New York Times Reports: I am Not a Modern Man

Breaking news [a couple days ago]!  The NYT put together a list of “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man.”  You can check out the full article here.

I’ll begin by noting that 27 is a lot of criteria for anything.  The FBI has fewer prerequisites to be a Special Agent.  And after reading the entire list I’m still not exactly sure what they mean by “modern man.”  But I digress…

  1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.

I don’t have a spouse, but if I did I probably wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to buy shoes for her.  I wouldn’t want her to buy shoes for me.  And I’d be lost on which brands run big or small.

  1. The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.

I guess I act as if everything is going swimmingly.  And when I’m not sure how to act, I just go swimming.

  1. The modern man is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.

I generally don’t eat popcorn unless I’m with someone who insists that I take a bite of theirs.  Have you ever noticed how some people get upset if you don’t want a bite of whatever they’re snacking on?

  1. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.

I try to avoid eating red meat, and when I do I try to avoid the fatty bits.

  1. The modern man won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.

I completely agree with this one.  Some people will drive around for 10 minutes searching for a good spot so they can avoid walking the extra 20 seconds to the back of the lot.  It’s not about being “modern,” it’s about being efficient.

  1. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.

I don’t have a spouse, or kids.  If I did I’d probably have more on my mind than their electronic devices.

  1. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.

I only drink water, orange juice, beer, gin, or red wine.  But if you come to my house looking for a Mountain Dew I’ll at least be polite about it.

  1. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.

I’m all about using proper terminology.  But what if you want to quote Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous line, “Get to the chopper, now!”?  (Also, props to the NYT for making the phrase “gauche simpleton” sound even more pretentious).

  1. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.

Are these two separate criteria?  I don’t have a daughter.  And some days I learn nothing at all.

  1. The modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.


  1. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.

I don’t even have a Twitter account.  So I guess that makes me ultra modern.

  1. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.

I usually do, but sometimes I forget.  Then I have to stand there in the shower deciding whether I want to go through the drudgery of showering with a puny bar of soap, or get out to grab a fresh bar while I drip water all over the bathroom floor.  I usually just use the small bar of soap.

  1. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.

Is this one a joke?

  1. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.

I keep my grocery list in my head.  And I find it ironic that in order to be “modern” you have to avoid using practical new technology.

  1. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.

My place has carpet.  And, again, I have no children.  Or Kenneth Cole oxfords, for that matter.  So this one is a big strike out for me.

  1. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.

I don’t have a wife, but if I did I would give her whichever side of the bed she’s most comfortable with.  Personally, I prefer the side closer to the door so I make less of a ruckus if I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.  Call me naïve, but I’m just not that concerned about intruders invading my bedroom.  If I was I’d probably have trouble falling asleep in the first place.  Also, how is my wife supposed to get away if I’m grappling with an intruder in the doorway?

  1. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?

I don’t think the modern man has a melon baller, but I’ll admit this is the first time I’ve actually thought about it.  Maybe, if he works in the culinary industry or something.  Let’s be honest, melon balls are one of the more lazy and unsatisfying side dishes.  Does anybody really like honeydew?

  1. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.

If I needed a shoe horn I would just buy one.  It doesn’t strike me as the sort of purchase you have to think seriously about.

  1. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.

I’m starting to get the impression that the most important criteria for being a modern man is to be married (to a woman).

  1. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down or vulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.

I imagine it goes something like this: the modern man lays there needing an emotional and physical shield, his wife spoons him, and an extremely masculine guy who came over to install hardwood flooring while the modern man was thinking seriously about buying a shoe horn spoons his wife.

  1. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.

If I had a daughter I doubt I would scold her for sneezing.

  1. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.

I don’t get a newspaper and I don’t have a driveway, but when it comes to ambling around half-naked I’m as modern as they come.

  1. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).

I’m not sure if I could even name a Michael Mann film.  Did he direct The Insider?  I really like that movie.

  1. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.

Agreed.  I prefer that my phone works, but if it dies it dies.

  1. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.

Nothing wrong with owning a gun as long as you’re responsible about it.  Personally, I don’t own a gun and I have no plan to.  I can’t help but think I’d be one of those dopes who accidentally shoots himself in the knee cap while cleaning it.

  1. The modern man cries. He cries often.

I haven’t cried in over a year, but the last time was while watching The Muppet Movie (I’d had a rough day).  I think that counts.

  1. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.

It’s safe to say that people are sure I’m not a good dancer.  I’m also not sure what my jam is.  I think I have a few.

So I guess I am not a modern man.  Looks like the first thing I need to do is get married, then have some kids (preferably daughters), and I’ll be on my way.  And if I never become a modern man, at least Arcade Fire will think I’m cool:

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