There are few moments in life that visibly humble a man. I remember being terrified seeing my father in tears after the death of his father. It was the first time I realized that real parents aren’t perfect and perfect parents aren’t real. They’re these older versions of you with feelings and insecurities and worries that cancer could very well happen to them. Then there’s the moment when a man realizes that this world is about so much more than his bank account balance, sex and Air Jordan Retros: the day he becomes a father. Now I can’t relate just yet but I think this quote by Elizabeth Stone pretty much sums it up: “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
The only other time I believe you’ll catch a man at his most vulnerable, when he feels excited and scared shitless at the same time is when he proposes to the woman he loves. Now that my fiance’ has finally popped the question I can finally see how all of his anxiety was playing out all summer long until he finally got the guts to go through with it as I clipped coupons one Sunday night. The repeated jokes about how he would throw the ring on the table and be like, “Let’s do this.” It was all because he was testing me…and scared to death.
By its nature, marriage proposals put men in a weak position. Let’s call it what is it: Here’s your protective, alpha male on bended knee, looking up at you submitting to you with half his savings in his hand. He’s retiring his nutsack, he’s tapping out on all of the untapped ass out there that he never had the chance to try, he’s trusting your forgetful ass to not drop his down payment on a house down the drain while you dye your hair, he’s saying spending the rest of his life with you and only you means more than that first-nut feeling ever will. I mean, I’m a woman and typically this is supposed to be the day we spend half of our girlhood daydreaming about and even I find myself panicking about all the sex I am never going to have ever again.