He also writes concerning culture and values. And unlike the metrosexual Lefties out there, this Vet writes like a man. Needless to say, I’m proud to call this Vet my friend.
The Things Every Man Should Have
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Awhile back I stumbled across Tom Ford’s list of things every man should have. It was, in my opinion, to say the least, pretentious to the nth degree. The city me, understands most of this list. I get it.
Yes, I would like to own my own tuxedo. Crisp, white shirts and sunglasses are a good thing. A daily read of the newspaper could be updated to a daily perusing of the interwebs. And there are other things I agree with.
However, the list bothered me on two levels.
1) This list describes a man who is dependent on others. And I think this bothers me so because I am. My mechanical skills aren’t exactly up to snuff. There are plenty of household repairs and fixes, that I just don’t know how to do.
I’m not saying I’m incompetent or can’t figure it out. The immediate knowledge of, “Oh. Yeah. I just need a 2X4 or 2X5 or whatever it takes (h/t Mr. Mom)…” But I’m getting there. I’m working on it.
2) It’s, as I stated before, pretentious. “The perfect pair of dark denim jeans”, “The perfect sunglasses”, “Perfect teeth”… etcetera. Who the f*** is perfect?! Nobody. The only people who think they’re perfect are usually the ones who have the greatest flaws. It’s preposterous.
So, I started my own list. With the help of a few friends, we perfected it.
Ok, so in light of the intro, “perfected” may be the wrong word. But it definitely is the antithesis of Tom’s.
What Every Man Should Have
1. A handkerchief you carry.
2. A quality flashlight.
3. A pocket knife.
4. A set of jumper cables.
5. A toolbox that is filled with the necessities and is functional.
6. A rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol with which you are intimately familiar.
7. A working knowledge of compasses, maps and topography.
8. Rope and a tarp, because someday you might need them.
9. Books on your nightstand.
10. A hobby. A real hobby. Something which energizes you and makes your heart race. Your hobby should add to your life and give you character. Oh, and be able to school anyone about your hobby without using the internet.
11. Honor and Respect. Honor your word. Respect those who deserve it.
12. A family. Make it one that is eager for and deserving of you.*
13. A sense of direction. You know that little voice you choose to ignore? Stop ignoring it.
14. Scars. Tattoos aren’t scars. Scars are your personal reminder of where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you’ve learned.**
15. Progeny. You’ve lived life. Pass it on.
16. Faith. Be it a faith in God or something else, cling to it fiercely. Focus on life and remain reliant on this faith. Know what you believe and why you believe it.
17. The ability to know when to laugh, particularly at yourself. Life is not always about being serious. Life won’t take you seriously so don’t give it the satisfaction.
*”Family” does not necessarily indicate blood relation.
**All scars are not physical.
Now, one of the friends I asked to help me with this submitted it to a website where she contributes. The response was less than welcoming. There were those that saw guns and faith and immediately went into conniption fits.
There were those who, and probably rightly so, saw these two lists as the the perfect illustration of the polar opposites expected of men today. There were those who saw our list as barbaric.
Unfortunately, all the detractors failed to grasp, or didn’t even make it to, point #17.
To paraphrase: Life moves pretty fast. You shouldn’t take it too seriously because you’ll never get out alive. After all, you can’t take it with you.
This list I believe is what a man needs. Needs. Not “wants”. (See: wants vs. needs) You can make the argument that in today’s society Ford’s list is a necessity. I’m pretty sure there are Romans who thought they had it all figured out too.
This argument dovetails with the “chickification” of the male of the species in this country, but that’s another argument for another day.
I can tell you, I do not possess all the things on this list. But I’m working on it.