Tag Archives: drinking

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.

Ask a Grown Man: Vol. XI

10 Sep

What does a grown man do with unsightly hair (like back, chest…and other places)? In other words, are the French and David Hasslehoff grown men; or the shaved metrosexuals at the mall? I’m confused.

-Zach

Zach Attack,

You’ve posed an excellent question!  One that many a Guido and bear (of the San Francisco variety) have argued over.  Unfortunately, the answer isn’t definitive and requires some guidance (of the Grown Man variety). We’re going to do this SAT, read-and-answer-a-question, style:

1- You’re a hairy fella and, when you look in the mirror, you’re neutral or happy about what you see.  Additionally, your lady-friend also likes what she sees and even enjoys spending long hours french braiding your back.  Keep it or Shave It?

2- You’re a hairy fella and, when you look in the mirror, you think you look like a big old Robin Williamsesque beast.  You hate it, it’s gross, you wish you were smooth like “shaved metrosexuals at the mall” (an awesome reference by the way, Zach).  Keep it or Shave It?

3- You’re a hairy fella and, when your lady-friend takes a gander at you she loves you but is kinda grossed out.  She’s cool about it, but you can tell she’s also laying back and thinking of England every time she hugs you at the beach.  Keep it, Shave it, or Discuss it (oooh, tricky)?

Pencils down…ready for the answers?

#1 – Keep it! My friend, you’ve hit the holy grail.  You’re cool with it, she’s cool with it, and you shouldn’t have a care about that hair!  There’s absolutely no biological reason for you to shave (or keep) your body hair.  It’s purely an aesthetic decision. If all concerned parties are happy, flaunt those chest dreads with confidence.

#2 – Shave it! Again, what matters is that you’re happy with you.  It doesn’t matter what The Situation or The Hoff say, it’s your body.  If you’d be happier without body hair — go for it. Do I think you’ll look like a crazy albino dolphin?  Yes.  But at the end of the day, you call the shots about you.  Grown Men have confidence.

#3- Discuss it! It’s still your call with what you do to your body.  However, now that you’ve joined with someone and made the non-verbal contract that you’re representing each other, it’s probably a good idea to have the discussion as to why she doesn’t like the hair and what, if anything, you’re willing to do to help out (shave, wear more shirts, Flowbee?).  What you need to know is that if she’s not a big hair fan, it doesn’t mean she’s not a big you fan.  Everyone has certain likes and dislikes. Just talk it out and come to a nice compromise.  Also, if you think that maybe she’s also not a big fan of you — run! Hair will be the least of your problems, my good man.

Zach, at the end of the day, confidence is the name of game.  If you like the way you look, there’s no reason to change (unless you like wearing t-shirts to work, then you’ve got to change).  If your significant other is not a fan, you owe her the courtesy of a conversation and then, confidently, to do what’s right.  However, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this, none of our grandfathers shaved their bodies (unless your grandpa is Jack LaLanne).  It’s kind of a weird trend that I think Grown Men of the future will scoff at.

Hair today, gone tomorrow,
GM

Mr. Grown Man,

I’m turning 21 this week, and wanted this to be a time for celebrating a landmark age in becoming a proper Grown Man.  This is hard, of course, when most of my friends want to engage in some more traditional, downing-21-shooters debauchery.  Is there a way for me to celebrate my rights under the Twenty-first Amendment without being a total knob/landing in the hospital?

Growing Up Man

Mr. Growing Up Man,

Happy Birthday!  Turning 21 is a big deal.  Why?  I have no idea, drinking to get drunk is overrated and you’ve been eligible for the military for three years.  But still, it’s a culturally accepted right of passage, so I celebrate with you! Hazaa!

Zach, if he’s not careful

Let’s get to the point.  You are dead, spot, right on with your desire to celebrate the repeal of prohibition in a responsible way.  The only way I can tell you to do that – and this isn’t a fun answer – is to be bold and just do it.  There’s no tricky way. There’s no “Hey, tell your friends that drinking will interfere with your HGH supplements” kind of way, there’s simply just doing what you need to do to not make your first morning of your 21st year a miserable one.  I do have a few pointers though:

1- Don’t drink fast. The moment your friends see an empty glass, they will (and should) order you another one.   Don’t drink so slow that they know your nursing it, but if you slow the pace from “chug, chug!” to nice-and-normal, you’ll save yourself a ton a alcohol and still enjoy the night.

2- Eat before you drink. For real, one beer on an empty stomach is like three on a tummy full of McFatties Burgers.

3- Avoid drinking games. Drinking games are akin to trying to clean your dog with a pressure washer — it’s going to be efficient but tragically messy.  The moment your bro’s start screaming “pong, pong, pong”, you can be assured that it’s not a snarky 80’s reference (a la Grown Man), but a challenge for you to be throwing up in 10 minutes.

Other than that, I don’t know what to tell you.  I hope you don’t end up being a “knob” (great word, by the way) who lands in the hospital.  However, if you do, please send pictures, I’ll post them so we can all laugh at you.  Just be bold, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders and will do the right thing.  Happy Birthday, Zach.

Also, don’t drive or hook-up, you’ll regret it,
GM

Until next week, keep asking those great questions!

have a hobby.

30 Aug

I brew beer.  Why do I brew beer?  Well, I’m not 100% sure.  Because really, if I stop and work the math (which I hate doing) it doesn’t add up.  You see, the raw ingredients for a batch of beer cost around $40 for two cases (48 bottles).  Now that’s some cheap and tasty beer!  However, here’s what ends up happening:  I walk into my local beer supply store and glaze over.  I begin to realize how screwed I’ve been in the past by not having a $30 device for aiding in the partial mash process — oh the humanity!  Then, I get a feeling that some of the fermentation problems and pronounced notes of hops I had on the last batch were probably due to not cooling the wort (pre-beer mixture) quickly enough — “Yeah, I should probably pick up some supplies for a chiller.” No big deal, just another $50.  You see what’s happening, don’t you?  I’m getting ready to brew my next batch of Cristal.  But man o’ man, do I love brewing beer!  And at the end of the day, the value of sitting in the garage with my friends for three hours and drinking good beer while we create mediocre beer can’t be underestimated.  Grown Men, you need to find a hobby.  Let’s talk it out…

Here’s our working definition of a hobby: A hobby is a way to spend time doing something you enjoy that does not necessarily provide any monetary income and has little discernible, tangible benefit (other than happiness) to you or those around you.  Basically, a hobby IS fun and ISN’T work.  A hobby DOES occupy your brain and DOESN’T stress you out.  A hobby is, in it’s purest form, old school, little kid, OshKosh B’gosh, playing.

Basset hound

Image via Wikipedia

I suppose it started when we were little guys, spending a copious amount of time in the back yard just goofing around with the wagon or constructing a ramp for the Hot Wheels to jump Beau the Basset Hound (actual event).  By the way, what happened to Hot Wheels?  They used to be small versions of regular cars.  Now, they’re all futuristic and messed up.  I want a Hot Wheel of an ‘84 Ford F150.  I’m just sayin’.

Back to the point: gentlemen, you need to have playtime. It’s ingrained in your masculinity and can’t be denied.  There is a part of our psyche that, even in a fulfilling relationship and wonderful job, just longs to mess around, goof off, kill time, build something, wreck something, tinker, or be creative.  All of us need that one thing – we’ll call it a hobby – that gives us a measure of margin in our life where we’re not connected so intensely to the adult world and the expectations thereof. Wow, that was heavy.

Here’s a final thought about having a hobby.  I’ve clearly been avoiding naming actual hobbies because there are about one zillion options for how to have big boy play time.  I brew beer. In the past, I’ve done wood block carving, biking (that lasted for about 5 minutes), blogging, and a ton of other random things.

Grown Man, don’t you blog now?  I mean, wait, I’m reading the blog.  So yes, you do blog.

Good point, Mr. Observant.  Here’s what’s important to remember, I started blogging as a way to make my friends laugh.  Now, I’m on more of a mission with this site and must do adult things like pace myself, maintain boundaries, and sometimes even not write in order to enjoy writing again.  In short, this blog has crossed out of the hobby realm and into the something I like to do a lot realm (sorta like a job).  It’s a fine but distinct line.  When you find a hobby, make sure you know when it’s a pure hobby and when it’s a mini-job.  Because a mini-job is great, but the little boy in you still needs some mindless Hot Wheel time.

You’re a Grown Man, have a hobby.

be a good best man (part 2).

3 Aug

Never, in the long and storied four month life of this blog, has a topic been more requested.  You all have clearly been scarred by some truly terrible toasts, and for that I am sorry.  Someday, when inspiration strikes, I’ll do a full post on toast etiquette.  For now though, I will address best men who, in a typical wedding, will be called upon to raise a glass.  Let the healing begin:

1- Be funny, but not too funny. Let’s cut to the chase. You’re talking about this man in front of his freaking grandparents, you can’t bring up stuff that’s going to humiliate him!  It’s okay to be funny and even do one, uno, singular roast-type joke that won’t cross the line (“My first memory of James was changing his diapers – when I was his babysitter!” [crowd snickers – you’re done])  But then, you’ve got to quell your desire to be publicly funny and realize that: a)you’re probably not funny, b)you’re coming dangerously close to really making a fool out of you and the groom, and c)this isn’t your big break at making it as a stand-up comic.  Save it for the Apollo, my good man.

2- Be warm and willing to show emotion. The main goal of your toast is to salute the bride and groom and lend your voice to the chorus of people who are affirming the newlyweds.  Therefore, you need to get beyond humorous anecdotes and actually say what you like about the groom, his new wife, and their relationship. If you feel like you’re about to cry, pull out your handkerchief and keep going.  There’s nothing emasculating about loving your friend and expressing that emotion.

3- Keep track of time. One of the great traps that we fall into as men is thinking that if some is good, more must be better.  And while this theory works like a charm with Cuban sandwiches and college football – it’s the death of a good toast.  Here’s what you need to do, think about your toast ahead of time and stick to the game plan.  Even if it’s going really well, don’t change direction or freestyle! Make like Seinfeld and get out while you’re on top.  If you don’t, it’s going to be a disaster and people will get bored (like everything Seinfeld’s done since SeinfeldThe Marriage Ref?!).  I’m going to just go ahead and say it right now – you’ve got two minutes, tops.

4- Don’t toast drunk. I’m not going to write a long exposition on this one other than to say that it’s never in your best interest to be sloppy drunk.  Being inebriated basically kills your ability to act like a Grown Man and generally leads you way too close to the not-respectable line.  Additionally, you being drunk and trying to give a good (meaning actually good, not train wreck good) is literally impossible.  Hear me say this: 100% of the time you will make the people that witness your Dudley Moore-esque toast extremely uncomfortable.  Have some respect for the groom and just say no.

and finally…

5- Don’t forget to actually toast. The job of the toast is to literally encourage people to raise their glasses as a sign of respect.  And, while I know it may seem silly for me to bring up this point, I’ve seen countless well-meaning men simply end the speech with a quick “thank you” and then walk away.  Forget something?  Yep, the part where you toast.  All you have to do is say something simple like “To David and Donna!” and raise your glass.  It’s that simple – if you remember.

Gentlemen, I know public speaking is one of the scariest things you can possibly do.  But believe me, if you try to follow these five rules, you’ll be fine. Good luck, and cheers!

be a good best man (part 1).

2 Aug

Like the groomsman, the role of the best man has been well documented.  The Knot and others have done a good job in making tidy little lists that will ensure your success in this oh-so-important role.  However, my job as your pilot on Grown Man Air is to do more than simply take you to your destination – I want you to think.  Gentlemen, please return your tray tables to their upright and locked positions – here are the tools you’ll need for being a successful best man:

-The Bachelor Party: One of the first duties you’ll fulfill is that of Bachelor Party planner.  Your groom, and presumably your best friend, deserves a heck of a party to celebrate his big decision to get married.  Did you notice how I put that?  “Celebrate his big decision…” NOT, “Say goodbye to his freedom.”  Do you see the difference?

A common mistake is that bachelor parties are some ridiculous tribute to the last taste of freedom and, therefore, involve excessive flirting, hooking up, or at worst, strip clubs.  Grown Men don’t go to strip clubs, ever.  And while this is a future post for another day,  it’s just important to know that celebrating marriage isn’t about tempting the monogamy gods one more time, it’s about celebrating a big decision in a man’s life and sending him off with a boat load of fun, class, and dignity.

Sadly, I found this pic. AFTER I wrote the post.

Having significantly killed the jovial mood, let me end the bachelor party section with this.  Best men, you all are the sole organizers of this shindig.  Have a discussion at some point with your groom and see what he’s hoping for. Then, execute the party planning with a type-a tornado of efficiency and delegation.  The groomsmen are the infantry and you’re the general – get those guys to help out with clearly defined, easy to execute jobs.  I can assure you that with the right mindset (celebrating the groom!) and some attention to detail, you’ll honor your friend with a tremendous bachelor party.  Also, don’t let anyone get tattoos that night.  Some fresh “bros before hoes” ink will not bode well with the bride.

-The Wedding Day: Here’s what happens inside of the groom’s head when he wakes up on his wedding day.  “Wow, why am I waking up in a hotel room?  Oh man, I’m getting married today!”…time elapses…flashes of standing at the alter… “I do”…Boom Boom Pow playing at the reception…leaving in a limo…hotel… “Wow, why am I waking up in Maui? Oh man, I’m on my honeymoon!”

Best men, the groom has a lot on his mind and really needs your help.  Your job is to be the attendant to the groom through the entire process.  If that guy wakes up and is dazed over by the bigness of the day, he needs to somehow end up at the church, in a tux, on time, with his overnight bag, the extra box of wedding favors, and the 2 zillion other little things he was supposed to remember.  Your job is to make sure that all of those things happen, with or without his full consciousness.

For the most part though, the groom isn’t the bumbling doofus I’m making him out to be. And usually, the most helpful function you can serve is to be the great friend you’ve always been.  The importance of hanging out and keeping the day focused and calm for your groom is paramount. On the wedding day, do whatever you’ve got to do to insulate that guy from any last minute craziness and make sure that he’s able to maintain the focus he’ll need to be able to stand on the alter and promise some pretty important things to a pretty important woman.  And, once again, whatever you do – no tattoos.

Alright fellas, this is the end of part 1. You may take a bathroom break now and prepare for part 2, where we’ll finally talk about the dreaded best man toast!

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