The New York Times a few weeks ago published an article titled “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man.” If you’re the kind of guy who relies on the Times for style advice, you probably enjoyed the column.
For the rugged gentleman, here’s a contrasting view.
NYT’s Modern Man: When he buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.
Buffalo Jackson’s Rugged Gentleman: Spends his time seeking his lover’s heart, not her shoe size.
MM: Never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.
RG: Acts with strength and conviction, not false confidence.
MM: Is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.
RG: Prefers live music and proud singing to movies and popcorn. Creates ruckus rather than waits for it.
MM: Doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.
RG: Expects a filet to be prepared properly, which usually means he did it himself.
MM: Won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.
RG: Really? We’re talking about parking lots?
MM: Before he heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.
RG: Prays over his children, with his wife, before bed.
MM: Buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.
RG: Drinks black coffee, ice water and cold beer. If a guest is present, he offers a good whiskey, neat. If the guest asks for Mountain Dew, he shares whatever he has.
MM: Uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.
RG: Calls it like it is. In this case, pretentious.
MM: Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.
RG: Doesn’t rely on his children to make him complete. He teaches his daughter what to look for in her future husband.
MM: Makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.
RG: Doesn’t put anything away wet, be it dishes, his horse or his hand tools.
MM: Has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.
RG: Pins mementos of his travels on the office walls.
MM: Checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.
RG: Brings Ivory soap in his duffel bag, because it’s the only brand that won’t sink in a moving stream.
MM: Listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.
RG: Strums his guitar at least once a day, usually something he wrote for his girl or his God.
MM: Still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.
RG: Really doesn’t care how you make a grocery list, just get what’s needed and return to what’s important.
MM: Has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.
RG: Takes his shoes off at the door so he doesn’t track dirt inside. His children know his mood because they’ve been at his side on a walk through the woods.
MM: Lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.
RG: Knows an intruder wouldn’t get all the way to his master bedroom unannounced. The dog would bark before anyone could get inside.
MM: Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?
RG: Grows melons in his garden. Believes a knife works just fine.
MM: Has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.
RG: Still has the shoehorn his father gave him as a child.
MM: Buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.
RG: Kind and generous gestures do not surprise the wife of a rugged gentleman.
MM: On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down orvulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.
RG: The rugged gentleman is both strong and vulnerable with his wife, without needing to explain how or why to others.
MM: Doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.
RG: Offers all ladies, young or old, his handkerchief when they sneeze.
MM: Still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.
RG: Spends early mornings with his journal. He dresses properly before going outdoors.
MM: Has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).
RG: Fills his library with classic books from years ago and a wide variety of films and music albums.
MM: Doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.
RG: Loses contact with cell towers while adventuring outdoors. The rugged gentleman is prepared for action, so when in cell tower range, he keeps his battery charged.
MM: Has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.
RG: Owns at least one firearm passed down from his grandfather. He keeps as many as needed for his craft in good working order, be it for hunting, sport or protecting his family.
MM: The modern man cries. He cries often.
RG: The rugged gentleman cries over those he loves, in joy and in grief. But his tears are reserved for that purpose.
MM: People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.
RG: People know a rugged gentleman is a good dancer. They can tell by the way he dresses, how he enters a room and how his bride looks at him when the band strikes up their song.