“Measure of a Man”

Surprise! It’s another meme. I’m just back from Chicago and haven’t got the brain power to try figuring out which pieces I want to share and how … so I thought I’d take a few minutes and answer this:

I was tagged by the Inmate for this one. And I have to say, I kinda love why she tagged me: “I choose […] Girlgriot because she has a tough-ass job, is from New Yawk, and is just a general, all-around, kick-ass kinda broad.” Yeah, how can I resist answering now? So rare that I am described as ‘kick-ass’ … though students in my first term at my night job claimed I was ‘gansta’ (sorry, can’t keep typing just now as I’m laughing too hard)!

Ok. The rules for this one:

Esquire published a list of 75 things a man should be able to do. (Yes, yes, I’m not a man, but neither is the Inmate, so there) You highlight the things you can do and you leave in normal type the things you can’t. And then, of course, you pass it on.

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. (At least once, despite the fact that I’m usually horribly long-winded!)
2. Tell if someone is lying. (only half-highlighted because I’m only about 50-50 with this one)
3. Take a photo. (um … well … yeah.)
4. Score a baseball game. (Forgive me, but is this hard to do? … If I can do it, it must be pretty basic, right?)
5. Name a book that matters. (Just one?)
6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible.
7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill.
8. Not monopolize the conversation.
9. Write a letter.
10. Buy a suit.
11. Swim three different strokes. (breaststroke, crawl and a shaky sidestroke)
12. Show respect without being a suck-up. (I’ve gotten really bad at being a suck-up. My ‘obnoxious diva’ attitude always gets in the way!)
13. Throw a punch. (Well, this would come in handy. Ok, I know to put my thumb on the outside, but to actually get the hitting part right … )
14. Chop down a tree.
15. Calculate square footage.
16. Tie a bow tie.
17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well. (egg nog, white sangria … and does the watermelon full of vodka count?)
18. Speak a foreign language. (French and really-really basic Spanish … and of course there’s my stellar ability to say “Come on, everybody, clap your hands!” in Hungarian!)
19. Approach a wo/man out of her/his league. (Seeing as conventional wisdom would put just about everyone out of my league, I can definitely do this one! But even by my own more generous — and realistic — standards, I can do this one.)
20. Sew a button. (and make the dress I’m wearing as I type this …)
21. Argue with a European without getting xenophobic or insulting soccer. (I’ve never been a xenophobe, and if I tried to insult soccer I’d just make a fool of myself, so it’s better to leave that alone!)
22. Give a woman an orgasm so that he doesn’t have to ask after it.
23. Be loyal.
24. Know his poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope. (Tequila and orange juice … keep ’em coming!)
25. Drive an eightpenny nail into a treated two-by-four without thinking about it.
26. Cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat. (not in the fancy way the anglers do, but I’ve fished for my supper successfully more than once)
27. Play gin with an old guy. (couldn’t drink gin with anyone, though!)
28. Play go fish with a kid.
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.
31. Make a bed. (with hospital corners, to boot)
32. Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick.
33. Hit a jump shot in pool.
34. Dress a wound. (Thanks to Mr. Jones and high school health class!)
35. Jump-start a car (without any drama). Change a flat tire (safely). Change the oil (once)
36. Make three different bets at a craps table.
37. Shuffle a deck of cards.
38. Tell a joke.
39. Know when to split his cards in blackjack.
40. Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear.
41. Speak to a waiter so he will hear.
42. Talk to a dog so it will hear. (Well … maybe)
43. Install: a disposal, an electronic thermostat, or a lighting fixture without asking for help.
44. Ask for help.
45. Break another man’s grip on his wrist. (It’s a long time since I’ve had to do this, so I’m not 100% sure I still could, but I’m guessing I could.)
46. Tell a woman’s dress size.
47. Recite one poem from memory. (again, only one?)
48. Remove a stain.
49. Say no.
50. Fry an egg sunny-side up.
51. Build a campfire.
52. Step into a job no one wants to do.
53. Sometimes, kick some ass.
54. Break up a fight.
55. Point to the north at any time.
56. Create a play-list in which ten seemingly random songs provide a secret message to one person.
57. Explain what a light-year is. (um, prolly, but … well … give me a minute …)
58. Avoid boredom.
59. Write a thank-you note.
60. Be brand loyal to at least one product.
61. Cook bacon.
62. Hold a baby.
63. Deliver a eulogy. (Unfortunately, I have a bit of practice with this now …)
64. Know that Christopher Columbus was a son of a bitch. Your understanding of your heroes must evolve.
65. Throw a baseball over-hand with some snap.
66. Throw a football with a tight spiral.
67. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably.
68. Find his way out of the woods if lost. (Ok, Fox might make mention of The Thatcher Park Incident … but we got out, didn’t we?!)
69. Tie a knot.
70. Shake hands. (No dead fish, please!)
71. Iron a shirt.
72. Stock an emergency bag for the car. (another half-way one … I’ve learned that my idea of stocking up and what might actually be needed are sometimes very different!)
73. Caress a woman’s neck.
74. Know some birds.
75. Negotiate a better price. (Does the start-to-walk-away method count as negotiating?)

Hey, that’s about 75%. Not too shabby. But does any of this tell us anything about anyone? A man should be able to do these things, and so should a woman, but there are things that aren’t on the list that really should be. Things like ‘tell the truth even when it’s easier for everyone if you lie,’ ‘offer comfort to someone who’s lost a loved one,’ ‘sit and talk to an infirm elderly person,’ ‘be patient,’ ‘love deeply,’ ‘clean a house quickly and well,’ ‘make time to read for pleasure.’ You know, lots and lots of much more important things. But I’ll be proud of my 75%, I won’t lie.

Now for the tagging. I’m going to skip that part. I think the way I can balance my love of these memes with my dread of chain letters is to cut out the pay-it-forward part. If folks want to jump in and do their own lists, I’m happy to read them, but no tagging.  Well … I do really kind of want to tag my sister, Fox, because a list like this will both amuse and piss her off and makes me think of her as the radical women’s libber she was from birth. So maybe just this last time …


One thought on ““Measure of a Man”

  1. inmate1972


    And that list left me a bit wanting as well, but I love the half shading! Great visual representation of only half knowing what the hell one is doing.

    Ya know, if this list were the true measure of a man, we’d make better “men” than most men I know.


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