Reader MK provides us today with another guest post. As always, these opinions don’t necessarily represent my own.
This tip seems a tad antisocial, but it’s precisely the opposite.
I recommend critically examining every cultural event then ask: “Would I have created this myself? If the answer is no, just walk away. Life is too short.
In this light, here’s some events I (and now my family) gratefully sidestep:
Valentine’s Day (modern version)
TV parties (e.g. sports, movies)
Expensive, garish weddings
Non-active, non-local vacations (rare exceptions)
I feel deep discomfort watching men chase the modern rat race. They rush to the florist, obligated to support a fem-centric commercial “holiday”. Or even worse, an unsung anniversary. How many men would create these customs on their own? Very few, methinks. Yet they participate like a chained bear at the circus. Tragic, to my mind.
What’s even more sad? Everyone therefore lacks the time to celebrate life. Most who have families work endless hours. For what? To buy throwaway things. To fund an irresponsible wife. Maybe to impress their fellow bipeds? Or so they can gallop through Disneyland or Paris only to return more stressed out than before? Meanwhile real life (that is meaningful, healthy, exciting life, to be lived deliberately) passes them by. Until the divorce. Or heart attack.
Personally, I like the term “converged” to describe modern holidays (which ironically used to be called “Holy Days”). Indeed, all of the events and activities on the above list are fully converged into the commercial culture. The marketable expectations are there and they can’t easily be extracted.
I’ve long held this “sidestep” viewpoint, even as a kid. I skipped prom without regret. That just whetted my appetite: I haven’t bought flowers or candy for a woman on her birthday or on V-day ever. Not even Skittles. It certainly hasn’t hurt my romantic life, either.
I don’t celebrate birthdays at all, and have no regrets. Heck, with a family of my size birthdays would a monthly event anyway. I’ll pass. What a modern, self-absorbed invention birthday celebrations are, anyway; egomania, greed, and gluttony are now being taught to kids from the earliest age. Sad.
So what do I do instead with my saved time? Religious feast days, for one. The RC liturgical cycle (e.g. Easter, Lent, Christmas, etc.) is how celebrations are done for real. This is the way my ancestors did it, and they definitely had perfected things. The dozen or so Holy Days are carefully timed to the seasons, balancing both fasting and feasting. This way, one can stay in shape, remain healthy, and yet celebrate with abandon. And it’s plenty sufficient; about a dozen celebrations a year is enough! We do massive feasts, with rich, real, expensive, wholesome foods: delicious fruits, nuts, fish, muffins, pies, cakes, cream, meats, and cheese (we skip processed sugar, junk, and commercial crap).
Look: there is simply not enough time to engage in the tomfoolery of the American holiday rat race yet still live an active, happy life. It can’t be done. So I advise men to Just Say No and cheerfully reject anything they wouldn’t have created on their own. This culture has turned men into a slaves supporting the fem-centric beast; why play this dirty game? Do only what makes sense for you and yours.
And start living!