Ten manly things every guy should know how to do:

Sure, this sort of list has been hashed out a million times on internet sites, in Men’s magazines and over drinks at a bar. But here’s my take on it (in no particular order):

1. Wash your own laundry:

Wash it, dry it, fold it, maybe even hang some of it up to dry so it doesn’t shrink. You don’t really need to sort it all out, that’s one of those female “myths” that’s been perpetuated for eternity. Well, except for anything red… sort that shit out or you’ll have a real problem with pink underwear. While you’re at it, learn to operate an iron. Then go wash a bunch of dishes. You might get laid.

2. Tie a tie:

I know, I know… I can already hear you saying “I don’t ever wear a tie, why should I need to know how to tie one?” Well, because you should. Guys have been wearing ties for a long time and it’s just a manly thing to do. Plus if you have a son, teaching him to tie a tie is a rite of passage, right up there with throwing a ball, riding a bike and learning how to shave. So go put on a dress shirt and learn to tie a basic Windsor knot. If you’re not used to wearing a tie, it may be uncomfortable and will likely generate some activity from your gag reflex. But it’s good for your soul.

3. Build a fire:

Everyone loves a good fire. It’s one of those things like water and air and sunshine that bring us life and make us happy. I’m not talking survivalist skills here. I don’t expect you to go out and start a fire by rubbing sticks together. I’m talking about quickly building a fire, in your fire pit at home, or at a campground or even in your own fireplace, with some wood you found, some very basic supplies and without having to use gasoline, an entire box of matches and every last page of the New York Times.

4. Change a flat tire:

We’ve all been driving down the road and heard that ominous thump, thump, thump sound. Or even walked out into our driveway and found our car leaning just a little bit because a tire was flat. When that happens you have two choices: call up the Auto Service membership you’ve been paying for and when the handsome guy shows up in tight jeans with ripped arms you can hand him your man card… uhhh… I mean your Auto Service card (and maybe your wife) and have him change your tire. Or you can change your own tire. It’s not hard.

5. Mix a decent drink:

With all due respect to all the problems that alcohol sometimes causes in our society, mixing and consuming alcoholic beverages is becoming a lost art. All most of us drink anymore is crappy American beer and cheap wine. I’m as guilty as the next guy. So learn how to mix some basic classic drinks and next time you have some friends over instead of handing out cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, impress them with a Whiskey Sour or a Manhattan.

6. Split wood with an ax:

Is there anything more manly and satisfying than swinging an ax or better yet a heavy wood maul through a log? If you haven’t split wood in years, or maybe even (gasp!) ever, go out and try it. Seriously, you’ll feel totally fucking exhilarated, like Stallone training for his fight against Ivan Drago by splitting wood in Rocky Four. But it also can go wildly wrong if you aren’t careful and don’t follow some simple precautionary rules. There’s a reason axes often pop up in Slasher movies.

7. Do basic home repairs:

You can leave the serious, heavy electric, plumbing and structural work to a professional. I sure do. But you shouldn’t need to call Joe Contractor every time you have to change out a busted electric socket or fix a window or replace a doorknob or clear a drain. Be adept with a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, wrenches, and a few other basic tools. Simple repairs are just that… simple… and there are endless instructional videos available on the internet. No, duct tape doesn’t count.

8. Sew a button:

Buttons are constantly falling off our clothes. That’s why often when you buy a shirt or pair of pants, there are those extra buttons sewn into weird places on the garment. So when one falls off learn to sew it back on. It doesn’t need to look great as long as the thread matches up pretty well. If someone is looking at your pants button that closely, well, then you might have other problems. Remember that sweet pillow you had to make in Home Economics class in high school? If you could handle that, surely you can handle sewing on a button.

9. Cook on a grill:

There’s something rewarding and special about cooking on a grill that’s different from cooking in a kitchen. It’s the whole experience, the charred meat, the ashes if you’re using charcoal, the “being outside” thing with a drink in one hand and the grilling tongs in the other. Plus you don’t really have to be a very good cook to produce a decent meal on a grill. The food is supposed to be sort of burned.

10. Cry in front of others:

Don’t worry I’m not asking you to get together with all your buddies and watch a Rom Com and have everyone get all misty eyed. But hey, it’s okay to show some emotion once in a while. If something sad occurs in your life, or your kid does something really special that makes you super proud or you see a really great Hallmark or Folger’s Coffee commercial on the TV… go ahead and let it out. C’mon brother, there’s nothing to be ashamed of!

So there you go… what would you add to this list?


Filed under Uncategorized

50 responses to “Ten manly things every guy should know how to do:

  1. That is a pretty comprehensive list but if I were to add one, I might suggest ‘read a book’.

  2. I liked this list. I think it is tough to pigeon hole men and what is “manly” as I think that has become skewed over the years with political correctness, an emphasis on sensitivity both for good or ill, the ever changing gender roles etc, My mother was quite handy which she learned out of necessity as a single mom. I actually have found myself to be the better housekeeper and cook that the girlfriends I have had. So what to add to your list?
    11. Be able to admit when you’re wrong and apologize if necessary
    12. Know how to defend yourself while also knowing when to, and trying your best to walk away from fights,

  3. Very good read! I like that you’ve included a mix of traditionally studly activities with things most dudes don’t think about, like sewing on a button. Best wishes and keep up the good work!

  4. I would add that a man should know how to slow dance. A simple two step would do, a waltz for extra credit. Also, I think you could probably safely add the line used at the end of #1 to each of these skills . “And you might get laid ” Nothing says sexy like a man in a dress shirt and tie changing a tire or fixing a drink. Or dancing.

    • Ha! I thought it would be funny to add that line to the end of each on but I guess caution got the best of me. Slow dancing is a good one. Just dancing in general too. Don’t be afraid to get out there and make a fool if yourselves, men!

  5. Reblogged this on West Coast Review and commented:
    Oh so true!
    This post gets five out of five shining stars from West Coast Review!

  6. Yes to all! Wonderful post.
    The only thing to add is give a good neck rub. Not too light. Not too hard.
    My husband does all of the above. Love that guy. Hugs to you too!

  7. Great list!
    I’d add: killing/relocating spiders, nodding at everything I say, saying “You’re right, dear” constantly and letting me always have the remote.

  8. Excellent list. With tying a tie, I would also add tying shoelaces – a friend who works in a shoe store told me that sometimes they get 16 year old guys in there who don’t know how to tie shoelaces because they’ve only ever had Velcro!
    Also I would add:
    – Know how to give a compliment without sounding lecherous.
    Hmm, I did have more for the list, but each one I wrote, I deleted, because they seemed too self-serving, mainly to do with buying presents and being chivalrous.

    • Velcro or flip flops too. I know lots of teens that wear flip flops even through the winter (with socks of course, duh!) Hard to believe someone wouldn’t know how to tie shoes. The compliment one is good, everyone is so worked up anymore about offending people no one really tries anymore.

  9. This is one of those lists that makes me say “yeah, but”. I think it’s imperative that if you’re a driver, you know how to change a tire, if you own a fireplace or wood stove, know how to chop wood, if you like to eat, know how to cook, if you wear clothes, know how to do basic repairs, etc. It seems a relatively modern thing that we’ve all become unskilled, keyboard laborers.

    • Ha! “If you wear clothes.” All I could think of was if you don’t wear clothes it might be a good skill to be able to build a fire! Maybe we should add “be able to diagnose and fix minor computer issues!”

    • Yes, I always thought that way, too, Michelle. Until the first time I tried changing a tire. I could, at the time, lift 65 pounds from floor to straight over my then-118 pound bod without being an iron-pumping gal–it was just my natural condition (sure isn’t NOW). But I could not, for the life of me, get ONE lug nut off the blown tire. I was sh#t at chopping wood–took me days to split bits off. And plumbing? Brute strength IS required–I don’t care how good the wrench. Even wire-stripping, which i will do, is a pain in the hand for me.

      Some have it, some don’t. And more men do, in hand and wrist and forearms.

  10. I feel manlier already.
    – Know how to laugh at yourself
    – Know how to make a short speech

  11. I still haven’t ever changed a tire and now I have AAA!

  12. Even my husband got a chuckle out of #4. But doing basic home repairs… around here, that usually leads to calling in the professionals. LOL!

  13. You should consider making this into a wallet-sized laminated checklist. A man card, if you will.

  14. I love how the women keep adding things to your list. I waiting for someone to add “Make a list that includes EVERYTHING we need you to do.”

  15. Reblogged this on Hippie Cahier and commented:
    Since I read this, I have been mentally scoring the men in my life. There was one perfect score and one 80 %, possibly a 90 %, but only if crying at the ending of Gran Torino counts. I will be using it for a screening tool going forward.

  16. Damn. Based on this list , I might be a guy! 😉

    I’ll add one….be able to (and not be afraid to) change diapers.

  17. My guy is screwed! He can tie a tie and gets pretty emotional watching TV but that’s about it.

  18. Hello. Just came over from Hippy Cahier, this is a great list!
    #1 – so important. I have a friend who repairs huge diesel engines for a living but he can’t figure out how his washing machine works, geez!
    I always tell the young men in our family that learning these basics will attract more quality ladies than the fanciest car. I lured my wife of 20 years in with a batch of cookies I baked for her birthday 🙂

    • Hi Norm, thanks for coming by, Hippie is pretty cool! Glad you agree with these! Part of the motivation for this post was the story I was told by a friend of a guy he knew who went to do some of his own laundry and had to ask his wife which was the washer and which the dryer!?!?!?

  19. I got 1-9 OK, but cry alone.

  20. Hippie sent me. I’m pretty much 10 for 10 although my button sewing skills are on the weak side. I also cook, because I like to eat, so it seems logical. I’m not saying we’ve all got to be Emeril Lagasse, but something beyond TV dinners and Kraft Mac and Cheese should be required. Nice post!

  21. Man + wife + unclogged drain = gettin’ some tonight

  22. I can tie a tie, but prefer starting fires with them.
    I was going to add being able to speak to a group and cook, but those have been accounted for.
    Being able to express your thoughts in writing is critical; so many young men don’t see that. They end up working for those who do.

    • LOL, great first line! And I agree with being able to write. The thing that amazes me these days, the number of young people who can barely use a keyboard because they thumb type everything on phones and tablets these days.

  23. What a great list, and wonderful additions. I would love to meet the ten or so single un-full-of-themselves guys who qualify. But they’re all under the age of 40, so it wouldn’t do me much good, dating-wise. Sigh…

Please discuss...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s