Unwritten rules for men can be confusing

By Jack Godbey

Community columnist

It seems that we have all altered our lives a bit recently with all the limits on travel and interactions with others. Because of this, I have limited my travels to include going to work and then back home. This is not a huge ordeal for me as I would rather spend time at home than just about anywhere. 

Before the travel limitations, I have to admit to being a bit of a couch potato. Now, by going home and sitting on the couch, it’s no longer considered lazy. I am all of a sudden being socially responsible. I’ll take that excuse. 

I finally grew tired of eating Chef Boyardee out of the can and decided it was time to venture out to the store to pick up some needed supplies. Before going inside, I went over the ground rules in my head. Stay six feet apart; no unnecessary contact; and my main goal was to get in and get out as quick as I could. 

I had not been in the store for five minutes before running into a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. With this not being the right time or place to catch up, I gave him a head nod, which is the universal sign for, “Yes I recognize your presence but don’t want to talk.” 

Obviously, he was not fluent in universal signs as he came over and struck up a conversation anyway. We stood there and talked for a minute. The whole time we spoke, we were involved in some type of weird dance as he would take a step forward and I would take a step back trying to maintain the required distance between us. 

Before moving on, we made the customary man promise to each other that we would “Take it easy.”

On the drive home, I began to think about the different rules that men follow. It’s nothing written in any way mind you, but every man seems to know about these man codes. 

For example, in a public bathroom, you always have to keep an empty urinal between you and another man. It’s just an unspoken understanding between men. 

In addition, there is no talking in the bathroom and for goodness sake no touching of any kind.  Another rule men follow is that it is never appropriate to throw away bacon or pour out a beer. Some things are sacred. 

A man is never allowed to give himself a nickname. Those things have to be earned. So if you come across someone nicknamed “Stinky bean,” “Rump” or “Cockroach” you can imagine the story behind it. 

Another rule for men to follow is that a man should never order BBQ from a restaurant that also serves Tofu. There’s no way they can do both and do them well. Men are funny creatures and we seem to be territorial at times. You can do about anything you want without raising our anger unless you touch our car or BBQ grill. That calls for war. 

I have found myself at times gathered in a herd of men all complaining about women and how complicated they are. I have to laugh a little when I hear this because men often think of themselves as simple creatures. 

Well, a little testosterone can complicate most situations and turns out men aren’t simple at all. We have all sorts of self-inflicted rules that most women would find silly.  I would like to discuss it more but I have to go BBQ something.