I wrote a mini-blog to post before The Cure concert in St. Paul. It's the first time they have played in Minnesota in 20 years and I am very excited to see them perform. I hear they have been playing over 30 songs from their extensive catalog. Their 1992 album "Wish" is currently playing on my computer as I remember how I was introduced to them in high school. They were outsiders, outcasts, and "alternative weirdos" ...and that was just perfect for me! I've never really been one to conform to normal expectations.
- Friday, I'm In Love - As I write and listen to the music, I think about all of the guys I work with. Guys have it tough. We're supposed to "fight with our right hands, and caress with our left hands." We are required to play the chameleon between the jocks, nerds and geeks. Social norms, via commercials, social media and myths create pressure on us to play the tough guy and to not ever cry or to even feel emotions. "Suck it up". "Stop crying like a baby". "Real men don't cry."
- In Between Days - Guys have to play so many different roles and sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between them. Navigating the confusing and complicated world of the "Sensitive New Age Guy" (SNAG) is a task not for the light-hearted. How can we emotionally connect with our partner and be a "tough guy" at the same time?
- Hot Hot Hot!!! - I literally cannot even imagine what it must be like to be a teenage boy right now. Unbelievably massive peer pressure from friends, academic and school stress, athletic and creative pressure from coaches and directors, not to mention hormones and puberty! It's no wonder many of our young men escape into drugs, sex, or video game addiction.
- Just Like Heaven - After working with teenage boys and men for so many years, I do know this. We really want to do well. We want to impress you. We want to succeed in everything we do. And when we don't, it can be devastating to our self esteem. Show me show me show me how you do that trick. The one that validates us for trying. The one that holds our hand when we're sad. The one that sits silently while we try to process what just happened.
- Pictures Of You - It's so important to support each other through tough times. And I believe in the concept of how important the greetings and good-byes are in relationships. And Tuesday night, as I'm dancing to the music of a band who has provided the soundtrack for the brokenhearted, the discontent and the boy in the corner, please let us cry. Let us cry hard. Let us cry deep. Let us cry loudly. Boys do cry.
Now, let's go to bed.