mauler's Rules for a 21st Century Gentleman
being rules based on one man's 33 years of experience on Earth.
Open doors for everyone, men, women, and children. But only if you are in position to do so. Barging ahead of someone just to hold the door for them won't win you any points.
Never split a check if there are only two people present.
Get a haircut already. And pay enough so that it looks good.
A gentleman doesn't drive fast. He drives smoothly.
Have a smartphone, but use it as little as humanly possible.
Own at least three suits. A dark one for serious occasions, a gray or navy one for everyday use, and a light one for outdoor events in summer.
Also own a tuxedo. Get invited to enough events where you need to wear it to make your purchase worthwhile.
When in doubt, always wear cuff links. They don't have to be fancy. They just have to be cuff links.
Get rid of your khaki pants. Either wear a suit or wear jeans. Go big or go home.
It's the 21st century, so pleated pants are only for suits and tuxedos. Everything else should be flat front.
Wear the slimmest fit of pant that is comfortable.
Speaking of which, lose some weight already. Start with simple tricks like drinking more water, eating more vegetables, and eating from a smaller bowl.
Exercise at least three times a week.
Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Good teeth will take you far.
Look people in the eyes when you talk to them. Especially women.
If you use your real name online, behave on the internet exactly as you would in real life.
Only swear when it's truly necessary. Sometimes swearing is necessary.
Always under-promise and over-deliver. But always deliver.
Conversation tip: always ask people about themselves. Only talk about yourself when asked.
Don't talk about politics or money unless specifically asked.
Despite the temptation to indulge in a selective interpretation of gender equality, you have to face the fact that you are the man and most women like to be pursued. If you like her, get over your fears of rejection and ask her out already.
Always keep your word. If there is even a slight chance you can't, you must decline to give it.
Learn how to give a compliment gracefully. Better yet, learn how to receive one.
Practice random acts of kindness. And not so random ones too.
Tip more than you think you really should.
Never smoke anything but the occasional cigar.
When talking to a little kid, get down so you are at their level, and look them in the eyes.
Always talk to the little kid.
Learn how to appreciate jazz, tea, and single-malt scotch.
You don't have to love baseball, but you should know what ERA is and how batting average is calculated. Approach the rest of life similarly.
Limit your use of hashtags.
No selfies. Not ever.
A gentleman does not have visible tattoos.
A gentleman does not spread gossip.
Learn how to say "I'm sorry." and "You were right." Actually say them.
If you know you are going to break up with a woman eventually, break up with her now instead.
Read as much as possible. I don't mean the internet.
Feigning unpretentiousness is worse than being pretentious.
Be assertive and decisive.
You should always be the last person to acquire a seat on a bus or subway car.
Learn how to play poker. Rarely play poker.
Most people think money is about having things. You know that money is about doing things. Use your money to do things rather than have them.
Know how to cook at least three dishes extremely well.
When in doubt, choose red wine over white.
Always tell someone you love them, if you do.
Dry humor is the best humor. Learn the difference between dry humor and sarcasm. Avoid the latter.
Don't drink any mixed drink with a fruit in it, unless the drink is a screwdriver or the fruit is an olive.
When shaking hands, one firm quick shake is both necessary and sufficient.
Master the art of the impish grin.
Sometimes a touch on the back of the shoulder is worth more than a thousand words.
Never kiss a woman. Instead, go 90 percent of the way toward kissing her, and wait for her to kiss you.
Any suggestions or additions you may have would be most welcome!
Given my own orientation, this list is necessarily heteronormative. I would be even less qualified to write a list for gay gentlemen, which is not to say that they don't exist! Perhaps someone else can write such a list.