skills for men

Esquire magazine did an article on 75 skills every man should master -

A man can be expert in nothing, but he must be practiced in many things. Skills. You don't have to master them all at once. You simply have to collect and develop a certain number of skills as the years tick by. People count on you to come through. That's why you need these, to start.

By Tom Chiarella

I thought I'd see how K stacked up.

A man should be able to:

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence.
K is pretty succint in thought and word. I'm not sure he gives a lot of advice, but when he does he's probably terse.

2. Tell if someone is lying.
I don't think he's very good at this. He's not very cynical, but I am, so I watch out for him.

3. Take a photo.
K is a much better photographer than I am.

4. Score a baseball game.
Although I tease him all the time by saying he doesn't know anything about sports, I know he knows how to score a baseball game.

5. Name a book that matters.
Hmmm, maybe not.

6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible.
Absolutely. You're not surprised, are you?

7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill.
You bet.

8. Not monopolize the conversation.
Never. That would be my job.

10. Buy a suit.
He's only bought a few in his life, but he knows where to go, how it should hang and pays handsomely for quality goods.

11. Swim three different strokes.
I think he probably can.

12. Show respect without being a suck-up.
Yep. He abhors the suck-up.

13. Throw a punch.
I'm pleased to say I've never known if he knows how to throw a punch, though I think I remember him describing how to to one of the boys. Once. A long time ago.

14. Chop down a tree.
I've seen him do it. I've seen him calculate where to rope a tree and successfully bring down a tree much larger than I thought he could handle.

15. Calculate square footage.
He can calculate ANYTHING.

16. Tie a bow tie.
The last time he wore one was in 1982, but he tied it himself.

17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well.
Uh. I'm not sure. Purchasing wine by the case doesn't count?

18. Speak a foreign language.
Un peu.

19. Approach a woman out of his league.
Uhh. I think he may be out of practice.

20. Sew a button.
He's very good at sewing.

21. Argue with a European without getting xenophobic or insulting soccer.

He's not especially argumentative, and knows nothing about soccer.

23. Be loyal.
For ever and ever and ever.

24. Know his poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope.
He does.

25. Drive an eightpenny nail into a treated two-by-four without thinking about it.

He can build just about anything.

26. Cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat.

A fly rod. Lovely to watch.

27. Play gin with an old guy.
He doesn't spend much time with old guys - I think he would if the opportunity presented itself.

29. Understand quantum physics well enough that he can accept that a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped.

30. Feign interest.
Once again, an area at which I excel. He usually can't be bothered.

31. Make a bed.

32. Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick.
Remember when I said he was succinct? He's not pretentious either.

33. Hit a jump shot in pool.
I'll have to ask him. I doubt it.

34. Dress a wound.
I've seen him do this too - he's the resident wound-dresser.

35. Jump-start a car (without any drama). Change a flat tire (safely). Change the oil (once).
Yes, yes and yes.

36. Make three different bets at a craps table.
He says: and know what I'm doing? sort of...

37. Shuffle a deck of cards.
Yes. He taught the boys.

38. Tell a joke.
Not really. He never tells jokes. I'm the funny one - he's the good looking one.

39. Know when to split his cards in blackjack.
Yes - because it's all about math and odds and he's good at those.

40. Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear.
Yes. He's never used a baby voice and is good with small kids.

41. Speak to a waiter so he will hear.
Yes. He's never condescending or rude.

42. Talk to a dog so it will hear.
He says hello to the dog every single night when he comes in the door.

43. Install: a disposal, an electronic thermostat, or a lighting fixture without asking for help.
Yes! He's very handy!

44. Ask for help.
It's rare.

45. Break another man's grip on his wrist.
Who knows?

46. Tell a woman's dress size.
He's learned.

47. Recite one poem from memory.
I doubt it. But he might surprise me and dredge up something from childhood. Now lyrics...

48. Remove a stain.
He tries daily.

49. Say no.

50. Fry an egg sunny-side up.

51. Build a campfire.

52. Step into a job no one wants to do.
Yes. Which sometimes is a good thing and sometimes is not.

53. Sometimes, kick some ass.
I like to think he could...

54. Break up a fight.
Oh! I don't know!

55. Point to the north at any time.
Yes. He's into astronomy too...

56. Create a play-list in which ten seemingly random songs provide a secret message to one person.
Not since high school, but yes.

57. Explain what a light-year is.
He can.

58. Avoid boredom.
He's never bored.

59. Write a thank-you note.

60. Be brand loyal to at least one product.
Usually food - pretzels, chips...

61. Cook bacon.
Is cooking bacon difficult?

62. Hold a baby.
It's been a while, but I'm sure he'd do just fine.

63. Deliver a eulogy.
Ohhh. I don't know.

64. Know that Christopher Columbus was a son of a bitch.
He says he didn't know that. I knew he had trouble with morale on his boats...

65-67. Throw a baseball over-hand with some snap. Throw a football with a tight spiral. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably.

The baseball, yes, the football, maybe, the basketball - if he's lucky that day.

68. Find his way out of the woods if lost.
I think he could, yes.

69. Tie a knot.
Dozens. He's the son of a sailor.

70. Shake hands.
Yes. And I like the way he does it.

71. Iron a shirt.
Yep. But only when I'm behind in the ironing.

72. Stock an emergency bag for the car.
He has.

73. Caress a woman's neck. Back of your fingers, in a slow fan.
Hmmm. I'll pass that on.

74. Know some birds.
He definitely knows some birds.

75. Negotiate a better price.
Not very good at this - but he usually gives a shot.

Read the article here - it's a good list.

It turns out, K did pretty well.


Anonymous said…
I loved no.38...
He did pretty good indeed.
Anonymous said…
I'd say K did a lot better than my husband would. That said, I'm not sure how important some of the items on the list are. Except for #22, that one's important.
Anonymous said…
I'd say you married well.
And I trust he did, too.
Anonymous said…
knowing K I knew he would do well at this list. there are things on this list i couldn't care less about, scoring a baseball game? c'mon. If that is a measure of a successful man I think we are all in trouble.

I also don't think that knowing Columbus was a son of a bitch (unless they mean literally!) means anything. he was, but so was Vasco DeGama....who cares. Don't even get me started on Ponce De Leon...

Allison said…
Love #53. And wish my hubby knew #73. I'll be sharing that one also!
Joke said…
I'm pleasantly surprised, I only missed four, although I don't know how relevant the list is.

Dani said…
I *need* to know what #22 is. My life won't be complete without it.

I'm stealing this list for a post tomorrow. Dh doesn't know about my blog so I can have a lot of fun with this. ;)

I don't know why, but your answer to #54 made me LOL.
alice c said…
errr...MrM can definitely chop down a tree but I don't think I want to count up how many things he can't do. I might be tempted to trade him in.
Unknown said…
OMG, I'm a much better man than most of the men I've dated...

How horrifying.

No wonder it's been so tough for me to find the right man. Especially when all the good ones like K are already taken...
islaygirl said…
74 made me giggle. are you sure you didn't just put that one in? and your label. HEE.
Anonymous said…
He sounds terrific. The one you left out, though, intrigues...
Anonymous said…
Great list! K's a keeper. I'm giving LB extra credit, for actually dressing a wound *on* the dog today while watching soccer.
Anonymous said…
make a bed - hahahahaha -mine never manages that!
sara said…
I think there's going to be more than one female reader who leaves your blog today with a tiny crush on K...
Anonymous said…
I tended bar in a pool hall whilst in college. Most people don't know how to CORRECTLY make a LEGAL jump shot in pool.
Calculating square footage - I deal in abstract notions much better concrete ones.
Tell a woman's dress size!?! We won't even go there!
Now for a man's point of view - I can't help but wonder if there's going to be a woman standing there, holding my nuts in her hand while I'm trying to do these things. I'm just saying!
Before women get all judgemental about this list, its important to know the author of this list is addicted to vicodin.
Now, where's that list of women's skills?

You'll have to let me know what #22 is...
blackbird said…
Maggie Mason came up with a list for women...though she only did 7 it's a good list.
Eleanor said…
That's such an American list, so funny! My wish would be for Kim from Allconsuming to write an equivalent list for Aussie males. That would be even funnier.

Your husband sounds delightful, and I love the fact that your mom reads your blog. I will have to watch my language from now on.
Dani said…
When I was making my list, I realized you left out another:

28. Play go fish with a kid.

I'm guessing he can do that just fine, too. :)
Anonymous said…
You obviously managed to find a good guy too.
Altough the list doesn't appear to make a distinction between what they can do and whether or not they actually do it. Perhaps it should...
Stomper Girl said…
I like that you've covered any areas you feel he needs help in. Sounds like a healthy partnership.