Wanted to send some encouragement out to the single men in the house! Your married brothers STILL need you, and respect you... THE JOYS OF BEING A SINGLE MAN! A Single Man and a Married Man friends for life, met on one fine day; They conversed about life, their joys and their strife, and of other things had a lot to say. Said the Married Man to the Single Man, “Heed my words, they are true. It takes strength from above to keep one woman you love, Satisfied, loyal, and true to you.” Said the Single Man to the Married Man, “My friend, now heed what I say. Sometimes there’s sheer joy, in being among the boys; They have the needed edge to keep your manhood true blue.” A Single Man and a Married Man, Soon parted company, that fine day; Friends for life, never flinching, never shrill For they loved and respected one another, And do still. You may have heard about it, but there is a controversy brewing here in the lower 48 about a commercial featuring Popeye--and his arch-enemy Bluto--seemingly having a great time WITHOUT Olive Oyl, the woman who has been nothing but a source of frustration between the two men for a number of years. Of course, the product that is being sold is Orange Juice. However, the response to the commercial is worthy of note. Critics charge that the commercial portrays the two men as homosexuals because they are having a great time without a woman in their lives. Now, as one who has seen the commercial (plus, I enjoy Popeye cartoons among others), the sight of the two men getting along did take me aback. But, why is it that a man without a woman is though of as being ‘gay’ in this era of social enlightenment? After all; haven’t we MEN been told that “...a woman with a man is like a fish with a bicycle?” YUP--A DOUBLE STANDARD! Well, hold on to your hats. There is a double standard, in case you didn’t know. The feminized mainstream press of both the US and Canada has been bashing men for an untold number of years, and cannot believe that a couple of men can be ‘friends’ without a woman, let alone, without the ‘possibility’ of being ‘lovers’. Funny. Friendship between men used to be the norm. Now, it seems, if you have male friends to the exclusion of female companionship, one’s sexuality is questioned. In short; if men don’t act the way women want them to, then they are ‘suspected of being gay by association’. Ain’t THAT a kick in the head. That’s why I’m focusing on the friendship aspect of single men, and offering praise to its existence. A TOAST TO SINGLE MEN: To my single brothers, I lift my glass of Root Beer to you in a toast. You have the respect of your married brothers, round the world. If you happen to be single, and reading this, let me also say that it is perfectly all right NOT to have a woman in your life. After all, when you get right down to it, single men and married men USED to be friends, hang out together, and do things together BEFORE the feminists decided that this was ‘wrong’. There are true joys of being a single man. The first joy should be quite obvious. You have more time to dedicate to the worship of God, the bettering of your academic or professional credentials, and just plain old time to be alone and be engaged in your own pursuits. The second joy is that you can be a source of encouragement to those of us who are your friends who happen to be married. Like it or not, your encouragement is needed at times, when many of us may be ‘too close’ to an issue to see it clearly. There have been many times when my single friends ‘talked some sense’ into me, rather than ‘put up’ with my wanting to engage in bad behavior. The third and final joy; a single man can be himself without pretense in an era where there are too many spoiled, hard-headed, and quick-skirted women prowling the streets in search of a husband--or at least a one-night stand. Many of the single men that I know have opted out of the ‘hunted’ category, choosing intend to remain single. And, they like themselves just fine, thank you! MARRIAGE--NOT FOR EVERYONE: Not every man is meant to be married. Neither is every woman. When the two become one, it should not become a declaration of war, but a declaration of love, unity and commitment. If two can’t walk together as one, then why walk together at all? Nuff said on that point. Women, my single brothers, are wacky at best. I speak as a single, married, divorced and single, and married-again man. Let me state up front that I do like women! But, I stand on my recent comment; women are wacky at best. Allow me to explain myself. Before I got married the first time, the women that I (later) found who were interested in me, didn’t say anything until I had otherwise set my sights on one woman--whom I later married. I eventually found out (from several of my female friends) that there was a ‘woman’s agreement’ in play; they wouldn’t want to ‘cut in’ on ‘her’. After the divorce, more than one of them wondered why I had married ‘her’ in the first place. When I was single--again--the dating scene was more of a ‘Mission Impossible’; so many cover stories and the like, that it was only by the grace of God I met my present wife--and we have recently passed the ten-year anniversary milestone. But, I still have single male friends who enjoy my situation, and I enjoy theirs. It’s called ‘friendship’. KEEPING EACH OTHER FROM MISSING DETINY: In the Bible, we read about David and Jonathan having a friendship that goes beyond the closeness of a male/female relationship. Simply put; the two men understood, respected, cared, and loved one another. I think that it was due to the fact that David eventually married Jonathan’s sister Michal (and HE knew what a Witch his own sister was) so, at least in the comfort department, Jonathan was available for support. A man without real friends is a man adrift in the seas of confusion. There is nothing wrong with having a single man as a friend; even a close one. In literature, Holmes had Watson. On the silver screen, Riggs had Murtaugh. On the small screen, Starsky had Hutch. Even in one of my favorite plays, “My Fair Lady”, the married Colonel Pickering had to teach the single Professor Henry Higgins how to treat, and eventually win, Miss Eliza Doolittle. “Just be yourself!” Is what I read between the Pickering/Higgins relationship. This is so, so, true. Yes, in many of the examples I just mentioned, one of the men was leaning towards, or engaged in a marriage relationship. However, when you looked at the tale of the tape, the married man had a better relationship with his wife, because she knew the value of her husband having a true friend, even though the friend was a single man. She didn’t feel threatened by this relationship. So once again my single brothers; my glass is raised to you. You are important to the married brotherhood. Hopefully, we have given you the support that you have needed when hitting upon hard times, just as you have helped us when we have hit those similar patches of rough road in life. As the New Year continues to unfold, I hope that you see just how much we value you as an important part of our lives. To my married brothers; I would urge you to find a single man in your past, or present, who needs your friendship and encouragement. After all, someone was there for you! The time is now to return the kindness YOU were shown. And the married brotherhood said: ‘AMEN’! Mike Ramey lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. His syndicated column ‘The Manhood Line’ appears on various US and overseas websites. To correspond, drop an email to [email protected]. © 2002 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.