Book Review: Real Men Don’t Apologize by Jim Belushi


Real Men Don’t Apologize

James Belushi

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st ed/1st printing edition (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401301827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401301828
  • WARNING: This is not my typical kind of post and I’m not sure it’s family friendly — but it is 100% me. Like it or leave it. Remember that dream I had about Jim last week? Well, I decided to dig into it and see if perhaps I might be able to learn something – so I bought his book. I never watched According to Jim because it was on Tuesdays and well, Fox rules Tuesday night. ;-D I have no idea what that show is about, but I do know about the book. I’m giving it 4 stars out of 5.

    Okay, I’ll admit it, I used to cry when Mr. Rogers came on TV. Why? Because he scared me.  My Grandfather owned a hardware store near Syracuse NY, and the rest of the men worked in construction.  My mother was a book-keeper for several construction companies. I had men around, they just didn’t wear cardigan sweaters and penny loafers. The men in my life came with blood, sweat, tears, mouths and beer. Mr Rogers looked like the creepy neighbor up the street all the kids were told to stay away from.

    Surrounded by construction, and raised by a single Mom, it’s really no surprise that I grew up to become the only female on an all male crew at Sprint Communications in Chicago back in 1987. These guys taught me everything I know about hard work, telecom and the essentials of smoking, drinking and swearing. (Something my husband has spent 22 years trying to unteach me) Even my Father-in-law was a Teamster and he taught me how to play poker and let me swear when his son wasn’t around. Dad is gone now, but oh I loved him.

     As frequently as I’d punch one of guys I worked with in the arm for “being a pig” I always knew I was the safest when I was with my crew. I could trust them — because they were men who behaved like real men when it counted. They protected me when I needed protection and they kicked me in the backside when I needed that as well. They were honest and they were real.

    The only exception to this rule is the married slime ball who tried to sleep with me when we were on a job together in Dallas. I turned him down and it wasn’t pretty. He was kinda mad. My shift manager found out and after verbally reaming me for being so stupid (I’d been flirting with the guy because I thought I could get away with it.) he sent me back to Chicago. The guys took me out, and filled me in on the facts of life, like I’ve never heard – the complete and unabridged version not fit for this blog.

    I was only 22, on my own for the first time and grateful to have men in my life who gave it to me straight, held me accountable, and protected me when needed. I owe a lot of who I am as a women today, to these men.  I never saw dipshit again. Rumor has it they sent him to work with the rats in the sewers. I’ve been to our warehouse on Wacker drive, I’ve seen those rats. (They are bigger than my dog) and I’m happy he found a home away from home.

    So what does all that have to do with Jim Belushi’s book, Real Men Don’t Apologize? A lot. I’m setting the scene. While this book is obviously written by a man for men — I enjoyed it. Yes, it’s sometimes rude, crude and vile and yes I did at times wish I could punch him in the arm for “being a pig,” however,  my past experience with men helps me sift through the BS. He has a lot of great truths in here that I believe women should know about. The problem is, most women I know wouldn’t be able to sift through or stomach the raw nature of his writing and that’s a shame some of it is actually laugh out loud funny. And some of it requires an interpreter — which is where my husband really came in handy. I’ll add — much to his dismay, there are some things that should just stay between the guys. He’s right. I didn’t need to really understand all of that.

    I read this book in two days. You don’t believe me, go look at my kitchen, it’s a mess. I’ll get it cleaned up. There were pieces in this book that kicked me in the gut – it reminded me of the good old days of Chicago and my crew, God how I miss those guys. There are things here I need to learn and do for myself and I’ll leave that for another day and another blog. 

    Real men don’t apologize for who they are – even in face of a woman who is trying to make them — That’s big ladies. If you are a harpie or someone bent on castrating a man, this book will really upset you. Jim’s advice to men – know who you are, live who you are, and know your boundaries, are great adages for women as well. (Things I’m not doing well right now)  It’s also good to know Belushi’s Five commandments — and Jim or Jim’s attorney, please forgive me — But I HAVE to share this – my husband has the same “rules.” This is what respect looks like to both my husband and apparently to Jim.

    1. Thou Shalt Not Shush Me – ever
    2.  Thou Shalt Not Steal 
    3.  Thou Shalt Not Banish Me to the Couch – this is a non-negotiable rule in our house, has been since I met my husband in 1987. Unless I’m snoring and then he banishes himself. (which of course I never do.)
    4. Thou Shalt not Compete with Me (Personal note: women don’t always know what competing looks like to you guys – really wish he’d expounded here.)
    5. Thou Shalt not expect an apology for something I am not sorrieth for

    This is an excellent book — language and crudeness aside — he speaks well of his wife Jenny and his children and the sweetest thing in it – the end. He tells what the ONE thing Jenny gave him that no other woman ever did — and to find that out, you have to read the book.

     If you’re brave, check it out – skim through the “yuckier” stuff if you have to, but I warn you don’t skim too far he’s buried some wonderful surprises in there.

    And for those who’d rather just judge the title of the book — don’t. Under no circumstances does he ever say, be a jerk, treat people badly and make no excuses. He sets the scene very early about that. Chapter One I believe in a “man quiz” — Real men own their mess — and I’m sorry is a manipulative word – if you did something wrong, own it and clean it up do not blame shift. And that — is respectful.

    To order his book check out the web page: Jim Belushi or to check out his newest show The Defenders on CBS

    This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart: Confessions of a Spiritual Bulimic. All rights reserved. No goods or services were received in exchange for this review.

    6 thoughts on “Book Review: Real Men Don’t Apologize by Jim Belushi

    1. And Bob, We all break number five at one time or another — to keep peace. He did that so much that at times when he was younger that it sounds like he over compensates — but when I read deeper, I realized he isn’t a bully and he really respects women. My son wants to read it and I’m torn because it is so crude and yet at the same time — my son wants to read a book – oh my gosh! LOL

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    2. He’s right. Although I have bropken number five. That falls under Dr. Phill’s “Do you want to be right or be happy?” or as Jeff Allen would put it “Happy wife. Happy Life.”

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      1. I know, I’m commenting out of order — Bob, no where in the book does Jim say don’t own your stuff — he clearly differentiates between being a total schmuck/loser and being a man. And when a real man blows it, he owns it. He has an order, know the kind of man you want to be, be than man, etc… Jim chooses his battles and I love the last few paragraphs of the book — don’t be a jerk who has to win every battle — or you’ll lose the relationship. He does add a lot charm in the with bs. Reminds me why I married a Chicago man. My husband is very much he same way.

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