For your consideration - Thom Barker

For your consideration - Thom Barker

Is it wrong to feel manly for fixing stuff?


I know I’ll likely get slammed for perpetuating gender stereotypes, but I had occasion recently to feel very “manly.”

I have learned over the years that people have very little control over how they feel about things. Just about the worst thing you can do if someone is already feeling bad is tell them they shouldn’t feel that way because even if they know it’s irrational, it is still how they feel.

In any event, I know I shouldn’t have felt manly for what I accomplished because it certainly was not something solely within the domain of manly men.

Call it a product of when and how I grew up, but it is, in fact, how I felt.

I’ve never really been much of a manly man. When other boys were busy tinkering with engines, power tools and construction, I was busy tinkering with paintbrushes, words and guitar strings.

So, when the push start on my car started getting finicky, it never occurred to me to try to fix it myself. And I certainly wasn’t going to take it into the shop for a $1,000 replacement.

I just put up with it taking a couple, a few or, more recently, a few dozen pushes to get it going.

I’d probably still be putting up with it had it not been for the gentle and patient prodding of another individual who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty.

Said individual found a YouTube video of someone fixing the push start on the exact make, model and year of my car.

It was a ridiculously simple solution, but it did take some finesse to take it apart and put it back together.

I still can’t believe it worked, but the sense of accomplishment was enormous.

So much so, in fact, that it inspired me to also fix the air conditioning.

That also blew me away how simple it was, but (rightly or wrongly) multiplied my feelings of manliness.

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