Open Mouth, Insert Stereotype
It's hard to overcome the habit of stereotyping men -- even when you've spent 20 years challenging those stereotypes. I recently typecast a male friend in a way that left me shaking my head.
Here's what happened:
I ran into my friend Ed at the YMCA. We hadn't seen each other in a couple of years. We got to talking about our kids, and he told me that his son Mark, now 19, had joined the Marines and been sent to Afghanistan .
That's when I blurted out, "That must be hard on your wife."
His wife? My mind had gravitated to the discredited belief that women are the feelers in most families. I insinuated that Ed - whom I know to be a good and attentive father - wasn't as concerned about his son as his wife was.
Thankfully, Ed responded with grace. "Actually," he said, "the deployment is tougher on me than her. I'm more of a worrier."
And so I re-learn the lesson. We men may not talk about emotion that much, or show it on our faces. But that doesn't mean we're not feeling it.
Here's wishing a safe deployment for Mark, Ed, and military families everywhere.
What's Your Favorite Buddy Movie?
Channel-surfing, I recently stumbled upon the movie, "The Defiant Ones" (1958). In it, young Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier play escaped inmates who are chained together as they run from the law. It's a great and gritty movie, and it got me thinking about "buddy movies."
Here's the list of Best Buddy Movies that popped into my mind. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to add to the list.
The Defiant Ones (1958) Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Paul Newman and Robert Redford
The Odd Couple (1968) Tony Randall and Walther Matthau
The Sting (1973) Newman and Redford again
Midnight Run (1988) Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro
Wayne's World (1992) Mike Myers and Dana Carvey
Shawshank Redemption (1994) Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins
Fight Club (1999) Brad Pitt and Edward Norton
Brokeback Mountain ( 2005) Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal
Superbad (2007) Jonah Hill and Michael Cera
Join Neil's Quick-Send System
A couple of FatherLoss readers have asked me to make it easier for them to order the book for family and friends at times of need. They'd like to send personalized copies immediately after someone's father has died, without going through the various hoops on the website.
To accommodate this, I've created a Quick-Send System.
Here's how it works:
If you'd like me to send a signed, personalized copy of FatherLoss to someone whose father has just died, just e-mail me at email@example.com with the person's name and mailing address.
I'll sign and send a copy of FatherLoss immediately, letting the person know that it's from you.
I'll send you an e-mail invoice for the book and shipping ($19.50/paper and $24.50/hardback).
You'll send me a check within 15 days.
This has worked well with the people who have used it so far, and it's gotten copies of FatherLoss to people quickly, when they need it. Just let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to be added to my Quick-Send List.