You may remember a blog I posted about a month ago making fun of my girlfriend’s delusional claim that she could hit 70% of her free throws from official foul line distance. I get the sense that Julie says she can do this because she thinks the average person should be able to hit most of their shots from the foul line. After all, she keeps reminding me, it’s not that far away from the basket.
But this constant smoke she’s blowing up my ass about her basketball abilities got me thinking about other things the average person should be able to do (hitting 70% from the foul line isn’t one of them). That led to some Google searches, which led to a bunch of websites with lists titled “50 things everyone should know how to do”.
After reviewing all my options, I decided a Huffington Post article from April titled “50 Things Every Man Should Know How To Do By 50” was the right list for me to fully investigate. After all, I could realize I don’t know how to do any of these things and still feel good about having 20 more years to master them.
I’ve taken the time to seriously consider each item on this list and come up with a legitimate answer on whether I can currently do that thing or not. Men, you should read this blog carefully and think about where you’re at with these things in your life. Women, you should read this blog carefully because you’re half the population and therefore half my page views.
Let’s split this up into two and tackle items 1-25 today. Check back later in the week for items 26-50.
- Please a woman – BOOM! What a way to start. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this HuffPost article was written by a woman. Anyway, this first item is open to a lot of interpretation. But if I’m interpreting it right, then yes, yes I can please a woman.
- Clean up after themselves – Yes, plus I sometimes have to clean up after my dog and my co-habitant who I affectionately refer to as “Hurricane Julie” (seems a hurricane hits our apartment every time a wardrobe decision needs to be made).
- Make small talk – It really isn’t that difficult and unless you’re an absolute hermit you’ll probably have to make small talk every day for the rest of your life. I have friends who despise small talk, chit chat, exchanging pleasantries…you name it. But the alternative is to ride up 20 floors in an elevator with your boss and stand in silence. Awkward.
- Take care of their health and go to the doctor regularly – This is an oxymoron, right? If I’m taking care of my health then why would I have to go to the doctor so often?
- Say “I’m sorry” and mean it – I try to only say it when I mean it, but sometimes my girlfriend will say, “What are you apologizing for” and I’ll say, “Because I’m sorry you’re obviously upset about something.” Apparently the fact that I don’t know what that something is means I’m not being genuine.
- Do laundry – I’ve been doing my own laundry for about 12 years, but just the other day I said to Julie in all seriousness: “Wait, so if I were to separate my clothes and only wash my white stuff, could I put bleach in there and it would help my socks stay whiter?” She looked at me like I had asked her “Will I be less tired in the morning if I go to sleep at night?”
- Listen wholeheartedly – Sometimes I get lectured by my girlfriend for not making eye contact while she’s telling me a story. Because she’s a speech therapist with training in behaviorism, she’s constantly pushing crazy theories on me like “70% of listening is done through the eyes.” My response is that I’m trained in the art of efficiency so if I can listen to your entire story while watching TV or giving my dog a belly rub, why wouldn’t I multi-task?
- Be nurturing to their mate – Uh oh, the woman who wrote this list is starting to lose credibility. She better start coming up with actual things men should know how to do. The definition of nurturing is “to care for and encourage the growth or development of.” Yes, I care for my “mate.” Why did you have to say that in such a complicated way?
- Make themselves vulnerable – OK, third item in a row that makes it obvious a woman with an agenda created this list. Let’s go back to the definition strategy. Vulnerable means “exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.” So why the fuck would someone want to make themselves vulnerable. Ugh. If “work yourself into an unnecessary rage” is an item on this list, I can certainly check it off.
- Dress themselves well – Three things working against me here: 1). I don’t have a job or a daily hobby that forces me to go out in public and interact with people. 2). I’m trying to save money for necessary items at this time. 3). You know how you’re never surprised when new parents walk around with ratty clothes covered in spit-up and green diarrhea? Well owning a dog isn’t entirely different…so much hair, drool and treat crumbs get on my clothes each day that I’ve given up and now I wear the same pair of cargo shorts and a shitty t-shirt 5 days a week.
- Change a tire – Haven’t done it on my own. Always seemed like one of those “easy to figure out the moment you’re thrust into that situation” kind of things.
- Unhook a bra – Hands, teeth or feet? Pretty sure I can do it in under 10 seconds in each scenario.
- Say “I love you” and mean it – While saying “I love you” and not meaning it gave me a lot of positive results in college, I now only say it when I mean it…which is probably why no one’s heard me say it since college.
- Properly put on a tie – Yes, thank you, Catholic School…unless we’re talking about a bow tie, in which case I have a story about 12 guys panicking before a wedding because the bride & groom decided we needed to tie our own bow ties. One person had done it before. He ended up doing it 12 more times that day.
- Sew a button – Would rather throw out the shirt or pants in question and buy a new one than learn how to sew.
- Iron clothing – Learned out of necessity when I got my first sales job in San Francisco and spent all my money on new fancy shirts. Couldn’t afford dry cleaning so I taught myself how to iron. My two older brothers, to this day, think that ironing the shirt while you’re wearing it is the proper technique.
- Shop for clothing – Easy. Walk into Old Navy and buy one of everything that doesn’t look douchey.
- Make restaurant reservations – Look up the restaurant on Yelp, click the “find a table” button, reserve table through the Opentable functionality. Easy peasy. Wait, can you imagine someone not knowing how to do this after 50 years on the planet? Is there a more self-explanatory thing than making a reservation?
- Approach a woman – I do this the only way I know how…dress in a dark hoodie with the hood up over my head, sunglasses on even if I’m indoors, keep a very serious straight face, and put one hand in my pocket as if I’m holding something, and then whisper to her “I think you better come with me right now.” Works 0% of the time.
- Make a bed – Wait, does this one mean construct an actual bed out of raw materials or is it talking about the useless act of covering the mattress with sheets and a comforter every morning? One of them I can’t do, and the other I’m unwilling to do.
- Ask for help – I’d rather die. No, joking. Yeah I ask for help all the time, probably too much. I have no shame in getting someone to do something for me that I could have done myself.
- Break up a fight – Oh, no no no…you see, I’m the ultimate instigator. I hate fighting myself, but I love seeing my friends stick up for me and fight the person I’m antagonizing. It’s seriously my patented move.
- Lose an argument – I know how to, but I don’t like to. I’m a “get the last word in” kind of guy. So even if I’ve lost the argument, I’ll go down throwing out every theory possible until you get sick of hearing me talk.
- Set the table – Some of these items should be on a list titled “50 Things Every Man Should Know How To Do The Moment He Emerges From The Womb”.
- Firmly shake hands – I never pay attention to how firmly or limply I’m shaking someone’s hand because in that moment I’m always trying to either remember his name or think of something funny to say. I bet I’m average on the limp-firm scale (insert penis joke here, ha ha).
I hope this list was both insightful and a waste of time for everybody who read it. I’ll be back tomorrow with the second half.