A True Gentleman

 A gentleman knows when it’s in his best interest to share a drink.

For some time now, faithful readers, you know that I have professed my love for classy guys and the classy things they read. Recently having fallen in love with Rules For My Unborn Son and Secret Forts, I was trying to come up with some things I would share with my own son (and daughter). I decided to ask some of my friends about words of gentlemanly wisdom, and they had some pretty decent answers. Here is a little list, including some of my own:

  • Learn some smooth turns of speech from Elmore Leonard. I.e. “if it sounds like writing, rewrite it.”
  • Unless you are Kobayashi, do not eat portions bigger than your fist.
  • Learn to say much in few words from Cormac McCarthy, The Good Dr Thompson, or Ray Bradbury. There is great power to be had in letting others talk while you observe.
  • Never go on a “Tour of the Stars Homes.” If you have to go on a tour, go to a writer’s house and toast him or her.
  • ‘Harlots’ don’t have morals. (Thanks, A&W.)
  • Deal with a break-up with Bukowski and blues. It shouldn’t make you cynical, just open to the fact that love is a dog from hell.
  • Deal with life in general with Tom Waits.
  • Throw a party with an awesome playlist. (for your party.com matches with a good quote )
  • Shampoo isn’t always your best friend. But conditioner, used sparingly, is.
  • Stay Gold, Ponyboy. (an oft-quoted stepdad refence)
  • Trek into the wildnerness to survive well, not in luxury. See “The Edge.” (Thanks, Mike.)
  • That men can be feminists too. I learned that a while ago, but I never saw it put into great use until I met The Beau.
  • Never throw the first punch but if you do, it had better be a knock-out.
  •  How to play chess.
  • That doing something you love that doesn’t make you rich is okay. And that working a job you don’t like so much but makes you a LOT of money is okay too. But never ever work a job that you hate and doesn’t pay enough.
  • Whether your daughter is going through her first broken heart or her fiftieth, the all-time best thing you could ever say is “I’m still here.” My dad told me that once and I will remember it until I die.
  • My favorite Rules for My Unborn Son rule so far? This one. “The view is better when you’re not afraid of who’s behind you.”
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