Beards, Balls, and Bourbon

 There’s not much more that says one is a man more than two-thirds of the given title. When I hit peuberty I knew that having balls made me male, but having hair on said body part as well as the peach fuzz that started growing around my upper lip made me A MAN! If by “man”, one means, a full grown male then sure, that fits the bill; but not all fully grown males are real men. Just as most wives and they’ll tell you their husbands are just overgrown boys. So what does a MAN look like? 

  What if he likes his whiskey neat, his beard full, and his coffee black? There is something to be said about the difference between a man who orders a bourbon neat vs one who orders a strawberry daiquiri. Why? Why is it we say, “You don’t have the balls to …” when we are insinuating one isn’t man enough to carry out a said thing? Some may say it’s the “evil patriarchy” but they only say that because it’s easier to demonize a real man than to actually grow a pair yourself. 

  It’s true, beards, bourbon, and balls all have their place in masculinity for what they are and represent – Strength. Not the “Hulk Smash!” strength. I’m talking about a toughness, a resilience that can handle the un-pulled punches of life. The kind of endurance that, while a man may take a knee to catch his breath, enables him to stand back up tall ready to continue the fight. A man who isn’t looking for a fight, but he’s prepared to engage and win if/when the fight comes to him. 

     Whether you have a beard and enjoy a drink every now and then or not; you can (and should) cultivate and exude the strength those things tend to signify. 

     Be a man.

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