16 September, 2011

Are You A Leg Man?

October is nearing, and October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year is the 25th anniversary of the campaign. You can feel the mood building as ribbons, slogans, bumper stickers, PSAs, and all manner of FaceBook Interest pages, Status Updates, and Comments become increasingly difficult to avoid. I hope all this awareness raising continues to save lives - just as I am certain it has saved many so far.

It also means that it is time for The Question. It’s a simple question usually posed in jest by women, and I hear it in late September or October – sometimes directed to me, more often to others. “Are you a leg man or are you a breast man?” And if it’s October, we’re not talking about chicken.

If you think you must answer, I think it's important to have chosen wisely.

I generally try to evade tactfully by suggesting that I’m not really either - a leg man or a breast man - and that I like both equally well. It is Woman – the whole package – that I like. Yet this year, and for reasons unknown to me, I'm going to offer an answer.

So … leg or breast? If indeed I must choose, there is, of course, an answer, but first I need to emphasize that what I care most about is that someone is alive. I want to be clear that breasts and legs are not what makes a woman a woman, not what makes a woman beautiful, not what creates a woman's allure. At the same time, I don’t want to suggest I’m not capable of savoring the remarkable aspects of either body part. In my mind, both are examples of God’s work at its finest, but the choice for me is a matter of proximity and a matter of language.

The Leg has the advantage of being able to work its magic at quite a distance, but too many times have I heard a leg described as well-turned. Really? Like a table leg or a bedpost just coming out of a lathe?! Or one hears it’s long or muscular or straight or toned – none of which are particularly inspiring adjectives to me. The Breast, however, is an entirely different matter.

The Breast is most inspiring when near, and for me close always trumps distance. And the language! Breasts are soft or warm or nurturing or inviting or any of a host of adjectives that make one want to touch. Finally, since our society seems to prefer it remain hidden, the breast commands the full attention of my imagination. Not so for the lowly leg.

So if inquiring minds want to know and it remains a forced choice, then I’m going to have to say I’m a breast man. I will always, however, take instant notice when a leg of distinction reveals itself to me.

Although it’s fun to play with the question, in answering I have probably offended or disappointed some. The reality is there are other traits much more important to me - foremost among them, eyes and intellect. These are and always will be where the real magic begins.

But first ... we need to be alive.
And it's almost October.


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