Tag Archives: holidays

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!”

go outside.

30 Jun

We’re coming up on a long weekend and, at this point in the week, I’m sure you’ve completely checked out and are planning your three-day nothing-fest.  Oh the places you will go!  Maybe you’ll have a big Saturday and parlay pancakes into an ice-chest full of back porch Miller Light and round third on an evening of on-line gaming.  Oh no, better yet, maybe you’ll get really active and work out that thumb, switching between Wimbledon and World Cup.  Man, the 4th of July’s gonna’ rule! I love independence!

Guys, we’ve begun equating relaxation with inactivity.  We’ve lost touch with the Earth – our dominion, our home, and our sanctuary.  What we’ve done is sought out comfort at all costs and forgotten how good it feels have dirt in our hands, sun on our necks, and fresh air to breath.  It’s time to get back to the basics.

Here’s the homework:  This weekend, go outside.  For real, start planning something right now that will aid in reintroducing you to the Earth.  Maybe you could take a nice hike, kayak, or bike ride. Maybe you could go so far as to buy a cheap tent and spend a night outside (it’s called camping).  Whatever you do, go beyond working in the yard and find, at least, a semi-beautiful place and bask in it. And by bask, I mean get rid of the phone, sweat a little bit,  look/smell/touch things, and be present for whatever may present itself.  Your instincts will take over when you get there.

Now listen, I know you’ve got World Cup fever (when will this terrible event end!) and have been working hard.  I don’t want to guilt you into not enjoying your home and 97 inch TV.   What I want from you is balance.  A balance between TV and nature, air conditioning and photosynthesis, your natural habitat and the one you’re paying monthly on.

Grown Men, go outside.

give up your seat.

21 Jun

We’re going to start the week out with an easy little tidbit of wisdom.  I know you’ve had a big weekend with the awkwardness that only a holiday dedicated to your father can offer – so we’re going to take it slow.  Ready?

When you’re sitting anywhere and a woman enters your space with the obvious intent to sit, look around the area and see if there’s a free seat.  If there is, don’t do anything (something you’re already a pro at).  If there isn’t an obvious chair for her to sit in, GET UP and politely offer her your seat.

While the post should end here and you should just trust me and do it, I feel as though I must take a moment to explain why.  However, I don’t really know why.  In fact, I’ve realized lately that I don’t understand the motives behind many chivalrous acts that I try to reinstate (standing when a lady enters the room, etc.).  Because really, when you think about it, women are typically smarter and more resourceful than even the most well refined Grown Men.  When a woman walks on a packed subway car and is forced to stand because no guys rise up and do the right thing, she’s going to be fine.  If a woman walks in a conference room and notices there aren’t any seats, she’s perfectly capable of forging for her own chair or simply standing – she doesn’t need your help.

Um, Grown Man, you’re kind of digging yourself a grave here.  I’m about to quit all this being polite junk and start keeping it real again.

Get ready to be schooled like game 6 Celtics.  Here we go…

It’s important that people know they’re respected.  Giving up your chair isn’t really about aiding a damsel in distress – she doesn’t need the help – it’s about communicating that you respect her presence enough to make the next few moments a little easier, even at the risk of your own comfort.  I would argue that giving up a seat for another man isn’t a bad idea either.  However, societal norms don’t dictate that to be a common form of respect between men, so we find other ways of communicating respect like firm handshakes and dreadfully boring drinks after work.

And one more thing, I feel as though men have gotten the impression that chivalry is merely for purposes of wooing women into dating them.  While a relationship may be an unintended benefit of being polite, it certainly shouldn’t be the motive.  Having etiquette is just part of being a man.  Any woman, and I mean old women, your mom, your random coworker, your wife, a stranger, is worth your utmost respect and chivalry.

Whew, enough big words, I’m going to make it simple for you.  Woman in room? No seat! Get up.

celebrate Father’s Day.

20 Jun

Father’s Day is a mixed bag for guy’s emotions.  Maybe this day evokes memories of a good man, maybe it brings to mind ones you’d rather forget.  Maybe you’ve got a dad to call and say Happy Father’s Day to, maybe you don’t.  In any event, today is a day for reflection.  Reflection on the man  you look up to, or reflection on the man you’d like to become.

Grown Men, go call your dad or the guy who did the job of your dad.  If you have nobody to call, make a vow today to never be the kind of Grown Man who doesn’t get a call on Father’s Day.

See you tomorrow with more tomfoolery and sarcasm.

give a crap about Memorial Day.

31 May

I’m not going to begin a rant about how America rules, how we need to support the war effort, that some gave all , or how these colors don’t run. But I will say, Memorial Day is important and worth at least five minutes of your Monday.

Memorial Day is about remembering people in the military who died as well as living veterans and those serving presently.

What?! I thought Memorial Day was about me remembering how much I love gluttony and sloth. Oh snap, I love me some cheeseburgers!

My point exactly. Memorial Day has become one of the great forgotten holidays. We love this day because we don’t love our jobs and even more, we love doing nothing – not a damn thing – sitting on our butts all day with a beer I.V. and a blank slate of a mind. Ah yes, this is the good life.

Now please, don’t feel bad about the kielbasa & chicken wing double doozie that you just started working on. The very point of today is giving you, the draft-dodger who lied to the high school Army recruiter and told him you were already accepted to Harvard Law just so he would stop calling you, a reason to celebrate.

Because today, we don’t have to look over our shoulders while we flip the burgers. Today, we don’t have to be afraid of death when we go on our DUI-ish beer run (well, you kinda do, but you know what I mean). Today, we enjoy the sweet taste of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – and we can do that because somebody, thousands of somebody’s are willing to take a bullet for you.

Have a great day today. Men need time off – it’s restorative. Just take a moment to call your grandfather and thank him for not putting up with injustice and getting in harms way. Write a quick thank you note to someone you know who’s in the desert or protecting this countries interests. At minimum, give a moment of thought to how nice it is to be totally, completely, free.

One quick note. I’m not saying that I agree with the war(s) in the present or past. However, when someone has a job that is hard enough that it warrants the federal government shutting down for a day – it’s probably worth remembering.

go to Church.

4 Apr

It’s Easter, go to Church. It can be a weird church or your run-of-the-mill First Church of [your town]. But seriously, twice a year (Christmas Eve is the other one) won’t kill you. While you’re at it – wear a suit.

Happy Easter, grown men.

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