These listicles are fairly common, but I came across two striking ones recently. First, at BuzzFeed (via Glenn Reynolds), Justin Abarca writes 40 Things Every Self-Respecting Man Over 30 Should Own. Some items on it are sensible:
Well, you need to dress nicely to that job interview. I teach job interviewing at my school and I've found that a lot of my students don't know this. Yes, you need a decent suit and shoes to interview for any professional job or any non-professional job in a professional workplace (e.g. gopher in an office building).
If something breaks--man or woman--you may need to fix it yourself. And even if you don't need to, you can save yourself money by doing repair jobs on your own. You also gain a greater sense of control over your own life because you're not dependent upon other people to solve every problem.
Other items on Mr. Abarca's list seem outright silly:
A bar set could be handy. But if you regard it as essential for every man, then alcohol has too high a priority in your life.
And what they are saying is, "I am pretending to be someone who I am not." Own books to fill yourself, not to deceptively impress other people.
This Facebook comment summarizes my general impression of Mr. Abarca's list:
Amen to that! You are not stuff that you own. It is important to be able to do things (secure a good job, fix what is broken), it is not important not own particular things.
2. The Truth
If it's the Bible or the Koran or the Constitution, somewhere in your possession you have to have a representation of the highest truths you believe. Not having that is almost as bad as not knowing what time it is.
Interesting! I don't have a totem like this, although I think that a couple books that are meaningful to me could serve the role.
18. Family Portrait
Every man should have a family portrait, one photograph or painting that represents family. It might be just your sweetheart or your dad and mom. Maybe it's you and you little brother or your just your spooky great grandfather. This is the first thing you take out of a burning building.
Now this I do possess. In fact, I've made a point of gathering around me photos of my family for this purpose. While I write My Little Pony posts, my grandfather in his World War II US Army uniform looks at me.
I will, however, part with Mr. Cobb on this item:
8. Black Leather Jacket
I shouldn't have to say anything else. Save up, spend the money.
A leather jacket? I want to look like my father and grandfathers, not Fonzie.
What do you think, Neatoramanauts? What would you add or delete from these lists?
(Photos: Steffy-Beff, ABC)