I wrote this a while ago, but never posted it. For the life of me I can’t remember why. It was in response to the list Popular Mechanics wrote of 25 Skills Every Man Should Know back in September of 2007. This list may not be exhaustive, it is only 25 skills, but I think they are all essential. You might disagree with some or you may think something else takes precedence. If so, please leave a note in the comments. If you can convince me you are correct, I’ll make a change.
- Keep a confidence
- Maintain a person/s who knows where you are and what you are doing most of the time.
- Have at least 2 friends who will tell you that your butt looks fat in those jeans.
- Say no graciously but firmly
- Handle finances (banking, checking, balancing, etc.)
- Negotiate for a car/know who to take with you
- Change a tire and jump start a car (and have the proper tools in the trunk)
- Form a logical argument/defense on an issue and argue from facts and not emotions.
- Read a map
- Kill insects, mice, rats and other pests
- Basic first aide & CPR
- Turn on and operate the electronic equipment in the house
- Reset the electrical panel after a storm/surge shuts off a circuit
- Plan and host a party start to finish
- Cook at least 3 separate meals from scratch
- Put out a kitchen fire
- Basic/intermediate food safety
- Set a table properly for several different occasions
- How to do laundry
- Change a diaper
- Walk a city street w/out becoming a target
- Hail a taxi
- Choose an exquisite perfume
- Self defense basics
Notes below the fold.
Cheryl Mendelson has two books that cover nearly all the housekeeping arts, and they are arts, Home Comforts and Laundry. Both of these books are invaluable, most of us don’t know how to properly fold clothes, get out stains and plan a cleaning schedule for a year, but all of that is really essential to keeping up a home. Since all of us live somewhere, it’s our job to keep a good home.
#24. This is non negotiable, in fact, that’s a skill I think every HUMAN should have, it’s just that important.
#23. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just good on you. All of us have been forced to smell someone wearing a perfume that clashes with their body chemistry. Take someone with you, actually several someones, girlfriends preferably who tell the truth, and try some out. Take samples home and wear them with nothing else, (not naked, just no other scents) and see how they smell after an hour or four.
#17. Don’t kill your family, learn how to store raw chicken properly!
#2. Just do this. In this day and age, it’s important to have someone keeping tabs on you.
#4. Saying no is a lovely and beautiful thing. Saying no firmly but graciously is vital.
#9. Reading a map may seem like an absurd skill when GPS is on your phone, but just do it. Systems fail, lose power and are sometimes dead wrong. A map can give you a wider understanding of an area and gives you options that just don’t come from Mapquest.
#8. I’m not talking about a fight, I’m talking about forming an informed opinion and defending it using logic, facts and persuasion credibly. If you tell me something is so because you feel it is so I’m going to assume that you have absolutely no idea what the heck the issue is and why you believe what you do. In short, I’m forced to distrust you. Base your opinions on research, read both sides, make lists and THEN figure out where you are in the opinion spectrum. All too often women base their views on their emotional responses to something. That is just how we are hard wired.
#16. As you love your family, learn how to properly put out an electrical fire and a grease fire. Hint: it doesn’t involve water!
#15. Cooking isn’t difficult, it just requires some knowledge and willingness to follow instructions. In my last post I mentioned a number of cookbooks that would be helpful. Start with The Joy of Cooking and move on from there. You can not get fresher or more healthful food than if you yourself make it. Keeping #17 in mind, of course.
#1. Without this you won’t have those wonderful friends who are willing to tell you your butt looks fat. Believe me, you want them. You really do.