Posts Tagged ‘ military ’

Why This Non-Metrosexual Dad Wants An Ironing Board For Christmas

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

23 months.

In this economy, it’s no secret that you should make yourself more valuable by learning new skills. The idea is to make yourself the go-to person for certain exclusive things.

I translate this same concept to the home life.

As the dad, one of my main exclusive roles is putting our son to sleep for all his naps and bedtimes. Without me, bedtime is not a simple event. It’s a long, drawn-out, nerve-racking experience.

Another thing I’m exclusively good at is transporting our son to and from daycare, being the mediator between his daycare teachers and my wife, and challenging our son both physically and kinetically during playtime.

While my wife and I share many duties, it’s really important to me that I do certain exclusive things.

This Christmas, I am planning on buying a foldable extendable ladder and a drill set. I want to increase my handyman skill set ASAP.

But wait, there’s more…

As the title infers, I also want an iron and an ironing board. Here’s my masculine reason why:

For my day job, where I am basically the Employee Relations Specialist, I assume the role of HR in the office. In other words, it’s very important that I present myself as very professional… above reproach.

I’ve always been the guy to wear ties and jackets to work anyway, even though I’m pretty much the only one who does. But now I feel that’s not good enough, in my own mind.

That’s because my clothes are a little on the wrinkled side.

I could easily convert a few of my “Sloppy Saturday” shirts, like the one I’m wearing in these pictures where I was made into a “Mummy” at my son’s daycare Open House over the weekend, into “Tidy Tuesday” shirts if they were simply ironed.

That’s not to put down by wife in any way. I can vouch for the fact that with all she does for our family, she definitely doesn’t have the time to iron, too.

Regardless, we don’t own an iron and an ironing board.

Even if we did, I want this job. I want ironing to be my thing in our household.

Call me a classic 1950′s American man, but I think men ought to care enough about their appearance not to represent themselves as slobs. There should be no shame in taking extra time to look handsome.

I’m thinking right now of those Men’s Wearhouse commercials: “You’re gonna like the way you look.”

As a non-metrosexual, I want to be like a former military guy who takes pride in his appearance enough to still iron his clothes like he had to when he was in the service.

Yes, I think it will be pretty cool to not only iron my own clothes for work, but to iron my wife’s clothes, and eventually, our son’s.

It’s pretty masculine if you ask me. I’m not turning into a “Mummy.” Instead, I’m manning up… once I get my iron and ironing board, that is.


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Why Chess Is Good For Boys Who Like Violent Shooter Video Games

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

21 months.

Back in April, I chose to become involved in a “Big Brother” type of program called Men Of Valor; a program to mentor children whose fathers are incarcerated.

I was matched with a 15 year-old boy who was known for keeping to himself and playing “shoot-’em-up” video games online.

For those first couple of one-on-one meetings I had with him, I really didn’t know what to do.

But then he told me he was considering becoming a sniper in the military.

Coincidentally, I had just finished a book called MicroTrends, which had a chapter called “Aspiring Snipers,” explaining how the the popularity of shooter games like Halo and Call of Duty have spiked a trend in high school boys surveyed, saying that they are interested in becoming US military snipers when they graduate high school.

I racked my brain on how I could use his interest in shooter games and his inspiration to become a US military sniper as ways for us two to get to know each other better.

Then I thought back to a classic game in which I have been looking for a good partner for years: Chess!

In chess, you can use pieces like the queen, the bishop, and the rook to “snipe” the other player from the other side of the board.

Essentially, those pieces are best used after you have distracted your opponent with a threat on one side of the chess board, then in the likeness of a sniper, you slide in from the other side and take out one of the player’s pieces.

I began thinking, “Aspiring snipers should play chess.” I’m now convinced that chess is indeed the most archaic version of today’s online shooter games.

So every other Thursday, I pick him up to take him out for a Frappuccino at Starbucks and we play our 3 chess matches.

It took him about 7 or 8 chess matches to finally beat me for the first time. Like I told him, I wasn’t going to let him win nor would I go easy on him at all.

But as of our last meeting a few days ago, it was the first time in 3 matches that I finally beat him again.

That’s right. He’s a well-matched chess partner for me now.

As of our last meeting, he mentioned to me that he may be interested in going to college to be a History Major, or maybe even an English Major like I was.

But whether he ends up fighting for our country in the military, or becoming a historian or a teacher, I’m here to support him; and I say, it all began with a classic game of chess.

I now invite you to read my instant sequel to this article, 5 Reasons To Play Chess With Your Child.


Top image: Two knights face to face on chessboard, via Shutterstock.

Bottom image: Chess coffee, via Shutterstock.

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