One annoying thing about the systematic demasculization of the American male over the last 40 years is the loss of expectation for men to act like protectors of their women and their castle -- the three boyfriends who gallantly sacrificed themselves for their women in the Colorado shooting being obvious exceptions. .
Our society has de-emphasized a man's need to protect and defend largely because (under the sway of the Blue Pill) it was Assumed that men who knew such arcane matters of violence were more likely to use them to do violence to women than protect women from violence. Along with the "equalization" of Marriage 2.0 came the idea that it wasn't a man's responsibility, necessarily, to go down the stairs with a baseball bat in the middle of the night in response to a strange noise.
Of course, while that was the Blue Pill narrative, the Red Pill reality was that women who witnessed their husbands, in a fit of equality, hand the baseball bat back them, they lost attraction for their dudes regardless of who eventually went down the stairs to confront the intruding zombies.
Now I'm not saying it's every man's responsibility to ensure the safety of every woman, regardless of the circumstances -- but when it comes to your wife, your home, your castle -- you'd better be able to protect and defend it, independent of the police or "security systems". Because if you can't, it doesn't matter how witty you are at dinner parties or how much money you make, you have failed in one of the primary -- and primal -- gender-deliniated duties of our species. Protecting the nest.
I'm also not saying run out and buy a gun, unless you're into that sort of thing. There are certainly advantages to firearm ownership, but I'm not going to make a case for home defense that way. Because the best defense isn't a .357 Magnum, it's discouraging potential intruders in the first place, and then keeping them out.
In my case, Stately Ironwood Manner had a security hole, one that's been gnawing on me for some time. The home was built in 1963, you see, and while it has been remodeled repeatedly since then, it still retained the original 1963 aluminum sliding glass door leading to the back yard. I'm sure it was cutting edge technology, back before men landed on the moon, but almost fifty years of use has reduced it to a barely-sealable shadow of it's former robust self. My eight-year-old demonstrated that a few weeks ago, when breaking into the sliding glass door proved easier than walking around the house to the carport door.
So . . . security flaw. Not an obvious one, but just enough of one to create worry. In me and in Mrs. I. It wasn't a high priority, and we don't have anything of obvious value worth stealing, but still -- our perimeter was vulnerable, and we both knew it. I had the choice of rigging yet-another jerry-rigged repair, or the alternative. Whatever that was.
So last week, a few days after our anniversary, Mrs. Ironwood spent the weekend at her mother's house to help her recuperate from hand surgery. I took the opportunity, while she was gone, to rip out the old sliding glass door and install double French doors (which, while technically aren't as secure as sliding glass doors, open up the room dramatically, don't leak, and have no less than three locking mechanisms for peace-of-mind.
It sounds so simple to say that "Rip out the old glass doors and replace them with French doors", like I was painting a hallway. What it ended up being was a seven-hour project for me and the children, from start to finish.
It was a real bonding experience for me and the kids. It was a secret surprise from Mommy, for one -- and that's never a bad thing -- not to mention the opportunity to tear up part of the house and then use power tools. When we finally were done installing the locks and cleaning up the glass, we were all justifiably proud of our accomplishment. (Kids are 8, 10, and 12, for those keeping score).
But the fun part was the reveal: Mrs. Ironwood walking in after dealing with her mother on drugs for three days, and seeing a beautiful set of french doors where the ugly old gray aluminum monstrosity used to look. The double-take. The dropped jaw. The hug. I had hung a "Anniversary Present #2" sign on it, and then the kids gave a dramatic blow-by-blow account of how we'd done it. And I was proud to show off my half-way decent job of hanging a door without calling my brother Andy.
But that's not what was Alpha about the whole thing. The Alpha part was when we were alone, and she bit her lip and asked "How much?"
And I said, "Enough so that I feel very, very secure now."
"Why? There are so many other--"
"It needed to be done," I shrugged, interrupting. "There was a hole in our perimeter. I fixed it. And it looks pretty."
"I know, I know, it's just . . . I didn't even have that on your list yet!"
"Which is why it made the perfect anniversary present. Tonight you will sleep knowing that we won't be attacked by anyone as smart as an eight-year-old and murdered in our beds. That should bring you some solace. Although I'm not planning on you getting a lot of sleep, hint, hint."
"It does," she nodded, and kissed me for a while. Details are unimportant. But later she added, "It makes me hot when I know you're looking out for us like that. My protector. And you had to lift heavy things and use power tools and a sledgehammer." Aww! She knew what a sledgehammer was! My little debutante has been paying attention to something other than my manly biceps. Mrs. Ironwood can use tools. That doesn't make her a natural tool user, and she's suitably impressed by that sort of thing. "And you can barely even tell where you chipped the brick on the one side! I'm very, very impressed. Especially when we could have spent that money on a weekend of hotel sex, for instance."
"See, now I'm reconsidering," I admitted. I suppose I hadn't thought about that.
"Don't," she encouraged. "It was perfect. And practical. And Alpha. And romantic, in a fucked-up sort of way. Of course, the girls at work aren't going to see it that way -- but I told them about the picture frame--"
"See? I told you Part I was going to be something you can show off! Part II you can show off, too. It's just not as overtly romantic. Just wait until you see part III of your present," I assured her, smugly. "You'll forget all about the French doors."
"Then go ahead and give it to me!" she urged, the way my daughter does when I won't tell her a secret.
"It's not done yet. Besides, I want to bask in your appreciation for the French doors for a while. I freakin' earned it today."
Secure your perimeter. Make a show of it. Every night make the rounds, ensure the doors are locked, the lights off, and the alarm armed (if you have one) before you come to bed. And when there is a hole in your perimeter . . . fix it. Quickly. And prominently. If there are exterior lights burned out, replace them quickly. Make sure you have fire extinguishers (we have 7) and smoke alarms (5), ensure that all windows can be secured, and even if you can't afford a commercial security service, a couple of stickers on the window and a stolen sign in the yard can give you 80% of what you pay for with them. Make sure that there are no easy ways to get in your house without a key, then make sure you know the location of every key. And no one comes into the house unless you meet them personally -- just had to have that talk with the Niece.
That's you, being Alpha and protecting your woman. You don't have to beat your chest or buy a gun, you just have to be aware of the potential dangers and be willing to exert the effort to keep the nest safe from intrusion -- and that's a kind of security every woman values.