Most of my blog friends are women. If you get into the techno-blogs and political blogs, and other categories, you’ll see more men. But in the genre of Here is My Life and You’re Welcome to It – it’s a lot of us Hens. I like that the men we hang out with here are cool about that.





So here is a list of random things I appreciate about men. A feminatzi could have a heyday with me. That’s ok. This is not a PC list. It's not exhaustive - I keep thinking of more. I'll add them to comments and you can too. I'm not saying women can't do some of the things I list. It’s just one hen's point of view. Argue all you want. You should.





  • In the 34 years I have known my husband, he has never walked through a door ahead of me.
  • When I needed my car's headlight replaced, it wasn’t me who did it. And it wasn’t a woman.
  • Since Blogland, the men I’ve met here have been men who like women, are not threatened by women's strength and intelligence, and they encourage our discoveries, expression and power.
  • Aside from some exceptional women (Queen Vishpla, biblical Deborah, the Amazons, Thyra Queen of Denmark, Joan of Arc, other warrior women who fought disguised as men, then in the 20th century in gradually increasing numbers and acceptance like the 12,000 women who fought in the Israeli war of independence in 1948, and of course the thousands of women who serve now) – as I say, aside from them, for the most part, down through the history of war - men may have started them – but other men had to fight them - protecting their families, tribes and nations as warriors through the battles. If I were a man of age during a draft, that would suck.
  • I liked it when I was studying in London when I was 19 and I went to see Jimmy Stewart in the play "Harvey" alone, and when I came out of the theater after dark a tall skinny fellow student named Cal was waiting outside to walk me back to the dorm. He must have heard me say I was going, though I didn't remember that. No, he didn't put any moves on me. He just wanted me safe.
  • Men like sports, so I don't have to. They can watch it, talk about it, and I can do something I'd rather do, like blog, and not feel guilty.
  • I like that they have upper body strength. I can't carry 50-lb. water softener bags two at a time to the basement.
  • Strong, thick eyebrows, especially black mixed with gray. That's a weird word - say it a few times. eyebrows. حاجب. 眉毛. obrva. obočí . øjenbryn . sobrancelha. kaş . Think Walter Cronkite.
  • They like mowing the lawn, especially if they're on a green motorized riding toy that happens to have synchronized blades.
  • They make me think harder when we have conversations. Don does it every day. And like when my father-in-law and I argue about the Bible, or my son asks me why I didn't like "No Country for Old Men," they don't let me just make a statement without supporting evidence. The men I've met in Blogland have stretched my mind beyond what I thought possible. I didn't know how much I didn't know. Men have helped me sharpen my mind.
  • They don't cry a lot. They hardly cry at all. We wouldn't want too many people in the house crying. But they know when it's a good time to cry, because they look over at you to see if you're crying at certain touching moments in movies.
  • Rumi. Philip Seymour Hoffman. Carl Jung. Jesus. Leonard Cohen. Wendell Berry. Vincent van Gogh. James Taylor. Ed Ingraham. John Lindus. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bill Murray. Russell Brand. Jimmie Elsie. David Gray. Edgar Degas. Benjamin Franklin. Bennett Hart. M.A. Rauf. GI Gurdjieff. Luciano Pavarotti. Barack Obama. Walt Whitman. Rainer Maria Rilke. Mahatma Gandhi. Henry David Thoreau. Loring Wirbel. Charles Dickens. Leonardo da Vinci. Albert Einstein. Nelson Mandela. Peter Olson. Noam Chomsky. Barry. Montag. Honore de Balzac. I like lists. But this list is very bad because it doesn't include all the men I want to include but don't want to bore you, or all the ones I'll think of later. So. Please close your eyes and think of men and what you appreciate. Nice, isn't it? If you're a man, also think about yourself and feel how good you are.
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99 comments:

Susan said...

I would add Don Mowry to that list even though you mentioned him several times earlier, and David Drummond. They broke the mold when those two were made and I know that sounds like a cliche, but I know one when I sees one...a good man.

I don't think anyone (even Walter) can beat Andy Rooney for eyebrows! ;)

And the crying bit, so true...David always looks over at me to see if I'm crying and of course he has tears streaming down his face. He has gotten much more sentimental as he gets older. I suppose the reason being that he has much more to be sentimental about.

The most loved men are men who genuinely like women. I've found that to be true.

PurestGreen said...

I adore my honey, John. I call him my manboy because he is younger than me, but he takes care of me better than anyone ever has. Not that he lets me get away with things - like you said he challenges me.

Okay, so he loves stupid gagets and knows the Rambo films off by heart. That's okay.

Men are good. I like men.

luksky said...

Bravo! I kinda like men myself...most of the time. :-)

shicat said...

O.K. my list of things I like about guys; the feeling of security when we are in the city, driving ,I hate to, usually quite, sensitive without the show of tears and carrying on, strength,my husbands loyalty,fathers and grandfathers, watching them hold a baby, 5 o'clock shadows, shoe shine kits, fixing things, tool fixation(for some at least, my David loves music) depth of character.

julie king said...

very well-said!! i like men as well and love that they can do things i can't or maybe more accurately -- things i really don't want to do. hee hee

i was so inspired by your third person blog post that i borrowed the style on my blog post this morning. i was up in the night thinking about it and the possibilities it opened for new blog posts. thanks so much for the inspiration! it made my day!

Kat said...

I like, love my husband. He has taken care of us for over thirty-six years now and I have never had to worry about food on the table, clothes for our 5 children, water from the tap and electricity. He has always been there to unload the 50 pound bag of dogfood, bottles of water and lifting sleeping children to their beds.
He has changed diapers, cut toenails and fingernails, given our children baths and wrestle on the floor with all four boys on top of him! Yep, I like my man pretty much. Thanks for reminding me to be ever so grateful.

Barry said...

Thank you Ruth.

What a nice way to end the week.

ellen abbott said...

I like the way they smell.

I like other things about men but that's the first thing that popped into my head.

I like their willingness to protect what's theirs, those they love and those the ones they love love. One time, before we all got comfortable with each other, my SIL (who lived in our other house next door) was leaving for work. Things were very prickly between him and Husband and me by association but that morning, a strange man came into the yard to my door as he was leaving and he paused, waiting until he was satisfied that all was well. That impressed the hell out of me. No words were exchanged, just looks, but I knew he had my back, that he would always have my back.

I like men except for the ones that still treat women as if they were inferior just because they are women. Thank god there's fewer and fewer of those.

Debbie said...

. . . and Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, Thich Nhat Hanh

Wrensong Farm said...

What a great post! It was nice reading the nice things about men, sometimes I just don't appreciate all that they represent. I plan on telling all the men in my life just how much I appreciate them!

gemma said...

Curly eyebrows are endearing. It's those nosehairs and earhairs that distract me. His name is Lee. He's been my wildman for 30 years.
:-)

Shattered said...

I love my husband and I love this post! I had every reason in the world to despise men but then a man like my husband came along and restored my trust and hope that most men are good like him. :)

Sandy said...

Great post Ruth. Besides loving the photos, enjoyed what you wrote. Being the mom of four men, men get such a bum rap anymore with young women. Although I am understanding toward the girls, there are times I just got to be a little mouthy and stick up for my men who work hard to support their families, even though they might not remember to take time out for those "emotional" talks women like. I am a huge fan of "men" and their strengths and weaknesses.

CottageGirl said...

I'm standing and applauding!
Cheers to the good man who appreciates the good woman!
And a big cheers to my sweetie of a hubby. He never fails to compliment me in some way. He honestly listens to me and takes an interest in what interests me. He is a terrific father and grandpa who changes diapers and plays on the floor with the little ones and rocks them to sleep.

Love your pics, Ruth!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My husband, my father, and Cary Grant.

*jean* said...

ooo john lennon must be on the list too!!! i'm with you on this...as i age, i am amazed at the quiet, wonderful qualities in my husband that i seemed to not notice when we were younger....he is a wonderful person and i lost that for a while in his being a man...

i have a new spammer too...they add themselves to the followers and have the most vile photos in the little shrunken head box...beware...

The Bug said...

Dr. M's eyebrows are taking on a life of their own these days - it's been fascinating & a bit terrifying to watch LOL.

I like that he's stronger than me - even when he's in as much pain as I am he still opens jars & fixes the garage door. And he's definitely more intellectual & challenges me (I was going to say smarter, but that's not true. I'm smart - I just don't use my brain the same way he does).

NJ said...

Great post. I always feel uncomfortable when women complain about men. Maybe because some of my best friends are men. I'm not saying I haven't met a bad man....I have met a few memorable ones but they are totally outnumbered by the ones who are great, caring, intelligent and kind. And I don't mind that my husband always unlocks my car door before getting in the car...it's very nice. And let's face it they do most of the hard work...keeping the driveway clear in the winter..(not saying some women don't but in most cases it's men)

I also like the way they can turn a situation around with technology. Jeff got fitted for hearing aids this week...something he's put off for over 12 years...he's 50...he wasn't ready but you know what...there bluetooth and bluetooth is cool and he'll have a handsfree phone set up through his hearing aid...no it's not so he can hear...it's bluetooth.

margie said...

i'm with you. i like men too.

Annie said...

Most of my friends are men - or women who behave like men. Because men are more relaxed, don't talk behind your back, they say what they mean, are rarely jealous etc.

Of course there are other type of men too, but they're not my friends. :-)

Sidney said...

God made man stronger but not necessarily more intelligent. He gave women intuition and femininity. And, used properly, that combination easily jumbles the brain of any man I've ever met. ~Farrah Fawcett

Nancy said...

I loved this post! Yes! Men are wonderful, and I celebrate our differences. The only thing I would change is the "making war" thing. I love that my husband brings in all of the groceries, and I only have to bring what I can handle coming from the car to the house. :-)

I have truly enjoyed the male bloggers I have come to know. They are funny, smart, and as you said, not threatened by women. They have taught me so much, and I try to follow as many male blogs as possible.

Terrific post.

Arti said...

Ruth,

What coincidence... again! I've just posted a list too, but just the reverse. Just some thoughts about the gender issue when it comes to books and writing. Also, you're so fortunate to be of the Western culture, where society is more egalitarian... women from another culture would yearn to count that list their own.

Hate to sound like a dissident, but I do all my car care and taking it to service...etc., and, add salt to the softener, not my husband. BTW, I didn't like "No Country..." either, and I did have some ready answers when my son asked me.

Deslilas said...

Patrick Modiano, Alain Bashung, Gérard Philippe could be on this list.

Claudia said...

Vive la différence! Most of my friends are women yet most of my dearest friends are men.

Shari Sunday said...

Good post. Women have been the cornerstone of my life. My mother, my friends, my daughter. I have a wonderful, strong husband with bushy white/grey eyebrows and a gruff manner who tries his best every day to make me happy. Sometimes I forget and take him for granted. Your post and the comments that followed brought many happy memories ato mind.

Mrs. M. said...

I love it that many times men are the most sensitive and creative in their fields of music, culinary, art, poetry, etc.

When I think of King David, I think of this very sensitive musician and a man-of-war co-existing.

I love the sensitive-manly men in our family - blood and marriage. I've told Garland many times how it takes a special man to be married to a Hart woman.

You found one as well...

The Periodic Englishman said...

Hello, Ruth, I followed you home from Montag’s (a disturbingly impressive man on all sorts of levels, come to think of it, now that we’re talking about men).

Anyway, this felt nice to read, thank you, as I’ve grown thoroughly depressed at reading and hearing all of those predictably sneering and contemptuous dismissals of men. Personally speaking, I feel that we (men) can often be stupid, unreasonable, violent and hateful, but I feel the same way about women, too. These, to me, seem like human – as opposed to specifically male or female – failings, and I simply tend to skip round those people who exhibit such tendencies (whilst trying hard to keep a lid on my own).

Specific to blogging, I’ve been pleased to meet (and read) some very fine men. Montag you know already (as more people should, in my particular opinion). A couple of other bloggers spring to mind, though. Trousers (to be found here) and Mr Z (to be found here) both deal with more personal subject matter (and you’re right, this isn’t the norm for male bloggers), both are friendly and polite and funny and kind. I would also recommend Political Umpire, although he has just returned from a long sabbatical and seems to have his mind elsewhere at the moment. (He’s here, though, should you ever feel like a good argument that may or may not drag on for years.)

Outwith blogging, I miss the dependably calm friendship of men very badly.

Sorry for rambling on.

Kind regards etc…

TPE

Gwen Buchanan said...

hear! hear...my my, don't know what I'd do without them...

they wink their eye, they make us laugh, we gather all about them...

they tell us tales, and lift our veils,
and recant on things unknown,

day by day and year by year, our will is overthrown...


... but only in the best way of course...

tpe said...

And incidentally, the thought of two people crying at the same time is horrifying. The potential loss of control and decorum should make most men subjugate their sadness in a trice. Hard to explain, really, but this is maybe why I'm good at arranging funerals.

rauf said...

oh deeah ! Who ARRRE those people ?

i never heard of most of them Ruth. My name is in the list. It doesn't belong there actually, i have a heart of a woman and a mind of a man, that is why i am so confused on many issues.

i loved other movies of Coen Brothers, like 'O brother, Raising Arizona, Big Labowsky, but i couldn't take 'no country' it was simply revolting.....eeeeks......
My sisters, my niece, love horror movies, i hate horror movies.
and a guy goes about chopping heads with a chain saw ???... is that entertainmet ?

yes there are more woman bloggers, they have so much to say. Their voices have never been heard in the past. Now is the time.

i think i have more women readers. Haven't counted really. i respect their views.

Extreme intelligence and extreme stupidity touch each other.
i mean they are nearly the same.
Holding them both are men.

Attracting a male is a primary instinct of a female. i support all the fashion, make up, perfume Vogue, ELLE, Cosmopolitan. its a basic right of a woman to look attractive, attract men and use them.
MEN ARE USEFUL.
Unfortunately human females don't know how to use males. They are as stupid as males. Rest of the female species on earth are very smart. Women make men intelligent (extreme stupidity)

Men don't need wives, they very badly need their MUMMY

rauf said...

oh i forgot Ruth. when men come for portraits, they seldom do, it takes just half an hour for me. i say its over go home come tomorrow and collect the pictures. Out of ten, 9 are women. i take hours and hours, sometimes goes to two or three sessions with lots of dress changes, and i tell them to come after 15 days to collect the pictures. I spend just 2 minutes on the system for men.
and i spend more than half a day for women for one picture.

♥ Kathy said...

Nice list Ruth :) I'd have to agree with all of yours.

Ruth said...

Oh yes, Susie, Don and David are the best kind of men. You and I knew what we were doing.

Don often feels at a loss at school where all the teachers are women, just one other male teacher. The women treat him like one of them, and he just sits there and listens to their henny stories, poor thing. He finally stopped going to lunch with them most of the time because he ran out of pointers for buying shoes and jewelry. He does relate very well to women. He does get uncomfortable when women cry though.

Ruth said...

PurestGreen, I have a friend, Sheree, who married late, I think she was in her mid-30s, and she married a man 9 years younger. They are very happy, and she was convinced the age difference was a big factor, and that she was older.

It's sort of counter-intuitive though, because men develop later than women, at least a lot of them do.

Ruth said...

Luksky, someone used to say 'we can't live with 'em and we can't live without 'em.' I'm lucky it's been way more the latter.

Ruth said...

Cathy, 5 o'clock shadows! Yes, I totally agree. I also have nice images of my dad taking lamps apart and rewiring them. I just saw my brother Nelson recently do the same. I am quite certain I could easily take a lamp apart. Et voila!. But I wouldn't know how to put it back together. I guess you're supposed to pay attention while you're taking it apart, eh?

Stiggy said...

Hi Ruth,
nice to see we're appreciated!

Love the photos (as always) and nice to hear Don is doing 'his bit'!

;)

Ruth said...

Julie, Don and I recognize that we are each good at different things, and the rhythm works well most of the time. Some of our conflicts have come when we were both trying to be doing the same thing, like cooking. It works fine as long as he's cooking one thing and I'm cooking another.

I loved your inspired post, Julie, and it makes me very happy you took the inspiration I got from Ann Claycomb and made it your own.

Ruth said...

Kat, it is a gift to like your husband as well as love him. He sounds like a very good sort of man, sort of person.

Oh yes, the knees of Don's jeans were always worn from wrestling on the floor with Lesley and Peter. In Istanbul we bought a big thick piece of foam to put down in the entree for that purpose. I am not a wrestler, and without just that one thing our kids' lives would not have been as rich.

Ruth said...

You're welcome, Barry. Thank you for sharing your open heart with your readers.

Ruth said...

Ellen, I love that story! It shows how we can limit people based on our own prejudices - not their abilities. It makes me very happy that your SIL restored something for you, and that helped lead to a fresh new path with him. Yippee!

Ruth said...

Debbie, thanks, I didn't know Alan Watts - thanks for that intro. I just thought of Bill Moyers.

Ruth said...

Tammy, that makes me very happy. Everyone deserves to be told how they are appreciated.

Ruth said...

Gemma, I like both wildmen and suits. But the wildman is winning.

Ruth said...

Dear Shattered, welcome to synchronizing. Your story is very, very painful. The fact that you are where you are, with a husband you love, and working through the pain so that people like me can hear it, really moves me.

Ruth said...

Sandy, you raise a good point. Men and women have different needs, and yet they don't have to "be all" and meet the other's needs. People need to find what they're looking for, but it doesn't have to be provided by a spouse only. It's important to find fulfillment in hobbies and friends, so that a spouse doesn't have to bear the weight of every emotional need. Support and love - yes. But it's not healthy to rely on one person for everything.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, here's to Tony! And to Don! And to all the good men!

Ruth said...

Pamela, the Songwriter is a good man, from what you tell us. Cary Grant's name came up when I was making my list. He is definitely one of my favorites on screen.

Ruth said...

Jean, John Lennon's a good one. rauf would have him on his list too. Did you read the biography that came out last year?

These spammers are getting very tricky. This one, prashant, was copying text from comments!! How inventive, how clever, how effective!

Ruth said...

Bug - how true! Intelligence is a wide ranging spectrum. I'm glad to see culture here in the U.S. changing about it, like the teachers who are teaching to the different intelligences (such as bodily, musical, interpersonal, linguistic, logical, spatial, intrapersonal). The world has not given woman's intelligence much of a chance, but it's catching on slowly - very slowly in some parts.

Snappy Di said...

I'd be lost if I didn't have my man around the house. There are just some things we gals cannot do, like open a new jar of pickles. Yep, I do love a man's strength!

Di
The Blue RIdge Gal
Just Vignettes

Ruth said...

NJ, I told Don about your husband's bluetooth hearing aids and we almost felt jealous! They must be incredibly cool.

I think as far as men and women go, we are just working through two categories that are artificial in some ways and real in ways we don't fully appreciate. We're just individuals after all!

Ruth said...

Margie, nice.

Ruth said...

Annie, you are a strong woman, and you know what you want. That's very good.

Ruth said...

Sidney, that's a good quote, and true I think. But something in it makes me squirm, especially knowing Farrah was abused by her husband.

Peter said...

To appear on such a list! Definitely the first (and last) time! :-)

... and I generally prefer female company, so I'm perfectly happy that a majority of my blogging friends are women - and that you are one of them!

Ruth said...

Nancy, yes, that war thing. I think a lot of men would change that too. I have learned a lot about women since blogging, and probably most of all from my male blog friend, rauf, who has taught me to think about and appreciate women and mothers more than anyone.

Ruth said...

Arti, I love your post about the 100 books women should read - how silly that is! You always get me going over there at Ripple Effects.

Please do sound dissident - even though that doesn't sound dissident to me. As I said in the post, I know that many women do things on the list, things men have done "traditionally" - as they should if they can and wish to. And believe me, YOU have sharpened my mind too, as have many other women - including blog friends.

I am just very tired of male bashing and how acceptable it is. So I needed to write down some of my thoughts. I don't mean that as an apology. :)

Ruth said...

Thank you, Daniel, you are very well read. I have never read Patrick Modiano, or heard the music of Alain Bashung, but I am sure I have seen Gérard Philippe in something - maybe The Seven Deadly Sins - though I don't remember it. But his face is very familiar.

Ruth said...

Claudia, I agree, long live the difference!

I am not surprised by your statement too.

Ruth said...

Shari, in some ways it is silly to focus on men. Or on women. Or on any group. We are individuals, and there are many types of people who influence us and make our lives better. But I do like bringing attention to the cultural generalization of bashing men. I hate generalizations.

Ruth said...

Mrs.M., you expressed that well. Those traits are not mutually exclusive.

An author I really appreciate, Ken Wilber (whose name I thought about including in the list), said in reaction to the women's lib movement, women had to act strong, and men were forced to act sensitive. It is a good kind of stretching, and we need to just get to know ourselves and all our strengths and weaknesses too. But we shouldn't force each other into any kind of expectations, I feel. But yes, even Afghan warlords can be very poetic!

Oh yes, the men who chose Hart women have been stretched indeed. :)

Ruth said...

Hello there, Mr. Englishman, sir. It was nice to share a spot o' tea with ye.

Yes, yes, and yes. Your point is the point! I squirmed and kvetched writing this post, because I hate generalizations, and I recognize that there are some very good sorts (ha, that word) in every segment, and I'm afraid media, educators, parents, society as a whole, and all, just keep perpetuating the sad worn out "truths" about people, groups, countries, governments (well we probably don't know the worst of them, do we), etc. So yeah, that's the point here, even though it doesn't sound like it. So thanks for noticing.

Thank you also for the links to your fine friends. I would like very much to follow them to their blogs, and I will save that for another day because I have just spent about 5 hours responding to comments, which also means I have been reading all these commenters blogs, and I feel a little worn thin from it. That's being honest with you, which I think you'd want. I have no doubt - from knowing you like Montag, and from seeing a few of your posts and your gorgeous blog, that the people at the other end of those links are fine indeed.

Thanks for the ditto on crying. I've arranged a few funerals meself.

Ruth said...

Gwen, you are a TREASURE. I bet you just whipped that out, didn't you?

Yes, it's nice to have our will overthrown, when we want it secretly.

Ruth said...

Hello, rauf. Yes, many of them are personal friends. You couldn't know them. But they have had a big effect on me, like my boss and friend Ed Ingraham. He is was a mentor to me, I'm so grateful.

Oh dear, you raise so many good and interesting points. I have been thinking about the beauty issue, and the media, and make-up and fashion and trying to figure out how to write about it. I think I should just start writing down my thoughts. They might not ever make it into the blog.

I've said a few things in comments here about the fact that we are just individuals, and there are good sorts and bad sorts in all categories. I hate when the media and society tries to shape our fears and expectations, and our hatreds too.

I think I started thinking about this post in response to your posts about women, actually.

So I'm thinking about what you wrote about portraits. Lots to think about there. I've always thought it is interesting that in many animal species it is the males who are plumed, finned and furred more magnificently than females. You are enhancing lilies in your studio.

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, thanks for the support. Enjoy the men in your life this week.

Ruth said...

Di, first I work on the pickle jar, then I hand it to Don. He finishes it off, and I tell him I did most of the work. We both know the truth.

Ruth said...

Oops, Stiggy! I looked for you and there you are. Sorry for the temporary bypass.

Yes, you and Don give men a very good name, my friend. Carry on!

Renee said...

I am a total man love and why wouldn't I be, I have a father, brothers, husband, son and son-in-laws.

I will add Salmon Rushdie to your list.

Love Renee xoxo

caroldiane said...

Ruth - just love your posts - I do love men for all the many and varied reasons you and your commenters have noted and because I love being enfolded in the bigger, warm, loving arms of my man! Add to your list Pierre Trudeau, David Suzuki and Walt Disney!

Jeanie said...

Grateful for men! Yes -- that's a wonderful list. Excellent observations on the blog world and so many others.

I must share this one with Rick!

Oh, and the photos are terrific!

Ruth said...

Renee, dear. You are fortunate to be surrounded by men, and to love them.

Love to you too.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Caroldiane. Oh yes, David Suzuki, good one!

Ruth said...

Jeanie, you had a brutal reminder of what can so easily be lost! I'm so glad Rick is there to share with you, wow.

tpe said...

Hello again, Ruth, thank you for taking the time to respond in such a considered manner. And thank you, in fact, you for taking the time to respond at all - a dispiritingly rare event, for some unfathomable reason, on the shores of Blogoslavia. But the thought of inviting someone into one’s home only to ignore them when they say “hello” is entirely baffling, no? I just don’t get it.

Anyway, yes, I followed your progress yesterday, off and on, watching you reply individually (and dutifully and beautifully) to all of your guests and recognising a kindred spirit at work. All are equal, none shall be ignored! But crikey, it can take its toll (which is one reason I frequently turn the facility off on my own blog, for example, so I’m sympathetic towards any exhaustion you may feel – and this, as you must know, is in no way intended as a slight towards any guest. I would have been singing my own praises and linking quite indelicately towards myself had my comment section been switched on at the moment, come to think of it, and demanding you pay me a visit. You had a lucky escape.)

Having left you some links, I gently banged my head against a wall for a few hours (no blood, don’t worry), knowing full well that such actions bring their own pressures to the poor host blogger. But they are for general consumption, really, and maybe one of your guests will hook up with one of those links (“friends”? I hate them! We’re men, Ruth, we compete!) and we may inadvertently have created the conditions for a new friendship or, in extreme cases, marriage. We will both be entitled then, I feel, to a percentage of the wedding gifts. Not bad for a day’s non-work.

Please excuse yourself from the obligation to reply, as I’ve a feeling I’ll be back soon enough and we can start the whole dizzying madness over again.

I’m glad I followed you home from Montag’s.

Kind regards etc…

TPE

Oliag said...

For whatever reason I have always been a little uncomfortable in the company of men...a distant father?, a much younger, unstable brother?, awkward shyness?...Because of this I think I appreciate those I can relate to even more...I was fortunate to have one of the "good ones" fall in love with and stand by me...

...that being said ...I am sure that if it weren't for Mr O I would be living in a condo with a person (let's face it...probably a man) to call whenever something broke:)

dutchbaby said...

First of all, I love that photo of the alpha male of your roost! I'm going to print the first photo for my quilter mother. She loves roosters and she may want to create an appliqué pattern of your Khan.

Thank you for the ode to men and speaking so eloquently of all the facets we love about them. As for your Hall-of-Fame list, I will add Johannes Vermeer, Pat Conroy, and George Clooney.

Bella Rum said...

I was going to comment on how gorgeous those chickens are. Oh, golly, but I have one of the most wonderful men in the world living under my roof. He was a good example too.

When my son started working in Manhattan, he told me that he found that women didn't know what to make of him when he gave them his seat on the subway.

Very nice post.

Ruth said...

Mr. TPE, thank you from the bottom of my comment-responding heart for that very attentive recognition.

It is ever surprising and intriguing to see where my dear visiting friends take my thoughts and images, what memories are conjured, what observations and insights they muster. It closes the circle - I would feel ghastly without the comments and without responding to them. I had closed comments on my Thanksgiving post, and then I couldn't bear it. How do you wish someone "Happy Thanksgiving" and not allow them the privilege in return!

It is gratifying to meet such a one as you who takes the time to thoroughly interact with my post, comments - and I am sure you do the same at your place, yet I am still baffled how to get there. Your blog is just the color tones of my recent autumn photos out in the meadow, by the way.

I do hope you'll come back.

Ruth said...

Ah, dear Gail - (I just realized you rearranged the letters of your name for your pseudonym; I'm not the quickest study) - it is a challenge to understand someone of the opposite gender, so much more so if you don't have someone close by and personal to learn from. I grew up "cloaking" my gender from three of my brothers, next to me in age, meaning I never talked about girl things. I didn't have a close girl friend, and my sisters were much older and out of the house. I wasn't a tomboy though, far from it. I was abysmal at games, still am. Don't ask me to throw a frisbee if you don't want to see me utterly humiliated.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby! Haylo! Oh Khan was quite a haughty fellow who lived up to his name. In this photo he is still young, not fully matured! His comb became an even loftier crown. He decided to conquer the true Alpha Male of the farm, my husband, and I'm afraid that meant sayonara (I'm mixing my cultures). He lost his head.

Your additions to the list are stellar. I do love Conroy's writing and have South of Broad on my novel list TBR (I am very bad at reading novels - been reading The Ambassadors about a year now - yay for 6-month faculty book borrowing).

Ruth said...

Oh, and Dutchbaby, I am tickled about Khan being immortalized once again - on a quilt sewn by your mother! Please keep me posted on those developments.

Montag said...

Yes. There it is.
Wow!

Right there along with Rumi, Gandhi-Ji, Einstein, Thoreau, Mandela, et alii.

How incredible! I am speechless.

Ruth said...

Bella, the chickens thank you, and I thank you.

What you said about your husband and your son makes me so happy. It's just about respect, isn't it? Certain traditions are nice, and I like the ones showing deference to women. I'm old fashioned I guess.

Ruth said...

Hi, Montag. This list is of men who have influenced and shaped my world. I'm happy and proud to include you.

It's kind of fun to render you speechless too.

Reading the Signs said...

Oh my goodness. Well, the number of appreciative comments you have received is eloquent in itself. You have given utterance to something important. So many young men have grown up feeling dissed by women, I am wondering if this lies behind the apparent reluctance of men to emotionally engage with women. Though this, some may say, is nothing new.

Ah, the Englishman (Periodic) is here. Always auspicious. And I see you are a host after his kind - very attentive, and with so many people coming to visit. Respect!

Anna MR said...

Wonderful Ruth, hello. I saw you were asking after me at dear Montag's, and then went into a tizzy, for something's clearly afoot, some devilry of some kind, for not only are his comments gone (not merely closed - actually disappeared entirely) from all of his posts, but also the very post on which you were asking after me (which is really very, very kind of you indeed) was itself gone, disappeared.

Gone.

I had just read all the lovely things you (as in "y'all", the American plural) had said, and clicked on the link to take me there, only to see a horrendous, formal, form-like blogger window open, with the words "The post XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX does no exist."

Does. Not. Exist.

I am shaken.

However. You say you, too, have had some trouble with blogger and comment issues and things (up there in the Thanksgiving post), so maybe this most hideous state of affairs will ease off, and the said post (with comments, please, Baby Jesus) will return. Which is when I will hasten there. In the meantime, as it is, I'm very happy to be here at your house.

I loved this post. Loved it. Isn't it one of the most despicable things in mankind as a species, that those who have admittedly suffered being discriminated against or otherwise badly treated (as, I suppose it's okay to recognise, women have, over the course of history and in various cultures, simply for the fact of their sex and gender) will, instead of developing into people adamant to ensure discrimination and segregation and suchlike things will never be tolerated, so easily slip into becoming the discriminators, the segregators, the - to put it sans fripperies - bastards and the baddies? I don't like or approve racism, for instance. I'm not overly hot on speciesism, either. So why oh why is it so okay, as you point out, to diss men, all of a sudden? To categorise and generalise and make out that individual traits such as violence and what have you are actually inherent in every specimen? Why is reverse sexism okay? Reverse bigotry, even? It isn't. It's hideous. It's unfunny, unclever, uncool.

Throughout my life, most of my very dearest friends have been men. I have always found the company of men (generally) safer than the company of women (generally). That's just the way it is, and I'm so not going to ruin the holier-than-holy image of myself I've just projected upon the walls of your blog house with describing, in generalising detail, how mean-spirited and spiteful I easily find other women (present company would obviously be excepted, if I were to say anything of the sort to destroy this saintly image I worked so hard to cultivate in the previous paragraph. Shh).

(Oh dear. I've made my comment too long. It sometimes happens. It will continue in a moment, Ruth my poor dear.)

Anna MR said...

(And now what I threatened will actually happen. My comment continues...)

(I would add TPE, my beloved friend and many other things, to your list of reasons for appreciating men (hello, beautiful, I love you). But I think you've noted his specialness already. The fact that you two have met, and that my dear Signs is here, too, are the sort of stuff that the beauty of Blogoslavia are made on. The impossible possibility of meeting people with whom one can connect - why is it so difficult in the "real" world, incidentally? I think because kindred or whatever word you choose for such feeling of recognition between people is actually a very rare thing, and how would we ever meet otherwise, placed as we are in the many far-flung corners - the impossible made possible is why I love it here. Please also consider (off the top of my head) WA Mozart. Dylan Thomas. TS Eliot. JS Bach. Tom Waits. Federico Fellini. Viktor Yerofeyev. The voices of Louis Armstrong, Andreas Scholl, and all good boy sopranos (oh God). The way Leonard Bernstein looks when he conducts, especially when he conducted Ode to Joy twenty years ago to celebrate the Berlin Wall coming down. But my list is very bad, too, for it doesn't include all the men I want to include, either.)

I've a feeling I'm rambling, Ruth. Don't, however, say I haven't warned you. (Please, if anyone sees Montag, can you tell him my desperate horror at seeing his house commentless and without That Post? Obliged.)

x

Ruth said...

Hello there, and welcome Reading the Signs.

Oh yes, you must be right, the way people are treated keeps them caged up in themselves and the stereotypes too often. I really don't like it.

I've learned about people here. I never heard of M.E. before, until I met you, for instance. I do appreciate that about blogging so very much. Thank you for educating me.

And thank you so much for your kind words and visit.

Ruth said...

So, sweet Anna, I have left some words about poor Montag over at your place. Blogger is leaving some serious gaps, and I am trying to "mind" them, but I am seriously concerned since a whole year's worth of comments have disappeared apparently (2006).

YES to those good things you wrote about the idiocy of reverse discrimination. I fell in love with Charles Bukoski, but I kind of didn't trust him when I realized he served up reverse elitism. I mean, are all rich people bad?

From my short encounters with TPE, I'd have to agree that he is a very good sort that belongs on The M List. You added some other goodies too - hadn't heard of Andreas Scholl. I see you do like those tenors, lovely.

Back to the stereotypes and dissing and counterdissing, I went into a tirade about anti-Americanisms that loomed large toward the end of Bush's reign. When individuals are treated with disdain just because they belong to a certain group, it's not ok. I don't care what the CIA-FBI-Cheney-Mason-Fed-owners have done to the world - I do care about that, a lot, but no matter what that robot has done individuals should be treated individually and not burned at the stake in toto.

Bye and see you soon.

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, you're so sweet, but I can't see my name being in that kind of company. You'd have to actually go out and DO something to deserve that, I dabble. But thank you, I am more than flattered.

(And I'm always trying to figure out how much of a ratio of testosterone-fueled dopey things I have to do so as not to get kicked out of the Man Club.)

Pat said...

I know I'm always talking about my man. But I do love him. Honest. He's a good guy. Frustrating at times. But a good guy. Has a good heart. :)

This is a great post. I enjoyed it.

Ruth said...

Loring, ha! That made me laugh, that last statement.

The list was of some of the men whose lives and work have influenced me, had an impact on my outlook, have contributed to my worldview. You're there, my friend.

Ruth said...

Pat, we wouldn't want to live without them. There are some very good people in man form.

VaNeSsA said...

*They buy you deoderent in 3-packs. Even though it's never your favorite scent, the fact that you never seem to run out is pretty helpful on those busy pre-dawn mornings getting ready for school. Besides, you get used to the new scent in like 2 days anyway. :)

*They take care of your daughter better than your dad took care of you, and that reminds you that there ARE dads out there who adore their daughters, and it sets your mind at peace that your daughter isn't going to be afraid of men the way you are.

*They buy you pearl earrings that are bigger than the pearl earrings they gave you for Christmas last year and hide them in plain sight, never thinking that you might actually get around to dusting and find them!

*They pretend to be Santa Claus so your kids will believe.

*They don't think you're too fat, even if you know you are.

Ruth said...

Hi, VaNeSsA, it's nice to see you.

Those are good bullets to add. The one about being good dads - is there anything more important for a man to do? Some men are like dads to kids who aren't their own too and make incredible role models and advisers. Men are magick.

John Peterson said...

I'd like to add myself to your man list. I love love love your blog. It reminds me of the things I love in my life! I just can't wait until I can have the time to blog. Scratch that. Can't wait until I take the time to do it. There is never enough time, huh?

Ruth said...

Hi, John! Wow, it's crazy seeing you here! I'd love to see you blogging, but with a baby, it's tough to find the time, plus with whatever else you and Vikki are busy with. Thank you, I'm so happy to see you.