A measure of one’s self-respect

So Buzzfeed had this list of “40 Things Every Self-Respecting Man Over 30 Should Own,” and the Instant Man allowed that he owned most of them.

Commenters were generally not impressed. Said someone with the subtle name “Stallion”:

There are a few items on that list that a genuine man would have. The rest are just for metrosexuals who want to pose as a man. In fact, the entire article reeks of metro-ness.

Example: Lee Marvin or Charles Bronson might have, at most, 5 of those items.

At this point, it became necessary for me to read the list, whereupon I discovered I had twenty-two out of forty. On the Charles Bronson scale, I suppose this puts me at Charles Nelson Reilly. Then again, CNR was a genuine badass.

Update: Bill Quick is 40 for 40.


  1. hatless in hattiesburg »

    28 September 2013 · 10:18 pm

    after a quick scan of the list, the best comment i saw was:

    “A list of things every man over 40 should own: 1. The knowledge that defining your sense of personhood with a collection of expensive garbage is a fool’s game played by gullible 25-year-olds.”

  2. CGHill »

    28 September 2013 · 10:20 pm

    Well, it costs more than cheap garbage. And isn’t Buzzfeed run by gullible 25-year-olds?

  3. Jeffro »

    29 September 2013 · 1:51 am

    Meh. A chintzy tool set? A real man is going to have a complete set of combination wrenches from 1/4″ to 1 1/4″ for starters. Then we go metrics, screwdrivers, 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ drive socket sets, plus deep sockets, plus some six sided sockets….

    Well, you get the idea. A set of jumper cables is part of the overall “tool set” as well.

    And I don’t drink, so the booze and the booze accoutrements are useless to me. And a real man would have a pocket knife as well as a leatherman, plus several weapons for hunting and self defense.


  4. Bill Quick »

    29 September 2013 · 12:19 pm

    The list wasn’t intended to be all-encompassing. And I can pretty much spot the younguns responding by their disdain for the sort of things most American males of the generation that raised me -they’re called The Greatest Generation for a reason, now get off my lawn, punk – possessed as a matter of course. That’s why I also own all of them.

    And yeah, I’ll match my gun/tool/greasy mechanical stuff against yours any day, younguns.

    Funny: “I don’t drink….” Real men drink. At least they used to, before they all got p-whipped by the MADD Mothers.

  5. Tatyana »

    29 September 2013 · 1:12 pm

    I have 21 of them! [in “woman”‘ edition]
    I must be half-man.

  6. Tatyana »

    29 September 2013 · 1:16 pm

    Jeffro, I need your socket set for my bath faucet and accessories! They got loose.

  7. Charles Pergiel »

    29 September 2013 · 1:23 pm

    Four Roses Bourbon!?!?!?! What? Is this some kind of a joke? Four Roses used to be rotgut. I had to go read the Wikipedia entry to find out that Seagrams sold the name down the river, and then eventually sold it to the Japanese, who are trying to resurrect the name from the bottom of the barrel. Bizarre.
    Overall, I think the list is for people who aspire to be gentlemen and want to be integrated into high society. Well balanced people, like CNR, perhaps. Not me.
    I don’t mind if people don’t drink, as long as they don’t go all holier than thou about it. Some people are just incompatible with alcohol. I’m one. It’s always choice of whether the hangover will be worth it. Most days it isn’t.

  8. CGHill »

    29 September 2013 · 1:56 pm

    It’s not so much Four Roses, I suspect, as the idea of dealing with long-established names, as opposed to the new and trendy. (See, for instance, the Canadian Club marketing campaign from a few years back: “Damn right your dad drank it.”)

    I abstain mostly out of concern for drug interactions, though I have yet to encounter an actual drug interaction as a result of hoisting a few. (The operative word, of course, is “few.”)

  9. Francis W. Porretto »

    29 September 2013 · 2:29 pm

    Self-respecting men neither assess themselves according to their possessions nor do they allow others to dictate what they “should own.” But then, columns such as the one cited here are usually written by persons who are not self-respecting men. Sometimes, they’re not men at all.

  10. Nicole »

    29 September 2013 · 3:27 pm

    While obviously not *the* measure of a man, many things on this list say “grown up man” to me far more than futons, wrinkled shirts and a video game console do…So glad I’m not in the dating pool.

  11. CGHill »

    29 September 2013 · 3:36 pm

    FWP: We are talking Buzzfeed, after all.

  12. fillyjonk »

    29 September 2013 · 4:54 pm

    I’d hate to see the comparable list for women. I’d be willing to bet I owned less than half the stuff on it, if it’s similar to the man list.

  13. Tatyana »

    29 September 2013 · 5:48 pm

    Erica, what are talking about?! Not being a man I nevertheless own a black pant suit, pair of each black and brown dress shoes, perfume(s), watch(es), minimum of home tools described under the picture, wine opener, formal dishes etc etc etc
    What could they do to us with their similarly cliche list for women? You’ll score higher than me: you have lots of knitting, porcelain figurines and pony paraphernalia lying around to beat them all!

  14. CGHill »

    29 September 2013 · 6:15 pm

    Geez, if pony paraphernalia are on the women’s list, I’m already up a point.

  15. fillyjonk »

    29 September 2013 · 6:39 pm

    No, I’m expecting the women’s list to be multiple pairs of pumps, multiple spendy purses, something like a sequined sheath for that “night on the town” (seriously, where I live? A night out would probably mean astronomy). Probably stuff to do with wine. A bathroom scale and the requisite self-flagellatory diet and exercise paraphernalia. Those who compile those sorts of lists take a dim view of such things as knitting and porcelain figurines – those are strictly for the granny types. Nothing that suggests any kind of individuality or idiosyncracy….

  16. CGHill »

    29 September 2013 · 6:41 pm

    “A night out would probably mean astronomy.”

    Hey, if it works for Twilight Sparkle…

  17. Tatyana »

    29 September 2013 · 6:58 pm

    Bathroom scales and diet paraphernalia suggest plenty of idiosyncrasy in my book

  18. CGHill »

    29 September 2013 · 7:07 pm

    Well, those two let me out. I got rid of my last bathroom scale in the 80s, and I haven’t missed it. If I need to know how much I weigh, I can go to the doctor, or to the truck scale. And there used to be one of those balance-beam type scales at the office. Maybe it’s still there: they never throw anything away.

  19. Roger Green »

    30 September 2013 · 4:46 am

    24. But at least three (sheets, tools, skillet) I own because I’m married, so I got to think on THAT.

  20. McGehee »

    30 September 2013 · 7:53 am

    I’m batting .500 — though many of the items are in my home because I have a wife and a mother-in-law.

    And on some of the others I’m interpreting liberally. Also, a man should have sufficient tools on his person to deal with 85% of the challenges he may meet; I carry a Leatherman, a pocket knife and a pocket flashlight.

    And I don’t give a schist if checking the time on my phone is “so 2011.” A real man doesn’t pick up or drop anything just because some jerkoff says they’re “in” or “out.”

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