Dear men: It’s time to grow up now.

Disclaimer: Lest this comes across as me being better than anyone else, I assure you that I have done plenty of stupid, idiotic things. Many I wish I could go back and undo, but I take solace that I have learned from these things, and in turn, tried to better myself from my past experiences.

When I was in high school I became good friends with a girl that was a year younger than I was. She ended up becoming one of my closest friends. Over the years, we shared deeply intimate things with each other, and have dealt with some heavy problems together in our lives. When my mom died, even though my friend lives across the country, she was and is still there for me to give me strength.

She was a lot of fun to spend time with. She was artistic, loved listening to The Eagles, and was into super heroes (specifically, Wonder Woman). We talked for hours and hours on end. I think we were just normal enough, and still weird enough, for each other that it made a great friendship.

We were never romantic. It was, in a very pure form, friendship.

Because of my relationship with her, it helped me to understand friendships with the opposite sex better. As an adult, I have gravitated to find more male relationships in my life so to better understand how I relate to the world with men who have shared similar experiences. But I do still have friendly relationships with women, and I’ve learned some very interesting things over the past few years. And now, I’m so pissed off about it, I simply want to vent. I’m fairly sure this will never reach the audience it should be read by, but on the off chance it will, here it is.

Dear men: please stop. It’s time to grow up now.

Of course, there are plenty of men out there who this doesn’t apply to, so please feel free to ignore.

But for those of you who just can’t help yourself, I say it again: It’s time to grow up now.

In the past few years I’ve seen some pretty awful things done by men. Here’s a few lovely ones.

  • During a divorce, a man drained his wife’s retirement account to which he had access.
  • Another man routinely threatens violence against an ex-wife as a form of control.
  • I’ve heard man, many accounts of alcohol causing problems in a relationship, until the woman is finally driven away because she couldn’t take it anymore.
  • I’ve seen men who can’t keep a job, refuse to do anything to better themselves, or drag the women in their life along a hellish financial nightmare.
  • I know a man smokes around his children even though he knows they have asthma.
  • And a story I’ve heard more times than I can count from so many women that I’ll paraphrase it this way: “We’re through, but he won’t stop texting or calling. I fear it will never stop. He’s always so mean when he texts me, and because we have (children/property/etc.) together, I still have to keep communication open with him. I wish I could never hear from him again.”

What these “men” don’t realize is that they are leaving behind a legacy. Their friends have all heard these stories. Their children see everything they do and soak it all in. Their employers shake their heads in disbelief.

So in case I wasn’t clear: Dear men, please stop. It’s time to grow up now.

I recently went to a funeral for a former mentor of mine. It was honestly one of the best funerals I have ever attended. There were magnificent stories about his passion, his devotion, his dedication to his craft, about his spiritual discovery, and about his relentlessness to enjoy life with character and dignity. I came home from his funeral with a newfound fire. His funeral was absolutely inspiring to me, and re-lit something I felt I had lost in the last few months.

Although we’re in a time of morning for the loss of my mother, I am highly inspired by my father. He had an unwavering love for my mother. Mom once spent several months in Colorado away for schooling to become a nurse practitioner, and upon her return he had hung a giant sign on the side of the house that said, “WELCOME HOME LINDA.” I watched him defend my mother’s honor once in an ice cream store when some jackass said something inappropriate under his breath. He was always stable, took care of the household, and the kids, and even though he really doesn’t give two hoots about football, showed up at every game I ever played in.

Men, I implore you: It’s time to grow up now.

There are men who have gotten completely screwed by the system. Because courts tend to favor the mother when a relationship ends, I’ve seen men get the real short end of the stick. I know men whose former loves have taken away everything from them in a very unfair way. This is a reality that exists. But I’ve also watched these same men go through these trials and keep their cool as I watched with amazement. Frustrated, yes. Broken, absolutely. But the ones I’m thinking of have done so with a level of dignity. They know they are being watched, and want to come out on the other side of their problems stronger, and with their character in tact.

Those are not to whom I am writing to. To you men who can’t seem to get your life together, who have made substances your main form of entertainment, who have absolutely no direction in life and aren’t even making steps to find it, this is for you. Surround yourself with men of good character, and discard the waste.

Men, there’s still time to make a new legacy, one where you’ll be remembered not for what you tore down, but what you chose to let go of and rebuild.

It’s time to grow up now.

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