Tag Archives: clothing

be quiet.

30 Jan

One of the phrases that drives me bananas during the course of day-to-day conversationis…  Well, actually I have to set it up properly to have the full effect.  Here’s the setup:

Manager:  Sales are down – way down.  Skippy, we’ve got to come up with some exciting new marketing strategy.  How about hiring a homeless guy to hold a sign? It’ll be perfect!

You (Skippy): Great idea, Mr. Manager.  I’ll head down to the shelter.

Manager: Hazaa!  [HERE COMES THE PHRASE I HATE] So like I said, we’ll hire a homeless guy to hold the sign. It’ll be perfect!

You (Skippy): Right, that’s what we just… anyhow, great.

Here’s the issue gentlemen: you talk too much.  It’s clear when guys use phrases like, “So like I said…” to not only say something, but also introduce the fact that they’re going to say it again.  Unnecessary.  Any man worth his weight in bow-ties needs to have the confidence to know that when they speak, they’re heard.  And they need to have the courage to know that if they don’t have anything to say, the world won’t stop, and they’ll still be significant.  Speaking more doesn’t equate to being more – it equates to lack of temperance.

Be quiet. Here’s why:

1- It gives you time to listen.  The coolest men ever are the ones that lean back, make eye contact, and listen to what you’re saying.  They don’t do that thing where they kind of pre-breathe/start a word as a verbal cue, indicating that it’s time for them to talk.  They just listen, and they communicate your value to you by not stepping over what you’re saying.  Additionally, they are smarter because they up the ratio of importing information to exporting yada yada yada.

2- You’ll have a voice when you do speak. As a man, when you say something, you want to be heard.  It makes you feel valued, and that, in turn, helps out with ye olde pride.  When you talk all the time, people tend to average out the time they listen to you and catch every ninth monologue. You don’t want this.  You want it all to count.  Be disciplined.

3- It’s cool.  Don Draper, Clint Eastwood, 007.

So like I said, be quiet.  I promise you, it’ll work out in your favor.

You’re a Grown Man, be quiet.

quit going to semi-strip clubs.

8 Oct

I’m disgusted that I have to write this article. For real, I can’t believe that seemingly regular guys who aren’t ridiculous enough to go to strip clubs (it’s never okay) have no problem frequenting semi-strip clubs.

Um, Grown Man, semi-strip clubs?  You made that up didn’t you?  I mean, c’mon.

Oh heck yeah I made it up, and you know why?  Because restaurants, bars, car washes, and anywhere else where employees are almost naked and survive on your tips for their perceived – again, perceived – flirting are employing the same business model as a strip club.  Let me say that again more simply: If a woman is almost naked in your vicinity, you’re no longer interested in chicken wings.

Grown Man, tell me you’re not talking about [no lawsuits for me] — I love that place!  Straight up, bro, for real, it’s just you and me now — I go for the food.

No, you don’t! And here’s how I know you don’t go for the food.  Men are visual creatures.  The entry point to our hearts, minds, sexuality, and yes, stomachs, is our eyes.  When we’re little guys, everyone thinks we have ADD (which in some cases may be true.)  But the reason all little fellas are ADD-ish is because they’ve yet to reign in their eyes. So everything they see, every new picture on a TV and every shiny object that flashes in the distance, is some new bit of stimulus for their brains to process.  When we’re big kids, we know how to control and maintain some level of attention, but we still see everything: every painted-on pair of orange shorts, every flirty look, and every giggle that is designed to raise the tip to 25%. By design, every second of your semi-strip club experience should engage your eyes, then your brain, and then your wallet.

If you think you go to these places for the food, you’re lying to yourself.  Because the truth is, if an almost naked woman served you a steaming plate of elephant crap, your eyes would change that plate into a Martha Stewart display of chocolate chip cookies made with Jesus magic and unicorn hair. Maybe the food is good – maybe it’s not. Either way, unless you’re a eunuch, you have no way of discerning that.

But we haven’t really hit the main point yet, have we?  Because up until this time, it’s all been about the establishment and how it’s designed to fool you, which I hope you believe.  But at the end of the day, part of the price we pay for living in a wonderfully free society is that even a sleazy business can exist if it’s able to.

The real issue here is that it’s denigrating. To women? Yes, but that’s common knowledge and über obvious. So who else might it belittle, disparage, and generally just cheapen? You, Grown Man, you.

Oh god, you’re about to go deep, aren’t you?  I’ve read enough of these to know that you like to round third with some Montel Williams action.

Gentlemen, you’ve been designed well.  Your propensity for seeing a woman and recognizing that she’s lovely is part of who you are and shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing.  When you’re single, you should harness that part of you just enough to notice that there’s something worth summoning up the courage, putting on your big-boy pants, and asking her out on a date. When you’re in a relationship, use your eyes to grow closer, to be more committed, and to appreciate her, and only her.  You’re not ADD, you’re hard wired to be a visual animal.  Honestly, it’s a good thing.

What’s not a good thing is that your eyes (and all they lead to) are being fooled by semi-strip clubs.  Because you, me, all of us, are just dumb enough to think that maybe, just maybe, the giggle was real, the flirting was genuine, and that she’s super stoked about bringing you – wow, YOU – extra blue cheese.  Guess what, she’s not – no more than you care about the spreadsheet you created 2 days ago at work. She’s not remembering the dude who was super nice 2 hours ago. She’s working, and you’re doing a disservice to yourself by thinking otherwise.

In closing, let me say this: good chicken wings are a staple of any man’s diet.  If you’re mourning the loss of your favorite place because I’ve guilted you into submission, here’s what you need to do: find a local, Italian owned, pizza place that sells wings.  I can assure you, wings from a Mario Brother will put Hoo[no lawsuit]rs to shame.

You’re a Grown Man, quit going to semi-strip clubs.

carry cash.

23 Aug

The more I write this blog, the more I realize my grandfather may be the coolest Grown Man I’ve ever known.  And, even though he has an aversion to wearing a tie, eating any form of bean, and The Pope (I don’t share his disdain), he is typically my go-to Draper-in-residence (without all the skirt chasing and domestic violence).  So today, I’m thinking about my grandfather as I begin to talk about Grown Men carrying cash.  Why?  Because that old dude typically has a wad of cash in his sweat pants pocket that would make even the most seasoned of Chamillionaire jealous.  For real, I’m pretty certain that he’s been to K-Mart a number of times with a grand in small bills — not kidding at all.

So, why should you carry cash?  Because, like the Boy Scouts say, you’ve got to be prepared. Young men reading this blog, imagine the following scenario:  You’re on a date with a lovely lass when she spots one of those awesome Catholic (sorry Tilt-A-Whirl Of Lovegrandpa) church carnivals in the distance.  Without warning, your plans for a movie and some making-out have been thwarted and your evening will now look more like funnel cakes and Ferris wheels.  Bummer.  However, she wants to go and you quickly realize that you might be able to get some of that sweet kissin’ action on the Tilt-A-Whirl, so you concede. But wait, you’ve hit a snag, the movie theater is more than willing to accept credit cards for purchase, but the carnival is doing some serious IRS dodging and will only accept cash or cigarettes for rides.  Oh the embarrassment!  Oh the Tilt-A-Whirl!

Our society has become completely plastic (no offense to Joan Rivers) and we no longer require cash for a majority of our transactions.  I believe this shift came in 2004 when our greatest national export began accepting credit at all 1.8 quad-trillion golden arch locations.  Yep, that’s the year that McDonald’s got sick and tired of subjecting their 14-year-old register kids to men fumbling around in their wallets and holding up the line while begging money off their friends.  Until that time, we knew that even the most basic of American needs (Big Macs and those awesome apple pies) would necessitate even a dollar-menu’s worth of green.  But when they jumped ship, so did the fat country.  Now, we’re stuck at the carnival with a pissed off girlfriend and an ATM walk of shame.

Gentlemen, you’ve got to be ready for whatever comes your way. From carrying a pocket knife to having at least $30 in your wallet at all times, there are just some necessities for navigating this concrete world.  Back in the day, and I mean really back in the day, a man wouldn’t have left his cabin without a gun, some water (whisky), and a hat.  He knew that with these three things he could eat, sleep, be safe, and look tough as hell.  It’s time for us to reclaim that duty as men and make sure that we’re always well equipped with the bare minimum.

But Grown Man, what if I get robbed?  If they steal my wallet and I don’t have cash, all I have to do is cancel credit cards!

I love the “getting robbed” excuse for being ill prepared.  Because truthfully, most people don’t get pick-pocketed.  If you live in Compton or something, maybe you should consider not carrying a grandfather-wad of money. But most of you live in Generic City, USA and carry a $250 mini-computer in your pocket without giving it a second thought.  Are you really that nervous about not carrying anything valuable? I don’t think so.  Additionally, $32 bones given to some armed bandit isn’t going to break the bank — hopefully.  If it is, you’ve got bigger fish to fry and should probably consider becoming an armed bandit yourself.

That’s all for today, go to the ATM on your lunch break and enjoy the Tilt-A-Whirl.

You’re a Grown Man, carry cash.


wear a watch.

10 Aug

That’s it, I’m throwing in the towel…I literally can’t take this anymore.  For the last week, I’ve been writing about feelings, weddings, love, relational dynamics, et cetera, et cetera – and I’m going crazy.  I’m a sensitive man, but if I spend one more moment trying to wrap my head around the etiquette and emotions of a wedding, I’m going to cry (irony?).  So today, we’re gonna rock this post like it’s March of 2010 and I’m going to get hella-specific about one issue.

You’re a Grown Man, wear a watch.

But Grown Man, I have a phone that gives me the time!  And it’s not just any phone, it’s a freakin’ jail broken iPhone 4 – sucka!

Here’s why you shouldn’t be using your phone as your primary time keeper.  It’s just not polite, when sitting with a person, to slyly pull out your brick-of-an-iDroidBerry, push a button, and check the time.  Everything about that transaction screams of you not giving a crap about the conversation.  And though that may be true, is not the way a man presents himself.  For real though, I trust that you’re only checking the time, it just appears as though you’re glancing at the recent Words with Friends updates.  Oh my god, I can’t believe the word PacManFever was accepted!

Alright, so hopefully you get the point that your phone isn’t your watch.  But why should Grown Men wear watches at all?  There are a few reasons:

-Grown Men are punctual. There will be a full post about this later in the week, so I’m not going to go into it.  For now I will just leave you with this little adage: Early is on time, on time is late. That just happened.

-Watches project confidence. A watch has a very subconscious effect on the people who see it.  There’s something about the small accent that tells people you value punctuality and fashion.  Conversely, seeing a man without a watch doesn’t scream of immaturity, but it doesn’t help your cause.  Without a watch, you get closer to confidence-neutral, which won’t bode well with potential lady-friends, colleagues, or other Grown Men.

-They look cool. The “Don Draper” factor can’t be ignored. And, as there are very few acceptable pieces of jewelry that a man can wear (cuff links, cool tie clip, wedding ring, glasses, that’s it), a watch is a small exclamation point on a well dressed fella.  While I’ll leave it up to you to determine what’s classy and what’s not, I strongly suggest, nay, demand that you pick a watch that’s timeless (snicker) and appropriate.  Bright yellow bands and Mickey Mouse are out.  Here’s a rule: Picture your watch on Clint Eastwood.  If if looks cool on him, it’s a winner.

And that, my good men, is the end of the post!  No feelings, no love, just good old fashion advice and judgment.  That felt good.

Grown Men, synchronize Swatches!

be a good wedding guest.

27 Jul

It’s wedding week here on You’re A Grown Man and I, for one, am really excited about this.  Every day I’m going to tackle one of the major roles a fella can play in a wedding (guest, groomsmen, best man, and groom). Also, we might have a super-special fifth post – oh the excitement!  In any event, it’s going to be glorious.

Grown Man, why are you pimping out your sick blog for an entire week!?  I hate weddings!

You can moan and groan all you want, but you’re going to have to attend a wedding at some point.  And, while I know you’d rather be doing literally anything other than jumping around to Love Shack for the thousandth time with a belly full of chicken or fish and a half gallon of bottom shelf beer, you’ve got to go.  Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiin roof – rusted (busted?)

Alright, leading off our series today is the concept that you should be a good wedding guest.  We’re going to do this in all bullet points because really, not much is expected of you other than to not be a doofus.  However, it is my civic duty to give you some specific pointers and save you from yourself.  Allow me to begin…

– RSVP, ASAP. Gentlemen, you disappoint people at every turn with your inability to return a call or email.  However, when you forget to do those things, it’s just impolite and usually not that big of a deal.  But when you don’t RSVP, your name remains blank on guest_list.xls and you become an increasingly heavy millstone around the neck of those who give a crap about place cards and wedding favors.  You may not understand how much work goes in to planning a wedding, but believe me – it’s a lot.  Répondez s’il vous plaît! Sorry to yell at you in French.

– Bring a gift. I’ve already written a beautiful and touching expository on this so I’ll leave it to myself to prove my own point.  Bottom line: You have no choice, bring a gift THAT’S ON THE REGISTRY.

– Figure out your own transportation and lodging. The bride and groom may be kind enough to include a suggested hotel in their wedding announcement.  But if they don’t, you really can’t call them and add your needs to their plate.  Again, they’ve got a lot to do and you’re a big boy who can figure out his own life.

-Never be the center of attention. “Center of attention! What ever could you mean!?” Oh, I don’t know: getting sloppy drunk, being loud, walking around and getting in the background of every picture, dancing a little too close for too long with the 15 year old cousin (yes, I’ve seen it), stealing all the disposable table cameras and taking 500 pictures of your junk (yes, I’ve seen it), signing the guestbook 15 times with names like “Gary Coleman” and “Your Balls” (yes, I’ve seen it), etc., etc.  It’s okay to have fun and yuck it up with your pals, but anybody’s wedding other than your own is not about you – it’s about them.  Be cool, broseph.

-Thank someone for the party. Somebody in that room paid for your booze, tiny mesh bag of dinner mints, and 55-year-old chronically depressed D.J.  You really should say thank you.  Customarily, the bride’s parents flip the bill and ought to be the recipients of your hearty hand shake and genuine (non-drunk) thanks.  However, you can always just play it safe and thank the bride and groom for their generosity.  It’s good to be grateful.

-Don’t leave too soon. Let’s say the reception is booooooring, and I mean really unbearably terrible.  Well buddy, you’re just going to have to wait it out.  Listening to awkward speeches in a gross VFW with terrible food is probably only comparable to the 6th or 7th circle of hell.  However, you’ve got to stay until the cake has been cut and served.  There’s no getting around it – that’s just the way it is.

Before we go, I’ve got one more…

-Keep your tie on! There’s something about the reception that seems to beckon men to ditch the tie and unbutton the top button.  This is not acceptable.  I don’t care if the ceremony is in Sub-Saharan Africa or you’ve just been challenged to a dance-off by freaking J.T. himself, you’ve got to remain fully dressed.  Your tie may come off when, and only when, the bride’s parents leave.  When they’re gone, the reception just turned into an after-party and, my good friend, it’s time to Watusi like it’s 1999!

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow, I shall take the groomsmen to task.

A very special thanks to @accessoriesdiva, @chrisstorms, @krisarruda, @mahfrot, @perpetualpeeve, @sholeh, and @joelrakes for the Tweets that gave a lot of good content to this weeks series.

know how to cook.

21 Jul

Being a foodie is so hot right now.  Oh yes, we love saying things like, “Mmm, that was amazing, a perfect mix of savory and sweet!” and “Oh my gosh, I found the best farmers market!  They have organic Swiss Chard!”  Oh Lord, you love you so much, don’t you? Yet, while we are entrenched in an era where culinary know-how is readily available and oh-so-chic, many gentlemen continue to not know the difference ramen and ricciutelle.  Oh no, wait, I’ve got a better one, between Boyardee and Bourdain.  Now that’s comedy gold.

Grown Men, you need to know how to cook.  And, while I shouldn’t have to write hundreds of words about this, I know that for you to turn the corner and actually get your Foie gras on, I’m going to have to do some explaining.  First,  the why

The why is simple.  You like good food and you are (or should be) an independent person. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely on others to provide that good food.  And when I’m talking about relying on others, I’m referring to  your mom, your significant other, or a restaurant.  None of the aforementioned are responsible for you, and none of them should carry the weight of Hamburger Helping you eat better.

The fact is, men are losing the ability to make their own way in life.  We no longer mow our own yards, we don’t consider fixing the broken appliance, and we assume that a fancy feast must be acquired – not made.  And while it’s fun to have a dining experience, it shouldn’t be the default.  Hear me say this, it’s fantastic when your special lady-friend hooks you up with a nice meal.  And, there’s nothing like going home and eating a plate full of mom’s homemade nostalgia.  But those experiences aren’t the norm and you, Grown Man, should be able to create meals that are enjoyable and out of the box.  Well, not literally out of a box, more like motivational office poster out of the box.

Alright, alright, Grown Man, I’m convinced!  I’ll substitute one of my three All-You-Can-Eat-Wing nights for something I cook on my own.  Oh, but wait, I can’t cook anything.  Guess I’m ignoring your advice again.

Good segue, “fake person who I created to help me move between thoughts rapidly”.  Now that you know the why, let’s talk about the how.  Because the truth is, a ton of guys just don’t know how to cook.   I’m always shocked at the number of really good fellas whose ability is limited to grilling something terribly (every guy thinks he can grill, few of them can, that’s a future post) or limited to “cooking” a bowl of Captain Crunch.  Oh Captain, my Captain, mmmmmmmmm.  Anyhow, here are some easy ways to start learning.

1- Start with basic stuff.  Learn how to make a good pancake, a passable chicken dish, and some common sides (mashed potatoes, green beans, etc.).  Starting basic and learning the properties of food will naturally lead you to more complicated dishes.

2- Find out what cookbook your grandma uses and buy that one.  My grandma uses The Joy of Cooking and The Betty Crocker Cookbook.*  Both of these cookbooks are the quintessential Cooking 101 textbooks.  They’re not going to give you the worlds best recipe for a soufflé, but you’ll make a killer apple pie – which is a great and delicious start.

But I’m a man, I don’t read directions and I’m sure as hell not going to read a recipe!

Here’s a freebie, You’re a Grown Man, either read directions or be a lot smarter than you are. Back to the post…

3- Spend some time with people who you know that can cook.  Nothing works better than an apprenticeship.  If your buddy is inviting you over for some succulent sockeye on Friday, offer a high-quality, independently brewed, six-pack in exchange for peeking over his shoulder as he preps your dinner.  You’ll be swimming up-stream at first, but then it’ll all start to make sense.

4- If you really get into it and want to learn a ton of great techniques, recipes, and tricks, check out Rouxbe, an on-line cooking school.*

Grown Men, give some thought to your food and start raising the bar on what you can do for yourself.  Even if you crash and burn a few times, the effort will be noticed (yes, by girls) and appreciated.  Bon Appetit!

*None of the mentioned books or sites are advertising with me and, likely, have no idea who I am.

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