Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I'm just an ideas man... or maybe I'm an ideas *young* man....

So it's not too uncommon for me to say, "I dunno, I'm just an ideas man." You see, that's what I am. I come up with ideas. I brain storm. I try to think out of the box. I'm not meaning to come to a productive end immediately; I'm just trying to stimulate other ideas. Not everyone seems to understand that when they ask me, "Okay, but how could we do that?" I dunno. I'm just an ideas man.

Now, if I'm on the team doing the thing, then I'm a little more conservative with my wild ideas... But I still think it's productive. The idea to fly helicopters down power lines to shake off the ice came after someone suggested unleashing gorillas to climb up the poles to shake the lines. Someone asked, "How do we get the gorillas there?" And the answer... "By helicopter." Well, if you have the helicopter, then you don't need the gorilla. You see how this works?

Anyway, I want to focus on the "man." I'm 24. I'm not married. I have no kids. However, I pay taxes, I'm independent, I have a small apartment, I have a job (if you can call being a grad student a job), I vote... I do lots of "adult" things. I'm even maybe willing to call myself an "adult." But a "man?"

When does someone like me go from being a "young man" to a "man"? Personally, I don't feel like "young man" seems appropriate. That sort of groups me in with the sophomore doing the keg stand down the street. However, I would feel kind of dirty calling me a "man," and I don't think it would be received well by too many others.

The hosts of the Man Show are certainly men, right? They're in their 30's and have kids and houses.

However, there are people my age that have kids and houses. Hell, that brat on The Apprentice is only 21 and is a millionaire. Is he a man?

I asked this to a girl I know (who is turning 24 in October). She graduated from college earlier than most and is a sort of producer at CNN. She lives in Atlanta and is completely independent. Her response to my question was. "If I knew the answer to that, I'd know where to find men. C'mon now." However, she usually dates people who are in their LATE 20's...

However, she's thinking of heading back to school to get an advanced degree. An old boss of mine who is 29 is heading back to school to start his MS/PhD at Stanford. He's also getting married this summer. I'm technically "ahead" of him academically since I started grad school before him, but he's been working in industry for a number of years and is clearly older than me. Is he a man?

So maybe it has something to do with a rite of passage. Maybe you don't really become a man until you get married and/or have kids. That might be why my friend in Atlanta can't seem to find men; if you could find a man, he'd already be taken. However, Dave Letterman hasn't ever been married and recently had a kid. Does that mean that he only recently became a man? Bill Mahr is in his late 40's, at least, and is not married and has no kids and probably smokes a lot of pot. Is he a man? Why?

So this is puzzling to me...

So maybe I'm not an ideas man. Maybe I'm an ideas young man (or a young ideas man?)... I dunno. Either way, I have no idea, and to any ideas person, that's kinda distressing.

4 comments:

ZuphChic said...

I think "young man" is usually a term used by someone who disapproves of you...same goes for "young woman". So consider yourself a man and work on the adjectives that precede it...ex. handsome man, intelligent man, disgusting man, annoying man...I think you can see where I'm going with this...

Theo said...

The Atlanta girl settled on "guy" and hoped I'd be happy with that...

I think adding the adjective just shifts the problem a bit (in fact, back to the original "ideas man" and "ideas young man" or "young ideas man" thing)... Could I be an "intelligent man?" Or am I only ready to be an "intelligent young man?" As in, "Gee, he's smart, for a young man."

Spice said...

My very first day of college they sat us all down and told us that we were men and _women_, not girls - _women_. _Women!_ It was kind of freaky, but I never called myself or other adult females girls again, and it bothers me when other people do so.

It took a while to feel like I'd fully acquired the status of a 'woman,' though. When I turned 25, a co-worker (who was about 10 years older) told me that she thought your 'you-ness' solidified around 25. I think that's about right - I don't feel any different now (at 30) than when I was 25, but felt a lot different at 25 than I did at 20.

I am woman, hear me roar!

~ange said...

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Side note, why am I only allowed to include hyperlinks on some posts and not all? Does anyone else have this problem?