If you are able to get on my Facebook page you'll see that a couple of guys have been giving me all kinds of grief about eating the occasional scone with my cup of coffee in the morning.
They're shocked that I would admit this kind of behavior to the world, I guess. Maybe they would prefer I live by the "don't ask - don't tell" principle.
And they insist that a scone is a sissy thing to eat in the morning. A real man will eat a breakfast that basically, if I understand this, is a plate piled high with eggs, hashbrowns, gravey, and some kind of creative melted cheese combination. The sort of meal that would immediately send a calorie counter or fat gram-o-meter into overload...blow the circuits.
A friend at work -a male friend- has been turning up his nose at my enjoyment of scones for weeks. Yesterday on Facebook the whole thing got way out of control. Lots and lots of trash talking directed my way.
Which brings us to Chris Ballard's article in the March 15th issue of Sports Illustrated. The article in SI is titled "The Metaphysical Significance, Staggering Ubiquity and Sheer Joy of High Fives." The sub-sub title (is there such a thing?) is "The low five, the high 10, the low 10, the forearm bash, the fist bump, the flying chest bump, the shug, the leaping shoulder carom, the ass slap, the pound, the man hug, the dap, the volleyballer's smack-'em high and smack-'em low, the gimme-skin slider, the helmet head butt, the soul shake, the body slam and the grip-and rip."
Whew. Oh, my...
Now here's the thing: Professor Mark T. Morman of Baylor University has "spent years analyzing male-to-male communication." He says all this high fiving and chest bumping is a sign of love in male friendships. "Punching somebody in the arm or punching somebody in the chest, that doesn't look very affectionate, mainly because we tend to frame affection in very feminine ways - hugging, kissing, soft touching. So when a guy punches another guy or pushes or shoves him or wrestles him to the ground, it's covert affection, but it's real."
I've been saying this for years. Visitors to Trinity will hear me and my friends verbally "high fiving" or "chest bumping" one another. We talk trash to one another. Give each other such a hard time. And it almost always a sign of affection. Hassling one another is how men show love.
Years ago a newcomer to Trinity observed an exchange between me and a man in the church. When I walked down the hall, the newcomer turned to the TUMC member and said, "What is going on with you and Fenstermacher? How come you and he are fighting?" The man looked surprised and laughed. "Oh, there's nothing wrong: we're just really good friends."
So if you log on to my Facebook page, you'll see a page full of crazy little barbs about "how can a real man eat scones?" I smiled when I read those comments. Because I know I have some great buddies.
Think I'll get a cup of hazelnut coffee and a wild blueberry scone. (Deal with it, boys.)