Coming out of the Christmas season I have had a realization about the role of the male in contemporary suburban society. A huge percentage of Americans live in the suburbs, and many smaller cities are really more suburban than urban these days. 100,000 years ago the male may have been in charge of hunting or other primitive man duties, and 100 years ago the man may have been responsible for the family income and the major decisions, but now the primary role of the man, in my view, is Stuff Wrangler.

In case you doubt me on this one, here is a list of some of the ways that the modern male is often expected to wrangle stuff:

  • carrying diaper bags
  • carrying grocery bags
  • carrying shopping bags
  • handling suitcases
  • doing home repair
  • taking care of car maintenance
  • taking out the trash
  • moving furniture
  • walking the dog
  • cleaning the hairball out of the drain
  • killing/removing bugs
  • getting stuff from high shelves
  • opening jars
  • holding the purse in public
  • loading the car
  • driving the car
  • putting lipstick/cell phone/keys/wallet in pockets when going out

This is, of course, an incomplete list, and is not universal, but this is the stuff that I do, my friends do, and that my Dad has always done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, it’s just that I finally saw the pattern. And to be honest it does make me feel like a man to load the car before a long trip.