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Monday, March 30, 2009

The Mysterious Male

Greetings, KuKd Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

There's this KuKd blog that Heather, one of my cool cat readers, alerted me to. It's written exclusively by - get this - a DUDE! I'm talking a real live DUDE with pectorals and all (presumably). I've gotten rather addicted to it, this blog. I love all of its dude-like qualities: the dude-like font. The dude-like color scheme. The minimalistic design.

Even the words themselves are minimalistic in a dude-like way - not high-end literature or anything - but just saying with brutal and concise honesty what needs to be said, not adding extra fluffy details. Meticulously including the details that matter. Unlike many of the men I know, this is a dude who openly and expressively FEELS! By that, I mean he is experiencing lasting ramifications of his wife's knocked-downage a year or so ago, and putting that experience into very dude-like words. Not so many words to make it a female blog, where things are so often expressed using as many adjectives and needless repetitions and circuitous routes as possible. No no, much more economical than that.

Right now this blog has four followers, all women. I'm one of those, of course, and there's Heather and Sarah too, both blog readers-o-mine. Anytime there are comments on this KuKd dude's posts, they're usually from one or more of the four of us, responding not just to him but to each other, clucking and cooing around him like nosy and nurturing hens. He's like our own personal pet male project: a KuKd man in need of comfort!

You see, I've never really been able to cluck and coo around Kevin. Just doesn't happen. I mean I do over little things, like if it sounds like he's getting a cold or something, but just so terribly much over the Kukd. There's a chapter in my manuscript where I discuss the mysteriousness of ordinary, Pabst-drinking, Sports-Center-watching guys when they're hit with something as traumatic as stillbirth. How do those ordinary, Pabst-drinking, Sports-Center-watching guys grieve when a shit-bomb gets dropped on their heads? How do they feel? How do they express what they feel? They don't cry very much, that's for sure. At least, Kevin did a few times, but none of the all-out, blowing-your-nose-on-the-pillow-case-while-cussing-out-jesus kind that I did.

Kevin is what I would consider an "ordinary dude" by most measures (except kinder, gentler, smarter, and more into Harry Potter than most "ordinary dudes"). I distinctly recall having this type of conversation frequently after our Shitty Event:

Me: "How ya doing?"
"Doin' arright."
"But I mean, are you really really sure?"
"Yup. What else do you want me to say?"

He sort of got that cornered-rabbit look about him, like I was digging and prying and pressing for just..MORE. There had to be more, damn it! More female emotional complexity layered under that tough exterior! After lots of conversations like that, I was left to assume that he was - in fact - fine. Or at least, as fine as I was ever going to know. My parents and friends would pry me for more information (no really, how IS Kevin??), as though I had some kind of secret spousal access to his brain that nobody else had. But I didn't. All I could say was, Kevin seems pretty much fine.

It's not that he didn't grieve in his own way. He did. I think there were other things he was grieving besides just the loss of the baby. There was the fact that he suddenly had no control over anything, no devices to really help me or himself or anyone else. All of his conventional and pragmatic wisdom about how to contribute to the relationship, how to protect me and the burgeoning baby, no longer were relevant. He's a guy. A straight-up, son-of-a-Marine-Corps-colonel, beer drinking, sports-watching, boxers-wearing, boob-loving guy. Not the type to ever do a blog or sit and talk to me for hours about his feelings. I always wanted to wrest more emotion out of him - more deep and poignant thoughts - than I was ever able to do. Which perhaps is why I gobble up this KuKd dude's blog like one gigantic In-and-Out burger.

I should add that those are the very qualities I love about my husband. They are some of the things that drew me to him in the first place. God, if he talked and emoted as profusely as I do, I'd probably feel closed in and die. It's the exact kind of guy I'm drawn to - all of my guy friends except this one anomaly at work are that way. Aggravatingly-yet-endearingly practical, pragmatic, economical with words and ways, always on an even keel, chilled out. There's something just awesomely sexy about that, in my opinion.

Anyway...not that this aforementioned blogger isn't sexy in his own way. He is. It's because the things he says, the word he uses, are the things and words that would be used by the kind of guy I just described. Someone who doesn't say much in person, keeps those roller-coaster emotions in check, but rants about it anonymously online.

Speaking of which, the anonymousness brings a whole new element of mystery. Who knows, really, if this guy is really a guy at all? Maybe it's a housewife named Marge, or a famous chef named Maryama, or a teen girl skipping school and making up a new persona. It sort of got me thinking: it would actually be oddly cathartic to start a totally anonymous blog, and rant and rave about stuff on it, without caring what people say or think.

I could promote it on this blog, posting something about this "awesome, ranty new blog I just discovered..," not letting on that it was really mine! How cool would that be! It would be like Clark Kent and Superman! Interestingly, I know of one other dude with an anonymous ranty-ravey blog (well, not anonymous to me, obviously) - and he's just the type. Cool as a cucumber in his everyday real life, ever-reasonable and rational, and then unleashing his dramatic fury in a safe and disguised setting (and yes, he does fall into the "awesomely sexy" category too, for all of the things I just described. I wonder how HE'D handle stillbirth).


I probably shouldn't be talking about stillbirth, miscarriage, awesome sexiness, and ranti-raviness all in the same post. This just feels wrong somehow. I think jesus might be hovering over and watching me with disapproving eyes.

In conclusion, I've successfully figured out nothing about how ordinary-Pabst-drinking-Sports-Center-watching dudes grieve, not unraveled the mystery of the elusive Dead Baby Daddy perspective a single inch. So if you have anything useful to add, bring it baby, bring it!

Off to crank up the electric blanket to the highest level and go night-night.


sharonvw said...

I asked W how he felt when our BFN from IVF was confirmed last week, u know what he said? He feels helpless watching my heart break!!! WTF?? Dude, its your loss too, how do you feel about that NOT about me?
I just think they're wired differently too us!

*~*Lis*~* said...

So I haven't read your post yet 'cuz you sent me else wear - I have a feeling the new Dude is going to have a few more followers by the time the days over.

Brenna said...

Yep, he just got another follower here. Definitely cool to hear that dudish perspective--I always appreciate it when guys speak up at our support group meetings for this very reason. Thanks for the tip, Monica!

Chris said...

I'm also a regular reader / follower of your blog, and I'm a male (different from the Chris who commented a few days ago).

Shannon and I have not been kuk'd but we did require medical help to conceive, so I hope I'm welcome here. I read the stories from you and your community, and I learn, empathize, laugh, and feel sad. I read and I root for you to catch a break and/or find peace and happiness in the midst of the crappiness.

You write beautifully, and it's important for me to read and try to understand your experience. Thanks for sharing.

Monica LeMoine said...

Shaz - yes, they are wired differently, those men we love.

Lis - that's not allowed! No more Cool KuKd blog links for you unless you promise to read my posts thoroughly and with conviction! ;-)

Monica LeMoine said...

Chris: I love you. I love you, love you love you love you. You've made my morning, which wasn't a good morning, because I had bad oatmeal at Denny's and my honey's out of town so I had to sleep with a carving knife and a phone next to my bed. I repeat: I love you, so please don't go anywhere. :-)

Michelle said...

My husband has been the same way. Occasionally I will get a glimpse when he says things that he talked to a friend about and then it amazes me because I did not even know he thought of those things. I think he just doesn't want to weigh me down with it. He wants to be the big tough man and I let him because I like that. :) I am heading over to that blog now. Thanks for sharing it.

Cara said...

My dude isn't a beer drinker...he's more the "I think of her when I'm..." TractorRiding-Bale Throwing - Running-The-Saw kind of guy.

Same thing - just different.

Chris said...

You are too kind. I'm glad to be part of your inquisitive guest community.

I, like many males, have a hard time processing and expressing hurt or grief. I haven't cried in many years. Embarassingly, the movie Marley and Me took all my strength to keep from breaking down. The ending hit way too close to home.

"numb_was_better" said...

Thanks........... Oh and I am male and I drink scotch not beer.

Monica LeMoine said...

Numb Was Better:

You drink scotch, which means you're sexy. I love you and don't go anywhere. In fact, you'd better remain anonymous, given the droves of fans I'm sending your way (you're welcome), or you'll soon have stalkers at your door. ;-)

Heather said...

I can vouch for Numb...he is a male. I know him in real life.

My husband is the sports center type of guy too. He's not hugely macho or anything, but he is very private. Other than the day I gave birth I've only witnessed tears twice. Once I walked in and caught him crying (reading my blog early on) and the other was last night...after we received an afghan in the mail as a rememberabce for Logan. And he never did bawl. But I knew he was crying...not sure how he manages to suck all the tears in though. But I ask him how he's doing and I get the same answers "fine, ok" or he just shrugs or makes this face. You know, the one we all make when there just aren't words. Sometimes he tells me he's having "a bad Logan day" but we don't talk about it, and I try not to pry. I'm trying to get him to blog too...I don't see that happening. He probably would if I wasn't going to read it. LOL!! Although, he might if he thinks chic's will find that sexy! LOL! I'll have to tell him that. He does get on here and read random blogs that I follow on occasion. I know he does because once in a while he'll mention something that I know I didn't tell him, or haven't read yet. I cornered him the other day about it, and he did admit to reading someones. I forget who now. I bet he read's Numbs too since he knows it's a guy. Hmm... Sneaky little grievers.