Tag Archives: drinking

be a good groomsman.

28 Jul

Good day, Grown Men, and welcome to day two of wedding week! Today, we’re going to throw down the gauntlet for the groomsmen.  The groomsmen is likely the most misunderstood job of the entire wedding as it appears, at first blush, that there’s not much for them to do other than usher, stand, and party.  But I say, “Nay, groomsmen – you’re the infantry, the back up, the groom’s [dramatic pause] men!”  You’ve got an important role, and one that we need to discuss.

Here at You’re a Grown Man,  I try hard not to retread the same content that’s been written about, ad nauseam, all over ye ole’ internet.  Because of this stance, I’m going to just shoot myself in the foot and tell you that there are a number of good sources to get the specifics of the groomsmen job.  I found a solid one on TheKnot.com, but there are others if you simply ask Jeeves.  That being said, today I’m going to cover some of the lesser discussed points of groomsmen etiquette in order to advance the cause of nuptial knowledge (it’s sort of an alliteration, isn’t it?).  Here we go…

-Be supportive in bachelor party planning. While it’s typically the best man’s job to organize the details of the Stag Night, the groomsmen have multiple opportunities to step up and take some of the burden. In my real life, I’m in the midst of being a best man and planning the bachelor party. The other day, I casually mentioned to one of the groomsmen that we should go fishing as part of the weekend.  His immediate response was, “Awesome idea, my brother has a ton of gear, I’ll make sure he brings it, we’re set on fishing.”  Whew.  Thanks, groomsman!  Now I can focus my energies on more important things like figuring out how many PBR’s will fit in a Volkswagen-sized-cooler and where in the world I can get a child-size Wham! t-shirt for the groom to mandatorily wear all night.

-Be supportive in finances. Groomsmen-to-be, here’s what you’re going to need to pay for.
1-Your tux rental, suit purchase, or whatever the bridegroom tells you to wear. I pre-apologize if that chap asks you to buy some huge, frumpy, linen shirt for his beach wedding – yuck.
2- Your share of the bachelor party, pre-wedding party, or whatever the best man invites you to.  The best man should be very open about finances, hopefully he will be after reading tomorrow’s post.
3- Drinks and food.  If you see your groom heading to the bar or flagging down a waiter, you absolutely must intercept that guy with a “Oh hell no.  I’m buying.”  Grooms don’t pay for anything.
4-Anything else, within reason, that you’re asked to buy. If you get a text 30 minutes before the ceremony that reads “Oh shiz, I forgot…can u pick up shaving cream, a box of condoms, and shoe polish?” – do it.  And don’t ask for repayment – it’s just part of the job.

-Be supportive of the bride, bridal party, parents, pastor, florist, photographer, cookie table attendant, etc., etc.,. The days before the wedding, not to mention the actual day, are fraught with little details, changes in plans, and last minute freak-outs.  Every wedding has them, no matter how fantastic the wedding coordinator is – unless it’s J. Lo.  Anyhow, your role as a groomsman is to pay attention and help out as needed.  Let’s say you overhear one of the bridesmaids saying, “Oh no, I forgot my purse in the car, and it’s raining!”  Guess what fella, this is now your job.  Her updo won’t survive the downpour.  There are a zillion examples like this one that could illustrate my point.  However, I will leave you with this – pay attention to everything that’s happening and do whatever you can to make the day a tiny bit smoother.

And finally…

-Support the groom. Your main job, by far, is to make sure your groom is as care-free as possible.  This guy has got a lot on his mind and really doesn’t need to be focusing on anything other than that sweet woman who he’ll be meeting up with in a few moments.  Sometimes, support looks like sneaking him a little preview from the bar and having a laugh. Sometimes, it looks like saying “No way man, I’ll make sure your aunt has directions to the reception.”  Support can take on a lot of forms, but the overarching point that I’m trying to make is that it must be given.  The role of the groomsman is not one of simply attending and leaving, it’s one of doing the stuff that nobody got assigned and, usually, nobody is being asked to do.

Grown Men, be good groomsman – I know you can do it.

Tomorrow, the best man…

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.

give a proper toast.

13 Jul

There are a number of things I love about writing You’re A Grown Man: getting to be obnoxiously sarcastic, women emailing me saying that they’re going to “make” their boyfriends read the blog (sorry, man), and resurrecting nuances of etiquette that are being discarded.  Today, my good men, we’re bringing back a good one – the toast.

When I say toast, most of you mentally head to a wedding where the best man gets up  and brings the reception to a grinding halt .  “Oh man, you remember that time we said we’d marry the hottest girls ever!?  We were so drunk, bro! Anyway, I’m really glad you’re marrying Jenna – she’s very wholesome.” Nice one, chief.  And while the best-man toast has become abhorrent, that’s another 600 words for a different day.  Today however, we’re talking about the good-old-fashioned, couple of beers with a broseph on a Monday night, toast.

courtesy Life.com

Here’s what happens right now when you go out.  Your drink comes, somebody mumbles something, and the trough is open for business.  What we’re missing is the formality, the class, and the recognition that comes with replacing the mumble with a sentence or two that expresses warmth and gratitude.

“But Grown Man, I’m not as funny as you!  You would know the perfect thing to say! I’m just a dumb animal.”

You all know I make up these quotes, don’t you?  Anyhow, here’s what you do,  think of someone or something you’re grateful for.  For example, last night I did a toast for my friends newborn son.  I had just held the baby before we went to the bar and the little guy was on my mind.  So, I raised my glass and said “To Hank”, and my friend said, “Yep, to Hank” and we both had our first sip and thought for a moment about how pleased we were to know that baby.  The whole moment changed for us and a trendy craft beer became a shared experience between friends.  That’s what a toast does, it acknowledges that the time together is paramount and worth having a drink over.

Because I know you need structure and order, here are the rules:

1- Make the toast short.  We’re not doing a long, rambling, monologue about the finer points of life – we’re honoring someone or something.

2- Make eye contact.  If you’re with one guy, look him in the eye.  If you’re in a group, scan the table.  Go here if you forget why you should do this.

3- Spill away.  It’s supposed to be good luck if you spill a bit o’ the drink during the clank.  And, while I think there’s no such thing as luck, it’s just right for guys to bang the glasses.  Much like a hearty handshake or good slap on the back – guys aren’t meant to be ginger with each other.

4- Have a default toast prepared.  Sometimes, there isn’t someone or something that pops into your head when you raise the glass.  For just such an occasion, have one in the bag.  I usually use, “Eat, drink, and be merry” or “To good friends and good spirits”.  Or, if it’s the holiday season, I use “God rest ye merry, gentlemen.”  Oh man, guys love that one! It never fails to sound über-classy.  In any event, just think of one and share it with the class in the comments below.

5- The toast isn’t as vital on the 2nd, 3rd… 19th rounds – but it’s still a good move and will get progressively more amusing as the evening carries on.

Gentlemen, that’s all for today.  Give this one a try, I can assure you it’ll garner respect and admiration from those who you floor with your Grown Manliness.

“To Hank!”

know your drink order.

7 Jul

It happened to me a few weeks ago:  I’m sitting at a bar with a friend when the waiter comes up and says, “What’ll you have?”  Because I can see my friend fumbling around the menu, I begin navigating my own course.  I ask a few brief questions like, “What’s on tap?” and “Do you have a wine list?”  and then, I place my order – “Jack and Coke, thank you”.  The entire interaction between us lasted upwards of 20 seconds.

Then it was my friends turn.  He began by asking the question “What’s on tap?”  The polite waiter, of course, went through the list again and awaited his next cue.  “Um, well, alright, well, I’d like…actually, what’s good here?  No, no, I’ll just have a, oh man, I forget the name.  It tastes like Sprite, but it’s not actually got Sprite in it.”  “A gin and tonic, sir?”  “Huh, I think that’s what it was called, yeah, I’ll have one of those.”  My friend then looked at me with an unknowing smile and I returned too him a look of horror and disgust.

Grown Men, you’ve got to know your drink order well before you need to place it.  Being able to traverse the alcohol jungle with a barkeep is just one of the parts of being a man that, while not essential to the overall picture of masculinity, is important for a guy to be able to do.  Having a good working knowledge of drinks will not only make you seem confident (fake it till you make it), but it will allow you more time to converse with the person you’re with without derailing for a drink dialogue.

Here are some tips…

-Get nerdy. For real, hop on the internet and start researching what you like.  I’m sure you’ve had enough experience in the past with a few drinks that you can put something together.  I like the Esquire magazine site, it’s really helpful.  Also, I’m sure folks will leave other helpful links in the comments.

Experiment. Before you go to your next bar, have a drink or two ready to order.  Pick drinks with different bases (example: a whiskey drink and a gin drink) and choose options that are common (yes: Tom Collins, No: Tom Johnstone).  Channel your inner Mr. Wizard and  bust out that mental Erlenmeyer flask.

-Remember. One of the huge problems with uncertain orderers is that they forget what they’ve liked in the past.  They begin to panic and think, “Crap, I loved that drink at my sisters wedding?  Man, what was it called?”  It was called a Appletini and you should have written it down before you got drunk.  Speaking of writing it down, always carry a piece of paper with you.  It’ll be a Grown Man post some other day.

-Be confident. When you find something you like, don’t be afraid to order it.  In this era of defining what a lady-drink is and what a man-drink is, we’ve gotten scared to order a Cosmo because we know the Carrie jokes will follow. You know what?  Get past it.  Your friend who’s choking down some hyper-male, “whiskey neat”, would give Charlotte’s adopted daughter to be sipping a refreshing Cosmo.  No kidding, I have a non-alcoholic friend who orders Shirley Temples when we’re out.  We mess with him about it, but he likes those freaking drinks so much and doesn’t give a crap that we’re goofing on him.  He’s one of the manliest dudes I know.

-If the bar you’re at is limited and doesn’t have your first option, don’t get flustered, just go to the next one.  If all else fails, order what the other guy ordered and choke it down.  When you’re through with your night, go back to the drawing board and learn more.

-This is an important one.  If you’ve got issues with alcohol, the manliest thing you can order is a non-alcoholc drink with an extra shot of sobriety. Grown Men know their limits.


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