Greetings Manoverse…it’s been awhile.
Your Humble Potentate of Profundity had another little health calamity…osteomyelitis in my foot, which is an odd trick for someone who doesn’t even walk. A few weeks in one hospital, a few more weeks in another hospital, a couple of weeks of self-infused IV antibiotics at home…but now I’m on the mend and back to work. The truth is that I hadn’t been writing even a couple of months before being hospitalized, which should have been an indicator that something was off. But sometimes…especially when it comes to our own health…we just can’t see the forest for the trees. At any rate, the clouds have parted and I feel the urge to jump back into the fray here at The Manofesto, and I think I’ve found the perfect avenue to do just that.
Y’all know I like checking things out over on Pinterest, and I ran into something that piqued my curiosity called The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide to Being a Man. Now I’m 40-something years old, and while I believe that we should always be willing to grow & evolve the fact is that I am pretty much who I’m going to be. If folks can appreciate my positive qualities and deal with my shortcomings then there’s an opportunity for us to be friends, but chances are I’m not going to change all that much at this stage of my life. So am I manly enough according to Goldman Sachs?? Have I learned the right lessons from other men in my life, or have I totally been screwing things up for decades?? The charm…in my opinion…of having a forum like this is to pontificate on such matters, and so we shall. We’re going to go down thru this unofficial guide point by point and see just what being a man is all about.
Stop talking about where you went to college.
I get it I suppose. College was great. I had lots of fun & made a lot of good memories. I’m not so sure those years created much of a solid foundation for me vocationally, but that’s mostly my fault. I think the point though is a man should ideally achieve & grow & create an interesting enough life in the decades that follow that a thirty/forty/fifty-something is not hearkening back to long past collegiate glory. I don’t necessarily disagree, but neither do I totally agree with the sentiment. Everyone’s collegiate (or even high school) experience is different. Some buckle down, do what they gotta do, get the degree, & never look back. They might not ever go back for any kind of reunion and don’t set foot on campus for the remainder of their lives. Others may adopt where they attend college as a second hometown, make lifelong friends, & return every chance they get. I have friends from college who go to as many football games as possible, and a couple even have jobs at the university. Basically they never left. Where they attended college became a part of them and has been integrated into their lives, and that’s okay. Even those who don’t still live in their college town or go back all that often might still support their alma mater, watch games on TV, & maybe even wear a t-shirt or hat occasionally. I fall into that category and I don’t believe it somehow makes me less of a man.
Always carry cash. Keep some in your front pocket.
My Dad is a big believer in this one. He gets annoyed when he sees someone writing a check for $10 at a store because he thinks that everyone should have what he calls “AP Money” (i.e. ass pocket money, which I suppose goes against the grain of keeping it in your front pocket). However, I think technology plays a part nowadays. I don’t carry much cash & pay for a lot of things with a debit card. I could actually use my phone, but I’m not that fancy yet. So, while I would hate to stand behind some slowpoke paying for his $8 meal at Burger King by writing a check, I take no issue with that person whipping out a card or their phone instead of a few dead Presidents.
Rebel from business casual. Burn your khakis and wear a suit or jeans.
What you wear depends entirely upon the situation. It is a delicate balance between having some class and being comfortable. Personally I am a fan of business casual. I am not going to wear a suit if it isn’t required or atleast proper. I once had a job where I had to wear a tie every weekday, but I felt much more productive wearing jeans on the weekends. Conversely, I hate seeing people wear jeans to funerals or weddings or anywhere that business casual should be as informal as it gets. I don’t think rebellion is all that manly. There’s nothing wrong with simply being appropriate.
It’s ok to trade the possibility of your 80s and 90s for more guaranteed fun in your 20s and 30s.
Okay…live in the moment…I get it. I think most people do that anyway, but even if a person does try to plan ahead a bit and live conservatively with the future in mind I’d be surprised at anyone who thinks that far in advance. Most folks understand that nothing in life is certain.
The best public restrooms are in hotels: The St. Regis in New York, Claridge’s in London, The Fullerton in Singapore, to name a few.
Ummm…okay. I’ll keep that in mind if I’m ever in London, NY City, or Singapore and really really really need to…go.
Never stay out after midnight three nights in a row… unless something really good comes up on the third night.
Some comedian…I think it may have been Chris Rock…did a really funny routine about going to the ATM at 3am and how one isn’t going there at that hour for any good reason. The parameters change as we get older & our circumstances vary. I am very rarely out past midnight these days, and a three night stretch would definitely be odd. It would have to be something really interesting the first two nights, let alone the third night.
You will regret your tattoos.
I 100% agree. I almost got a tattoo on my ankle in college, which atleast would have been inconspicuous, but I am glad I didn’t do it. It’s a free country. I have friends with tattoos. To each their own…I just don’t see the attraction.
Never date an ex of your friend.
Yeah, I can see it. Depending on the depth of that friendship dating your buddy’s ex seems like it would be rather awkward.
Join Twitter…become your own curator of information.
Absolutely. To its credit Twitter can be somewhat informative depending on who you follow and if you can stay out of the muck that is so easy to get sucked into. I’m a big retweeter. I love to retweet quotes or profound thoughts by others that I find particularly meaningful.
If riding the bus doesn’t incentivize you to improve your station in life, nothing will.
I’ve had to ride the bus a couple of times recently, and it is quite humbling. I have friends who ride the bus with some regularity and I don’t judge. They’re good people…just not as affluent as they’d prefer. To be honest I’m just more well off enough than them to be able to afford a vehicle, and even that gets dicey when repairs need done. Let’s not be pejorative, but instead be thankful that public transportation is available to get folks to & from work, medical appointments, the grocery store, etc.
Time is too short to do your own laundry.
lol I get a good chuckle because I do in fact have someone who helps me do light housework, including laundry. But that’s only because of my disability. Otherwise I’d be happy to do laundry. I’d much rather do laundry than wash dishes!! Anyway, I assume most adults do their own laundry, and I see nothing wrong with that.
When the bartender asks, you should already know what you want to drink.
I don’t spend much time in bars these days, but yeah…know what you want. Don’t waste the bartender’s time or the time of those waiting behind you.
If you perspire, wear a damn undershirt.
Ehhhh. I’ve never been an undershirt guy myself. I suppose if your one of those people who sweats profusely wearing an undershirt is preferable to a big wet spot in your armpit, but I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone.
You don’t have to like baseball, but you should understand the concept of what a pitcher’s ERA means. Approach life similarly.
Hmmm…there’s a lot to unpack here. Earned Run Average represents the number of earned runs a pitcher allows per nine innings. An earned run is any run that scores without the aid of an error or a passed ball. To calculate ERA you multiply 9 x earned runs then divide by innings pitched. If a pitcher exits a game with runners on base, any earned runs scored by those runners will count against him. Your outcomes in life depend on your “ERA”. Performance determines longevity, and you might get few chances to you earn that longevity. Be responsible when it comes to time & effort. To stay in the game you have to perform well. ERA takes what we’ve done and gives us an average of what we might do if given multiple opportunities in the future. Make the most of every opportunity and surround yourself with a good team of people.
When people don’t invite you to a party, you really shouldn’t go. And sometimes even when you are invited, you shouldn’t go.
I concur. Not much into partying anymore, but I can’t imagine going to one to which I wasn’t invited. I’m just not that…aggressive. My father told me many years ago that there’s nothing wrong with staying home. I happen to live in a small town where not much goes on & I have a rather solitary life anyway, so I’m perfectly happy to stay home, read a book, watch a movie, love on my dog Rocco, or listen to some tunes.
People are tired of you being the funny, drunk guy.
I was the funny drunk guy for a few years back in college. That’s okay when you’re 19 years old, but when you’re…older…it’s just kind of sad. I can’t even remember the last time I had an adult beverage. I am delighted with a glass of iced tea or a bottle of water.
When in doubt, always kiss the girl.
I tend not to wallow in regret, and as previously mentioned I’m not particularly forceful, but I do look back and wish I would have rolled the dice a bit more with the ladies. Not in an offensive #MeToo kind of way or anything like that, but more like a self-confident “What do I have to lose??” manner.
Tip more than you should.
I agree wholeheartedly. I will…hold back…if the service is bad & the server is rude, but if a person is generally polite and does a good job then I believe they deserve a nice tip. Service industry jobs are tough and don’t pay all that much, so if I can help someone who’s done well in helping me then why not??
You probably use your cell phone too often and at the wrong moments.
This is likely true for most of us. Smartphones are a tremendous convenience and it’s great to have the world at your fingertips, but when you’re with family & friends we should step away from the technology and enjoy the people.
Buy expensive sunglasses. Superficial? Yes, but so are the women judging you. And it tells these women you appreciate nice things and are responsible enough not to lose them.
My father always taught us the value of good quality items. You don’t necessarily have to have the best, most expensive, top of the line stuff, but look for something well made from a reputable company. Whenever I get new glasses I also purchase prescription sunglasses, so by definition they are expensive and pretty nice. I don’t buy the $10 sunglasses near the grocery store checkout. As far as impressing women…ehhh. I understand the point. It’s probably an accurate statement and makes a lot of sense. However, if a woman is going to judge a man by the sunglasses he wears then I’m not completely sure she’s someone I need to know.
If you want a nice umbrella, bring a crappy one to church.
I have no idea what that even means.
Do 50 push-ups, sit-ups, & dips before you shower each morning.
Ha!! If I did fifty of even one of those the next shower I’d take would be in a hospital.
Eat brunch with friends at least every other weekend. Leave Rusty & Junior at home.
Well I don’t have any kids to worry about, but the sentiment makes sense. It’s important to stay in contact with friends, and I imagine those with children need some occasional adult interaction. Sadly I have not done a good job of keeping up with friends (to be fair they haven’t kept in touch with me either), and I especially miss a couple with whom I used to have really interesting conversations.
Be a regular at more than one bar.
I’m not a regular at any bar and have no desire to change that. However, back in college we had a special hangout that everyone gathered at several nights per week. When I was a kid one of my favorite television shows was Cheers, so I kind of have a romanticized idea of a friendly little neighborhood speakeasy “where everybody knows your name”. What exactly is wrong with being a regular at one place if the atmosphere is to one’s liking, the refreshment is appetizing, & the company is good?? And if you’re a “regular” at more than one bar what exactly are you doing with your life??
Act like you’ve been there before. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the end zone at the Super Bowl or on a private plane.
Exactly. I agree wholeheartedly. ‘Tis good advice in multiple walks of life.
A glass of wine or two with lunch will not ruin your day.
The writer of this guide really enjoys imbibing adult beverages.
It’s better if old men cut your hair. Ask for Sammy at the Mandarin Oriental Barbershop in Hong Kong. He can share his experiences of the Japanese occupation, or just give you a copy of Playboy.
Okay. I’m probably never going to be in Hong Kong for a haircut, but I do still like the idea of an old-fashioned neighborhood barber shop ran by geezers who’ve been plying their trade for decades. They do tell the best stories.
Learn how to fly-fish.
I don’t recall ever having gone fly-fishing per se, but I have gone fishing and didn’t enjoy the experience all that much. If I’m going to have a lazy day I’d prefer to just chill with a good book. I love the idea of being on the water, but a relaxing voyage on a pontoon boat is more my speed.
No selfies. Aspire to experience photo-worthy moments in the company of a beautiful woman.
Well…yeah. My life would be amazing if I spent all my photo-worthy moments with a beautiful woman. Sign me up.
Own a handcrafted shotgun. It’s a beautiful thing.
I am a huge supporter of The Second Amendment and do appreciate the craftsmanship of a handmade shotgun. However, I don’t currently own a gun because…well, I’d prefer to be properly trained & licensed, and even then I could totally see myself being one of those unfortunate souls who mutilates myself while cleaning the gun. Also, I’m not an outdoorsman at all, so if I was to become properly trained & licensed it would be so that I could own a handgun for target shooting & protection.
There’s always another level. Just be content knowing that you are still better off than most who have ever lived.
Amen. Dad always says that one doesn’t have to look very far to find a person worse off that you are. About my own life I always say that I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a few people I can count on, & relatively good health, so I think I’m doing okay.
You can get away with a lot more if you’re the one buying the drinks.
Again with the drinking!! Look, I’m not a cheapskate, but neither am I wealthy. If I do happen to find myself in an establishment with adult beverages I’m fine with buying my own drinks, and I’m not going to be the guy putting a round for everyone else on my tab. Perhaps I might buy a drink or two for a lovely young lady to see where things go, but that’s about the extent of my generosity. If that means that I can’t get away with much (whatever that means) then so be it.
Ask for a salad instead of fries.
Don’t split a check.
I don’t know…I think it depends on the situation.
Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them.
Oh how I wish that were true. It’s partially correct. The full statement should read pretty women who are unaccompanied want single men with fat wallets, six pack abs, & fancy sports cars to talk to them.
Cobblers will save your shoes. So will shoe trees.
I am in a wheelchair every day of my life. Shoes last me for years. I’ve never owned a shoe horn and when I think of cobbler it is on a plate topped with ice cream.
When a bartender buys you a round, tip double.
I’ve never had that occur, but if it ever happens I’ll be sure to leave a really nice tip.
The cliché is that having money is about not wasting time. But in reality, money is about facilitating spontaneity.
Well, first of all, I’ve never had all that much money. Having said that, I could see where it could facilitate spontaneity. Hopping on a plane to some exotic locale or buying an expensive vehicle on a whim sure would be easier if money wasn’t an issue. Most folks I know save spare change for years or plan months in advance for any kind of major purchase.
It’s a nice sentiment, but for various reasons related to my disability spontaneity hasn’t ever been easy for me to achieve. I need to plan ahead & know what I’m getting myself into.
Find a Times New Roman in the streets and a Wingdings in the sheets. She exists.
That’s a good one!! We’ve all heard variations of the idea (which is a perfectly legit goal by the way), but using a font related example is rather amusing. Kudos.
Piercings are liabilities in fights.
I got my ear pierced once back in the day when guys getting one ear pierced was the cool thing to do, and I spent days trying to hide it from my Dad. It was a phase I grew out of and have never had the desire to do again. I have seen people with all kinds of piercings on their face and on various parts of their body, and I do believe it’d hurt pretty bad to have that stuff tugged on or pulled out during a fight. Ouch.
Do not use an electric razor.
I don’t see anything wrong with an electric razor or a straight razor. To each their own. Do whatever works for you.
Desserts are for women. Order one and pretend you don’t mind that she’s eating yours.
No no no no no no no. No!! Poppycock. Not only do I love dessert, but if a woman wants dessert she needs to order her own. Keep your damn hands off my cheesecake!!
Buy a tuxedo before you are 30. Stay that size.
Okay, now we are becoming delusional. Look, if you run in the kind of social circles that necessitate you wearing a tux on a regular basis then by all means go out & buy one. It’s probably a smart investment. However, other than a few fraternity formals and being the best man in a wedding a decade ago I’ve not had to wear a tuxedo. And I don’t know very many people who remain the same size they were in their 20s forever. It’s just not realistic.
One girlfriend at a time is probably enough.
Probably?? How about definitely. Look, I love women. I wish women loved me as much as I love them. But let’s be honest…some of them are…high maintenance in a variety of ways. Not only is it not morally proper to have more than one gal at a time, but it is also impractical.
Your ties should be rolled and placed in a sectioned tie drawer.
Sorry, I’m just not that fancy. When I was wearing ties on a regular basis for work I had them hanging in my closet, and in the decade+ that I haven’t had to wear a tie hardly at all they’ve been stuffed in a plastic bag somewhere in the closet.
Throw parties. But have someone else clean up the next day.
I’d much rather attend a party somewhere else and return to my quiet little abode with no mess to deal with.
You may only request one song from the DJ.
So now we’ve segued from bars to nightclubs, which definitely aren’t my scene. The only place that I’ve ever had occasion to request a song from a DJ is at a wedding reception. However, I do understand the idea…don’t be the person going up every five minutes requesting a different song. That would be annoying.
Measure yourself only against your previous self.
Truth!! In the age of social media we have more access to other peoples’ lives than ever before, but sometimes the view can be somewhat misleading. Most folks are smart enough not to post the more mundane aspects of their lives for public consumption, so what we see are the highlights. Comparing ourselves to others is never a good idea. Conversely, looking at yourself now as opposed to ten years ago can be instructive and possibly even inspiring.
Take more pictures. With a camera.
Yes!! My life isn’t all that exciting, but I usually take my camera to occasions that are even remotely interesting. I’m sure others couldn’t possibly care less about my photographs, but I enjoy looking at them and remembering fun times. I wish I’d been more of a picture taker many years ago, but I’ve really only gotten into it in the past decade. My paternal grandmother always had her ‘Kodak” with her and took a ton of pictures thru the years. Nowadays people tend to use their phones to take pics, and that’s fine. Technology is wonderful. But in the same way that I still prefer an actual book to e-readers I think my camera takes better photos than my phone.
Place-dropping is worse than-name dropping.
My life isn’t adventurous enough to engage in either one.
When you admire the work of artists or writers, tell them. And spend money to acquire their work.
I’ve not had the opportunity to meet any famous writers, but if I had the chance to meet one of my favorites I’d be happy to tell them how much I enjoy their work. As far as acquiring their works…sure, go for it. That’s kind of the idea behind something being a favorite, right?? You spend money on what you enjoy.
Your clothes do not match. They go together.
Semantics. I’m not that much of a sophist.
Yes, of course you have to buy her dinner.
Well…yeah. Sorry ladies…I’m just old-fashioned like that.
Staying angry is a waste of energy.
Of course it is. But sometimes it’s pretty easy to do. I try to avoid it though.
Revenge can be a good way of getting over anger.
I see both sides. Revenge is a dish best served cold, but on the other hand “vengeance is Mine…I will repay, saith the Lord”. (Romans 12:19)
If she expects the person you are 20% of the time, 100% of the time, then she doesn’t want you.
Nailed it. Look, most people are complex to some degree. We put our best foot forward at work & church, regress back to being a goofball when we’re hanging out with friends, & can be a lazy hump when we’re home alone watching TV. It’s not that we’re being fake in some situations and genuine in others, it’s that most of us adjust our attitude & personality accordingly in any given situation. I’m no relationship expert, but I’m smart enough to know that trying to be the best version of yourself to impress a woman can become exhausting. She’s got to accept me for me, and that includes all variations of who I am.
Always bring a bottle of something to the party.
I’m not necessarily sure it has to be a bottle of anything, but I was always taught not to show up to a gathering empty handed.
Avoid that “last” whiskey. You’ve probably had enough.
No problem. I didn’t even have the first whiskey.
Don’t use the word “closure” or ever expect it in real life. There may still be a mortally wounded Russian mobster roaming the woods of south Jersey, but we’ll never know.
That’s probably true.
If you are wittier than you are handsome, avoid loud clubs.
It really does make a lot of sense. I just so happen to be more witty than good looking, and I realize that the chances of a woman taking one glance at me and instantly feeling some sort of physical yearning is remote at best. The only chance I have is to charm her with my warmth & sense of humor, which isn’t going to happen in an obnoxious dance club. I’ve always heard that the grocery store is the best place to meet women, but thus far it hasn’t worked for me.
Drink outdoors. And during the day. And sometimes by yourself.
Or how bout this…read a book, adopt a puppy, dig into God’s Word, get a hobby. I’m beginning to think the author of this guide is a functioning alcoholic. Life isn’t a television commercial. Most people who drink booze every day aren’t suave, sophisticated, or sexy…they’re sad & pathetic.
Date women outside your social set. You’ll be surprised.
I’d be down with that. I’m willing to outkick my coverage for a woman who is willing to lower her expectations.
If it’s got velvet ropes and lines, walk away unless you know someone.
I agree. That’s not my scene anyway.
You cannot have a love affair with whiskey because whiskey will never love you back.
I’m really worried about this writer. Perhaps someone should contact Alcoholics Anonymous or The Betty Ford Clinic.
Feigning unpretentiousness is worse than being pretentious. Cut it out with the vintage Polo and that ’83 Wagoneer in Nantucket.
I hate pretentious people, but most folks that I know who are modest & humble are genuinely so and not feigning anything.
The New Yorker is not high-brow. Neither is The Economist.
Magazines are still a thing?? Perhaps the writer should sober up and leave the bar more often.
If you believe in evolution, you should know something about how it works.
The rule can be applied to many things, not just evolution. If you say you believe in anything you probably should be somewhat knowledgeable about the subject.
No-one cares if you are offended, so stop it.
Can I get an amen up in here?!?!?!?? I am offended by people who are constantly offended, and nowadays it doesn’t take much to offend everyone. As a nation we may have become more “woke” than we were a few decades ago, but that doesn’t mean we’re better off for it. Sometimes I ponder what The Rat Pack would think about 21st Century America. Oh sure, you could question their moral compass, and that’s a conversation I’d be willing to have. But those guys were cool, and I think they’d be befuddled by how sensitive we’ve become, how everything is bad for us, & how other peoples’ shortcomings have become everyone else’s business. My maternal grandmother used to say “tend to your own rat killin’” and she was right. Lighten up everybody. None of us are getting out of here alive, so relax & enjoy the ride.
Never take an ex back. She tried to do better and is settling with you.
That makes a lot of sense. I’m sure there may be exceptions, but in general it’s probably a good rule of thumb.
Eating out alone can be magnificent. Find a place where you can sit at the bar.
I eat out alone a lot, and don’t mind a bit. I don’t care about sitting at the bar though.
Read more. It allows you to borrow someone else’s brain, and will make you more interesting at a dinner party — provided that you don’t initiate conversation with, “So, who are you reading…”
An old friend once observed that I “live in a library”, meaning that my humble abode is lined with bookshelves. But the truth is that I don’t read as much as I used to, and I need to get back into it. I feel like my attention span has decreased as I’ve gotten older, and I am too often distracted by other things.
Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats.
I’m rarely in a position to be cheered or booed, but I understand the sentiment. No matter who you are, what you do, or where you go not everyone is going to be a fan. I used to care way too much about people liking me, but as I’ve aged that has lessened quite a bit. I don’t go out of my way to be unlikeable or anything, but neither do I go out of my way to impress anyone.
Hookers aren’t cool, but remember, the free ones are a lot more expensive.
Don’t ever say, “it is what it is.”
I say “it is what it is” all the time because it’s true. What’s wrong with that??
Start a wine collection for your kids when they are born. Add a few cases every year without telling them. It’ll make a phenomenal gift in 20 years.
Sweet fancy Moses!! Look, if you’re really into being a wine connoisseur that’s cool. It’s a fine hobby. But your offspring may not roll like that. If my parents had given me a wine collection when I was 20-something years old I would have sold it and used the money for something I actually wanted. How about this…don’t project. Don’t assume others are going to be into something just because you are. And for the love of God put down the glass, get out of the bar, & call an Uber!!
Don’t gamble if losing $100 is going to piss you off.
Absolutely. 100%. Never gamble more than you can afford to lose. I used to occasionally play poker for pocket change, which is about my speed. When the Triple Crown horse races roll around each spring I might bet $10-20 on a trifecta. It’s been years, but once upon a time I would sometimes put $5-10 on a football parlay. I can’t relate to high rollers that spend thousands of dollars gambling. It’s just not that important to me.
Remember, “rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. – Plato