Q: So… what is a manchild?
A: an insult.
Indeed, its use in our culture has been wide and varied, but let’s start with a general definition.
A manchild is a male adult who does not behave like a male adult. Or, to be more specific, he doesn’t satisfy the qualities society at large would like to see in a male adult…
As in, he:
- Does not know how to change the oil in his car.
- Plays video games regularly.
- Doesn’t own a respectable set of tools.
- Doesn’t DIY home improvement projects—instead, DIY’s his fantasy football league while drinking beer at Buffalo Wild Wings and making immature comments about the waitresses, though lacking the confidence to hit on or approach said waitresses.
- Does not want to get married and/or have kids (sometimes fooled into doing this anyway).
- Does not take the bull by the horns, lacks motivation, and is generally pathetic save for his boyish good looks and the fact he has a decent job.
As far as demographics go, he’s probably white (although not always), comes from a middle to upper class family, and is into sports, video games, comics, porn, nerdy board games, and/or some sort of all consuming outdoor recreational activity.
The manchild confounds modern society in a number of ways.
- He’s not on #ThePlan, which is hard for a lot of people to understand. “Wait, what? You don’t want to get married, buy a house, have 2.5 kids, 0.8 dogs/cats, and a white picket fence? What’s that kind of thing going to do to my HomeDepot stock?”
- He’s not on #ThePlan, while most women his age are, and this too is confounding. “Wait what? You don’t want … and a white picket fence? How many losers are like you out there, and is there some way to identify them before I go on a date with, gulp, a manchild?
- No, because although the manchild is unlike other men in most ways, he still wants to get laid and has enough of a sex drive to do something about it. Plus, there’s JCrew and a bunch of other stores allowing the manchild to look like straightgayman (an incredibly well dressed man who’s straight and normal—basically the unicorn of the female dating world).
- Manchild is smart, unlike the meatheads young men are portrayed to be on most television shows. He’s not a manchild because he lacks the intellect or ability to be a mandult—he’s a manchild because he chooses to play rather than work, or become a slave to #ThePlan.
I know this… because I, myself, am a manchild.
Now look, I tried to go with #ThePlan. I was married for six years, had a kid—everything. Hell, I even did most of the cooking and cleaning and childcare while that was going on (my wife was a doctor in residency)… but alas, it was too much.
I won’t go into the gory details of my divorce (you’ll have to read my next book for that), but the split was as amicable as one could hope for given the circumstances and I dearly love my son—I’m a mandult during time I’ve got him.
But let me just say, the rest of it—relapsing back into a manchild—has been quite lovely.
This blog is dedicated to cataloging my re-entry into the world of dating, women, single parenthood, and observations about society in general. I’ll try not to take things too seriously, and neither should you…
After all, there is still bacon.