I think that, as we progress in society and become more accepting of people and their varied lifestyles, inevitably, we become soft. We turn into a culture that promotes the path of least resistance- and while this has many serious side-effects, it also has much more trivial ones. These lesser consequences won’t begin the inevitable demise of our nation; however, they will give your friends something to tease you about, which is probably worse. One of those consequences manifests itself via the things than an adult male may accrue in the early years of his life. Things that will come to define him, for better or worse. Because of that, I’ve compiled a fairly basic and simple list of things an adult male should never have. I encourage you to read it, abide by it, and share it with others.
1. Novelty anything
Guys, here is no excuse for novelty T-shirts. Or novelty iPhone cases. Or novelty beer mugs or lamp shades or shower curtains or anything that would lead someone to believe that your mother still lays your clothes on the floor for you before you head off to catch the bus. Your choices should dictate your unique style and individuality, not what looked funny hanging up on the rack at Kmart. Exception: if it’s something that actually is novel, like a Homer Simpson phone from the early 90s that you paid $55 dollars for on eBay, then it’s admissible. I wouldn’t recommend it, but this is a list of things that you absolutely should not have, not things that will absolutely guarantee you from ever being taken seriously by the opposite sex.
I don’t care how cold the hardwood floor is in the morning, you don’t need slippers. Wearing slippers is like exclaiming to the world “I would be the first to go in the event of a zombie apocalypse”. Think how far you’ve fallen. 5000 years ago, your ancestors would have been hunting Saber-toothed Tigers, running across the frozen tundra barefoot, hoping to step on an upturned root or stray bone knowing that it would help pick away at the legions of strange funguses whom had colonized their bunions. And here you are, hiding beneath your covers, practically in tears that your radiant floor heating system hadn’t yet turned the ground into a hospitable surface. I would argue that women should never wear slippers either but, apparently some of them spend hundreds of dollars on foot exfoliation treatments rendering the needs for soft plush beneath their soles a necessity.
3. A public pornography display
I don’t mean a few Playboys stacked on an end table that haven’t been cracked opened in 8 years, I mean a shelf of your DVD collection devoted to the adult film industry and organized by genre. With the prevalence of erotic media on the internet, there probably isn’t a need for a shelf like this at all, but, if you’re one of those guys who likes the “fresh out the case” smell of Girls Gone Wild volume 345, keep it hidden away. This isn’t even about not scaring girls away- say all you want to about “embracing your sexuality”, maybe this is one of the times you should let society oppress you, if only to avoid the inevitable conversation with your grandmother when she stops by unexpectedly on her way home from church next Sunday.
4. Pictures of you with an ex
This goes for any adult- there’s nothing more heart-wrenchingly pathetic than walking into someone’s living room and seeing a picture of them with an ex. Just do us all a favor and get “I am incapable of finding individual worth in myself” tattooed on your forehead. It’s good to cherish memories but, don’t display it to the world. More important than who you were then is who you are now.
5. Any accolades that needs an explanation to it
You know what brings a room together? Not your “Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Top Autozone Assistant Manager” plaque that corporate sent you in lieu of a raise, that’s for sure. If you saved a kid from a fire and the local rag printed an article about it, by all means, frame that and hang it on the wall. But keep in mind the difference between something that you’re proud of and something that you use to externalize your sense of self-worth. A rule of thumb I use is that if I need to explain to whoever I’m talking to why they should be impressed, it’s probably not something I should be trying to impress them with.
A Guy Who Is Probably Going To Get Beaten Up By Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Top Autozone Assistant Manager