Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

Why I’m Manning Up

I woke up this morning with a sudden realization:

I am a failure.

I mean, what was I thinking? Going on a cross-country hitchhiking trip, crashing on peoples’ couches, spending all day meeting cool new people, getting wasted, going to rock concerts and chasing hot girls? And then I get up every morning and write horrible misogynistic rants on the Internet? I’m just a boy, not a man. Everyone knows that the path to manhood lies in being a dutiful employee and husband.

As a result, I’m ending my journey immediately.

I’ve already bought a one-way bus ticket back to Syracuse. When I get home, my family will greet me with hugs and tell me it’s alright, implying subtly that I was nuts for even attempting to do this. I mean, nobody hitchhikes anymore! What was I thinking? After all, ideas are only worth pursuing if the majority believe them to be correct.

After I get settled in back home, I’m going to delete this blog and start hunting for a real job. Making money and getting an audience online? What a dumb idea! As the adults of my parents’ generation love reminding me, the only real way to make a living is by punching a clock.

I will send out hundreds of resumes and go to dozens of interviews until I luck out and land a position washing dishes at Applebee’s. If it seems like I have to crawl through broken glass to get a job that pays barely more than the minimum wage, it’s all in my head. As the media tells me constantly, the economy is recovering, the recession is over, and there are plenty of jobs to be had. Elderly Boomers will remind me that my generation is a bunch of narcissistic layabouts who don’t want to work, and we need to “earn our dues” like everyone else.

At the same time, I will resume my education. Perhaps I’ll try for a master’s degree, because as we all know, a person’s intelligence is determined by their highest level of educational achievement. After I’ve completed my degree, I’ll find a comfy, $50,000/year cubicle job with the New York State civil service. The job will be pointless and soul-crushing, but I won’t complain. The men of my parents’ and grandparents’ generations worked far shittier jobs and didn’t piss and moan about it, because after all, they were real men who sacrificed for the greater good.

With the salary from my “real” job, I’ll be able to buy a nice house in Manlius or Skaneateles. My mortgage, combined with my car payments (only losers drive used cars), utilities, student loan payments and other expenses, will eat up my take-home pay and keep me from saving any money. I’ll deal with this, because after all, real men own property.

I won’t be able to afford to pursue my dream of becoming a guitarist, so I’ll settle for playing video games and getting inappropriately drunk with my buddies on the weekends. It’s all for the best anyway, because after all, anyone who’s still in a band after the age of 22 is a Peter Pan who needs to grow up.

When I hit thirty, out of the blue, one of the girls from my high school graduating class will randomly message me on Facebook, asking if I want to go get coffee and catch up. I’ll remember her well—she ignored me when we were in the bloom of youth, preferring to date football players—and I’ll take her up on her offer. Time will not have been kind to her, but I’ll go along anyway because I won’t be able to believe a woman is expressing interest in me. In between her recounting that round-the-world trip she took after she graduated college to “find herself,” we’ll schedule another date, as she reminds me that she expects to be “romanced like a lady.”

After a half-dozen dates, we’ll start having sex. She’ll be even less attractive naked, forcing me to kill the lights and fantasize about the 18-year old blonde who works the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru window so I can get it up. I won’t see anything wrong with this, because after all, only immature boys sleep with hot girls half their age. Real men date accomplished, experienced, independent women.

After a year-and-a-half of awkwardly grinding our genitals together, I’ll pop the question. We’ll have a wedding so lavish and expensive I’ll have to take out three new credit cards to pay for it. That’s okay, because after all, it’s her special day.

We’ll settle in my suburban home and crank out one boy and two girls. After giving birth to each one, she’ll progressively blimp up until she can’t walk up two flights of stairs without getting winded. Since both of us will work, we’ll be forced to rely on TV dinners and take-out food, cursing our children with crippling obesity, not to mention that we’ll have to stick them at the daycare every day after school, ensuring they never see us. I’ll tolerate this, because after all, we need the money to afford a 42″ flat-screen TV and pay off our car loans, and because only a knuckle-dragging misogynist would expect his wife to be a homemaker.

As the years wear on, sex will become less frequent. From multiple times daily when we were dating (along with ample BJs, which she was unusually skilled at delivering), it’ll dwindle to once a day, once a week, once a month, and eventually none at all. Given that she’ll increasingly resemble a hippo with tits, I’ll partially consider this a blessing as I resign myself to jacking off in the shower to visions of the newest teenage blonde working the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru window. I’ll get over it because caring about physical appearance is shallow, and real men think intelligence and confidence are sexy.

Gradually, she’ll force me to give up my various hobbies because “we can’t afford them.” Despite this, we’ll have enough money for her to take the kids on yearly trips to Ocean City while I waste away at work. I’ll put up with this, because after all, um… this is just how it’s supposed to be!

When my oldest son hits junior high, my wife will file for divorce because “we’ve grown apart.” She’ll get half of my stuff, including the house (despite the fact that I bought it with my own money) and we’ll get shared custody of the kids. Struggling under alimony and child support, I’ll be forced to move into a crummy ghetto one-room apartment and use hand-me-downs from Goodwill for furniture. Not long after, she’ll announce that she’s moving to Colorado with her new boyfriend (the lead singer for a Pantera tribute band) and she’s taking the kids with her. I’ll accept this, because after all, real men provide for their children (that they never see). Not all women are like that; I just chose poorly.

I’ll be stuck slaving away until I’m well into my fifties and the youngest kid is out of the house. By then, I’ll have completely given up on life, spending my free time drinking alone and staring a hole through my television. When I finally drop dead of a heart attack at age 62, it’ll take a week for my body to be found, rotting on my moth-eaten couch. My daughters will refuse to attend my funeral, their mother having told them for years what a “thoughtless asshole” I was. My son will deliver a tear-choked eulogy, struggling to rein in his lisp. My corpse will be cremated, the ashes dumped in an urn and subsequently shoved in the back of a closet, never to see daylight again.

But as I lie dying alone and poor in my shitty ghetto apartment, I can at least console myself with this: I will have lived the life of a real man.

Forty years ago, I was faced with a momentous choice. I could have been a thoughtless “kidult,” drifting from country to country, sightseeing, getting drunk and having sex with exotic foreign women who lived to please me. I could have made a living from writing books and affiliate marketing, beholden to no man but myself, able to live anywhere in the world so long as it had Internet access. I could have mastered the guitar and gone on to front an indie band, recording studio albums in my buddy’s basement and winning a cult following, along with legions of devoted groupies. I could have lived a life of hedonism and pleasure that not even the emperors of old could have experienced.

Instead, I chose to be a real man.

Masculinity is not defined by strength, courage, mastery or honor. It’s defined by sacrifice. A guy who stops living for himself and starts living for others, no matter how stupid, selfish and undeserving those “others” are, is a real man. Nobody who exists solely to indulge his desires has any useful wisdom to impart.

So, sorry to disappoint all you budding degenerates who thought I was an inspiring role model, I’m a loser and so are you. Stop whining, get a real job, marry the slut Strong, Independent Woman™ and man up. Society will thank you… eventually.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a bus to catch. Hoping I don’t get stuck next to a Puerto Rican with funky armpits again…

Read Next: Our Only Defense is to Gather as an Army