Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Lesson in Masculinity (or Something)

The Baptist church in town had a Bible study for men one year about manhood and how to be the way that God made you as men and all that.  The leader of the group, or the author of the book they were using talked about motorcycles as one of the ways that he indulged his manliness.  How the motorcycle allowed him to be free, feel powerful, all those things that men like (and I'm only imagining here since I have no idea, really).  During that study a number of the men decided that a motorcycle would be an excellent way to express their manliness as well.  So, in the name of manliness and expression they went out and bought the most manly bikes they could find, Harley-Davidsons.
A few years ago my husband, Justin, got a Harley.  Before that he had a Honda that I had ridden on a few times and, as it was my first time on a bike, I was impressed.  Not really with "the power" but with how safe it actually felt when I knew how easily I could die, or worse be mangled beyond recognition, or like in one of Justin's wrecks get "road rash" and have the doctors peel away burned-up skin from the palms of my hands in a hot tub every day for a week.  Anyway, when he took me on my first ride on the Harley I was impressed, this time it was with "the power."  Even I, a woman, a pacifist, a vegetarian sitting on the back clinging to the "sissy bar," was amazed by the power of that bike.  It was easy to see how easily one could get away from you, or in my case my husband who grew up riding motorcycles.
So when the men from the Bible study at the Baptist church mounted their bikes for the first time, heard the roar from the engines, backed their symbols of masculinity out of their suburban driveways, and turned that throttle they didn't expect what Harley had in store for them.  
"About half out them ended up in ditches, the rest damn near killed themselves," as the story was told to me by my husband.  God love them. 

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