There are several obvious things that men are universally drawn to: women, sports, food, and watching bloody movies. And then there are some that are less obvious, but just as common: made-up handshakes and insulting/weird nicknames for each other, lying around for a good solid hour when we get home from work everyday, and not noticing little details like the pillows on the couch being out of place.
And here’s another one that is rarely noticed or acknowledged: Men are wired to want to help people move. A few weeks ago I helped my good friend and neighbor Dave move to a rental apartment as he and his wife are in the process of building their first house. I was expecting to see just a few more of our friends there. Instead, there were about 20 of us there that Saturday morning.
As I run in my neighborhood, there have been several instances in the last few weeks where I encountered people who needed help moving a new TV or a shelf from their car into their house. They saw a sweaty guy running laps and assumed I can handle the job. I just hope they didn’t mind their TV smelling like sweat.
I have never been bothered by anyone who has everyone asked me to help them move. In fact, in a way it’s almost an honor to be recruited: There are unspoken, underlying, suggested compliments which translate to “You’re a strong guy/I need your strength/you are needed/you have what it takes/not just anyone can do this job for me, but you can”.
It doesn’t require a lot of strength or skill from a man. But it does require a man who’s willing to forgo sleeping in on a Saturday morning, showing up in a cheesy t-shirt with sleeves cut off exposing his random bicep tattoo. And while females are definitely capable of helping a person move, it’s a calling that men instantly respond to. Like the same magnetic force causing men’s fists to want to punch Spencer Pratt in the face, it also draws them to pick up an end of the couch and cautiously walk backwards towards the truck.
Deprived of using our able bodies in the modern work force (most of us sit in front of a computer all day), our male ancestors actually “worked” for a living. They got a daily workout by farming and building the cities we now live in. Life in air conditioning is nothing to complain about, but there is the lack of physical stress that makes a person desire to actually use their muscles; hence gym membership and hobbies involving sports.
Men must move for things to happen. Whether it’s moving off the recliner and involving himself with his family, or moving his family to where he can find a better job to provide for them. Maybe it all goes back to the action figures we had as kids. We didn’t mimic family life the way our sisters did with Barbies and baby dolls. Our GI Joes, Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars action figures were on a mission. To kick some bad guy butt.
Men are action figures.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: