“I have a personal question.” This is Crystal, my coworker—actually, she works for me. Her voice is barely above a whisper. She’s treading on dangerous ground. This is the first conversation we’ve had. “Why is there a bird on your truck?”

A couple of years ago, I drilled a pair of holes into my truck-bed side-rail and bolted on a metal crow. It’s substantial, about eight inches tall. Probably the size of an actual crow.

“Um, I don’t know. It’s a goof. I’m just having fun.”

But this isn’t true. The crow has a purpose. The same purpose as the forty-some stickers covering the tailgate, the bumper, the back window, my rear fenders. The same purpose as the bicycle cog hanging from my rear-view mirror. And the two lapel buttons pinned to my sun-visor—one says “PUNK” the other says “ROCK.” And, of course, the metal praying mantis crimped onto the end of the radio antenna.

There *is* a purpose. There’s a reason for all of this. But I’m not entirely sure what it is.

I’ve just started a new job. It’s an important job, an “executive” position. I’m the Director of Operations of a successful Charter School in Gettysburg. I’m a role model for the children. My presence is supposed to put the parents at ease. Garner respect from the teachers. I’m an adult. I think I’m expected to act like one.

When I switched jobs, I changed my wardrobe, as well. You could argue that my last job, the Finance Director of a YWCA was also an executive position, but the place was a fitness center and a childcare. Everything was always a little gross, sort of dirty. It made me want to dress casually. I wore shorts and a button-up short sleeve shirt. I dressed exactly the way I would dress to go to a barbecue. It’s what I wear when I hang out at the farmers market on Saturday morning. My work attire displayed all of my tattoos.

For my interview, I went shopping at Kohl’s. I bought a dress shirt and a tie. I even bought a blazer. I own ties and jackets, but they’re all thirty years old. I bought them the last time I dressed like an adult. I’m guessing they’re out of style. The ties certainly are. Things are skewing skinny again.

My truck, my shorts, my tattoos. They’re my way of putting a stake in the ground. A line in the sand. They’re my shallow, immature symbols that I haven’t sold out. My way of showing I still have spirit, maybe integrity. But now I’m wearing trousers. I’m wearing a dress shirt and a tie. As the weather cools off, I’ll even add a jacket.

With my tattoos covered. I look exactly like everyone else. Now, what do I do about my truck?

A version of this post was previously published on jefftcann.com and is republished here with permission from the author.


Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood

Talk to you soon. If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.

Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.

Photo credit: Jeff Cann

The post Adulting? appeared first on The Good Men Project.
#IMMATURE #CASUAL #Culture #FeaturedContent #Introspection
IMMATURE CASUAL Culture FeaturedContent Introspection