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Americans missing out on real masculinity

I was watching CBS on Sunday morning and one of their stories seemed to stay with me.

It wasn’t about gun legislation or continuing to look out for the abyss of yet one more fiscal cliff. It was a story about flowers — an infinite variety of flowers — strung together ceremoniously into what the Hawaiians call a lei.

Even if you’ve never visited the islands, you’re familiar with them: floral necklaces as symbolic of the culture as grass skirts and the hula. But Sunday, as I was watching this essay on the generations of Hawaiians and, before them, Tahitians, who created these works of living wearable art, it occurred to me how Americans miss out on how we define masculinity.

Those of us on the mainland, with our inbred European roots, would never dare wear fresh flowers to the office, yet most of the Polynesian men consider that an acceptable, often daily, accessory.

Ever see the guys at an island luau? Not exactly geeky feminine types and they’re all wearing flowers around their necks, on their wrists and in their hair…while they’re juggling flaming torches.

Hey, I know! On Sunday, walk into the Super Bowl party with a string of orchids around your neck and see how those real men react.

I’m Pat McMahon.