The book “Killing Lions” is a conversation between John and Sam Eldredge about the trials young men face.
[John] I’d love to share what thirty years of marriage (and twenty counseling young people) has taught me. But let me begin with a question: What is your greatest fear, as a man?
[Sam] That’s easy; I fear feeling like a fool. I fear and hate it above everything else. Hate might not even be a strong enough word; loathe may be better. I hate walking into the bank and having the teller raise an eyebrow in pity when he asks my monthly income. I hate going in to buy a suit and being chided and coddled by the staff who assume I know nothing. So what if I don’t know my measurements? I have cringed days after being caught in a bluff by someone who knows what they are talking about, and then calling me out in front of everyone. There are times when I feel Dean Koontz hit it on the head: “Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton.”
More than anything else, I hate feeling like a fool around a woman. I think most guys do. The sensation afterward is something akin to a personal black hole opening up inside my chest, and I wish it would hurry up and swallow me whole.
I once tried showing off on a diving board by doing a double front-flip but ended up hitting the water face-first and giving myself a bloody nose. Almost every guy I know tells stories of spectacular failed attempts at a date or an introduction or a kiss, and while the stories are told in a circle of laughter, every man’s eyes go a little dim as he relives the memory.