The Beach

He woke up alone on the shore of an unfamiliar beach and
watched as the waves crashed down
like the thin, translucent skin of her eyelids.
White caps were salty, tear-stained lashes and
he laid his cheek against the smooth sand,
let them caress his face. His fingers dug
through each grainy strand and
he knew then, that he knew her well.

And when the waves receded,
pulled back from his touch to fill the void,
she screamed out –
so loud and long and low,
that for a moment
she simply disappeared and
all the was left in the space she had been
was the sound of her agony and
the salt stuck to his skin.

© Laura A. Lord, 2016


Thank you to the Miniature Writing Challenge for their prompt: “He woke up alone on the shore of an unfamiliar beach…”

How to Be a Man – For My Son

Awhile back I wrote a post for my daughter: Life Hacks for My DaughterI was struck by the unfairness of that. I mean, here I am, a mother of two wonderful children, and I only dedicate a post to my daughter.

I mean, surely there are some “life hacks” out there for boys…ones I would want to share with my son.

But I’m a woman.

I don’t have the necessary equipment to figure out what is hack-worthy when you’re a grown up of the male variety.

What the hell do I do? I thought. Then it hit me. Quite literally. The front screen door slammed in my face, almost knocking me off the steps, as my son’s tiny feet went racing across the kitchen floor and out of view. I may not have life hacks for my son, but I have some serious advice on how to be a man I won’t be afraid of passing along to some unsuspecting woman some day.

1. Hold the door

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Chivalry is not dead…it just seems most of the world is too busy being sucked into their own world to notice manners any more. There’s something to be said for a guy who will hold a door open, carry groceries, pull a chair out from the table…You know…nice things. And this isn’t one of those things that is only appropriate for that cute girl who finally decided to let you take her on a date. This is for everyone. It’s kind-of one of those Don’t Be a Jackass things.

2. Learn to Cook…Something

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It really isn’t rocket science. I put the same thing in the list for my daughter. It really is important to learn to cook at least one meal right. There are few better ways to impress a woman, than offering to cook her dinner. It’s even better…if it’s edible. So practice. Get it right. And wow her.

Worst case scenario, find a really good down-home kind-of cooking place around your neighborhood, order out, put the food in bowls, a bunch of dishes in the sink, and hide the take-out containers. Yeah, it’s lying, but it’s the thought that counts. Just keep in mind that later in life when you wife needs a break and it’s your turn to cook…you may regret this more expensive option.

3. Grooming. Yeah…

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I’m not saying beards are bad, or mustaches…okay, well maybe mustaches. And sideburns. But hey, however you want to rock it. The point is, if the fur on your face contains enough crumbs to feed you for a month should you get stranded on some desert island…we’ve got a problem. Yes, you’re a guy. Yes, the sweaty, grimy, working-hard-with-his-hands, grease stain on his cheek, red rag in his pocket, motorcycle exhaust stinking guy is pretty darn sexy. BUT…that dude isn’t getting laid until he’s showered. Clean yourself up.

4. Self-Control…to a point (And here’s where I’ll probably piss a few of you off)

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Your father gave me “One”. One chance to slug him as hard as I wanted. One time to be angry enough that I wanted to hit him. I get ONE for the entirety of our relationship. That means I have to save it. Why? Because I’m a firm believer in the idea that if a woman has enough nuts to slug you, you’ve got ever right to hit her back.

Hold on ladies. Calm your shit.

That being said, HOWEVER…Dude you know chances are you are stronger than her. You can probably restrain her. You could pluck her and make her cry. So should you haul off and punch her lights out like you would Bubba at the bar for making fun of your mullet…No. But ladies, it’s not okay to hit a guy either. Seriously. Violence is wrong, regardless of what kind of genitalia you have.

5. Learn to Clean

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One day you are going to invite some young lady to your house with every intention of getting laid. Seriously, by the time you’ve got your own place I’m pretty sure 90% of the blood flow in your body will be headed straight for your pants. No one…let me repeat…NO ONE wants to walk into your hazmat bedroom. No one wants to hover over your toilet to pee. All the chores I’ve been asking you to do…they were for a reason.

6. Hands Off!

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You are not Michael Jackson. You don’t see women walking around with their hands shoved down their pants. And don’t give me that adjusting bullshit line. It looks gross and I no longer want to shake your hand. Stop it.

7. You Are the Handy Man

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At some point in your life, and probably quite often, someone is going to ask you to fix something. It may not be a woman, but it’s going to happen. It is sort of this expectation that we have for men. I’m sorry. I mean, here I am fighting for gender equality and I still think your father should be the only one to change my oil and no, I don’t want to learn how to do it, thank you very much. Learn how to fix stuff, because, god forbid, if your father goes before me, I’m sure I’ll need your handy skills at some point.

8. You Are Not a Robot

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Where ever this idea came from that men shouldn’t show emotion…it’s bullshit. You are a human being. You feel things. That doesn’t mean that I want you blubbering all over the place, because seriously…I don’t do that. Do I? No…not normally. It’s hormones, okay?! I have an excuse!

The point is…own up to how you feel. You don’t need to hide it or pretend it doesn’t exist. Own it.

Finally, I included this on your sister’s list and you get it, too.

9. One day…

But before you ever consider some life-long venture with a woman, consider these things:

– Sex sucks the first time.

– Sex sometimes sucks the first couple of times. There’s a reason one-night stands normally stay that way. It takes a bit of time to actually learn one another well enough to have amazing sex.

– That didn’t apply to your father and I…and yes, we were a one-night stand turned marriage. And yes he did use a cheesy line, but for god’s sake…don’t do that. Seriously.

– Your father and I are NOT the role model in this situation.

– All the sex stuff aside, if they aren’t the kind of woman you’d want to introduce to me…best to just let that one go.

– If they don’t treat you the way you see me treat your father, run.

– If they cheat on you, they will do it again. If you’re the guy they cheated on someone with, they’ll cheat on you, too.

– Beware of female emotions, for they cling fast and hard enough that not even Lava soap can remove them. Seriously, you don’t want to be labeled as a player/heart-breaker.

Most importantly…

– If you can’t laugh with them, lose them.

– If you can’t laugh at them, trip them.

*****

On a more serious note, if you have a moment to check this out, do so. It’s not a long video, but was incredibly touching and made me really think about how I talk to my son, the words I use, and the kind of man I really want him to be.

Herstory Lesson: Be yourself, I’ve love you no matter what. It’s in the contract…

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