A gentleman is expected to master certain skills over the course of his lifetime. He can buy a suit. He can mix a mean drink. He can fix a leaky faucet, shake hands firmly, and change the oil in his car. He is cultured, competent, and a life-long learner.
Manhood doesn’t come with a manual, but if it did, these would be some of the chapters.
Back A Trailer
So you’re borrowing a boat for a weekend at the lake or taking an RV to the desert for Burning Man. Now how do you actually get the damn thing there? Forward is a cinch, but backing a trailer is a struggle on the level of a luded-out Leo crawling to his Lambo. Learn the basics and practice before embarrassing yourself in public. Hint: it’s all in the set-up.
Roll A Joint (We Don’t Condone Smoking It)
You can’t party with Snoop until you’ve mastered this all-important stoner skill, and with pot becoming ever-more mainstream, there’s no time like the present. Even Martha Stewart says she knows how to roll one up. Though frankly if we were getting baked with Stewart, we’d be disappointed if she didn’t whip up a special cannabis-laced concoction in her famous kitchen. N.B. Roll, don’t smoke; be the life of the party without being the life of the party.
Sew A Button On A Shirt
Mum doesn’t do your laundry anymore and she shouldn’t be doing this, either. A button-busting sartorial emergency could occur at any time, so arm yourself with a few simple sewing skills to remedy the situation. You’ll need a slim needle, thread, the button or a spare, some kind of cutting tool, and patience. Mum will be so proud.
Hang A Painting
Before Instagram, appreciating art meant hanging actual pictures on your walls. If you’re feeling retro, or you’re finally flush enough to buy the Warhol you’ve had your eye on, you’ll need to master the skill of decorative display. Brush up on methods, placement and interior design tips, purchase the proper tools, and you’ll be ready to nail – pun definitely intended – this task.
Change A Tyre
This is a must in every man’s arsenal of life skills. How else will you woo the damsel in distress stranded on the side of the road? Think of the flop-flop-flop of a flat not as an inconvenience, but as an opportunity to display your manly self-sufficiency in all its glory. Just don’t recreate the tyre change from A Christmas Story. You won’t say “fudge” either.
If you’re lucky, you’ll never need to use this skill. But if you’re smart, you’ll master it anyway. Suggested CPR methods vary depending on your level of training and the age of the person needing it. There’s even CPR for dogs and cats, in case your furry friend needs a jumpstart. Consider getting first-aid certified if you really want to be an expert.
Cook A BBQ
In the pantheon of manly life skills, grilling a slab of meat to carnivorous perfection ranks somewhere near the top. There’s just something irresistibly primal about roasting raw flesh over an open flame (and ok, fine, grilled vegetables are good too). A spatula in one hand, a beer in the other, the heat of the blaze on your face, the smell of charred meat wafting across the yard… summer doesn’t get any better than that.
The fancy machines at the gym are all well and good, but a well-rounded fitness fan knows how to rock his own body weight. Pull-ups work multiple muscles, require minimal equipment, and make you feel like a badass. The move is hard-as-hell and a serious demand on both your physical and mental strength, but pull it off and you’ll be one step closer to superhero status. Start picking out your cape.
Change A Nappy
Nothing freaks out a guy who has freshly entered fatherhood like the prospect of ending up elbow-deep in dung during a diaper change – but as a modern man, you know it’s sometimes your duty to rectify that crappy situation. Perhaps one day the miracles of science or evolution will give us a self-cleaning baby, but until that exalted era has arrived, strap on a gas mask and learn how to perform daddy duties with grace.
Tie A Bow Tie
If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for you. The bow tie is an oft-overlooked accessory that absolutely belongs in your wardrobe, though the neckwear novice will likely end up with a tangle that looks tied by an arthritic grandmother rather than a suave secret agent. Thankfully, the skill isn’t difficult to master with practice and the internet is full of helpful tips.