Membership has its advantages

Published 11:59 pm Saturday, February 14, 2009

By mid-afternoon Friday, a sense of belonging had come over me.

I’d felt this feeling just before Christmas. It was shortly after I shared my frustrations with the world over the infuriating holiday creation — the non-functioning, testosterone diminishing Christmas tree lights.

Afterward, at least a dozen readers commented on “feeling my pain” when it came to the frustrations of Christmas tree lights.

Email newsletter signup

I felt a little kinship forming then. This time, however, I’m now certain that I’m part of what I’ll call, “The Brotherhood.”

Membership isn’t all that exclusive, apparently. They let me in so it’s not that difficult.

The interesting thing is that this secret society is quasi-state sanctioned — a license is required.

And, despite what you may think, membership does not depend on one’s socio-economic status, race or creed.

The only discriminatory portion is that much like the club on the old Little Rascals TV show, this is a men only group.

For a relatively small fee, Eddie Walker at the Adams County Courthouse can hook you up.

The only catch is that you need a willing woman to go along with you.

You can spot most members of The Brotherhood by the simple rings around a finger on their left hands.

On Friday, one by one, almost every married man in which I came into contact made it a point to ask me, “Are you ready for tomorrow?

At first I was a little clueless. Saturday, sure I’m ready for Saturday, I thought.

Then, the first Brotherhood members pressed on.

“Have you gotten things ready for Valentine’s Day? Bought a gift? Taking her to dinner?”

Aha! Brothers helping brothers.

I like this. Teamwork to avoid being in the doghouse.

Very nice.

Like tiny little superheroes, men all over Adams County were extending the hand of Brotherhood friendship.

Their hope was that the favor will be returned to them one day, maybe when they need it most — busy days at work, feeling under the weather or just a moment of male stupidity.

You see, ladies, we’re clueless. I’m big enough to admit that — collectively at least.

After that first Brotherhood moment, another came, then a third.

Some were subtler than others.

“Have a great weekend and, I hope, (have) dinner out with your new bride,” one wrote, not only a hint, but a carefully pointed suggestion, too.

This Brotherhood member is experienced. So in an effort to learn, I asked him directly about the Brotherhood.

“Made my one mistake a few years ago and never again,” he replied.

And with the Brotherhood’s help, it’s a mistake that no Natchez man will make again.

We may, however, have to invest in some database software to help us collectively keep track of the birthdays and anniversaries.

Until then, God bless you, my fellow Brotherhood members. I’m happy to be among your ranks and I hope to help spread the word next Valentine’s Day.

And happy (belated) Valentine’s Julie (and the flowers were bought on Thursday, I promise.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or