On March 1, I saw a headline on the front page of the Globe and Mail that gladdened my heart.

It was, “This Spring, Real Men Wear Pansies.” The accompanying photo showed a guy with pansies printed on his shirt.

Wow! This is wonderful! You see, there was another headline on that page that read, “Mission Impossible? The Ugly Truth in Afghanistan”.

Are you following me here? Perhaps I should explain myself (man, I wish I had a nickel for every time I had to say that).

Do you recall high school math class? The teacher would ask us to do “proofs”: if x equals y and y equals z, then x must equal z.

So, I am looking at the front page of the Globe and Mail with the agile mind of a 14-year-old and I instantly know the headline is wrong. So, our troops are doing a wonderful job in Afghanistan and will be home soon and in good health … mission accomplished.

And I know this only because there is no way that real men will ever wear pansies on their shirts!!

If that headline about real men wearing pansies is obviously bogus, then the headline about the ugly truth in Afghanistan is obviously bogus, too.

You see, men have the right to cry at the movies, we can hug our friends and we can slap our team-mates on the bum when they make a good play.

But we can’t wear pansies on our shirts.

However, we can eat quiche, enjoy watching The View and we can tell the world that being a father is our greatest joy.

We can do all of that without raising a single eyebrow, but we just can’t do this while wearing pansies on our shirts.

Writing poetry to our loved ones, adding smiley faces to our e-mails, wearing an earring and admitting that, yeah, that guy over there is handsome, is all within the realm of possibility in these enlightened days.

But not so enlightened that a guy can wear pansies on his shirts.

Perhaps I should further explain that when I use the contraction “can’t,” I do not mean it in the sense that men are not allowed to wear pansies on their shirts; I actually mean that it is not possible for them to wear pansies on their shirts.

You see, wearing pansies on one’s shirt is actually the ultimate display of maturity. Only those who are the most comfortable with who they can wear pansies on their shirts.

And I don’t know any man who is that mature.

This line of logic is proved by the smartest people I know, for they are the first ones to say, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I will get back to you.”

It is proved by the bravest people I know, because they are the first ones to admit they are scared.

It is proved by the most successful people I know, because they are the first ones to pass along credit to others.

It is proved by the most powerful people I know, because they are the first ones to seek advice.

So, in summary, if we can all agree that confidence is mature, and wearing pansies is confidence, then surely the math proves men who can’t wear pansies on their shirts are neither confident or mature.

You can’t argue the math.