When Never Grow Up is a bad thing
Well, rehearsal lunch may be more appropriate, but I digress.
The family and friends my brother brought in for his wedding is a small, eclectic group from across the country. Myself, old shipmates in the Coast Guard, church buddies, his fiancée’s brother, and one other.
An old family friend, considered a brother in his own right. Recently separated with a young daughter, works as a bartender.
And at 1 in the afternoon, by his own admission, he was already blitzed.
Halfway across the country, hitting on waitresses and making loud, slurred speeches when he’s not regaling everyone with the story of how he stopped for a drink during his flight out to Virginia and got shot down by a Russian blonde.
It really drove a point home in my mind.
There must come a time when boys become men.
I’m not talking about people who enjoy childish hobbies. Grown men can have a lot of fun with nerf guns or watching cartoons. Heck, our campus reportedly has a large contingent of bronies, and enjoying a cartoon made for little girls, while odd and different, doesn’t really hurt anybody.
What I am talking about is the kind of people who think it’s cool to get drunk for drunkeness’ sake at a wedding. Or worse.
Earlier in the day, I read an article by Ernest Adams published to online women’s magazine Jezebel.com. In it, he calls out “men” to stand up to “boys” in combating misogyny in online gaming. In saying “because it’s our job to see to it that a boy becomes a man, and we are failing,” Adams says that tolerating and allowing behavior that allows grown men to harass, threaten or abuse women in gaming as a part of the gaming culture harms everyone. It prevents these grown man-children from ever developing into healthy, mentally balanced adults.
At the college level, males are considered to be in a transition from boys into men. Many game, many watch cartoons, and many form relationships that form the basis of every relationship they have from there on out.
While the college man is certainly not expected to grow up and be a man just quite yet, it really couldn’t hurt to take a few extra steps in that direction.
Media glorifies the rowdy, drunken joker in weddings, but the reality is not set to a laugh track. Making lewd comments because a girl kicks your ass in Halo does not make you a better gamer, or a better man. Peter Pan may be the boy who never grew up, but Peter Pan never teabagged Hook after a headshot in Call of Duty.
Someday, all boys are destined to become men. It wouldn’t hurt a soul to start acting like it.