Okay... but what about this?

COMMENT / QUESTION: An interesting comment with a question was left on the last post "Definition of a Bum" and I wanted to reply on the post screen.

-What about the times when the definition of a bum is not so plain? What distinguishes a "bum" from a dude who's down on his luck for an extended period of time, or are they one and the same?

GARLAND: I think this is a very good question [not that any questions are bad, but...]

I certainly feel for guys that get down on their luck. With the economy the way it is, with jobs sometimes hard to get and keep - I certainly don't consider men that have fallen on hard times, BUMS. I just don't. And I'm not totally against a man asking his girlfriend for A LITTLE help once or maybe twice (especially if he's gone to his 'boys' first).

I think a decent man would be pretty reluctant to ask his lady for help, because that is just the nature of a manly man. But if times are REALLY hard and the wolf is at the door, the need for a few hundred dollars here or there over a month or so might make all the difference. But I think a decent guy will go out of his way to make his girlfriend feel comfortable about giving him some cash - maybe signing a promissary note and maybe giving her his gameplan to get a new job. A decent guy will be very humble when asking, he'll be appreciative when receiving and most of all HE'LL PAY IT BACK WHEN HE SAYS!!!

Not to keep beating up on the young lady that left the last question... but a guy that is down on his luck, and having a brief period with little to no income - will NOT want to go out and be treated by his lady every weekend; he will NOT waste $2000 of his lady's money running his mouth on a cellphone; he will NOT spend time running around the country prentending to look for jobs; he will NOT use his woman's money in hair-brained get-rich-quick schemes and most of all he will NOT get mad at his lady when she mentions his repayment plan!!! THIS KIND OF MAN IS A BUM!

A decent man that is down on his luck, is going to be frugal with the money he is loaned; he is going to look hard and legitimately for work to get back on his feet; he is simply going to be appreciative of his woman's kindness, generosity and faith.

So no, a guy that is down on his luck is not the same thing as a bum. A BUM wants to stay where he is and a guy that is down on his luck WILL do something to better is situation.


Anonymous said...

AMEN! GARLAND, you aint lied yet!

Shai said...

There are men with money who are bums. There are men who are struggling because they cannot get past being a bum to make themselves better.

SimplEnigma said...

As I said, the situation posed was a straightforward one, but I have a friend who is a househusband - he stays home, minds the kids, cooks, cleans, etc. and his wife who is a Sr. exec at a large company is the money making person.

Obviously, she's the one paying the bills, etc., because they decided that they didn't want their kids to be raised by some strangers.

Her family thinks the dude is a bum. He considers himself taking on a non-traditional role. There are more househusbands now than before, and they pretty much all get labeled as bums.

You set some pretty specific criteria for what qualifies as a bum. What are your thoughts on this?

SimplEnigma said...

I forgot to add, you said, "a decent man would be pretty reluctant to ask his lady for help, because that is just the nature of a manly man", but isn't that a) based on traditional gender roles, and b)reinforcing the stereotype of the I-can-do-it-all-without-any-help man?

Chuck and Garland (What Are Men Thinking?) said...


Your friend's situation is indeed interesting, with being a stay at home dad. No, in my book he's not a bum. Taking care of kids and a house and cooking and cleaning is hard and legitimate work. If him and his wife are happy - then God bless them!

So many folks, including myself [sometimes] look at things in kind of that old school - men are the bread winners kinda' way. But the reality is - sometimes wives are the major bread winners too, and families have to step outside the traditional norms.

Me - personally, I wouldn't consider this guy a bum at all, unless he just flat out REFUSED to get a job!!! But if he's taking care of home and that is the MUTUALLY agreed upon family plan - then he's cool in my book!

You also said...
"a decent man would be pretty reluctant to ask his lady for help, because that is just the nature of a manly man", but isn't that a) based on traditional gender roles, and b)reinforcing the stereotype of the I-can-do-it-all-without-any-help man?"

My answer...
Yes. and Yes.

I haven't adopted a 21st century 'politically correct' view on gender yet. Meaning - I still think of men as getting up and leaving the house to go and work! My great grand father did it, my grandfather did it, my father did it, I do it. To ME that is just something that a man does. But that is MY opinion, I know other people [like your friend] do things differently and it is our differences that make the world go round. No one shoe is going to fit every foot.

As far as "I-can-do-it-all-by-myself..." goes. You'll find a LOT of men that feel this way. Men who feel that the struggles and pressures of life should be borne upon their shoulders alone. Now while you may have MANY women that don't want their men to take the burdens alone... that doesn't change how these men feel - and I can relate to them 100%. Now on the flip side, you have some men that at the first sign of pressure - they fold-up and fall like a house of cards. Some of these men can do very little on their own... they quit jobs because the boss yelled at them; they burn up the family savings to buy a car because they can't handle a 30 minute bus ride to work; they refuse to work because they are too busy trying to be a rapper... these guys just aren't suited to even THINK about going at it alone.


SimplEnigma said...


Points well taken...:)

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