Oh, Man!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Turns out training for a half-marathon is rather time consuming, and if my post-workout options are “write a blog post” or “have a cocktail,” I’m going with the latter. This is probably why my average mile time in the final race was 11:01 as opposed to 9:48, a time that not only seemed respectable but was on par with every other run I’d ever done all year (seriouslywhatthefuckHAPPENEDthatSunday????). I’m blaming the humidity.

So life, as it were, has been happening. I ran the half marathon, lay prostrate in my bed and bathtub for two days afterwards, went to Europe for two weeks, and returned. I can’t say that I’ve been doing nothing, then, but I haven’t quite felt inspired to write anything. Fall, as people never tire of noting, is such a time of reflection. But if you haven’t had a breakup or a major life decision, and if you’re prone to self-reflection on a daily basis anyway, fall isn’t bittersweet or nostalgic: It’s just that annoying part of the year where you leave the house freezing and get off the subway sweating, when all TV shows are in that dull “building the characters and season” stage where no action is really going down, when men put on shirts with foam muscles and women dress even more nude than usual but with a tail, and when restaurants are ODing on anything involving butternut squash (seriously, we get it – it’s ORANGE! It’s an autumnal shade in a bowl! Tastes like hearth and home! Go fuck yourself. You know what I want? Watermelon all year round. Dye it orange if you have to.)

Point being, though my day to day existence has been damn good, that’s not fodder for great writing. Monogamy, it should be noted, is the fastest way to stop having one-night stands and shameful snafus. How much can one write about the gym? There are enough “New Yorker in Paris” blogs to print out, wall off the Seine, and flood the fucking city, which I’m sure would please the Parisiennes who are stuck dating British transplants because all these American girls are dating their dudes and writes blogs about it (seriously – the proliferation of “girl in Paris dating a French guy” websites is obscene. I dated a French guy and wasn’t compelled to start a blog until I got back to New York and realize the number of times I cheated on him was hilarious).</p><p>However, I came across an article about how “Goldman Sachs is Treating Its Employees Like Pussies”. This article, written by someone who still gets a kick out of the F word and has issues with women, is a nonetheless somewhat funny satirization of a real news event: Goldman Sachs employees are being required to work a little less because they are too unilateral in their interests (money).

Embedded in this article, though, and of more interest to me, was a short link to a “listicle” written by GSElevator, the anonymous Twitter feed that reports to us, the plebs, about what is stated as the bankers go up and down the building, that gives insider info on how to be a man: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-gselevator-guide-to-being-a-man-2013-9.

The list is quite comprehensive. Many are quite good: “Stop talking about where you went to college”, “Never date an ex of your friend”, “People are tired of you being the funny, drunk guy”, “Be spontaneous”, and, my personal favorite, “Place-dropping is worse than name-dropping” (did I mention I was just in Paris?). Some are creepy: “Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them” (no, they don’t; if they wanted to talk to you, they would) and “When in doubt, always kiss the girl” (a philosophy that no incarcerated rapist would agree with), and “You can get away with a lot more if you’re the one buying the drinks” (a philosophy that most non-incarcerated ambiguous rapists adhere to). Some are peculiar and irrelevant in Manhattan: “Learn how to fly-fish.” Many suggest that bankers are alcoholics. Finally, some are not classy: “If you want a nice umbrella, bring a sh*tty one to church” (come on, man – if you can can “start a wine collection for your kids when they are born”, I presume you can get thee to Fifth Avenue and buy a proper parapluie).

I’m not going to agree with 100% of any list, and I’ll elaborate at a later date on why I think “listicles” are largely responsible for the current demise of human conversation, but I do approve of self-improvement, even when it tells people that they should buy a handcrafted shotgun (again, irrelevant in Manhattan). I think the writer attempted to address many facets of life and to give sound, timeless advice. The main problem with this list, though, is not in the specifics, but the author himself. Any man taking advice from a man is obviously selling himself short, because a Real Man knows that the only person who can give legit advice is a woman. 

 

How to Be A Real Man, by a Woman

  • Women have periods. Get over it. It’s not “Blow Job Week,” unless the week after is “Eating Out the Vagina Week” where you go down on her and she tentatively pokes at your penis over your boxer-briefs. Also, it is not “worse for you” unless you have a mix of uterine lining and blood coming out the tip of your dick, in which case you need more help than a list can ever give you.
  • 
Don’t use the phrase “I killed it” unless there is a carcass of an insect present. It’s juvenile, crass, and probably not true. Pride is a sin. Glory fades. The thing you killed – a presentation, a sale, a run – probably wasn’t that important in the scheme of things anyway. Build it up. Work on strengthening relationships and bonds.
  • Lesbians don’t want you. They want other lesbians. This doesn’t mean you’re less of a man. Move on. Find a new fantasy.
  • No matter how modern, feminist, or independent a woman is, flowers are still nice.
  • Always have a pen and paper. 
  • When you’re in public, imagine that every other woman is your mother or sister. That lady who was rushing and bumped into you isn’t a “bitch.” That girl dressed up to go to West 4th isn’t a “slut.” Take a feminism class in college. Be that guy. 
  • A huge dick does not a better lover make. That said, if it’s less than six inches, you best have tricks. 
  • Unless it’s before 7 am or after 9 pm, don’t sit down on the subway. You should be able to stand for at least thirty minutes. Extend this to all areas of your life. 
  • Contrary to modern belief, there is no shame in being masculine. Just don’t be an asshole. 
  • Don’t do anything before it’s too late. Includes but isn’t limited to paying bills, love confessions, quitting smoking.
  • Once you can legally drink, the amount of alcohol you drank on a given night is rendered irrelevant.  
  • On that note, do drugs if you must, but please, don’t talk about it. The only thing you should do for bragging rights is volunteer. Anyway, you’re not as hilarious as you think you are when you’re high.
  • Chill out with the sports fanaticism. You are not on the team. Unless you’re Joe Girardi, “you” + “NY Yanks” do not equal “we”. Tailgate away, but don’t post pictures. You look like a douche.
  • Invest in a nice coat. Nothing’s worse than showing up somewhere with a slick suit under your roommate’s North Face. 
  • If you think something is “gay” it’s probably just “civilized” or “human” and you should do it. Includes but is not limited to eyebrow and nail maintenance, crying, and going to museums. Invest in a bag; digging in your pockets is a turnoff.
  • Unless you’re in an exclusive relationship, cut the crap and use a mother fucking condom.
  • Get over whatever your father/mother/coach/priest/ex-girlfriend did to you. It is inflicting double the pain it caused you on whoever is being forced to listen to your rehashing of it years later. 
  • Times have changed. It is 2013, not 1925, not 1962, and not 1980. So stop threatening to fight in bars. You’re probably not going to do it anyway, and unless you’re Danny Zucco, nothing’s less hot than an angry guy. Walk away.
  • Dress well. Money has nothing to do with it. Nothing’s more humiliating for a woman than spending time getting ready and having you show up in the same outfit you wore to lunch. 
  • Stop doing shots. 
  • There’s no such thing as Adult ADD. Go to the gym. Watch less porn. 
  • On that note, women in porn are paid to sound like that: That’s why she doesn’t sound like that when she’s fucking you. 
  • Find a hobby that you can do alone. Become an authority on something. Teach others. 
  • Tip well, but within your means. Don’t drunkenly throw around money that you’ll need the next day.
  • Always save an extra twenty for a cab ride home. A woman these days doesn’t need you to pay for dinner, but there’s something nice about a guy paying for a cab.
  • Text less. Call more. A three-minute phone call is worth far more than an hour of emoticon-laced chat. With anyone.
  • Brash and brazen claims are for undergraduates. Back up your theories and ideas with educated evidence. If you think something is the best movie of all time, know why. Know the traditions it spins from and the separate path it is creating. 
  • Carry a lighter, even if you don’t smoke. Make it a nice one. 
  • Stop playing games on your phone. Download a book or a news story. 
  • Don’t lie. About anything. If you were born in New Jersey, you’re not from New York. If you’re from Westchester, you’re not from Manhattan. You can be an asshole and have lived in the East Village your whole life so none of it matters anyway. After all, everything is temporal; nothing remains constant. Don’t try to control everything. You’ll fail.
  • If anyone invites you to a yoga class, go. 
  • Travel. It will make the fact that the dry cleaner ruined your favorite shirt so irrelevant. 
  • On that note, don’t marry anyone you’ve never spent at least a month traveling with. It’s amazing what you’ll learn about a person when they don’t speak the language and the toilet is a hole.
  • Relationships are about a process, not an event. While spontaneous combustion does happen in rare occasions, most fires start with a need, a match, and kindling. Don’t expect a bonfire to explode out of a stack of wet leaves. 

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