Heavy Lifting Grow Up Get a Job Raise a Family and Other Manly Advice

by Jim Geraghty

Author Jim Geraghty Isbn 9781621574149 File size 11MB Year 2015 Pages 256 Language English File format PDF Category Family and Friendship What has happened to men in America Once upon a time men in their twenties looked forward to settling down and having children Today most young men seem infected by a widespread Peter Pan syndrome Unwilling to give up the freedom to sleep late play video games dress like a slob and play the field today s men wallow in an extended adolescence ostens

Publisher :

Author : Jim Geraghty

ISBN : 9781621574149

Year : 2015

Language: English

File Size : 11MB

Category : Family and Friendship


PRAISE FOR

Heavy Lifting
“Finally! Just what we were waiting for: a couple of rightwing gun nuts
who married above their station ask, ‘What Would Ward Cleaver Do?’
The American family will never be the same.”

—JONAH GOLDBERG, senior editor of National Review
and nationally syndicated columnist
“Jim and Cam are, as this book shows, very funny. And their wit packs
wisdom. In describing what a good father looks like, they tell readers
how to be one, and why they might want be one. I certainly never
expected Geraghty to perform a public service, and yet he has. I have
to go lie down now.”

—PEGGY NOONAN, columnist for the Wall Street Journal
and former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan
“Tough problem. Fun reading! Geraghty and Edwards tackle rampant
Peter Pan syndrome with fast-paced writing, goofy recollections, and
plenty of self deprecation. Bottom line: growing up is not the end of life,
folks, but the stuff of life! Suffused with gratitude for their own wives
and children, the whole book is a heartfelt pep talk for young men who’ve
gotten the message that taking the plunge means walking the plank.
Come on in, the water’s fine, say Geraghty and Edwards! Now, if they’d
just take their own advice and move out of my basement . . .”

—MARY KATHARINE HAM, editor-at-large of Hot Air,
contributing editor to Townhall Magazine,
and Fox News contributor
“We live in a time where growing up and becoming a real man is laughed
at, but the authors of Heavy Lifting get it; it’s not our accomplishments in this life that become our defining moments, it’s what we pass
on to our children. Being a father means leaving a legacy, and one that
goes on long after we are gone.”

—STAFF SERGEANT CLINTON ROMESHA,
U.S. Army (Ret.), Medal of Honor recipient

“Boys, it’s time to man up. Heavy Lifting is a hilarious, sound advice
book every man should have. Cam Edwards and Jim Geraghty prove
that growing up and taking responsibility is not only awesome, but the
best way to go through life. There comes a time to buy real clothes,
learn life skills, hold your alcohol, properly date one woman at a time
(and no, Tinder does not count), make serious commitments, and get a
job that can turn into a career. That time is now. Don’t fight the man,
be the man, and for God’s sake, get your own place!”

—KATIE PAVLICH, Townhall.com editor and Fox News contributor
“The thing about being a man that few will tell you, but that comes
through like the Rocky theme in Heavy Lifting, is that being a real man
is a hell of a good time. You get to be the man of the moment. The cando man. The man of action. The man who knows a drink should refine
a man, but never define a man. There is a lot more to it, of course, but
that is why Cam Edwards and Jim Geraghty wrote this book.”

—FRANK MINITER, author of the New York Times bestseller
The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide
“If ever a man was made better by marriage and fatherhood it was Jim
Geraghty. He and his coauthor Cam Edwards prove that growing up,
getting a job, and starting a family aren’t the beginning of your life, but
really the end of it. No—wait. Other way around, right? You’ll have to
read the book to find out.”

—JAMES LILEKS, author, columnist, radio personality,
and blogger at lileks.com

Heavy Lifting

Heavy

Lifting

Grow Up, Get a Job, Start a Family,
and Other Manly Advice
JIM GERAGHTY & CAM EDWARDS

Copyright © 2015 by Jim Geraghty and Cam Edwards
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval
system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from
the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages
in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, website, or broadcast.
Regnery® is a registered trademark of Salem Communications Holding
Corporation
Cataloging-in-Publication data on file with the Library of Congress
ISBN 978-1-62157-414-9
Published in the United States by
Regnery Publishing
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To my sons,
You are my most important work.
—Jim Geraghty, September 8, 2015

To E., for everything.
And to my children, with all my love.
—Cam Edwards, September 8, 2015

CONTENTS
PART I - BREAKING AWAY
1- WARD CLEAVER WAS A STUD

3

2- COLLEGE DOES NOT PREPARE YOU FOR THE REAL WORLD

9

3- GETTING YOUR OWN PLACE

13

4- LIVING WITH ROOMMATES

21

5- VIDEO GAMES AND THE GROWN MAN

27

PART II - LIFE SKILLS 101
6- THE ART OF DRINKING

41

7- CLOTHES AND THE MAN

49

8- THE JOB HUNT

57

9- THE BENEFITS OF GETTING FIRED

67

10- FINDING YOUR VOCATION

75

PART III - LOVE AND MARRIAGE
11- ASKING HER OUT

87

12- GETTING MARRIED

95

13- ADVICE FOR NEW HUSBANDS

107

14- OWNING A HOME

117

15- MARRIAGE IS FOR KEEPS: HOW TO AVOID DIVORCE

125

PART IV - FATHERHOOD
16- FATHERHOOD IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE AVOIDED

141

17- THE GREATNESS OF BEING A DAD

157

18- YOUR ROLE IN THE MOMMY WARS

169

19- HAVING ANOTHER CHILD (OR TWO)

177

20- SCHOOL DAYS

185

PART V - DADS OUT AND PROUD
21- RAISING A RESPONSIBLE REBEL

197

22- DADS GET IT DONE

205

23- SETTLING DOWN ISN’T SETTLING FOR LESS

213

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

219

INDEX

223

Meet Your Guides to Manhood
Jim Geraghty
Raconteur, man-about-the-house, father, journalist,
world traveler. You can trust him.

Cam Edwards
A man with his own national radio show actually
named after him (how cool is that!). Father of five,
man-about-the-farm, armchair historian, and avid gun
owner—you better trust him!

Ward Cleaver
Remember the sort of men who could fix anything
(from a lawn mower to a martini), dress for success
(and achieve it), never complain, make everything
look effortless, marry a perfect wife, lead a moral
life, and be a great dad? That’s Ward Cleaver—he’s
not just a man, but the man and our ultimate channeled authority.

PART I

Breaking Away
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
—E. E. Cummings

Jim

1

Ward Cleaver Was a Stud

Now that I have your attention—and your skeptical
cackling—let me tell you why.
Inevitably, when you make the assertion that
Ward Cleaver was a stud—I know this from experience—people are going to accuse you of wanting to go back to the 1950s.
And that’s not quite what Cam and I are advocating. Let’s skip over
all of the accusations that we’re archaic, stodgy curmudgeons with hopelessly outdated thinking and nostalgia masquerading as advice and ideas.
If you really think we’re advocating for a return to docile housewives
submitting to their husbands, you need to meet Mrs. Edwards and Mrs.
Geraghty.
A loud corner of American culture has been rebelling against the
image of the 1950s since, oh, the 1950s, so this marks our sixth or seventh decade of national cultural insurrection against the Ozzie-andHarriet image of American suburban bliss. It’s almost as if the rebellious
counterculture—which has been the mainstream culture for at least a

Jim

3

4

HEAVY LIFTING

decade or two—needs the 1950s as an opponent to define itself in opposition.
So here’s the first step: Can we at least acknowledge that in the two
generations of rebellion and rejection of that archetypical 1950s suburban dad image, we threw some metaphorical babies out with that bathwater? Can we recognize that for all of his flaws, if today’s men emulated
some of Ward Cleaver’s traits, the world would be a better place?
Even if Ward Cleaver comes across as boring and buttoned-down
compared to today’s pop icons, he’s a man who takes care of business
inside and outside the home. He’s responsible, a man everyone can count
on. We can quibble about whether his methods of fatherhood and being
a good husband are ideal, but it’s indisputable that he loves his wife and
kids and tries to take care of them. He works hard, and we don’t hear
him complaining. His offered wisdom and guidance to the kids might
seem corny or saccharine to today’s ears, but it’s rarely bad advice.*
He’s not rebelling against anything. He’s the man, and he wears that
title with pride.
Even if you don’t remember or care to remember Ward Cleaver of the
show Leave It to Beaver, his name is now synonymous with the image of
the 1950s dads—an image also shaped by Ozzie Nelson of The Adventures
of Ozzie and Harriet, Jim Anderson from Father Knows Best, and, one
could argue, George Bailey in the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. They
were grown-ups who had already been through a Great Depression and
in many cases were veterans of World War II or, later, the Korean War.
Their archetype outlasted the 1950s—Steve Douglas of My Three
Sons, Mike Brady of The Brady Bunch, Howard Cunningham in Happy
Days, Alan Thicke’s Jason Seaver in Growing Pains, Cliff Huxtable in
The Cosby Show. (Let’s just skip over the recent controversies of Bill
Cosby.) Today’s DVR offers a handful of somewhat bumbling successors
like Phil Dunphy on Modern Family and Andre Johnson of Black-ish.
* There’s more sly cynicism than our memories might suggest. From the opening
narration of one show: “You know, it’s only natural for parents to feel proud of
their children. And there’s nothing so fascinating as your own offspring. But when
another parent raves about his children, it’s amazing how you can lose interest.”

Ward Cleaver Was a Stud

5

These men all had flaws, but in the end, they were solid and dependable. The word that probably best summarizes the Ward Cleavers of the
world and their successors is “responsible,” and maybe they seem like
such throwbacks because the rest of our culture has so thoroughly
embraced irresponsibility.
Ask women what they really want to see in a man—well, women
who have grown out of their adolescent fascination with bad boys—and
they won’t say Ward Cleaver, but they’ll describe at least some of his
traits: Reliable. Trustworthy. Smart. Confident, but not smug. Funny
and capable of laughing at himself. Successful at work, but not a workaholic. Likes kids, but is not a kid.
It’s an indisputably masculine figure. It’s alpha male, but a particular brand of alpha status. It’s not a Gordon Gekko “Greed Is Good”
alpha male. There’s not much chest-pounding; the Ward Cleavers of the
world don’t constantly remind people of what they want to be; they
already are who they want to be.
A man who’s constantly telling other people what a nice guy he is
isn’t really all that nice. A guy who insists he’s funny isn’t all that funny.
And a guy who constantly feels the need to showcase his confidence in
himself probably has deep-rooted, hidden anxieties. If you feel the need
to flaunt something, you don’t really have it.
Ward Cleaver knows it’s not a sign of weakness to admit he’s wrong,
when he is, and to make amends. He considers that natural honesty and
courtesy. He’s respectful to those who rank above him, but isn’t afraid
to respectfully speak his mind.
And make no mistake, most women like, appreciate, and prefer an
indisputably masculine man who takes earned, quiet pride in who he is.*
Ward Cleaver isn’t flamboyant, and he wouldn’t have much respect
for the transformation of the word “drama.” Somewhere along the line,
the word “drama” stopped meaning just a type of performance and came
to mean a consistent aura of controversies, disputes, spats, hurt feelings,
* A bit of perfect irony: back in 1999, Vice President Al Gore hired feminist
commentator and author Naomi Wolf to advise him on shaking the “beta
male” image.

6

HEAVY LIFTING

miscommunications, rivalries, and other emotionally fraught headaches.
If you know people with a lot of “drama,” well, I’m sorry. They’re often
exhausting to be around, pulling you onto their own internal psychic
hamster wheel of perpetual outrage, usually relating to their infinite
capacity for indignation over someone else’s lack of respect for them.
Ward Cleaver ain’t got time for that. In fact, there’s a remarkable
lack of drama around a Ward Cleaver type. He can act quickly, but he’s
not impulsive; he makes the best decision he can with the information
he has at the time and acts, and accepts the consequences.
Perhaps most important, he takes responsibility—for himself and
for those who depend on him. He doesn’t make excuses. He doesn’t
whine, fume, or brood in defeat; he knows that his hard work and persistence will eventually win the day, if not this day.
And there’s a lot he’s simply outgrown. He never had any interest in
perpetuating his own adolescence. He’s a grown-up who accepts marriage and fatherhood as the life of an adult.
Now, we’re not saying that Ward Cleavers of the world are offlimits to criticism, mockery, or lampooning. We’re just pointing out that
there was a time not that long ago when men were expected to work
hard, make a good living, be good husbands and neighbors and friends,
and raise and be the role models for the next generation of young men.
Sure, laugh at them, but remember they’re what the world is built on. If
all the slackers in the world disappeared tomorrow, the video game
industry would collapse. If all the Ward Cleavers of the world disappeared tomorrow, civilization would collapse.
Deadbeat dads, slacker ManChildren “failing to launch,” commitment-phobic boyfriends stringing along their girlfriends as the biological
clock ticks louder and louder—Cam and I aren’t going to be able to solve
every problem in the world in this book.
But what we can do is tell every guy out there that “growing up”—a
career, a wife, kids—is not a trap. Working your way to a mortgage,
getting married, being a father, are probably the best things that will ever
happen to you. Our culture snickers at Ward Cleaver types, but it is
propagating a myth when it paints them as boring, stifled, miserable,

Ward Cleaver Was a Stud

7

hollowed-out men, yearning for their carefree bachelor days and regretting all their commitments. What leaves a man depressed and hollow
inside is not attachments but the lack of them.
Come on: gainfully employed, married, a dad—you have no idea
how great your life can be. But we’re about to show you.

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