Meg’s ev­ery­men of the year awards.

GQ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

LIKE THE OS­CARS FOR SCI­EN­TIFIC AND TECH­NI­CAL ACHIEVE­MENT THAT, IN­STEAD OF BE­ING TELE­VISED TO MIL­LIONS FROM THE LAV­ISH DOLBY THEATRE,

are held in what­ever con­fer­ence room’s avail­able at the air­port Mar­riot, I’ve de­cided to host my own satel­lite Men of The Year Awards – to cel­e­brate the achieve­ments of reg­u­lar gentle­men.

Be­cause [mag­i­cally sheds hus­band’s sweat­shirt and Uggs to re­veal daz­zling floor-length gown and sparkly loaned jewels] it’s been an­other stun­ning year of achieve­ment by the ev­ery­man. And yet, be­cause you’re not fa­mous, it can feel like no one cares. Well not tonight, or­di­nary chaps. This is your night of nights. So, en­velopes please.

Our frst award this evening is for Most Av­er­age Per­for­mance by a Man in Busi­ness. Since there are plenty of tro­phies avail­able for en­trepreneurs who’ve tasted suc­cess, with their Ubers and their Snapchats and the ac­tual ex­act-same app you thought of in 2009, this gong goes to the vi­sion­ary who’s been ut­terly un­suc­cess­ful. While friends and as­so­ci­ates are do­ing demon­stra­bly bet­ter – buy­ing boats and third houses – you’re think­ing about stick­ing an of­fce chair on Gumtree to cover off that over­due BAS. Fear, doubt and a debt sit­u­a­tion sees you ly­ing awake at 3am lis­ten­ing to your stom­ach dis­solve in its own acid. Yet there you are, come day­break, putting on a tie and turn­ing up. Again. Con­grat­u­la­tions, you almighty hero of imag­i­na­tion, cre­ativ­ity and con­tin­ued get­ting-out-of-bed­ness. We salute you.

Next, ladies and gen­tle­man, is the Turn­ing Shit Around Award – for the man who this year re­alised that booze, pills or chem­i­cal treats were get­ting out of hand and de­cided to en­force change. One blis­ter­ingly ag­o­nis­ing minute at a time. That, you stone cold (or nearly-stone cold) leg­end, is a feat wor­thy of the high­est praise and here’s yours. Keep go­ing, you in­spi­ra­tional bas­tard.

Mov­ing on to our re­la­tion­ship cat­e­gory, and an award for De­cency Dis­played Dur­ing Messy Break Up. It’s not easy to be your best self dur­ing a cat­a­clysmic re­la­tion­ship im­plo­sion, but tonight we cel­e­brate the man do­ing what he can to not be a dick, even while a yawn­ing hell-mouth of chaos rents a spot in­side his do­mes­tic life. We don’t know how things got here – and we don’t know how this is go­ing to play out. But we see you try­ing to be de­cent and not hurt peo­ple, keep a lid on the crazy and be ju­di­cious with the fu­ri­ous truth­bombs, and we cel­e­brate such courage.

Our next gong is for Con­tin­u­ing Sac­ri­fce by a New Dad, and goes to the gen­tle­man I jogged past at half six this morn­ing, who was out do­ing tight laps of a de­serted park while the new­born strapped to his chest screamed its sweet head off. Sir, you looked in­cred­i­bly rough, like you’d been dug up. But the fact you were out at that dark hour, try­ing to drink take­away cof­fee with your side-mouth while main­tain­ing a rhyth­mic bounc­ing mo­tion, means that some­where a new mother was get­ting just enough sleep to make sure she doesn’t go all Sylvia Plath in the par­ents’ room of a West­feld any time soon. Your prize, we warmly pre­dict, will be a fu­ture, hasty text from the very in­fant you’re now beg­ging to ‘please, please ssssh’, and though hor­ri­bly mis­spelt and mostly in acronyms you don’t recog­nise, it clearly reads ‘love you Dad’.

This award is ac­tu­ally shared with ev­ery chap cur­rently keep­ing things afloat, while car­ing for an un­well part­ner, de­pressed or ill, ad­dicted or, in some other way, so out of it you barely recog­nise them as the love of your life. But be­cause you’re a dead­set man of char­ac­ter and per­sis­tence, you’re stand­ing by them even as ev­ery fbre of your body longs to run. A gi­ant among men, de­serv­ing of all the more, and more. Bet­ter days are com­ing, prom­ise.

Fi­nally, a group award – please start mak­ing your way up to the stage, ev­ery sin­gle man read­ing – for all the uniquely male skills that, though we ladies for­get to say so, have im­pressed, sur­prised and made us laugh through­out the year. The amaz­ingly on-point impressions of your dad, the way you can kick trousers off and land them in the laun­dry bas­ket in one fluid mo­tion, the re­peated and pa­tient ex­plain­ing of the off-side rule even when you wish we would go and fnd some­thing else to do and just be left in peace, how sur­pris­ingly cool you were that time we backed into the garage door, and of course, your faith­ful open­ing of tight things, reach­ing of high things, and lift­ing of heavy things, lit­eral and fgu­ra­tive.

That brings our evening to a close, and while this plat­ter of Jatz will have to do in place of a glam­orous A-list af­ter­party, please know – gen­uinely – that you, the reg­u­lar men, the men of this year and ev­ery year, are seen and hon­oured and cel­e­brated. Now, be a gent and help me out of th­ese Spanx. n

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