Man Enough

The Internet has produced another list to measure yourself upon, this time some list of 50 things every guy should know from a Web site called Guyism. As you can guess from its presence on a guy Web site, it involves essential skills dealing with beer and babes. Which is only “essential” in college, and sometimes not even then if you’re going on your own dime and have to work to put yourself through.

Still, I took my crack at the 50. They’re below in orange if I can do them, italics if I haven’t but expect I could, and stricken through if I think it’s a dumb essential skill for frat brothers.

Change a tire
Use a charcoal grill
Bong a beer
Throw a punch without looking like a sissy
Fry a turkey
Hook up the cable
Pick-up a woman with a one-liner
Get your money’s worth at a buffet
Some assembly required
Know your local professional sports teams
Pour a beer
Jump-start a car
Throw a football
Haggle for a lower price
Tie a tie
Erect a tent
Cast a fishing rod
Build a fire
Tap and operate a Keg
Use a chainsaw
Paddle a canoe/kayak
Choose a scotch/whiskey
Drive a manual car
Pick-up a girl using your dog as a wingman
Know how to navigate a road trip
Perform CPR
Iron a shirt
Shine your shoes
Do at least ten push-ups on command
Play poker
Parallel park
Unclog a toilet
Upgrade at a hotel
Rally after a big night of drinking
Spot fake breasts
Choose the right urinal
Sew a button
Unhook a bra with one hand
Open a bottle unconventionally
Talk your way out of a traffic ticket
Off-road without flipping the ATV
Buy a gift for a woman
Surf the web anonymously
Spot a liar
Drive in crappy conditions
Change a diaper
Make a drink
Make a mean breakfast

Pardon me while I get my chest thumping on here, but back when I was in college, not only could I do ten push-ups on command, but one afternoon while walking on the college mall with a girl I was trying to impress and another fellow, we were talking about push-ups or strength or something, and I dropped on the grass beside the mall and did ten one-armed push-ups with my book-laden backpack on. Back in those days, I weighed a buck twenty and had read enough Robert B. Parker to think it was a measure of a man to do one-armed push-ups, so I’d trained just for that. I don’t think the girl was impressed at all, but I was and still am.

Now, Internet Guy sites aside, what is the real measure of a man? For this, we must turn to Heinlein. From Time Enough For Love):

Change a diaper
Plan an invasion
Butcher a hog
Conn a ship
Design a building
Write a sonnet
Balance accounts
Build a wall
Set a bone
Comfort the dying
Take orders
Give orders
Act alone
Solve equations
Analyze a new problem
Pitch manure
Program a computer
Cook a tasty meal
Fight efficiently
Die gallantly

That, my friends, is a better list to gauge your Man Point Capacity. It doesn’t feature anything to do with drinking and easy things you can just check off. It includes things you can’t merely check off but must train for and aspire to. The difference between a boy and a man lies somewhere in that.

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2 thoughts on “Man Enough

  1. I started to mark up this list, but the beer and flirting things are stupid. Spot fake breasts? Drunkenness and womanizing are not manly.

    The concept of such a list is Harry Browne’s “Identity Trap” writ large, but in general, I’d like to me more like my Dad and my grandfather. These were real men, and I will have done well in my life if I can be a tenth of them.

    It’s often said that young women are attracted to men who resemble their fathers. That’s why it’s really important for me to model the men that I want my daughters to date and marry.

  2. I don’t know if the thing about daughters wanting men like their fathers is true. I’m not really that much like my wife’s father.

    On the other hand, her father and my father would have gotten on exceedingly well.

    My father knew a lot of good things that I should learn, but I hope to surpass him. Also, I’d like to surpass me as I am now. Every time I use a power tool correctly and repair something without thought, I get closer to my goal. The last part of it, anyway.

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