Posts Tagged ‘ manhood ’

5 Ways Super Mario Bros. Symbolizes Fatherhood

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

14 months.

It’s funny how a quirky Japanese video game about an Italian plumber who busts bricks by jumping up and hitting them with his fist ever became a phenomenal hit in American culture.

Yet, I don’t know any dad around my age who wasn’t greatly psychologically affected by this unquestionably weird game known as Super Mario Bros. for “regular” Nintendo.

In fact, I have good reason to believe that modern day fatherhood can be easily represented through this nostalgic part of our childhood; which in essence, has become part of our manhood as well.

1. We are constantly working hard to earn money. Sure, it’s more convenient when you have the ability to jump 6 stories high to collect gold coins which are magically floating in the air, but just the same: We as dads are constantly reminded about the need to provide for our family.

2. We have to be strong and not let it show to the world when we are in pain. Mario was able to smash bricks with his fist (and his head?) yet he never bled nor showed any sign of injury. Sure, it’s important we share with our wives what’s really going on inside. But for everyone else, it’s culturally important for us to not go around expressing our concerns about financially providing for our families.

3. We must commit to our decisions and responsibilities. The first Super Mario Bros. was the only one where you couldn’t move back to the previous screen; only forward. Similarly, we as men and dads are dedicated to our families; not looking back to easier days, but instead to the challenges ahead.

4. We continue learning new lessons in fatherhood, therefore passing to the next level. In the way that Mario had to jump as high as he could on the flagpole to complete the level, sometimes we gracefully pass (jumping to the top of the pole) while often we barely get by (landing at the very bottom of the pole).

5. We become accustomed to disappointments, but continue our mission. Fatherhood is full of those “Thank you Mario but our princess is in another castle!” moments. I often feel that the times I figure out how to solve the current puzzle regarding how to get my son to go to sleep or convince him to eat a certain food or something like that, he figures out that I figured him out. Then he finds a new way to challenge me.

I could really go for one of those mushrooms right now. It’s be pretty cool to truly become “Super Dad” where I actually knew what I was doing.

If nothing else,  I’d love to be able to change the burned out headlight on my 2004 Honda Element without ruining the bulb. Who knew that the natural oils from your fingers can actually ruin those stupid things? I think the last time I changed a headlight was on a 1988 Ford Bronco II.

Guess I’m still living in The Eighties.

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Do Fathers Have Lower Testosterone Levels Than Non-Dads?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

One year.

If you’re asking me, based on personal experience, the answer is… NOOOOOO!!!

{morphs into the Incredible Hunk, as conveniently, only the bottoms of pants tear off }

Back in September the Assistant Editor of, Jessie Assimon, sent me a link to one of the other bloggers’ articles here entitled “Study: Testosterone Levels Lower in Fathers.” Knowing she was curious for my thoughts on the piece, I thanked her for thinking of me, as I planned to soon write a post responding to the new study’s findings.

But what could I really say in a Dadabase post about the subject?

“Since becoming a dad, my level of testosterone has dropped. But that’s okay, because now I really can empathize with my wife. When I tell her that I know what’s she going through, I really do mean it.”

Yeah right.

Now, two and half months later, I have finally figured out my response and my take on the issue:

I am convinced that my level of testosterone has actually increased since becoming a dad.

Especially now that my son is a year old and I have 12 solid months experience, I know for a fact that I am more aggressive, more likely to stand up for myself, more likely to hurt peoples’ feelings, more likely to say no and not feel bad about it, and more likely to be seriously tempted to challenge the arrogant [bloke] to a fight outside after he made a rude comment to my wife at Pei Wei Express.

It’s like suddenly every Third Eye Blind song that talks about punching another guy in the nose (“London,” “Camouflage,” “Don’t Believe a Word”) serves as the soundtrack of my life.

In a matter of a year, I’ve gone from being Paul Rudd to Clint Eastwood.

I’m no longer patient to wait to see if the problem works itself out by me being nice. I take control immediately of the situation before it takes control of me.

My son would still be waking up throughout the night if it weren’t for me implicating the “make him cry it out” method in our house. I laid down the law and felt great. And that was only the beginning.

Granted, anyone who has actually read the article I mentioned in the beginning will know that the symptoms for having less testosterone have nothing to do with being more “on edge” like the way I am describing and experiencing.

The article instead focuses on a dad’s increased likelihood of further commitment to his family, as his testosterone drops by near half:

“The study, experts say, suggests that men’s bodies evolved hormonal systems helped them commit to their families once children were born. It also suggests that men’s behavior can affect hormonal signals their bodies send, not just that hormones influence behavior.”

Well, if that’s what this is about, then consider me the effeminate lion from The Wizard of Oz. 

But if having a lower testosterone level means that I’m more mild-mannered and motherly… forget it!

If nothing else it’s pretty interesting that in theory it actually takes having less cojones to be man enough to not run away from your family when things get tough or seemingly less exciting. Man, I could have told you that!

I wonder how much money was wasted on doing the scientific research for that report. Do yourself a favor and come to me next time, scientists.

Just ask for Mr. Chutzpah.

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