On Manliness and Joan Didion

Letters to the Catholic Right

image [Manliness is having a moment right now. So is Joan Didion. Let’s see if we can bring the two together.]

I.

First, a parable for manliness in the 21st Century: My daughter, who is four, came with me to the ranch this week. My wife, who stayed home, sent her off looking cute in boots and cowgirl hat over a pair of pigtail braids. image While I worked, my daughter followed behind me, chopping the ends off of cedar branches with a miniature set of clippers and throwing the pieces onto the brush piles I was building. Then she helped me find firewood, and then we roasted hot dogs and made s’mores and shared stories and jokes until bedtime.

The next morning in the ranch house, as I was helping get her dressed, I started to pull her hair into a ponytail. “No,” she said, “I want a braid.” I started…

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