The Moment I Realized That Real Men Sparkle

Growing up with two older sisters I had a pretty good idea what women wanted by the time I hit high school. I had memorized their “manly” check list:

  • Be a good athlete
  • Play instruments
  • Have a six-pack
  • Volunteer
  • Be a good student
  • Speak two languages
  • Have a sense of humor

This checklist defined everything I pursued, I even used to memorize joke books and wrote a song called “I kissed dating goodbye,” hoping that announcing I was off limits would attract more girls. Didn’t work.

Along the way I was able to check all of those things off the list, but at the end of the road I wasn’t happy with the girls I was dating because I wasn’t happy with who I was. Achieving all those things left me still feeling inadequate.

Then I met the VanHornes.

This family let me into their lives and, more importantly, around their children. Those kids changed everything for me. They didn’t replace my loneliness, they did one better, they gave me purpose. 

They changed everything for me. Now, being a man isn’t about being attractive to women, it’s about following God’s path for my life.

The most attractive thing I have to offer is my love for children. My six pack has already faded and I don’t have the energy to get it back. I’m now only good at baseball if you count the coed church softball league. I barely know Spanish anymore and I dropped out of college.

I still consider myself a funny guy, but I don’t crack jokes to get girls. I crack them to make the guys I mentor smile. I still volunteer, but this time it’s with a renewed perspective and a drive to serve, rather than to be noticed.

That checklist I used to live by? None of those things matter to me anymore. They all fade at some point or another, but the value a child has never goes away.

Real men don’t put on shows to impress women, get promotions, or to inflate egos. Instead, real men are wearing wigs, drinking tea, and singing “Let It Go” into a princess hairbrush while being covered in glitter.

Real men sparkle.