Clanton: Expectations and Fears

“Everybody will think you’re writing about me,” my wife commented, when I told her of my plans to write a piece for women from a man’s point of view. Admittedly, there would be plenty of fodder. But, my bride and I have a good relationship, and I really don’t want to jeopardize that by sharing gaffes and gripes that may exist behind the doors of La Casa Clanton.

That’s not the point of this at all — and to manage your expectations, and assuage her fears, let it be so stated for the record. This column is not about my bride! We’re actually a really average couple. We’ve been married 35 years, spawned two kids, and now dote on The World’s Most Amazing Two-Year-Old Granddaughter. That didn’t happen without a little effort, a lot of luck and plenty of pluck on our part. Mostly hers.

My wife has become an anomaly in this day and age — a stay-at-home mom who was able to send our kids off to school every morning and be home every afternoon when they returned. That is a full-time gig, by the way.  On job applications of late she’s listed her employment history as “Domestic Engineer.” While that’s an accurate description, unless the reviewer is savvy enough to catch the joke, it raises a few eyebrows. 

“Oh, so you’re an engineer…” some have cooed at company parties, unaware of the double entendre.

So, what compels me to presume to write to women about what men think about women, or what men wish women knew about men? I answered the call. Over salad and sandwiches recently at the Grand Lux Cafe, Publisher Beverly Denver shared her vision for this magazine as it enters its second decade of publication. Not to sound corny, because it’s not, the common thread in our conversation was “dream.”

Houston Woman Magazine started with a dream. It now tailors its editorial menu to inspiring others to dare to dream also, and to achieve those dreams. In my estimation that’s pretty starchy, and worthy of respect, regardless of the gender doing the dreaming. Dreams come in different shapes, sizes, colors and flavors. It’s okay to pursue them. It’s okay if you don’t.

What’s not okay is for someone to tell you that you cannot follow your dream. In my experience, that’s usually the spark that launches the next wave of greatness in the life of someone, just to prove the naysayers wrong.

So, my message to you, in this inaugural column is to not just dare to dream — but dare to do. Men need to be told it’s okay to stretch; women need to hear that, as well. Maybe we’re not so different after all.

Brent Clanton is a native Houstonian and recent inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. He is now outnumbered two-to-one by his wife, Darlene, and their three-pound Yorkie, Sophie.

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