Meg’s everymen of the year awards.
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