With this series we like to call “Men in the Morning”, we ask men and masculine identifying people to give us an insight into a practice that is rarely displayed in media: their morning routines. In this installment, we get ready with Micah.
It’s hard to miss the memes, gifs, and quizzes pertaining to being “basic”. One has only to plug the term into a search engine to find the dearth of posts poking fun and/or embracing the term. If you don’t know what “basic” means, you might also be part of that lost group that just discovered “dabbing”. If you really don’t know, here is the Urban Dictionary definition.
While there are varying degrees, there is one telltale sign associated with the Basic B*. It is the moment when the leaves first start to curl to signal the end of Summer, and said person can be found eagerly rushing to the closest Starbucks to order their Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). Did you hear that? That was the collective sound of their “Oooh Ahhh”.
I’ll be honest — I’m definitely guilty of having some “basic” tendencies (who hasn’t?), and it irked me that nearly every example of this specimen was of the feminine kind.
Well guess what? I am here to say that Men Do Basic Things Too. And as it is only fitting with all things Autumnal upon us, let’s start with the Fall Edition.
While they may not be rushing (publicly, anyways) to order their PSL, they do embrace those limited-edition Pumpkin Brews or seasonal IPAs. Let’s face it, this might as well be a PSL.
As they await the final season of GOT, you might find one taking their fashion inspiration or perhaps dressed as Jon Snow for Halloween.
And if they aren’t feeling that messy man-bun vibe, they are reaching for those Plaid Shirts & Puffy Vests.
Or when they trade in those snapbacks for Beanies.
They might also ironically join and then win their Fantasy Football leagues.
And of course, they’ll make their award-winning Chili for said football parties.
Sometimes they only want the company of a good book and a stiff Whiskey/Bourbon drink (something along the lines of an Old Fashioned).
And while they may not willingly pose for a pumpkin patch photo or jump in the dried leaves, they’ll have photos of their Furry Friends in those Crunchy Leaves.
Anyways, so here’s to your seasonal beverage whatever it might be. Drink all the PSLs and IPAs until the leaves start to green, and you have to hide your guilty “basic” pleasure.
Cheers to all the Basic Gs.
Have you ever had the happy accident of liking something and then miraculously without you knowing about it, it became cool? I felt this about growing up in the southwest. As a child, I remember the pink adobe and teal accents, culturally appropriated Kokopelli statues, and coyote decals truly used to get under my skin. They felt so cliche and ugly to me, nothing special.
Just dry and hot.
Around 2011 something magical began to happen, on the internet. Pinterest and Instagram rose on the great tide of bloggers and influencers, and with it, mint green, succulents, and cacti. It was slow in the making, but I watched as my childhood motif became, of all things, popular.
It took me years to love the desert and its nuance. What the blogs and tidy potted cacti don’t represent is the vivacity that the southwest has. Typically it’s represented as two extremes, a dry, dead wasteland, or a neatly packaged $4 cutesy-cacti from Home Depot. What brought me to love it, however, was the tenacity of life found there. The plants evolved to collect and retain water, and protect themselves with thorns and poisons. The animals evolved alongside those, to live in those thorny places, to raise their babies and thrive in the coolness of night. The humans who live there have dug canals for water, or traversed miles and miles in the hot sun to provide for their families.
The other night I met a woman from the midwest who was wearing cactus earrings.
“Those are some very ‘zony earrings you’ve got on,” I commented. She told me she was planning to move to the desert.
My reply was, “It’s hot.”
What I meant was, “It’s devastating, it’s miserable, it’s glorious, dusty, mystical, and terrible all at once.”
With this series we like to call “Men in the Morning”, we ask men and masculine identifying people to give us an insight into a practice that is rarely displayed in media: their morning routines. In this installment, we get ready with Jack.
What you do for work: I’m the Political Director at Planned Parenthood, currently working on the midterm elections.
What you do for play: Several friends and I founded a cooperative house in a 115-year old Denver Square. I’ve been spending a ton of time renovating it.
Your brand of toothpaste: Crest
As the crow flies, my dear friend Ayo is 586 miles away from my home city. My other friend, Maggie, is more than triple that at 1,633 miles away. But thanks to our group text, named ‘Better Than You’ after an inside joke, we can cross that distance in milliseconds. It’s no modern marvel — we all are well acquainted with technology’s ability to connect us across the country. I like comparing it to something more fantastic though; like Madeleine L’Engle’s “Wrinkle in Time”, it’s as if we have pulled the ribbon of time and space together, and sent a telepathic thought across the void to the minds of two friends at once. But I digress.
Texting across the nation is commonplace, but seeing one another’s faces in person is a rarity. This is why, in April, the three of us decided to take a road trip together through New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.
It feels unfair to keep the secret splendor of New Mexico to myself, so I will tell you now, it’s one of the most unique, strange, mysterious, and beautiful states I have ever visited. It’s bloody ‘US’ history goes further back even than New England, thanks to the Spanish Conquistadors that invaded the area (we all know history precedes colonization, but bear with me). In more recent years, history took a turn for the weird, with alien crash sites, towns named after game shows, and in most recent years, the addition of the famed art experience, “MeowWolf.”
The Land of Enchantment was the backdrop for our escapades in friendship. Text messages are great, but how about when your friends willingly follow you into a lukewarm hot spring off the Rio Grande with a muddy bottom and weird pond scum creatures skittering about? DMs on Instagram are fine, but how about walking through MeowWolf’s psychedelic maze backwards in the middle of the night, playing music for each other on the neon pink ribs of a fake dinosaur skeleton? Facebook Messenger is alright, but how about sledding down the dunes at White Sands, your dear friend’s figure serving as the sole mark on the expanse of pale ancient grains. Email is cool, but how about speculating on the shape of the clouds together, zooming down the interstate, while one person recaps the entire plot of a Gossip Girl?